Talk:United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Good article United States has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject United States (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article was a past U.S. Collaboration of the Month.
WikiProject Countries (Rated GA-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Countries, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of countries on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject North America (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject North America, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of North America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject United States Public Policy (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States Public Policy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of United States public policy articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.5 / Vital / Supplemental
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
News This article has been mentioned by multiple media organizations:

Racial breakdown in Law enforcement and crime section.[edit]

Especially since there have been recent efforts to expand the section again anyway, it's long way past time to revisit this old problematic segment:

"African-American males are jailed at about six times the rate of white males and three times the rate of Hispanic males."

Having a racial breakdown of incarceration rate without also including a racial breakdown on crime rate is inflammatory and misleading. We should either delete the racial sentence or add a segment on racial crime rates. Racial crime rates can be found through many sources, including the FBI's site. Drugs (sans racial breakdown) are mentioned separately in a following segment, but I'm talking about things like murder offender and victim rate broken down by race, and possibly some other items like juvenile offender or gang membership rates by race. Without tying it to disparate crime rates, the current segment could be interpreted by readers who don't know any better as meaning the US is simply rounding people up and incarcerating them at a shocking racial disparity solely because of their skin color. VictorD7 (talk) 20:13, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

By all means, let's include the difference in minorities' population proportion with their arrest rates per suspect race reported, charges requiring a mandatory minimum sentence, plea bargain offers, jury verdict outcomes, sentencing outcomes, and execution rates compared to whites.[1] EllenCT (talk) 23:07, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
<INSERT>Sidestepping your link to an advocacy group, I'm guessing even they don't deny that blacks commit crimes at much higher rates than non blacks, a fact far more salient in societal impact than alleged disparities of a few percent in court system treatment (which can arguably be explained by unaccounted for variables other than racial discrimination anyway), something the section currently doesn't mention. Nor are victimization rates mentioned. Most crime is intraracial (e.g. black on black, white on white), and blacks are victims of murder and other serious crimes at far higher rates than whites, so it's not like "the system" is skewing the stats by letting a lot of white murderers go free while only rounding up blacks for some reason. VictorD7 (talk) 21:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
The disparities are far more than a few percent, as both of my links show through the objective sources they cite, which are easily verified in academic studies and reliable media sources. What kind of sources claim that minorities commit crimes at greater rates, controlling for socioeconomic strata and education levels? EllenCT (talk) 00:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I didn't bother clicking on your overt advocacy links (because I've studied this issue and am already familiar with the arguments on both sides), but the abstract in your own link states on black/white sentencing disparity that "Pre-charge characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain about 80% of these disparities". I suspect other variables they don't account for can explain most or all of the rest (studies on the issue are contradictory, with some actually showing more leniency toward blacks), but no one denies blacks commit crime at much higher rates. Adjusting for socioeconomic status isn't pertinent unless you were planning on adjusting incarceration rates by socioeconomic status, but since you asked there is a ton of research showing that racial crime rate differences "persist even after controlling for socioeconomic status" (p. 332). To underscore this, blacks commit homicide at roughly 7 times the rate of whites, but have only about twice the poverty rate of whites, indicating there are other cultural factors at work. It also adds nothing pertinent to this discussion, but I do appreciate you linking to the USA Today piece (I've read before) that points out disparities like those emphasized recently in the inappropriately singled out Ferguson exist all over the country, from New England to San Francisco, underscoring (yet again) what an unmitigated, intellectually dishonest, cowardly hack Eric Holder is. As the law professor from your own article states (and any honest person with some knowledge of statistics knows), "That does not mean police are discriminating." But I think we've risked derailing this discussion enough. Our very debate underscores the inappropriateness of the current article segment. Better to remove it than blow it up with an undue point/counterpoint mess. VictorD7 (talk) 21:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
"what an unmitigated, intellectually dishonest, cowardly hack Eric Holder is." well as long as we're discussing improvements to the article --Golbez (talk) 21:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I acknowledged in the same post this was a tangent unrelated to article improvement, except insofar as the debate further illustrates the problem with injecting a cherry-picked racial breakdown into the section in the first place. VictorD7 (talk) 21:54, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
At the rate violent crimes have been falling, I suggest that your 1997 source based on data from a 1994 symposium is as far out of date as it is currently possible to be. Also, is it counting homicides or convictions after all of the choice points at which racial discrimination has been documented (detention, arrest, charge, plea bargain, trial)? Moreover, the alternative hypotheses based on lead poisoning are extraordinarily strong although I doubt you will bother to study them because you believe the publisher is biased. EllenCT (talk) 01:21, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Naahhh. Why would anyone accuse that blog you posted of bias? What's next? Predicting someone will suggest Michael Moore is biased? BTW, lead poisoning, lol? Regardless, whether it's that or cosmic rays from extraterrestrials, it doesn't refute anything I've said. I posted the Harvard study to answer your question about whether economic status sufficiently explains racial crime rate disparity (it doesn't). The ratios have stayed roughly the same since then. "In 2008 the offending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per 100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4 offenders per 100,000)." (p. 11) If I remember right such stats include witness descriptions of uncaptured suspects along with captured ones (there are also "Other" and "Unknown" categories), and is roughly similar to the victimization rates (though blacks are somewhat more likely to commit murder than be murdered), so it's not like it's a bunch of witnesses in white neighborhoods making up stories about a phantom black killer. More recent info is available if you want to spend time looking for it. Now your questions have been answered, and I think this tangent has run its course. VictorD7 (talk) 20:45, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I still say your 1994 data could not have been more inaccurate if you had tried. By "offender" you mean "convict," don't you? So that statistic is suspect. However, we should be able to use victims' reported race of the perpetrators for nonlethal violent offenders without suffering systematic bias, if you can find those. EllenCT (talk) 17:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
