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Post 12 Aug 2018, 8:06 am

Ricky:
Your argument seems to be that, "yeah but the US household incomes are under reported." so the whole comparison is invalid....


I didn't use the word invalid. I do think that if you use bad data you will often have incorrect conclusions. Do you disagree, or do you think we should all reach conclusions knowing that our data is very poorly constructed because we quickly read something and it supports our world view?


Ricky:
Well, since inter-generational mobility is the key, and the US demonstrates the lowest inter-generational mobiity .. that would mean that despite slightly higher incomes than Gini calculates there still isn't mobility in the US.
Could that be because medical inflation and the cost of education have increased far more than incomes ? And its those two key factors that allow for poor kids to work out of their born circumstance.


Or it could be that Biloxi and Boston are more different than Copenhagen and Odense (that would have had more zing if I could have found another Danish City beginning with a "C".) One of your studies tries to normalize for that and it totally changes the results.

BTW, your study shows that the UK has less social mobility than the US. What is wrong with their health care and educational system?
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Post 12 Aug 2018, 8:32 am

Ricky:
If you really want to get down into the weeds...

http://cpi.stanford.edu/_media/working_ ... easure.pdf


That's a fine way to define social mobility. What I'm saying is that there is no evidence that your source :"The Trust Equality" is competently using that definition.

Regarding higher education in the US, good students who are poor -- and especially if they are minorities (except Asian minorities) -- can get in tuition free and often have their room and board covered as well. Where we may suffer more is in k-12 education where there is a real disparity of quality, especially if you cross state lines. Education is funded locally and then somewhat equalized at the state level. The federal role is primarily bureaucratic. The education unions make matters much worse by not enabling us to fire poor teachers. As a result they end up in poorer school districts. Coupled with parents who are not focused on their children's education, social mobility is substantially limited.

I also think our history of slavery, reconstruction, and race relations contribute to limit our social mobility. There's some racism, and some prejudice, but of more importance, I think there are cultural misunderstandings that exacerbate our issues.
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Post 13 Aug 2018, 8:06 am

rayjay
I didn't use the word invalid. I do think that if you use bad data you will often have incorrect conclusions. Do you disagree, or do you think we should all reach conclusions knowing that our data is very poorly constructed because we quickly read something and it supports our world view?


That depends. Bad data? Or data that skews in one direction too much? Which is what you (or Greg Miskew who I believe did the original work on re-examining Gini- in the US). You see, if Miskiw is right the income inequality isn't as great in the US>
But that does not say anything about the data on social mobility....
If the data on social mobility is correct, and ALL of the studies have similar conclusions, then the USA's low social mobility happens even though income inequality isn't as bad as originally claimed...

rayjay
That's a fine way to define social mobility. What I'm saying is that there is no evidence that your source :"The Trust Equality" is competently using that definition.


oh come on. FInd a study that generally disagrees with the findings that the US has low socio-economic mobility... You won't
https://www.epi.org/publication/usa-lag ... -mobility/

One of the great issues in recent elections is the feeling by many middle and lower class Americans that they have been "left behind.."
https://money.cnn.com/2015/01/15/news/e ... index.html

That's the expression of the reality found in the studies on social and economic mobility.
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Post 13 Aug 2018, 8:19 am

rayjay
Regarding higher education in the US, good students who are poor -- and especially if they are minorities (except Asian minorities) -- can get in tuition free and often have their room and board covered as well


