All Articles Tagged "inequality"
America’s favorite case study of familial fame and dysfunction made its way back to the headlines last weekend. Fresh off driveway disputes over the late King of Pop’s estate this summer, the latest Jackson family gossip has LaToya Jackson stepping up to take the heirs of the family fortune under her wing. According to reports, LaToya signed all three of her brother’s children to her Ja-Tail enterprises talent agency. Her nieces and nephews would be the agency’s only clients. LaToya later denied the claims.
It’s tempting to judge the Jacksons. But we have to remember, when money’s involved it’s always about more than money. Money triggers emotions. Add in family drama and income equality and it’s easy to understand how things repeatedly get out of hand.
The breadwinner of the family seems like the best role to be in in all this mess, but the position comes with responsibility and stress. Just ask Michael and Janet. Money gives you more power in business and family. An imbalance of power means one thing – drama.
Even if you haven’t eclipsed your family’s earnings yet, it’s probably something you should start preparing for if it’s in your future. Women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners of their households. And the income gap between rich and poor continues to grow.
We’ve combed the web for advice from financial and relationship experts to help you navigate the rocky terrain where family and funds overlap. Paris Jackson, this one’s for you.
Understand That Money Makes People Crazy
Don’t take it personally when your sister feels you owe it to her to pay her credit card bill, or your cousin tells your aunty you’ve changed. Psychiatrists have proven that people generally feel worse about themselves the more they feel they earn less and have lower social rank than those around them. Try and be empathetic to the emotional impact your difference in wealth has on your family.
Have A Plan For Your Money, Honey
When you experience an increase in wealth, the first step is one of adjustment and planning. Decide what type of life you want to live and the personal financial goals you want to set for yourself. Don’t think about your family during this stage. This is your money, so take care of you first. You can’t help anybody if you’re broke too.
Empower, Don’t Enable
Money doesn’t fix everything. If a family member comes to you with a need, discuss other options that could remedy their problem. Asking for money is a simple solution, but it might not be the best. Use your wealth to empower your family to be self-sufficient rather than taking care of them. That goes for friends, too. Learn from MC Hammer and his 40-member entourage.
Give What You Can & Don’t Keep Score
Only lend money you can afford to lose. If you won’t miss the money, just give it as gift. Money is a notorious relationship destroyer. Avoid feeling bitter about a transaction later by being upfront about your ability to part with the money, and the other person’s ability to pay it back. Furthermore, communicate! Address problems when they arise. If you plan on leaving your money to your kids and giving your siblings the cold shoulder, say that while you’re alive. A lot of money problems are made worse because people are so uncomfortable talking about them.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Since August, there have been some fairly controversial billboards popping up on bus shelters in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn that are reminding residents that “racism still exists”. Each month, a different form of racial injustice is highlighted by the billboards. Thus far, the campaign ads have tackled issues such as entertainment, smoking, policing, fast food and Black wealth.
This month’s ad is confronting the controversial Stop-and-Frisk tactics of the NYPD, which are highly criticized for their impact on Black and Hispanic men. The attention-grabbing billboard reads:
“Don’t want to get stopped by the NYPD? Stop being Black.”
The organization behind these billboards remain anonymous, but what we do know is that the campaign series is a part of a project entitled RISE. A brief excerpt, which provides background information on the campaign, found on the group’s Tumblr page reads:
“Although public commentary describes the United States as “post-racial”, racism continues to exert a very real and pervasive influence on institutional policies and processes, interpersonal interactions, neighborhood infrastructure, socioeconomic opportunities, media imagery, and more. RISE is a project designed to illuminate some of the ways in which racism operates in this country.”
According to Colorlines.com, although the group maintains their anonymity, New York activists applaud them for their efforts.
“Bed-Stuy, and Brooklyn in general, is going through a very profound transformation and we gotta put that in context [...] For many of the young yuppies and buppies, they see the police playing a positive role and trying to engage in a race neutral dialogue. What the billboard is doing is kinda opening up and exploding this myth that [stop-and-frisk] is taking place in a race neutral light — it’s making people confront it in a very real way. I applaud the effort. If the intent was to shake things up, I think they did their job,” expressed Kali Akuno, an organizer affiliated with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s New York Chapter.
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
How much more do male doctors make than female ones?
Researchers say the gap is 12-thousand dollars per year and that’s adds up to more than $350,000 over a typical-30 year career!
Women physician-scientists are paid much less than their male counterparts, researchers found, with a salary difference that over the course of a career could pay for a college education, a spacious house, or a retirement nest egg.