No, everything I posted was accurate and I took the data up through at least 2008. Like other DOJ stats they include an "Unknown" category, since in some cases there are no witnesses, which would be bizarre if they were only counting convictions. Plus there are comments like this in the underlying data source: "The information provided on the SHR form reflects what agencies know based on their initial police investigation and does not reflect subsequent decisions made by prosecutors or courts." You should actually read the studies I quoted from. VictorD7 (talk) 20:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Good find. While we're on the subject, it seems astounding to me that the Law enforcement and crime section omits any mention of the militarization of the police force, rampant police shootings (more than all other developed nations combined) and police brutality.
I restored and modified the sentence on the privatization of prisons and cited WP:RS (two books published by academic publishers, one article from a peer-reviewed academic journal and one recent article from The New Yorker). It is certainly a notable topic given the growing controversy and worthy of one brief sentence.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 23:27, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
You're astounded that not every pet soapbox topic you've become interested in crusading on isn't included in the article? Coverage of a "controversy" entails covering more than one side. Controversies by definition are disagreements. I haven't read all your new sources yet, but the old ones (and I'm guessing the new ones) only espouse one POV. You also haven't established that it's a noteworthy controversy for coverage here. Are private prisons regularly a major national election issue? I don't recall the last time I heard a politician mention the issue. There's also a SYNTH issue with placement. Your page version seems to imply that the high incarceration rate is at least partly due to private prisons. Since they don't convict people, I suppose you're pushing a conspiracy theory about tough sentencing resulting from a desire to please privately run prisons rather than most Americans, who have desired tough sentencing since at least the 1980s. Whether you believe that or not, this isn't the article or indeed the website for "social justice" crusading. VictorD7 (talk) 21:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
All you have to do is a simple google news search and see for yourself that prison privatization is a contentious issue garnering ever more media attention. Your nasty and ill-informed rant about conspiracy theories aside, what I restored (I didn't add the content originally - must be another "conspiracy theorist"!!!) and modified is backed by reliable sources.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 22:05, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Your Google search mostly shows leftist blogs. My comments were informed and never claimed there can't be more than one conspiracy theorist. Do your sources prove that support for tough sentencing isn't due to its popularity among voters? How? Psychic powers? Or are they just giving their own opinions? You ignored everything I said about a controversy involving disagreement. Controversy - "1. A dispute, especially a public one, between sides holding opposing views." Do you care at all about covering the other side? VictorD7 (talk) 22:16, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh please. The phenomenon of prison privatization has been reported in The New York Times, Al Jazeera America, Politico, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, the Associated Press, et cetera. Just because it wasn't an issue in a national election (are you kidding me with this? National campaigns rarely focus on anything of substance by my estimation) doesn't mean it's not noteworthy. Not only that, but the sources I cited speak for themselves, unless you believe peer-reviewed academics and The New Yorker are peddling conspiracy theories. Your only role in this discussion appears to be setting up straw-men and attempting to knock them down. There is no basis for synth accusations as what I restored does not link incarceration rates to prison privatization, regardless of placement. As it stands now no "side" is given. That being said, while you would no doubt dismiss the following as "conspiracy theories," prison companies and ALEC have played their part in pushing for draconian laws to keep prisons filled and pressuring states to sign contracts guaranteeing 90% occupancy or higher. I did not add this content to this particular article as that would be giving undue weight to the issue. --C.J. Griffin (talk) 04:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Countless "phenomena" have been mentioned in a few articles, but at least you concede it's not a national level political issue. This is a very broad national summary article and not the place for covering any random niche issue that fits your whimsy. In addition to placement (and yes, implied conspiracy theory), the "side" is taken in what you're calling a "controversy" by all your sources being anti-private prison. If it's truly a "controversy", much less one that rises to the level of meriting coverage here, then there is by definition more than one side. You dodged my question; did you even try to find a single source from the other side? VictorD7 (talk) 21:46, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I have conceded no such thing; quite the opposite based on my statement about political campaigns being more fluff than substance. I can find dozens more articles on the subject reported in national and international media (i.e., The Guardian) in the last several years, indicating just how widespread the discussion of the issue has become. I'm working on a rewrite of the passage to have "controversy" removed completely given this is one of the big sticking points and replacing it with "The privatization of prisons, which began in the 1980s, has been the subject of mounting criticism in recent years," which is actually more accurate. Outside of industry funded studies and a few "reports" published in neoliberal rags and by corporate-funded think tanks, there aren't too many articles praising the for-profit prison industry; certainly nothing in peer-reviewed academic sources that I've seen.