Becky Fisher

Hernando, FL, United States

About Becky

I'm passionate about

Sharing stories, ideas and understanding.
Building community and finding points of commonality between people.
Using technology to bring about an abundant world for everyone.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

182104
Becky Fisher
Posted over 1 year ago
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
Anne, he specifies that he is comparing incomes of people in "rich developed market democracies." Most of the ones you mentioned were formerly occupied countries. War torn ones face similar destruction of their infrastructure and damage to the psyche of the people. To better understand when formerly occupied nations reach parity with the "rich developed market democracies" - and can be included in the above set of data - check out Hans Rosling's TEDtalk "Asia's rise -- how and when". He predicts the point to be in 35 years for China and India when the average incomes become equal.
182104
Becky Fisher
Posted over 1 year ago
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
Jim- If I may be so bold as to suggest a super-quick read, look up War Is A Racket by Major General Smedley Butler. [It's available for free in any format from archive. org.] It was written after WWI by a man who at his time of death was the most decorated Marine who'd ever lived. This is how the book begins: "WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows." The US was only in WWI for a little over a year and a half. Even if they were selling supplies to war efforts overseas, the whole thing only lasted from 1914-1918. To put in perspective the enormity of what the Maj. Gan. is saying, the average household income had risen to $1,518 per year in 1918 - while there were 21,000 new million and billionaires made from defense contracts. Like the Maj. Gen. wrote, profits are counted in dollars, losses in blood. The only way to stop it is to take the profit out of it. We've served our kids up to the industrialists, too, forcing them into a machine. There is money made on the endless standardized tests with no real education. Seth Godin's Stop Stealing Dreams (ebook available free online) addresses this, as does his TEDxYouth talk by the same name.
182104
Becky Fisher
Posted over 1 year ago
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
I totally agree with you on the first point and it's a pretty recent thing. In the 1980s, CEOs only made about 42% of what their average worker did. On the second, I actually think you two are a lot closer in agreement on the tax thing than you realize. A flat tax would not be a dollar from the poor man and a dollar from the rich man. It's a flat percentage, not a flat dollar amount. It's even better than your posited $1 from the poor and $10 from the rich. Using the example of the CEO who currently makes 384 times what his average worker does, then he'd contribute $384 for every $1 the average worker put in. Similarly, if the lowest paid worker in this scenario earned two-thirds of the average worker, he would contribute $0.66 per $1 contributed by the average worker. The person without income would not have any to be taxed and it creates more equality for gay partners who cannot get married yet. There would also be no complicated loopholes for the rich to exploit. Currently the super rich get to pay only 13% because their money is made by a return on investments instead of the 33% they'd pay if they were receiving a paycheck from an employer. Under a flat tax, they'd pay whatever the tax rate was regardless of how they made it. I BTW- A flat income tax does not preclude other taxes or incentives to curb hoarding in the very top. I also think there should be a flat corporate tax rate. Corporations exploit how complicated the tax code is to bog down smaller, competing businesses who don't have a standing legal department and dedicated compliance people to go through the endless audits. A flat corporate rate (different from the flat individual rate) would help end the fact that small business owners carry the entire corporate tax burden while the giant ones have all sorts of loopholes to exploit so they make billions and somehow get millions in returns.