To get the fairest comparison, the study authors took into account work hours, academic titles, medical specialties, age and other factors that influence salaries. They included only doctors who were involved in research at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals, all at the same stage in their careers. And they still found men’s average yearly salaries were at least $12,000 higher than women’s.
While previous studies have found that female doctors are frequently paid less than male doctors, many observers have assumed that’s often related to having children – working fewer hours, or choosing less time-consuming, lower-paying specialties to allow time for child-rearing.
The new study did find more women in less lucrative specialties, including pediatrics and family medicine, and more men in the highest-paying fields, including heart surgery and radiology. But it still found salary inequities even among women and men without parental responsibilities, in similar jobs.
A common reason given in situations like these (including this one) is that men tend to be more aggressive at self-promoting and asking for pay raises than women. That may be true, but when will we stop using that as an excuse to pay women less than what they’re worth? Especially when we know and it has been documented that women make less. Shouldn’t these companies begin to look at their hiring practices and how they determine salaries and raises instead of always leaning on the “women aren’t aggressive” argument?
I’m not buying it. I think women across the board (not just doctors, but in other professions as well) are paid less because companies know they can get away with it. The companies forbid employees to talk about their salary, and, as a result many women don’t even realize they are making less than they deserve. Then when it takes a national study to point it out, everyone goes back to the “women don’t ask for raises” excuse.
Of course, these doctors salaries are nothing to sneeze at considering this report says the women are pulling in an average of $168,000 a year. That’s not exactly poverty, however that’s still not enough when the men are making on average $200,400 per year. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but how many more of these studies have to be released before someone starts looking into these companies and hospitals and determining whether the blame for the disparity really falls on the women employees or if the human resources department hasn’t clearly determined that women just aren’t worth the money?
The latest in the effort to turn this country into the United States of Europe is this feigned outrage over income inequality. This message also helps to wrap all the negative reactions that do more to enslave people, dash dreams, and redirect energy into dead end avenues.
Anger – look how much money those people have, they must have stolen it from you!
Hatred – you can’t pay your rent and they have yachts, you should hate them!
Self-loathing – how can I live in a country that’s so unfair?
Fear – there is no way you can make it as they already have all the money.
This message will continue to resonate from the White House, although it will not be the way speeches begin; there will be hints and comments about income inequality. The remedy to this was the centerpiece of the Administration’s first foray into economic policy, the redistribution of wealth. This will always be dear to the heart of President Obama, and always will be a top priority. The messaging from the White House is going to be different than before, with the liberal media doing the in-your-face lobbying. So it’s all about income inequality, a term that means:
> Greedy Wall Street
> Evil Oil Companies
> Uncaring Republicans
The current issue of The Economist has a special 14 page report on the global elite as the cover reads: “The rich and the rest.” Interestingly, after so much huffing and puffing a passage reads:
“The question of the economic impact of extreme inequality is separate. Recent evidence suggests it may not be as damaging as many imagine. Our special report after page 58 casts doubt on the widespread view that inequality causes (or is associated with) a host of social problems. Economics focus, on page 90, finds little evidence that it stocked the financial crisis.”
I think the Left knows this already, but it makes for great fodder that says only we like you and through government, we are the only ones that will help. Of course, the question is how do people go about rectifying this injustice? It is an injustice, right? The obvious solution for the true elites pushing messages is to hike taxes on the rich, individuals, and companies. On Friday, I heard Russell Simmons on the “Bill Maher Show” say he’d pay more taxes, and I thought what’s stopping you? Of course it was an orgy of self-hate on that show where everyone ganged up on Steve Moore, who should have fought back with more vigor.
We heard how great Brazil is with their efforts to help the poor by giving them money. That example was used to avoid the obvious goal of moving America into a European social welfare state. Well, we have given our poor more money than Brazil has ever generated in its existence. By the way, Brazil has a GINI coefficient higher than America, so how the heck do they serve as an example?
The GINI co-efficient is a measure of the so-called inequality of a distribution. For incomes, a 0 means everyone has the same income, while 1 means one person has all the income. I decided to take a look at countries with great GINI ratings, you know, they spread the wealth. As it turns out it’s those nations that America’s liberals drool about. These nations have sky high tax obligations and aren’t known for innovation or job creation. These nations will not save the rest of the world in any fashion, militarily or economically.
I decided to do more digging to see just how much upward mobility exists in these nations because from my vantage point, I want to live in a country that creates a lot of millionaires and billionaires. The idea of somehow leveling the playing field by taking from those that have achieved really does nothing for the poor. Combing through the Forbes 2009 list of billionaires, I found some interesting things about where super wealth is created and spreading. Denmark had two names on the list that live in that country, one more person has moved to Switzerland. There are five names from Sweden that still live in that country, one lives in the UK, and Ingvar Kamprad (of IKEA fame) lives in Switzerland. And Norway has two names on the list, Olav Thon 85 years old, and Arne Wilhelmsent 75 years old.