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 23:01, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Now you're backpedaling away from it even being a "controversy" (your original word). It's more like niche criticism from some like minded ideologues that doesn't rise to the level of meriting coverage in this brief summary article. Niche criticism in the US exists on countless topics we don't mention on this page. Many are covered in subtopic articles, which is where (neutral) discussion of private prisons belongs. For the record, acknowledging that prison privatization isn't a national election issue is hardly the "opposite" of acknowledging that it's not a national political issue, whether you feel the former is "fluff" or not. The sentence should be deleted, but if it remains expect me to significantly tweak it and/or the references at some point. If you instead take the matter to a subtopic article, you should include coverage of the views of the industry, "neoliberal rags", and think tanks you mentioned, even though you personally disagree with them. We aren't limited to "peer reviewed academic sources", especially on subjective political issues where the sources in question are overtly championing one side. VictorD7 (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not backpedaling away from anything. The original sentence was something I quickly came up with in order to restore materials you arbitrarily deleted; I merely improved upon it and now it better reflects the sources cited. I have demonstrated time and again that there is a growing chorus against prison privatization in the United States - in both national and international media on a significant scale. This is what makes it relevant in a section on incarceration, especially considering it's just one small sentence. That a fringe minority views private prisons in a positive light is irrelevant. I don't know what binary world you live in, but there aren't always two "sides" to every issue. For example, should we now include views on holocaust denial on the Holocaust wiki article for the sake of representing all "sides"? Of course not. And don't preach to me about neutrality on wikipedia and rant about so-called ideologues as though you aren't one. Just based on what you've posted in this section it is quite obvious.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:27, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
No, the sentence I deleted (for good reasons given) called private prisons "a subject of contentious public debate", which is even more explicit than just labeling it a "controversy". You're backpedaling from that claim now. And no, society's status quo position can hardly be dismissed as a "fringe minority view". Such rhetoric is ludicrous. The truth is that a few fringe activists have started complaining about it (with think tanks and other sources disagreeing with them, as you've already conceded), but it's not (yet at least) a matter of contentious debate nor much of a "growing controversy", at least not one meriting coverage in this article. Even if it was a national controversy it wouldn't necessarily be appropriate material for this encyclopedia article. There are many far more significant controversies given little or no coverage here. We all have our political views. The difference between you and me is that I'm not trying to hijack Wikipedia articles for one sided soapbox crusading. We can have our views and still edit for neutrality. If your monochrome worldview won't allow you to do that then maybe this isn't the best site for your energies. VictorD7 (talk) 23:18, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
"the current segment could be interpreted by readers who don't know any better as meaning the US is simply rounding people up and incarcerating them at a shocking racial disparity solely because of their skin color." so, it would be interpreted correctly? --Golbez (talk) 00:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
This segment is too controversial for an article about the entire nation. Any mention on crime and race should be in a dedicated sub-article. This statement is too POV for such a broad article in Wikipedia. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 01:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree with PointsofNoReturn just to much detail for an overview article. To generalize... this topic is not even covered by most FA like articles Australia, Canada and Japan. All that is needed is a section called "Law" that mentions the structure of thing. There is no need foe detailed stats of executions, imprisonment rates or murders by state. Just over kill that can be covered in the main article. I also agree with User:Golbez POV on how it looks. -- Moxy (talk) 02:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, this article needs to stop being a WP:SOAPBOX. There is a place on Wikipedia for this, definitely in some sub-article somewhere. But not here.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:12, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you proposing we purge the entire crime section? I really don't see that happening considering it's a long-standing section and is backed by reliable sources. I sure would not support that. If anything, some of it needs updated.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 20:37, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
We wouldn't need to purge the entire section necessarily. It would just be necessary to leave out any racial components from the section and simply leave them the the dedicated sub-articles on crime in America. I do not have too much of a problem with the section otherwise. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 20:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
It appears that it's just one sentence and it is backed by a reliable source. If it was an entire paragraph I would see your point. I don't see any issues of undue weight given the nation's long history of racial problems. It would be like purging the China article of any mention of repression of Falun gong members and harvesting their organs (among other things). Is that too much detail for an overview of China?--C.J. Griffin (talk) 21:07, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
But it's not going to remain one sentence, because it's currently misleading and in violation of NPOV. If it remains then racial breakdowns of at least some of the major crime rates must be added, and it sounds like you may be interested in further expansions, which will in turn invite even more expansions to maintain some semblance of neutrality (including at some point commentary on modern American black culture by people whose politics is different from yours and all sorts of tangents), bloating that part of the section into an overweight mess. VictorD7 (talk) 21:54, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Golbez, because I'm a nice guy I'll charitably allow for the possibility that you misread the op and give you a chance to clarify. Do you really believe that the racial incarceration rate is solely due to discrimination, and that blacks don't commit crime at a rate any higher than non-blacks? As for the discrimination angle, we've been through that with a long debate that ended when I quoted how your own posted meta-study refuted your position. That said, regardless of what you personally feel is "correct", this isn't the place for soapboxing. The section currently tramples NPOV. VictorD7 (talk) 21:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