Sure. But what percentage of poor students who are qualified academically get this support? (Seriously Ray, I can't find any information on the actual numbers or relative numbers. relative numbers, percentage of qualified, would be most meaningful..)
And what happens to middle class children, who don't qualify for grants or scholarships? They graduate with enormous debt.
That's an anchor on their growth. And one reason that even with a degree some people can't get ahead economically.
Compared to other nations, the value of a secondary education is diminished when it can only be achieved with great debt.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/13/heres-h ... tries.html

rayjay
Where we may suffer more is in k-12 education where there is a real disparity of quality, especially if you cross state lines. Education is funded locally and then somewhat equalized at the state level. The federal role is primarily bureaucratic. The education unions make matters much worse by not enabling us to fire poor teachers. As a result they end up in poorer school districts. Coupled with parents who are not focused on their children's education, social mobility is substantially limited.
I also think our history of slavery, reconstruction, and race relations contribute to limit our social mobility. There's some racism, and some prejudice, but of more importance, I think there are cultural misunderstandings that exacerbate our issues.

agreed. Just as I think that in the UK, social mobility is affected by the history of a strict social class system.)
How do you fix that? (can i safely assume money is going to be part of the fix?)
At the same time being cognizant of balancing budgets and attacking accumulated debt?
I'm thinking the primary action is to return to higher taxation levels for the very wealthy, is a start.
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Post 13 Aug 2018, 9:58 am

I was trying to think of what factors would affect the life chances of two random kids with equal intellectual abilities who were born/thrown into two different places in the US:

(1) Access of mother to prenatal care;
(2) Early childhood rearing. Particularly verbal interaction
(3) Parent's cultural expectations regarding education. Reading.
(4) Positive/negative images of society (particularly teachers) regarding the capacities of the child. Societal expectations as to what kind of careers the child is expected to have given their race/gender/ethnicity
(5) Access to adequate nutrition
(6) Differential access to good teachers/schools
(7) Access to educational resources (books, internet)
(8) Differential levels of crime. Safety.
(9) Adult role models that a child can visualize following the same or similar paths of achievement;
(10) Impediments to careers because of costs/student loan burdens
(11) Negative peer groups/gangs
(12) The location where child grows up hindering achievement due to the above factors and perhaps others.
(13) Differential access to educational assistance (tutors, SAT prep, etc.)
(14) Unequal access to health care

So to the extent we can reduce the effects of the above factors...we should be able to increase social mobility.
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Post 13 Aug 2018, 12:03 pm

freeman3
I was trying to think of what factors would affect the life chances of two random kids with equal intellectual abilities who were born/thrown into two different places in the US


I think that universal health care, and universally accessible quality education at no cost would make a major impact on the following of your items..

(1) Access of mother to prenatal care;
(5) Access to adequate nutrition
(6) Differential access to good teachers/schools
(7) Access to educational resources (books, internet)
(10) Impediments to careers because of costs/student loan burdens
(12) The location where child grows up hindering achievement due to the above factors and perhaps others.
(13) Differential access to educational assistance (tutors, SAT prep, etc.)
(14) Unequal access to health care

I'll go on to suggest that over a couple of generations, every aspect you identified would be positively affected.
Investment in high quality education, freely delivered, and health care is a virtuous circle that generates benefits in everything from crime reduction (8) to better parenting. .
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Post 13 Aug 2018, 2:19 pm

Ricky:
If the data on social mobility is correct, and ALL of the studies have similar conclusions, then the USA's low social mobility happens even though income inequality isn't as bad as originally claimed..

You seem to have ignored my point on Boston vs. Biloxi. If you are born in Biloxi and choose to stay there, you are not likely to become a pharmaceutical millionaire, or at least not in a way that the government measures. Show me the data for social mobility normalizing for geographic diversity and then we can have a reasonable discussion. Otherwise, how can you compare Denmark and the US.

Ricky:
But what percentage of poor students who are qualified academically get this support?


Most from my experience actually living in this country.

Ricky:
And what happens to middle class children, who don't qualify for grants or scholarships? They graduate with enormous debt.
That's an anchor on their growth. And one reason that even with a degree some people can't get ahead economically.


We were talking about social mobility and now you've raised the bar to the middle class. There are many excellent public schools in the US, and if someone is smart and majors in a field that has employment opportunities, they will be able to handle the debt.

