>>How so? Today most Americans have little or no net worth, so how did the poor "get richer...through most of the history of the United States"? Around 75% of Americans, even before the pandemic, were living paycheck to paycheck. I could come up with 100 other examples. So in what way did it happen?
I've seen people making a hundred thousand a year living paycheck to paycheck. Most people have a way out of that. But, like some of my friends who have no money to pay for their car breaking down. They are perfectly willing to pay a $100 a week for a fun day around town. Unfortunately saving is not an American thing to do. This doesn't mean a person making $40,000 in the U.S. is somehow poorer than the rest of the world where the world average is about $10,000 in U.S. dollars.
>>"Much higher" than what? Median income in the US is largely on par with the rest of the first world.
Median household income is about $10,000 U.S. dollars higher than Germany, or the UK. It only goes down from there as those are some of the richer countries of Europe. I wouldn't call that on par. I'm sure most families getting an extra 10k a year wouldn't think so either.
>>A pretty questionable measure of wealth. And what does it mean to be #6 over #8, 10, 20, etc.?
Not really sure what measure of wealth you would like to use. But, I've seen no serious reasons why median income isn't a good measure.
Just like racing. #6 is better than #8 is better than #20. But, you can easily look up the exact numbers. But, to save the time I will tell you 6th is about $20,000 in family income better than #20. So in my opinion it's a lot.
>>There you go - what difference does the rate make if many companies pay little, or no corporate income tax?:
All it proves is that big business is getting benefits small business aren't getting. Which is anti capitalist since the multi nationals can get handouts the small guys wont get.
Not to mention that's an incredibly simplified view of Amazons taxes which is designed to give the wrong impression. I would look up does Amazon pay no taxes? Here's the complicated answer by the WSJ. Though the gist of it is, that Amazon doesn't release it's taxes so we don't know how much they really paid. And some other considerations.
>>Exactly (more or less) - the middle class. The median shows the value for the single middle person or family, it ignores everyone above and below it so long as there are equal numbers above and below. It's a horrible metric to use to compare poverty over time.
It's a metric used to see how the average Joe in a country is doing. Poverty is a much harder metric to compare as different countries, states, and regions use different metrics. The poorest in the U.S. would make more at minimum wage in a Mcdonalds in one day than most of the people in the central African Republic would make in an entire year.
>>What wealth? As mentioned, most Americans have little or no net worth. They're free to do whatever they want with the wealth they don't have, and the income they can't afford to spend on things they want? So, what "freedom" are you talking about? The only people "free" under capitalism are those near the top that have a great deal of disposable income. And that fake-freedom comes at the cost of remaining part of the techno-industrial-capitalist system.
Most Americans don't save. More money wont fix that. Learning to live below what you make and stop spending it on partying, expensive cars, etc. is what's needed. Obviously some people get into serious debt through no part of their own. Most do it very willingly though and credit is taught like it's some good to please in America even though all it is is simply a measure of how much in debt you can get.
>>If you want to actually talk about freedom, read Kropotkin and get back to me. For some reason you equate having $$$$$ and doing whatever you want with it to freedom, I think being able to DO what you want with your time is a much better definition of freedom. How many can say they can do that under capitalism?
Yes being able to do whatever you want with your money is by definition part of freedom as restrictions on it is by definition not. Being able to do whatever you want with your time is also valuable. Since I am free to do what I want mostly now though the government has some restrictions, I'm not sure your point here. And most people living under at least nominally capitalist societies can do generally what they want as well. Not sure the point here.
>>No you can't, that's what I'm saying. The countries that purport to be communist or socialist, aren't. The richest person in China is a business magnate with >$40 billion. Seriously tell me that that isn't a capitalist country. America, arguably one of the most capitalist countries in the first world, also has one of the highest Gini coefficient, whereas the more "socialist" countries in Europe have among the lowest.
He was given a lot of special privileges and allowed to corner the market. Capitalism doesn't mean by definition you have a few rich people. It's in regards to money being able to be traded freely among private hands. Which certainly isn't China.
The Gini coefficient is useful to a point. Which is why median income comparisons are important as it shows were Joe Smoe in one country compares to Joe Smoe in another country. For example if most people had 1 dollar a year, but a few people made $1,000 a year the GINI would look bad obviously. But, in another country most people make $100,000 a year, and a few people make 1 trillion in a year. The GINI would look roughly the same. I know what country I'd want to live in though.