protip: i agree with you on omitting the sentence, just not on your reasoning. "this isn't the place for soapboxing" so why did bring racial politics into it, when it would have been easier to just point out "this is a specific concern of a small aspect of the nation that doesn't belong in this summary article, and also has more to do with the state and local authorities than the national". easy peasy. so the question you must ask yourself is, do you really want to start an argument over this with someone who agrees with you? because we can burn the whole talk page to the ground til we get blocked, or we can clam up and keep this discussion to what is best for the article. --Golbez (talk) 23:36, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually I've said both here (and I'm reacting to racial politics, not injecting it), but I'm glad to hear that you agree with removing the sentence. VictorD7 (talk) 00:14, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
@Golbez: America has the largest proportion of people in jail, and the largest relative proportion of ethnic minorities in jail. Why are those facts "small aspects" of the US? EllenCT (talk) 00:49, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Most people in jail, relevant. "largest relative proportion of ethnic minorities" is... well, first of all, I'd ask for a source but I don't particularly care. And also, disproportionately jailing ethnic minorities is certainly nothing that the US has a monopoly on. That is a detail that's not necessary in this article. And really, you're going to have this fight with me? And yes, civil law enforcement practices pertaining to one aspect of sentencing are one specific concern of the small aspect of the nation that is law enforcement, which usually gets no more than a couple of paragraphs in an article; the inclusion of every sentence in a crowded article like this must be justified, and this one hasn't been. --Golbez (talk) 03:38, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't want to fight, I just want to understand your reasoning. If, after understanding it, I think there is sufficient room for improvement, then I'm willing to try to communicate the rationale for those improvements. I don't see that as fighting. EllenCT (talk) 01:27, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
but that's just it, all people ever do on this page is fight. they're in love with the sound of their own voice. I'm tired of it. While you and Victor do, occasionally, from time to time, work towards a valid edit, 99% of the time it's just argument for the sake of argument that leads literally nowhere. Though that's still better than the 100% we have for the territories argument. Sorry, I'm just really, really burnt out on this talk page's bullshit right now. I could leave. I probably should. But I'd rather sit here and snark. --Golbez (talk) 02:38, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Why do you think we're not sincerely trying to improve the encyclopedia? I know I am, and I think Victor thinks he is too. I just feel like he's been lied to by those who wish to profit from mass disinformation, and I'm pretty sure he would probably say the same about me. Therefore I think it's very important to hash out the facts, even if it takes a long time. What makes it seem like we aren't trying to improve the encyclopedia instead of reflecting the trend towards wider and harsher disagreement in American society? EllenCT (talk) 14:46, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, you and Victor certainly are sincerely trying to improve the encyclopedia. You two are just bad at it. You both bring up arguments here that have been argued forever on other parts of the internet, expecting a different or lasting result to come of them here. --Golbez (talk) 06:06, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I disagree of course, and that's especially rich coming from you, Golbez. About all I see you do here is derail threads (look at your initial response to this op, which apparently didn't represent your pertinent article position which you didn't bother stating until later), behave like a hot head, and personally attack people. Your newest comment here is no exception. I criticize others sometimes but at least I also offer substance, and the tangential subject commentary I sometimes add is usually either just graciously answering someone's questions, correcting posted misinformation, or illustrating that there's serious disagreement on a topic that other editors may not know about. All of that can be useful to long term article improvement. VictorD7 (talk) 20:02, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Bad relative to whom? Even I would prefer Victor to someone who wants to add something about how a tributary of some river was or was not part of the Louisiana purchase, maybe even two or three hours out of the year. EllenCT (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Compare the volume of argument here over crime rates and the relative merits of the black race to how much change has actually come of it. The signal:noise ratio is astoundingly small. And neither of you care what the other has to say, or, I dare assume, even read each other's sources. It is literally a forum argument in wiki form. This whole thing could have been dealt with in a far more efficient manner if you two had decided to treat this as a collaboration instead of a battleground. And Victor - I decided to respond to your needless political remark (and it was indeed needless and political, as it was your own specific viewpoint on something you know people disagree with) because, well, I wanted to, and because we each got one. But then you kept on with it. But eh. I've decided to fully ignore everyone in the interminable territory debate, I can ignore everyone in the interminable right wing/left wing debate here, and just make my goddamn maps and lists. --Golbez (talk) 01:20, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The argument above outlines why this controversial and misleading section should be removed. Great example of how people will see the info in a different light.-- Moxy (talk) 04:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
It is highly unlikely that the entire section will be removed. You seem to be the only editor pushing this. Much of the content, from gun violence to executions to the fact that the US has the largest prison population on earth, is significant and relevant as the US is clearly an outlier among developed nations in the area of crime and punishment, and warrants mention in the article. After all, the China article discusses "controversial" issues such as executions and persecution of religious minorities. If such content is relevant to an overview of China, how could the aforementioned content not be relevant to an overview of the US?--C.J. Griffin (talk) 13:17, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Not remove the entire section, remove the POV SOAPBOXING being advocated, especially as it is presently one sided in the article, and to create a BALANCED presentation of the issue would give the issue far too much WEIGHT in a summary article. As I said here before, this content has a place on Wikipedia, just not on this particular article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:29, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I see none of the soapboxing that you are referring to, just facts that could make some people of certain political persuasions very uncomfortable. That being said, I'm willing to compromise and let the sentence pertaining to the racial breakdown of imprisonment rates go if the rest remains intact.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 23:01, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
As to avoid an edit war, please see WP:RELTIME regarding the above editors most recent edit to the section being discussed.
