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Old October 14th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #1
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Key Inequality Measure The Highest Since The Great Depression

Key Inequality Measure The Highest Since The Great Depression

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You know inequality is getting bad when it's making a Swiss bank uncomfortable.

The ratio of wealth to household income in the U.S., a measure of inequality, is the highest it has been since just before the Great Depression, Credit Suisse noted in a 64-page report on global wealth released on Monday. The bank also warned that this was not good news for the health of the economy:

"This is a worrying signal given that abnormally high wealth income ratios have always signaled recession in the past," the bank wrote.

Meanwhile, the richest 1 percent in the world own 48 percent of all the world's wealth, according to Credit Suisse -- a worrying signal for the global economy.

Here's a chart from the Credit Suisse report, of wealth-to-income ratios going back to 1900:

ratio

Because wealth is a big pile of money that has been built up over the years, and income is a much smaller annual flow of new money, this ratio is always pretty high: Going back to 1900, wealth has always been at least four times as high as disposable income.

But sometimes the country's wealth stockpile surges to even greater heights. Right before the Great Depression, there was seven times as much wealth in the country as disposable income. Right before the dot-com and housing bubbles burst, there was six times as much wealth as income.

See a pattern there? This ratio tends to get out of whack when bubbles of one sort or another have been built up, This typically ends badly, very badly.

Today the ratio is higher than at the peak of the dot-com and housing bubbles. So, yikes.
Greed is one sin the dominionist republican cult doesn't seem to mind.

We are headed for a big one. Don't stand under tall buildings. When these guys lose it, they will jump. For the other 99%, they'll have to tell us there's a depression going on.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 09:46 PM   #2
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73% of our GDP is consumption. No disposable income = a huge decrease in consumption. BRILLIANT !!!!!!
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Old October 14th, 2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LongWinded View Post
Key Inequality Measure The Highest Since The Great Depression



Greed is one sin the dominionist republican cult doesn't seem to mind.

We are headed for a big one. Don't stand under tall buildings. When these guys lose it, they will jump. For the other 99%, they'll have to tell us there's a depression going on.
"Greed is one sin the dominionist republican cult doesn't seem to mind."

It's always on your mind. "Eat the rich! Eat the rich! Eat the rich!"
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Old October 15th, 2014, 03:58 AM   #4
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"Greed is one sin the dominionist republican cult doesn't seem to mind."

It's always on your mind. "Eat the rich! Eat the rich! Eat the rich!"
That's the way that politics works. When the concentration of wealth goes too high, the result is populism. And populism gives you Hugo Chavez, with huge majorities in congress.
Or in the American version, populism gives you Teddy Roosevelt, and a steep estate tax, and serious regulation of business....
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Old October 15th, 2014, 04:07 AM   #5
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That's the way that politics works. When the concentration of wealth goes too high, the result is populism. And populism gives you Hugo Chavez, with huge majorities in congress.
Or in the American version, populism gives you Teddy Roosevelt, and a steep estate tax, and serious regulation of business....
Did populism put Obama in the White House?
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:48 AM   #6
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Did populism put Obama in the White House?
In a way yes. We had 8 years of Bush/Cheney.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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Did populism put Obama in the White House?
Statistics and probability out Obama in the White House.

Goober seems to be unaware that the estate tax in the Stamp Act of 1797 was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War, or that the Supreme Court ruled the estate tax unconstitutional.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #8
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You see the problem in just one corporations, Wal-Mart. The family is worth billions because make so little they use food-stamps. That's life in America these days and the Swiss are wise to be worried.

It might be time for a few people to lose their heads, just to set an example.

Last edited by CheckPlease; October 15th, 2014 at 06:15 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:14 AM   #9
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You see the problem in just one corporations, Wal-Mart. The family is worth billions because make so little they use food-stamps. That's life in America these days and the Swiss are wise to be worried.

It might be time for a few people to lose their heads, just set an example.
The Swiss aren't the only ones worried about depressed wages;

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Two-Thirds Of America's Biggest Retailers Are Worried About Flat Wages

It's not just middle-class America that is feeling the crunch of dismal wages and stubborn unemployment levels. Even the corporations that sign the paychecks say workers aren't making enough money.

Sixty-eight percent of the top 100 retail companies in the U.S. -- a group that includes, Walmart, Apple, McDonald's and J.C. Penney -- say the country's stagnant wages pose a major threat to their bottom lines, according to a new report by the Center For American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.

