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income disparity in Namibia & Manhattan

The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now make 52 times what the lowest fifth make - $365,826 compared with $7,047 - which is roughly comparable to the income disparity in Namibia, according to the Times analysis of 2000 census data. Put another way, for every dollar made by households in the top fifth of Manhattan earners, households in the bottom fifth made about 2 cents.

http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/SamRoberts4Sep05.htm
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 6:18pm
Got it.  Don't see the point of the article, though.  If it is to say that the rich shouldn't make that much and should give to the poor?  Why.

I bet those rich probably make a lot of money through transactions across the globe.  Just more financially savvy.  They just happen to sleep in New York.  I bet once they start to get pinched, they will move.  The poor NYs are probably wage earners making money off the money from the money of other NYs.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 6:24pm
"If it is to say that the rich shouldn't make that much and should give to the poor?"


Where do you get that from? I don't find that in the article.
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 6:27pm
"Where do you get that from? I don't find that in the article."

I know, but I just don't see the point of the article, I was guessing.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 6:31pm
it's informational. like journalism before fox.
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 6:40pm
People like Bot Berlin don't understand the long term implications of income disparity.

The health care system in America today, for example, is shitty for the bottom fifth. 

This problem effects us all, if you haven't noticed.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 14th, 2007 6:49pm
"People like Bot Berlin don't understand the long term implications of income disparity. "

Hmm, I don't know if I don't understand it.  I don't mind if Bill Gates makes 50000 times more than I do.  I do think that through a focus on education and other means that others without wealth can gain it or at least we need to teach how to gain it.  I dont have wealth, I wouldnt mind if someone taught me.

What I don't understand are these irrelevant statistics that don't correlate across the US or age or anything.  I think they are just inflamatory.  Sure, I have posted about prison stats and education stats but at least I attribute them across the US and point out real anomalies.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 6:55pm
>I do think that through a focus on education and other means
>that others without wealth can gain it or at least we need
>to teach how to gain it.

If you wanna be as rich as Bill Gates you have to be born really rich *and* born really smart, just like him.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 7:02pm
Manhattan, he said, is "an amplified microcosm" of conditions elsewhere in the country.
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 7:04pm
>People like Bot Berlin don't understand the long term
>implications of income disparity.

I'm not sure what are the long term implications of income disparity. Apart from the long shot chance of a revolution (it happens), and just lots of people being really poor when others are rich, I can't foresee anything.

It is indicative of plenty of existing disparities. Inadequate provision of healthcare and education to the poor causes even more income disparity, yes.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 7:05pm
"If you wanna be as rich as Bill Gates you have to be born really rich *and* born really smart, just like him."

I don't believe that.  I believe it is easier if you have money to begin with.  But I dont think it is impossible.  You used the words "have to be".  And also, lets distinguish between rich and well off.

Also, what is the criteria for rich.  I want to say making over 200k-300k-XXX is rich to me (in any part of the US).  Making 45k - 200k is middle-class upper middle class and I think making less than 15k is in poverty.  US reports say making "$9,800" is below the poverty line for one person.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 7:14pm
>I don't believe that.

If you'd rather believe the rags to riches story then go ahead.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 7:31pm
Comfortable upper middle class to mindboggling wealthy is still impressive.  If Bill Gates had started poor with the same skills & drive, he'd be rich, not ultra high-net worth, but still a dollar millionare.  Mostly he was just lucky!

Donald Trump on the other hand...
Permalink Send private email ThomasB 
July 14th, 2007 7:40pm
The real reason for Manhattenite bankers pulling away from the rest is that the financial system is seriously broken.
Permalink Send private email ThomasB 
July 14th, 2007 7:41pm
Had he started poor, the likelihood of him going to the best private school in Seattle when he was younger would have been lower. The chances of him going to Harvard would have been even lower. The chances of being able to go in to business take risks, lose, and rely on his parents' had everything gone tits up would have been lower.