Also, "I'm willing to"? Please see WP:OWN. I wasn't aware that C.J. Griffin had to sign off on all edits of this article.
There are editors here of differences of opinion as to what should and should not be included, and how much weight certain controversial items should be given in this article. What we can do, and what I am suggesting, is attempt to collaborate here on the talk page, and reach consensus to create a balanced section. One way to achieve balance is to not include either side at all, and link, in a see also hat note of the section to those articles whose scope is specific to those controversial subjects. This leaves whatever back and forth debate/argument on those related articles, and keeps them off here.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:48, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I altered my most recent edits.
Oh come on. you know perfectly well that I was merely informing others in the discussion that I would not challenge any removal of the sentence in question so long as there are no other attempts at removing long-standing materials in this section. This seems to be the main sticking point. But like I suspected I have a feeling that more than a few here would like the entire paragraph on incarceration deleted for political reasons. Now that I will go to the mat over.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 00:12, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I just don't want the racial sentence in the article. I am fine with the rest of the section. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 01:32, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
No one wants to delete the entire paragraph, though many of us believe the section is currently extremely skewed (with opinions, not just facts) for political reasons. And I'm all for adding facts, which is why in the op I proposed going that route as a potential alternative to deleting the racial breakdown, but some of those facts made some people very uncomfortable, which is why deletion of the most egregious sentence is likely at this point. Maybe at a future date we can address the gun control soapboxing by adding facts on guns' role in thwarting crimes, the relationship between concealed gun laws and falling crime rates, the fact that other developed nations already had lower violent crime rates than the US long before they passed gun control laws, murder rates in the US cities with the strictest gun control, and the relationship between "gun free zones" and mass killings, or we can trim more, but that's a discussion for another time. VictorD7 (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Obviously something must be mentioned aboiut criminal justice in the U.S. The fact that it holds a quarter of the world's prisoners, that it is one of the only developed countries that executes people and that minorities are overrepresented in its prisons are all significant. Certainly they are also overrepresented in other countries, but it is particularly noticeable in the U.S. due to the larger minority populations. Saying the reason is that minorities commit more crimes is just one spin on the issue - minorities are more likely to be prosecuted and attract longer sentences. And the reason they commit more crimes is that they are more likely to be economically disadvantaged. But detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this article. If we were to treat every significant aspect of the U.S. in this detail, the article would run into dozens of pages. Readers who have a particular interest in this topic may go to the sub-articles that explain it in detail. TFD (talk) 05:02, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually I'd argue that racial disparity in crime rate is more fundamental and significant than the racial incarceration breakdown (hardly "spin"; if anything it's easier to accuse the latter talking point of deflection), but I don't think either needs to be discussed in this brief summary article. For the record the sentencing claim is disputed and economic status doesn't explain the racial crime rate disparity. VictorD7 (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, if it's not that African Americans have been a marginalized and economically disadvantaged segment of the population since even before the nation's founding, then pray tell what is the "real" (i.e., right-wing) reason (propaganda) for the racial crime rate disparity? This in and of itself is a red herring. In fact, studies have shown that black male youth are much more likely to be incarcerated at higher rate than their white and hispanic counterparts even though they don't commit crimes at a higher rate.