Researchers analyzed the most recent SEC 10-K filings of the largest 100 retailers in the country and found that more than two-thirds of these corporations issued warnings to investors that profits could be hampered by flat wages, high unemployment and low consumer spending. The trend is hammering companies that target high-income customers, like Whole Foods and Dillard's, and those that market to low-income shoppers, like Dollar General and T.J. Maxx, according to the report.

The researchers pointed out that only half as many top 100 retailers identified flat wages as a business risk in 2006, the year before the Great Recession.

"Both corporate America and our relentlessly squeezed middle class are stuck in a vicious cycle of low wages and low demand, an economic crisis that trickle-down solutions can never fix," wrote Brendan V. Duke and Ike Lee, authors of the CAP report.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_5983748.html

Last edited by Camelot; October 15th, 2014 at 06:17 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:39 AM   #10
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The Swiss aren't the only ones worried about depressed wages;



Two-Thirds Of America's Biggest Retailers Are Worried About Flat Wages
Center For American Progress, a left-leaning think tank dependent on propaganda and distorting the truth. What you will not find is the claim by the Huffington Post/Center For American Progress regarding wages other than a mention of labor costs as an issue.

Walmart’s FORM 10-K:

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, the other reports, statements, and information that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (which individually or together with its subsidiaries, as the context otherwise requires, is hereinafter referred to as "we," "Walmart" or the "Company") has previously filed with or furnished to, or that we may subsequently file with or furnish to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and public announcements that we have previously made or may subsequently make include, may include, or may incorporate by reference certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, and that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that Act.
The forward-looking statements included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and that are or may be included or incorporated by reference in those reports, statements, information and announcements address our future economic performance, activities, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, including or relating, but not limited to, our expected results of operations and our forecasts of certain financial results for certain periods, including our sales, the net sales of one or more of our operating segments, our expenses in various categories, our earnings per share for certain periods, our comparable store sales or comparable club sales of one of our operating segments or operations in a particular country for a period, our effective annual tax rate, the amount, nature and allocation of future capital expenditures, dividends, capital structure and opening of certain numbers of additional stores and clubs in the United States and additional units in the other countries in which we operate, our forecasts for the increase in square footage in our various operating segments and in countries in which we operate, the consummation of the acquisition of assets or operations, conversion of discount stores into supercenters, relocations of existing units, remodeling of or special projects at existing units, expansion and other development trends of the retail industry, our plans for integrating newly acquired operations into our existing operations, our business strategy, our business plans, our pricing strategy, our cost of goods, our inventory levels, the anticipated success of various operating initiatives, our plans for increasing our market share, our financing strategy, expansion and growth of our business, changes in our operations, including the mix of products sold, changes in expected sales of certain categories of products, our plans for leveraging best practices, lessons from multiple formats and global sourcing practices, our liquidity and plans for accessing the capital markets, our need to repatriate cash held offshore of the United States, the outcome of litigation and other legal proceedings to which we are subject and the costs we may incur in connection therewith, and other similar matters and the assumptions underlying or relating to any such statement. Such forward-looking statements include statements made in Part I, Item 3. "Legal Proceedings" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as to our belief that the possible loss or range of any possible loss that may be incurred in connection with certain legal proceedings will not be material to our financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words or phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "could occur," "could result," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "guidance," "plan," "projected," "projections," "will be," "will continue," "will change," "will decrease," "will have," "will increase," and "will remain," or words or other phrases commencing with the word "will," or words or phrases that are variations of or that use such words or phrases and other similar words and phrases that denote anticipated or expected occurrences or results.

Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control. Any one, or a combination, of these risks, factors and uncertainties could materially affect our financial performance, our results of operations, including our sales, earnings per share or comparable store sales or comparable club sales and effective tax rate for any period, our business operations, business strategy, plans, goals or objectives. These factors include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions, including changes in the economy of the United States or other specific markets in which we operate, economic instability, changes in the monetary policies of the United States, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, other governments or central banks, economic crises and disruptions in the financial markets, including as a result of sovereign debt crises, governmental budget deficits, unemployment and partial employment levels, employment conditions within our markets, credit availability to consumers and businesses, levels of consumer disposable income, consumer confidence, consumer credit availability, consumer spending patterns, consumer debt levels, consumer preferences, including consumer demand for the merchandise we offer for sale, the timing of consumers' receipt of tax refund checks, changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans, inflation, deflation, commodity prices, the cost of the goods we sell, competitive pressures, the seasonality of our business, seasonal buying patterns in the United States and our other markets, anticipated store or club closures, labor costs, transportation costs, the cost of diesel fuel, gasoline, natural gas and electricity, the selling prices of fuel, the cost of healthcare and other benefits, accident costs, our casualty and other insurance costs, information security costs, the cost of construction materials, availability and the cost of acceptable building sites for new stores, clubs and other units, availability of qualified labor pools in the specific markets in which we operate, including the availability of persons with the skills and abilities necessary to meet Walmart's needs for managing and staffing its new units and conducting their operations, real estate, zoning, land use and other laws, ordinances, legal restrictions and initiatives that may prevent Walmart from building, or that impose limitations on Walmart's ability to build, new units in certain locations or relocate or expand existing units, availability of necessary utilities for new units, availability of skilled labor and labor, material and other construction costs in areas in which new or relocated units are proposed to be constructed or existing units are proposed to be expanded or remodeled, competitive pressures and the initiatives of our competitors, accident-related costs, weather conditions patterns and events, climate change, catastrophic events and natural disasters, as well as storm and other damage to our stores, clubs, distribution centers and other facilities and store closings and other limitations on our customers' access to our stores and clubs resulting from such events and disasters, disruption in the availability of our online shopping sites on the internet, cyberattacks on our information systems, disruption in our supply chain, including availability and transport of goods from domestic and foreign suppliers, trade restrictions, changes in tariff and freight rates, adoption of or changes in tax, labor and other laws and regulations that affect our business, including changes in corporate and personal tax rates and the imposition of new taxes and surcharges, costs of compliance with laws and regulations, the mix of our earnings from our United States and foreign operations, changes in our assessment of certain tax contingencies, increases or decreases in valuation allowances, outcome of administrative audits, the impact of discrete items on our effective tax rate, the resolution of other tax matters, developments in and the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings to which we are a party or are subject and the expenses associated therewith, the requirements for expenditures in connection with the FCPA-related matters, including enhancements to Walmart's compliance program and ongoing investigations; changes in the rating of any of our indebtedness; currency exchange rate fluctuations and volatility, fluctuations in market rates of interest, and other conditions and events affecting domestic and global financial and capital markets, public health emergencies, economic and geo-political conditions and events, including civil unrest and disturbances and terrorist attacks, unanticipated changes in generally accepted accounting principles or in the interpretations or applicability thereof, unanticipated changes in accounting estimates and judgments, and unanticipated restructurings and the related expenses. Moreover, we typically earn a disproportionate part of our annual operating income in the fourth quarter as a result of the seasonal buying patterns. Those buying patterns are difficult to forecast with certainty and can be affected by many factors. The accuracy of the forecast of the range of our effective tax rate for any year can be affected by other factors, including changes in assessments of certain tax contingencies, increases or decreases in valuation allowances, outcome of administrative audits, the impact of discrete items and the mix of earnings among the Company's United States and international operations.


The foregoing list of factors that may affect our operations and financial performance is not exclusive. Other factors and unanticipated events could adversely affect our business operations and financial performance. Our business operations, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity are subject to other risk factors and uncertainties, which we discuss below under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors," and may discuss in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations incorporated by reference in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K and appearing in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. In addition, from time to time, we may disclose additional risk factors and other risks in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and disclose other risks in other reports filed with the SEC. Investors and other readers are urged to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements that we make or that are made by others on our behalf are based on a knowledge of our business and the environment in which we operate and assumptions that we believe to be reasonable at the time such forward-looking statements are made, but because of the factors described and listed above, as well as the other risks, uncertainties and factors we disclose below and in the other reports mentioned above, as well as other risks not known to us at this time, or as a result of changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, actual results may differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements. Consequently, this cautionary statement qualifies all of the forward-looking statements we make or that are made on our behalf, including those made herein and that are incorporated by reference herein. We cannot assure the reader that the results or developments expected or anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that those results or developments will result in the expected consequences for us or affect us, our business, our operations or our operating results in the manner we expect. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We undertake no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except to the extent required by applicable law.
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