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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Peter Chung

Peter Chung

Income inequality: Who exactly are the 1%? | The Economist - 0 views

  • The very rich in America increasingly work in finance, marry each other and care passionately about politics
  • The average household income of the 1% was $1.2m in 2008, according to federal tax data.
  • The richest 1% earn roughly half their income from wages and salaries, a quarter from self-employment and business income, and the remainder from interest, dividends, capital gains and rent.
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  • The rich also increasingly marry people like themselves.
  • Politically, Gallup polls find that the 1% are more likely than the 99% to identify themselves as Republicans (33% to 28%) and less likely to be Democrats (26% to 33%).
  • Most of the 1% prefer not to talk about their good fortune. As the New York Times recently observed in an article on the 1%, “Some envisioned waking up to protesters on the lawn; others feared audits by the IRS or other punitive government action.”
  • But Mr Perkowitz and Ms Renstrom are utterly typical of the 1% in that they are far more politically engaged than the average 99-percenters.
    Through Wall Street Protests we have all heard of the "1%" that control the majority of wealth in the United States of America. There are slogans like "we are the 99%" urging a more equal distribution of wealth. This article explains in detail who the 1% specifically and why it is extremely difficult for the other 99% to enter the 1%.
    The average income of the 1% we refer was 1.2 million dollars in 2008. The 1% earns roughly half of the nation's wealth. Most of the top 1% however earn roughly half their income from wages and salaries. According to analysis of tax returns, 16% were medical professions, 8% were lawyers, 8% were financial occupations, and about 30% were executives or managers.
    However most have not become rich through simple salaries and wages. A lot have their own unique method of side income. Many prefer not took talk about their good fortune but some believe that the 1% are far more politically engaged than the average 99%. There are higher voting rates, mostly used to help their own business.
    As time passes, the gap between the rich and poor is growing wider and wider. It is almost expected that there are complaints and protests to exist caused by the inequality. Perhaps it is time that we somehow manage to distribute some of the wealth through some new method as those with money have too much and those without have too little.
Peter Chung

Is the U.S. Worsening as a Place to Start a Business? - Forbes - 0 views

  • While the United States remains a great place to do business, it’s been slipping as a place to start a business
  • was the fourth best country in the world to do business in, coming in behind Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
  • It now costs twice as much to start a company as five years ago – 1.4 percent of per capita income versus 0.7 percent.
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  • Policies to bring more foreign entrepreneurs to the United States won’t work very well if those entrepreneurs find it easier and cheaper to start their businesses in countries like Australia and Canada.
  • Source: Created from Data from the World Bank’s “Doing Business” reports, various years

    The U.S. Economy has been struggling in the recent few months. It has been in the risk of recession and its economy has caused massive protests such as the Occupying Wall Street which protests the economic inequality among people. Some believe that the U.S. is even losing its potential as one of the best places to start a business. In this article, the author, Scott Shane, questions whether or not the U.S. is worsening as a place to start a business. Simply put, his answer is no but not for long. Although the United States used to be the 4th best country in the world to do business in, coming behind Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, costs of starting a business double. Nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada are continuing to surpass the U.S. in becoming the best place to start a business. 
Peter Chung

Food and stability in North Korea: Deprive and rule | The Economist - 1 views

  • IF NOBODY else, at least Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s leader, appears to have found something to fill his belly with during the annual Chuseok harvest festival in North Korea this week
  • the country is suffering a severe food shortage, say aid agencies
  • North Korea should, by rights, be tottering under the weight of its spectacular economic mismanagement. It is in the midst of a shaky succession process, which is hard for any totalitarian regime, let alone one where the chubby heir-apparent, Mr Kim’s son, Kim Jong Un, is little known or loved.
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  • The North was once able to use promises to scrap its nuclear-weapon programmes as a means to extort hard currency from South Korea, America and Japan. No more.
  • The tentative conclusion is that North Korea has not only managed to cut itself off from the world, but also created an internally isolated underclass, mostly in the east, that is left to fend for itself. The underclass’s isolation reduces the burden on the state—and the odds of it rising up in organised fashion to challenge the regime.

    This is an article that depicts the inequality between classes in North Korea. While its market, and government promises equality among all, this article shows, that this is definetely not the case. With its rice and maize crops damaged due to a summer flooding, many are starving. People often steal and loot off each other for survival. Those who can't eat dead dogs and rotten food to fill their stomachs. Some even live off black markets. Meanwhile, its leader, Kim Jong Il, boasted of the variety of beef, pork, goose and turkey available to privileged customers including himself. The gap between the two classes are growing by the second. Some live a rich luxurious life while the majority are internally isolated and left to fend for themselves.

    I think this article really shows the truth behind the pure command economy. Simply put, it's a theory that is not practical. With the government controlling all aspects of the economy, there is no motivation for development, no urge to create more goods for others. Even if people do exceedingly better than others, there is often little or no reward. Only in a market economy, can the society truly prosper, as Adam Smith said.
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