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:27, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Please. A garbage self reporting study on kids (that measured frequency rather than severity anyway?) doesn't change the fact that blacks commit crime at much higher rates than non-blacks (shown by concrete data), and that this can't be accounted for by controlling for economic status. You seem to just be rehashing the discussion with Ellen near the top of this section. Refer to my posts there for sourced refutation. As for why, we could discuss things from the legacy of slavery to the destructive impact of the welfare state and growing racial grievance movement in eroding personal responsibility, or maybe the unchecked and self crippling simmering bigotry within black communities, but all that is beside the point. The facts are the facts. We don't have to answer why. We certainly shouldn't be implying a specific, misleading "why" (like institutional racial discrimination accounts for most or all of the incarceration disparity; easily debunked) with cherry-picked facts as part of a soapbox crusade. Better to not get into this niche racial issue at all in this brief summary section. VictorD7 (talk) 23:18, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I just noticed we don't have anything about the falling violent crime rate which is prettly clearly a more profound and substantial change than many of the other statistics in the Law enforcement and crime section. Any objections to inclusion? EllenCT (talk) 17:00, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Um, the section's second paragraph has long led off with a segment (I added, thank you very much) about the murder rate falling 54% from its modern peak in 1980 to 2012, mostly sourced to the FBI. If you want to expand that to broader categories of crime, we should tuck that in after that sentence. We should probably use more recent data than 2009 if we're posting specifics though. It would also be wise to post sources and specifics here before adding them to the article (I'm assuming you aren't proposing adding that image). VictorD7 (talk) 20:07, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Great! Thank you. How do you feel about law enforcement, corrections, and indigent defense spending? Anyone else object? EllenCT (talk) 00:58, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't think apples and oranges comparisons from totally unrelated categories forced together on a graph for emotive impact on a far left blog would be moving the section in the right direction. I suppose the most charitable thing one can say is that it's overly detailed for this article. VictorD7 (talk) 04:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
When did Mother Jones become a reliable source? Again, NOTSOAPBOX.
Saying how much is spent on law enforcement is one thing, saying how many people are incarcerated is one thing, but no need to push a POV.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:11, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
They won a Pulitzer, didn't they? And they have a bunch of fact-checkers on staff. How are the Murdoch outlets doing in the fact-checker sweepstakes? Has FNC caught up to the WSJ yet? I keep forgetting the relative scores of Mother Jones and Democracy Now, which is another left wing source with far better fact checking than Fox News but they like dissidents. Should we have a section on American dissidents? Like, how many are there? I couldn't tell you, and I read lots of pro-dissident outlets. EllenCT (talk) 07:26, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
A single ideologically driven Pulitzer doesn't change the fact that it's a half assed, far left opinion blog, most recently making a splash for getting caught red handed lying in an attempt to smear Bill O'Reilly (even left leaning Mediate took the blog to task on it). But that's not the most important factor here. Even low quality partisan blogs are "reliable" for their own views, but this isn't the section for POV soapboxing, no matter how "reliable" a source is. RightCowLeftCoast is right. That said, if we were to inject random liberal opinions on new topics, we could probably find better sources to represent those views.
BTW, what "fact checking sweepstakes", lol? There are dozens of blogs calling themselves "fact checkers". If you're referring to Politifact, I've quoted for you before where they admit their scores aren't comparable to each other, because they only cherry-pick a few claims from each outfit in a totally ad hoc, unscientific manner. Politifact has also credibly been accused of partisan bias and inaccuracies anyway. But that's yet another tangent unrelated to article improvement. VictorD7 (talk) 20:02, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
You pick. Name any fact checking series which has Fox News Channel in the top half. EllenCT (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Just cause they call themselves fact checkers don't make them so. As VictorD7 has pointed out on this talk page. This is not a page which to attack Fox News, there is enough of that here on Wikipedia and eslewhere. It is the favorite pass time of those who oppose what it calls "fair and balanced". It just happens not to be as Left as the rest of American News Media (Gallup, UCLA, U.S. News & World Report, Rasmussen, Business Insider, Goldberg (2001), Groseclose (2011)).

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Back to the question at hand, do the crimes committed by race, judicial prosecution by race, and incarceration population by race belong in this article? No. Take it elsewhere, please. Create its own article, and link it here. Expand on it in relevant articles where that is that articles primary scope, and link it here. But this is not the place for detailed examination of this, or even significant mention. There is an attempt by certain segments of the population to claim prosecution base on race, of systemic racism. Stop. See WP:RECENTISM. See again NOTSOAPBOX. But please, see BALANCE.