Freeman:
I was trying to think of what factors would affect the life chances of two random kids with equal intellectual abilities who were born/thrown into two different places in the US:
...
(2) Early childhood rearing. Particularly verbal interaction


My wife and I left the movie theater at 9:15 pm last night and there was a woman waiting on line to buy her ticket who had a very tired looking 3 year old standing next to her. There's no amount of government program that's gonna solve that.
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 9:45 am

Ray Jay wrote:The Gini coefficient can be very misleading. Typically they exclude both government taxes and government transfer payments.


I don't know a lot about this, but it appears that the above is not true.

Income is defined as household disposable income in a particular year. It consists of earnings, self-employment and capital income and public cash transfers; income taxes and social security contributions paid by households are deducted. The income of the household is attributed to each of its members, with an adjustment to reflect differences in needs for households of different sizes. Income inequality among individuals is measured here by five indicators. The Gini coefficient is based on the comparison of cumulative proportions of the population against cumulative proportions of income they receive,


More here:https://data.oecd.org/inequality/income-inequality.htm
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 12:38 pm

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:The Gini coefficient can be very misleading. Typically they exclude both government taxes and government transfer payments.


I don't know a lot about this, but it appears that the above is not true.

Income is defined as household disposable income in a particular year. It consists of earnings, self-employment and capital income and public cash transfers; income taxes and social security contributions paid by households are deducted. The income of the household is attributed to each of its members, with an adjustment to reflect differences in needs for households of different sizes. Income inequality among individuals is measured here by five indicators. The Gini coefficient is based on the comparison of cumulative proportions of the population against cumulative proportions of income they receive,


More here:https://data.oecd.org/inequality/income-inequality.htm


Thanks on the partial correction; the cash transfers such as Social Security payment appears to generally be included. However, payments for Medicaid, Medicare, subsidies for higher education, and all indirect non-cash transfers (which are higher than the cash transfers), are not included. When you take that into account the US Gini goes to about .32 (from .39 per your link) which is in the range of OECD countries.

Ricky posted this https://qz.com/1057324/without-equality ... portunity/ which has the US Gini way higher than other western countries. It's not clear to me what data they are using, but based on your post it appears bogus.
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 2:21 pm

Ray Jay wrote:Thanks on the partial correction; the cash transfers such as Social Security payment appears to generally be included. However, payments for Medicaid, Medicare, subsidies for higher education, and all indirect non-cash transfers (which are higher than the cash transfers), are not included.


And according to my understanding of what the Gini is trying to measure, these non-cash items shouldn't be included if we want to make an apples-to-apples comparison between countries. In most liberal western countries, health care is near free because the govt pays for it. In the USA we pay for it except if you're on medicare/caid it's also near free because govt pays for it. Same story with higher education. Those non-cash subsidies are not included in this measure in other countries, so they shouldn't be included in this measure for the USA for an accurate comparison.

Where are you getting this concept, or is this something that you thought of on your own?
Last edited by geojanes on 15 Aug 2018, 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 3:11 pm

rayjay
Show me the data for social mobility normalizing for geographic diversity and then we can have a reasonable discussion.


This is total BS. There is no evidence on offer from you that geographic diversity should be "normalized". Whatever you mean by that term.
The entire populace of a country is measured over generations... regardless of where they live, or not. Their income or their socioeconomic status is recorded...
If indeed being in an urban environment or a rural environment had some impact on this, please offer some evidence. Don't just throw crap at the wall.

You might also consider that Canada has even more "geographic diversity" than the United States. And the data indicates social mobility is far greater in Canada. Though I doubt that, other than the effect on the indigenous population of their sometimes isolated communities ... But indigenous
is
included in the macro studies conducted. So however their isolation may effect them , its included.
(By the way, Norway, Sweden and Finland also have isolated indigenous communities. The numbers that are herding reindeer, or living a traditional life style will also be incorporated in the studies of mobility if the sampling method has been correct. But since the proportion to the over all population is tiny - the "effect will be tiny.
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 3:24 pm

rickyp
But what percentage of poor students who are qualified academically get this support
t?

rayjay
Most from my experience actually living in this country.