These are old nations that have no innovation, aging populations, and massive social welfare obligations. Is this really what America wants to be? I counted 19 billionaires living in Switzerland of which six are German, one from the UK, and one (Marc Rich) from the United States. So, how many people work for those wealthy people and their families in Switzerland? Russia has more billionaires than all those Scandinavian nations combined. China has more billionaires, as does India. France has less than 10 billionaires, and Italy has ten, but four are from the Benetton family. Belgium has one billionaire and a country teetering on the brink of civil unrest because workers are tired of supporting non-workers.
I know so many people that blame their own failures on others, and grab onto stuff like so-called income inequality like a barnacle on a sinking ship. Ironically, it’s the kind of idol worship promoted by Russell Simmons that The Economist says has helped to stretch the difference in incomes. I admire self-made men and women, and that’s 80% of the millionaires in this country. Not everything is fair and even in the world, but the best system in the world is one where people can start with nothing and have it all when it’s all said and done. The answer is not high taxes and 43 million people on food stamps. The answer is not to gut the dreams and hopes we all have as children by creating false villains and hollow hurdles. It’s a damn shame.
Charles Payne is the CEO and Principal Analyst of Wall Street Strategies . This post was republished, with permission, from his company’s column, WStreet Market Commentary.
Bob Herbert of The New York Times reviewed a new book which stresses that the growing divide between the rich and the poor is attributable to Washington politics over the past three decades. The authors of the book emphasize that there has been an organized political warfare to protect the interests of corporations and the wealthy, which has largely caused problems for the middle and lower classes. In sum, those with the most organized interests who monitored what government was doing on their behalf and brought pressure on politicians to protect those interests won over the majority. Thus, the hyper concentration of wealth, power and income is in the hands of those with political clout, which has drastically eroded economic opportunities for the middle class and working classes.
The book “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class” by political scientists and authors Jacob Hacker (Yale) and Paul Pierson (University of California), traces the current economic struggles of the middle class since the 1970s and concludes it is the result of government initiatives that were prompted by corporate constituents that changed the distribution of wealth and economic opportunities in America. The book describes the changes that were made to redistribute wealth and income as an “organizational revolution” waged by big business and politicians of both parties with common interests.
The authors observe that these changes were made regardless of which political party held office. “Over the last generation,” the authors write, “more and more of the rewards of growth have gone to the rich and superrich. The rest of America, from the poor through the upper middle class, has fallen further and further behind.”
The authors cite hardships come from a long series of policy changes in government that unilaterally favor the rich. These changes run the gamut from tax laws to deregulation to corporate governance and safety net issues. Government actions allowed the very wealthy to amass an increasing share of the nation’s economic benefits.
The authors acknowledge that advancements in technology and the global economy have also affected our national economy over this same period. However, Professor Hacker said, “Much more important are the ways in which government has shaped the economy over this period through deregulation, through changes in industrial relations policies affecting labor unions, through corporate governance policies that have allowed C.E.O.’s to basically set their own pay, and so on.” Accordingly, the authors trace the decline of the middle class as an effective strategy over the last three decades when big business mobilized to become much more active in Washington.
The authors say the economic outcome is easy to understand when politics is viewed as “organized combat” with corporate giants cultivating politicians in both parties to achieve shared political goals at a time when organized labor, which had previously been the most effective force fighting on behalf of the middle class and other working Americans, was losing power.
Recently, David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter for The New York Times, wrote that the incomes of the very highest earners in the United States, a small group of individuals hauling in more than $50 million annually (sometimes much more), increased fivefold from 2008 to 2009, even as the nation was being rocked by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Professors Hacker and Pierson note in their book that investors and executives at the nation’s 38 largest companies earned a stunning total of $140 billion — a record. The investment firm Goldman Sachs paid bonuses to its employees that averaged nearly $600,000 per person, its best year since it was founded in 1869. The authors have made it obvious that not everyone in America is not participating in the recession.
Candi Sparks is the author of the “Can I Have Some Money?” books series.
(Target Market News) — Today, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, announced the creation of the Marketing & Media Project to coordinate the organization’s activities and initiatives within the advertising and media industries. The Marketing & Media Project will join RPC’s other industry-focused projects whose mission is to protect, defend, and gain civil and economic rights by leveling the playing fields. The current initiatives are The Telecommunications Project, The Peachtree Street Project, The Automotive Project, The Energy & Science Project, The Entertainment Project, The Wall Street Project, and The Silicon Valley Project.