The best way to achieve balance here is not to mention it, and to link it in the see also section of Law enforcement in the United States (or create a section in that article). No need for that controversial subject here.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:44, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

VictorD7, we have all heard the echo chamber talking points. The fact is that none of it is supported by reliable sources. The main driving factors of criminal activity are gender, age and economic status, and minorities, including women incidentally, not only in the U.S., tend to receive higher sentences for the same offenses. Once those three factors are accounted for, race has nothing to do with criminality. And yes Mother Jones is a reliable source and so is Fox News, although the commentators and their guests are not. TFD (talk) 04:40, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Reliable for what? You're the one posting pale echoes, TFD. Unlike you, I posted studies proving my point. To avoid repetition or finding additional, redundant ones I again ask you to visit the high part of this thread and read them. The racial crime rate disparity doesn't vanish when economic status is controlled for. Again, blacks have about twice the poverty rate as whites but commit murder at around seven times the rate of whites. Obviously there is a gender gap in violence but that has nothing to do with this racial discussion. I'm not sure why you even mentioned it. Age? What's the average age difference between blacks and whites? You're grasping at straws. The sentencing disparity is hotly debated and remains unproved (Ellen's own study said 80% of it vanished when severity of offense and criminal past are accounted for; I've seen studies that reduce it further by controlling for more variables), and sentencing doesn't come until after the crimes are committed and there's been a conviction anyway, so it doesn't explain the crime skew based on witness reports. Yet of all these, it's the only one focused on by the article, at least through implication (an interpretation reinforced by poster argument in favor of the segment here). By contrast the racial crime rate disparity is real and concrete, regardless of the underlying explanations.
Rather than cherry-picking one dubious talking point for soapbox emphasis, wouldn't it be better to just delete the racial breakdown entirely and deal with the matter on more narrowly focused, detail oriented subtopic articles instead, where the subject can be fully and neutrally covered? VictorD7 (talk) 20:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

So Removal?[edit]

Is there a consensus for removing the racial incarceration sentence then, or should it remain with me adding racial crime rate breakdowns for neutrality and full coverage of the issue? Several posters strongly supported removal but with some of the potential objectors it wasn't clear how strongly or if they necessarily opposed removal. VictorD7 (talk) 19:16, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

I think it would be best to remove genetic comparisons to crime, and replace it with the top policy proposals to maximize median years of productive life per capita, per WP:WEIGHT. But, failing that, I also think it should be replaced with a discussion of why emotional intelligence is more predictive than Stanford-Binet IQ measures of mathematical, linguistic, and spatial ability in terms of general success including involvement with crime. EllenCT (talk) 01:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Too Long; Didn't Read[edit]

So we have a nice report out today explaining that the article is being skipped over because it has more then 9,000 words. According to the study people only make it through 45 to 50 percent of this article ( 88 kB - 14186 words) compared to 85 to 90 percent for the article Japan (46 kB -7345 words). This needs to be fixed if people want our readers to actually read this article. -- Moxy (talk) 21:00, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

All the more reason the racial incarceration breakdown should be deleted, since the overly detailed segment's presence will lead to expansion for the sake of NPOV, and possibly rounds of point/counterpoint bloating. VictorD7 (talk) 21:08, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Where is this report? I am curious to read it. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 21:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to see the report first too before supporting a shorter article.. Prcc27 (talk) 22:11, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
@Moxy: If possible, will you please provide a link of some sort to this report you speak of? Dustin (talk) 22:25, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Its in my local paper (Ottawa citizen) a hard copy dated march 22....I cant find it on there website. I will see if its reprinted at some other web page. I did find this on-line that explains the problem. But all should move forward with trimming the has been explained during the GA review "this article is in the worst category for size" In fact it moved from 97th before the GA review to 66 after the GA review as seen here. Wikipedia:Article size is pretty clear on these matters. We should be focused on making a readable article over jamming all we can into this one page. TLDR is a syndrome where an individual either entirely ignores content or skims through only the heading, bullets or important sections because of size.....we can fix this here/ -- Moxy (talk) 00:51, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
This article has good article status, so I don't see the urgency in wiping out huge swaths of content just to cut it down to size, which goes against Wikipedia policy anyway. Just looking at comments here I am not surprised to see at least one editor salivating at the thought of deleting materials that don't fit his political agenda, which is why I will vote against any massive deletions, regardless of what some Ottawa Citizen article supposedly says. Besides, it looks to me like roughly one third of the article is made up of citations and a bibliography section.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 03:53, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
<INSERT>Lots of people have complained about article length size over the years, especially its impact on load times. That's why we embarked on that long project to reduce the History section, remember? My concern here is that if you continue to use this page as a soapbox for your political agenda (you were in the middle of further expansions in the prison section before I intervened) it will make this problem even worse, especially since I and others will be forced add facts you don't like for the sake some semblance of NPOV, making the article yet bigger. That's one of the many reasons to oppose what you're doing here. VictorD7 (talk) 20:19, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
You had ample opportunity to shorten it at several junctures, but instead we all must read that the poor in the US have access to refrigeration technology, but not why they are poor when everyone wants them to be able to buy their stuff. EllenCT (talk) 01:56, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
No, actually the "refrigeration" and other household amenity segments simply factually describing what "poor" means in America got deleted a long time ago during a page shrinking round. I guess you forgot about that. This certainly isn't the article to get into speculative, ideologically contingent debates about why people are allegedly poor. Wow. VictorD7 (talk) 16:47, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
The calculations of size has nothing to do with the sources....Also i have not suggested removing huge amount of material...most can be consolidated not removed. I am only here to tell you the problem that has come up. if you think its best people just skip the article that is fine no big loss to me. Was thinking that all the people that wrote the article would like it to be read. We have an essay that is easier to understand then the policy on article sizes Wikipedia:Too long; didn't read-- Moxy (talk) 04:56, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I also do not think we should shorten the article, it's fine as is. Prcc27 (talk) 04:20, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
If this is considered a parent article, than content can be moved, not removed from Wikipedia, to child articles where the content is more relevant, and a summary of the child article(s) be left here with appropriate references. This is keeping with WP:TOOLONG, and does not remove content from Wikipedia, just relocates it to more appropriate sub-articles.