And does that experience then provide you with the insight to provide a percentage ?

rayjay
We were talking about social mobility and now you've raised the bar to the middle class.

I haven't changed the bar at all. Social mobility studies measure movement from and into the middle class. Either up or down.

rayjay
There are many excellent public schools in the US, and if someone is smart and majors in a field that has employment opportunities, they will be able to handle the debt.


This comment is way out of step with the vast amount of information on the experience of student debt.
Here's an example:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 101842736/
In 2015, nearly 70% of college seniors graduated with student debt, up from less than half in 1993, and their average tab had tripled to $30,100, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. All told, about 20% of American adults and 35% of Millennials are burdened by student debt, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.

Wages have not kept up. From 2007 to 2015, average student loan balances surged 60% while average pay for recent graduates rose 13%, FitchRatings says. About 8 million borrowers are in default on their loans, damaging their ability to rent apartments, buy cars and even get jobs.
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 3:44 pm

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:Thanks on the partial correction; the cash transfers such as Social Security payment appears to generally be included. However, payments for Medicaid, Medicare, subsidies for higher education, and all indirect non-cash transfers (which are higher than the cash transfers), are not included.


And according to my understanding of what the Gini is trying to measure, these non-cash items shouldn't be included if we want to make an apples-to-apples comparison between countries. In most liberal western countries, health care is near free because the govt pays for it. In the USA we pay for it except if you're on medicare/caid it's also near free because govt pays for it. Same story with higher education. Those non-cash subsidies are not included in this measure in other countries, so they shouldn't be included in this measure for the USA for an accurate comparison.

Where are you getting this concept, or is this something that you though of on your own?


If you have money you have to buy health care and higher education.

In other words, you are saying that if someone makes $60,000 and send their child to college for a year they should include that $60,000 in their income for purposes of calculating Gini, but if someone gets a $60,000 scholarship, then it should not be included. If I make $20,000 and pay for health insurance, that income is included, but if someone has their health insurance paid for by the state, that income should not be included. Here's a link to the WSJ Op Ed on the subject from a few days ago. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-o ... ge=1&pos=1
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 3:50 pm

Ricky:
There is no evidence on offer from you that geographic diversity should be "normalized". Whatever you mean by that term


Perhaps you should read the studies that you link?

Ricky:
Here's an example:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 101842736/
In 2015, nearly 70% of college seniors graduated with student debt, up from less than half in 1993, and their average tab had tripled to $30,100, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. All told, about 20% of American adults and 35% of Millennials are burdened by student debt, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.


$30,000 of debt is not an insurmountable burden. 1. Did you have to take it on? 2. Did you think about what you would study so that when you got out you would be able to pay it off?
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Post 14 Aug 2018, 3:56 pm

From Ricky's USA Today "article"
Skeptics argue that the higher earnings that result from college degrees typically more than offset the added debt. Mark Kantrowitz, a consultant on student loans and scholarships, says that from 1995 to 2013, the average debt-payment-to-income share for college graduates ranged from 9.1% to 11%, according to his analysis of federal data. He says perceptions of a student debt “crisis” are colored by the fewer than 1% of borrowers with debts over $100,000, 90% of whom are professionals such as doctors and lawyers who can easily afford the loans.
Matthew Chingos, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, attributes the hand-wringing over student loans to the growing share of borrowers from wealthier families. He says it’s not clear that providing that group relief would help the broader economy.
Many of those squeezed, Kantrowitz says, are college dropouts who are stuck with the debt payments but never realized the fruits of a degree, or graduates who chose less practical majors such as ethics and history. Dropouts are four times as likely to default on their loans, he says, citing his analysis of Education Department figures.
“We don’t have a student loan problem so much as a college completion problem,” Kantrowitz says.