Most likely he'd now be working as a coder at a web 2.0 company, occasionally visiting message boards in order to moan about his boss :)
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 7:47pm
"What I don't understand are these irrelevant statistics that don't correlate across the US or age or anything"

agreed, the title comparing the wage gaps between namibia vs. manhattan is absurd.

never mind that 20% of adults in namibia are HIV+ and corruption, illeteracy is off the scale. You are comparing one of the poorest nations with far less freedom with one of the richest areas in one of the most prosperous, free countries on the planet.

It is an inflamatory comparison that does not properly frame the long term effects from within the US. It also happens to be one small sentence in a longer article that is a bit disturbing when read as a whole.

But Donald Trump says everything is okay :)
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 14th, 2007 7:59pm
I like the phrase "inflammatory". Whoever uses it basically means "this person is telling the truth, but I don't like it."
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:03pm
though an exageration of the truth is not necisarily the truth
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 14th, 2007 8:05pm
By definition, yes, an exaggeration of the truth is not the truth. I think those figures are probably accurate though.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:09pm
How the hell do you 'earn' $7000 a year living in Manhattan. That's well below minimum wage. Are they including unemployment or welfare as 'earnings' now?

"US reports say making "$9,800" is below the poverty line for one person."

I agree with that but I also say less than $30,000 for one person is below the poverty line in Manhattan.

What the fuck would someone do in the us making $9800/yr? Where can you rent a studio apartment, pay utilities and buy food for that?
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 14th, 2007 8:13pm
Public housing in Harlem. Food can be very cheap.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:21pm
Roommates.  Cram several people into one small apartment.
Permalink Aaron 
July 14th, 2007 8:22pm
That too. That's actually how sex slaves from Eastern Europe are kept in London. I think a lot of polish immigrants do it too.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:25pm
EXCATLY. manhattan contains some of the most highest paid financial powerplayas in the world, but also happens to contain Harlem.

Wall Street types have not only made much more than manual labor types, but their pay has increased at a higher rate than manual labor as well. This is capitalism.

this does not mean the sky is falling.
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 14th, 2007 8:25pm
One of my best friends is an artist living in San Francisco and he made < $10,000 per year for about 3 years. You don't have a car, you share a place and pay $500 for a room (split with your weird artist girlfriend), don't go out to eat or really do much of anything. Your hobbies are having sex with your girlfriend and having other people buy you drinks. It is possible.
Permalink hello. 
July 14th, 2007 8:26pm
I love it when people try to justify the high compensation packages that people in the city or on wall street get. It usually boils down to a net transfer of wealth from dumb or desperate people to them, or raping pension funds (which sometimes amounts to the same thing).

This is not really capitalism. True capitalism would commoditize everything they do to the point where *they* would be living in Harlem.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:31pm
> Public housing in Harlem. Food can be very cheap.

Well *some* housing in *East* Harlem (not the doorman buildings on St Nick), maybe, but going-out food's expensive too.

I just had a Red Velvet mini-cupcake (*) and it cost $2.

(*) mini-cupcake = consumable in one bite, probably could stuff two into my mouth.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 14th, 2007 8:37pm
I like the phrase "inflammatory". Whoever uses it basically means "this person is telling the truth, but I don't like it."

+1 Colm.

"this does not mean the sky is falling."

No, but it does mean income disparity in Namibia == Manhattan.

"justify the high compensation packages "

The justification I usually hear is "People pay it."  As in the market will bear it, so it's fine. Capitalism indeed, right?
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 8:40pm
Really, the thing with Manhattan is that there has been almost no relief for 15 years. The booming 90's increased income, and the 2000's skyrocketed the real estate. The middle class can't live in Manhattan anymore.

I was walking by a new condo construction with a friend who's a business owner. He told me there's a lottery for middle class folks from the same zip code. He was pining for one of those spots.

