Dad on wealth inequality.

A friend of my father’s posted my link to the wealth inequality video.  In came Agatha (name changed) with the following objection:

ok. I watched it. and I have a couple problems with it. First off… how do you know his statistics (or ANYONE’s for that matter, are correct and accurate? (Oh that’s right, if it’s on the web it has to be true.) Secondly, he keeps using the word “should” which to me, implies “entitled to.” Lastly, assuming it’s all true, let’s also assume that it was redistributed ‘fairly” and the poor are now flooded with the money they so desperately deserve/need. I give them all 2 years or less and THEY WILL BE IN THAT POOR 20% AGAIN for the same reason they are often there now. They can’t spend wisely, can’t save and can’t plan for the future. I could count on both hands the people I know that have won the lottery, received SSI settlements, life insurance setttlements, etc etc etc. THEY ARE ALL BROKE now! It isn’t how much you make folks, it’s what you do with it!!!

Father braved her all caps to retort:

How I know is that I relied on experts just like you do when you use your computer.

Here is a graph from 2007 that shows basically what the video said. Here is another one, from the university of California at Santa Cruz. If you need more, try putting “inequality of wealth in the U.S.” into google. It isn’t true because of a snarky “if it’s on the web it has to be true”, it is true because anyone paying attention already knows this and anyone else who is curious but didn’t know didn’t bother to look it up but chose to make sneering gratuitous remarks instead.

As to “THEY WILL BE IN THAT POOR 20% AGAIN…”: Apparently, when you watched it you didn’t pay very close attention; It isn’t 20% that is poor—that is over 40%, and the next 30% of middle class isn’t just a whole lot better off.

Had you paid attention, you would have known the responses on ideal and and how people thought the wealth were divided were taken by a Harvard business economist.

you asked “First off… how do you know his statistics (or ANYONE’s for that matter, are correct and accurate?” Well, since you specifically asked how I know anyone’s statistics are correct and accurate, I have to admit I can’t speak for the accuracy of just anyone. Specifically, I can’t speak for the accuracy of all the claims YOU made. Since I gave some additional sources for verification on the claim of wealth distribution after you asked so nicely, perhaps YOU can provide some sources to back up the wildly speculative claims you made.

I shall eagerly wait to review them.

One last thing….if you want to have civil discussions with research done on political ideas, I’m all in. However, if you want to come on here and make unnecessarily snotty, sneering, snarky remarks, you can expect me to call you out on them. If you demand additional sources for information I post, you damned well better be ready to reciprocate on yours.

Have a nice day.

He also had a zinger earlier in the thread:

The reason we have social programs is because those with the money to donate have not historically done an adequate job of donating. A problem with charitable contributions is that they can get tax breaks for supporting religion, which doesn’t help the bottom 50% at all.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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