That's what it has come down to: someone in the (comfortable) middle class has to wish to win a lottery in order to live in the city.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 14th, 2007 8:42pm
Those hobbies don't sound so bad, hello.
Permalink Aaron 
July 14th, 2007 8:46pm
I always hear that rent control is part of the problem.  It keeps housing costs down for those who live in them, but discourages construction of market price homes thereby reducing supply and raising prices.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/downloads/pdf/wash-mews.pdf
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 8:46pm
It does keep all of the people who do the *actual* work in the city, however. How else would you get somebody to fill your cup at Starbucks, nurse you, teach your kids and clean up after you?
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 14th, 2007 8:50pm
> Those hobbies don't sound so bad, hello.

Yeah, not too bad. One key thing though, is if you decide to dip below the poverty line, be sure to ALREADY have a girlfriend and friends who will by you drinks, or it will be very hard to come across either.
Permalink hello. 
July 14th, 2007 8:50pm
what colm said: the middles class gets gutted while only the rich and their servants stay.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 14th, 2007 8:53pm
Well, if you manage to retain the stuff that makes you look richer than you are, you might be able to get the g/f and drinks if you act fast.*

*Fast being before you start to smell bad and lose your teeth.
Permalink Aaron 
July 14th, 2007 8:56pm
You can also play the artist card, if you're an artist. Even if you aren't, sometimes you can pull it off if you have the right tattoos and fashion sense.
Permalink hello. 
July 14th, 2007 8:57pm
I have an apartment with almost no furniture, but light, high ceilings and color pencils on the floor (I like to make object diagrams in color pencil). does that work?

unfortunately the appliances are not 80 years old, but I might be able to scare up a cockroach or two (they like color pencils too).
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 14th, 2007 9:11pm
I'm no artist, so it's fortunate I'm not starving, either.
Permalink Aaron 
July 14th, 2007 9:20pm
"What the fuck would someone do in the us making $9800/yr? Where can you rent a studio apartment, pay utilities and buy food for that?"

With that being said, I do think NYs are assholes and there are super rich there and could give a rat's ass about the poor.  But I guess that takes leadership.  Donald Trump's money is Donald Trumps but Bloomberg could reach out to the rich and get the big dogs to share a little. 

One thing that is cool about Texas and those that have been there will probably agree.  Wealth is a little bit more shared than other areas.  There are adopt-a-school programs which is a big thing where companies like Dell, CompUsa get involved in the community and give out scholarships and setup housing programs. Oil jobs in the Houston, Coast area that can make money for the GED/HS only educated.  Wealth is a little bit more distributed even though there is a not a lot of it. (of course, you have to deal with conservative, christians).  I haven't lived there in 8 years, but I am assuming it hasn't changed that much.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 9:25pm
Manhattan is kind of an "attractor" for really rich people.
I mean, you can be really rich in Ohio, and have some gigantic estate. However, who are you going to hobknob with? In Manhattan there are tons of other people just like you....you can go out with each other and compare $600 bottles of wine. It has always been this way; the city was started by wealthy merchants. It just happened to have some semblance of a middle class up until the 1980s. Now there is no middle class. If you make less than $80K you qualify for some form of housing assistance.

Bloomberg is totally aligned with the notion that NYC is now a boutique playground for super rich people. He had some quote a few years back where he basically said as much.
Permalink hello. 
July 14th, 2007 9:31pm
"Bloomberg is totally aligned with the notion that NYC is now a boutique playground for super rich people. He had some quote a few years back where he basically said as much."

Yea, that is a problem.  I wonder why the rich are assholes.

And I dont think Bill and Warren Buffet share the same attitude as the NY elite.  They have been active in charity programs.

Which I think that is what Bill will do after he leaves MS.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 14th, 2007 9:34pm
> Which I think that is what Bill will do after he leaves MS.

didn't he say he would do exactly that?

www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1977401,00.asp
Permalink rocco 
July 14th, 2007 9:44pm

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