Also given the lack of stability of this article (given the constant debate on changes), and now all the dead links, I believe the GA status is dubious, and is best B-class.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 11:26, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Even as one of the editors who helped push the article to GA, you are probably right about the lack of stability hurting the article. Sadly, that is going to happen on an article about the United States, one of the most controversial articles on Wikipedia. The dead links were mostly fixed during the GA review, but it seems more were added or we simply did not get all of them. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 15:50, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Stability should be easy for this overview parent article that is not listed at Wikipedia:List of controversial issues or Category:Wikipedia controversial topics. All the BS here should be moved and explained at the appropriate article. This is not the article to debate POV on each topic ...but present an overview. As of now more is said about random crime stats in the past two decades while neglecting Native American history. One paragraph for a millennia of Native American history with other sections bloated with stats....just does not looked balanced. Aslo do we need to link so many see also's links under each header? ...for example "Religion" the main article Religion in the United States has all the links that are spammed here. -- Moxy (talk) 17:05, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Changes in relationship between education and income[edit]

Since there are several WP:SUMMARY sub-articles dealing with income, education, government spending, taxation, and fiscal policy, most of which discuss their inter-relationships, I propose including "Why American Workers Without Much Education Are Being Hammered". The Upshot (New York Times). April 21, 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. , here with the summary, "From 1990 to 2013, workers with high school education or less have lost more wages than those with college degrees have gained." I further propose that we include a discussion of the return on education investment and the impact of declining middle class wages on the affordability of higher education, and the resulting fiscal impact on tax revenue. EllenCT (talk) 15:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Nay. WP:UNDUE. Please do not split the topic of discussion. This "pressing issue", is already in discussion above, just in another form down here. Please, this isn't see how many balls we can kick towards the goal, and see how many get in.
I have suggested a compromise of using See also hat notes in the appropriate section. But even there I am cautious. Let us not overlink, and let us not create paragraph length hatnotes to highlight certain subjects. Perhaps this is better integrated into sub-articles such as Economy of the United States rather than this high level article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It is a related issue, but only partially overlapping with income inequality. If the issue fit in just one or more sub-articles, I would not be proposing it here. EllenCT (talk) 17:52, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I think your recent inclusion of immigration impact on income inequality was excellent, and I hope you will please reconsider your stance on including the causal links both to and from exemplary education policies, such as Oregon within and Germany and the industrialized nordic internationally. EllenCT (talk) 20:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
When did I say my inclusion of immigration impact was excellent?
IMHO the above suggestion by EllenCT is best left in sub-articles specific to sub-articles whose primary subject is specific to those areas, and not this article. Including my own edit. But since EllenCT has continued to add content here, I might as well do so as well (my one sentence compared to the multitude of sentences added by EllenCT).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:08, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Do you think this article should give equal weight to those who believe income inequality causes growth and those who know it inhibits it? If this article were governed according to WP:UNDUE, right-wing views would properly be sidelined and marginalized because the demographic center of Americans' political preferences is to the left of the Democrats. That is not an opinion, it is a fact about the opinions of Americans on a per-capita instead of a per-dollar basis. Of all the factors influencing and influenced by the economic trends of recent decades, immigration is small potatoes compared to education. If your idea of an excellent encyclopedia article emphasizes topics according to your discredited political preferences, then perhaps your skills would better serve your fellow citizens by editing Conservapedia. EllenCT (talk) 23:18, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast: is there any evidence opposed, in support of your position? EllenCT (talk) 00:18, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I cannot believe what is being stated here by EllenCT, that neutral is predominantly left-wing views, and that Wikipedia should advance that POV. My political views also have zero relevance to this discussion. So leave those out of it.
Again, As I stated, my addition as well as the additions of EllenCT should be left in appropriate subarticles, with at best, see also links to the articles which have these subjects as primary subjects of those articles. This section is about the Economy of the United States. Unless that article is massively imbalanced as well, this section should not be imbalanced.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:28, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
You are the one who cited UNDUE, and you claim that your politics entitle you to balance statements with which you disagree, apparently even when those opinions are contrary to facts. Do you believe that the mainstream flows between the corporate parties or between the parties and the people? We have discussed Americans' political preferences in detail. If you can not see how the mistake attributing income inequality to the promotion of economic growth caused the current state of affairs, I will be happy to walk you through it step-by-step as many times as is necessary. But for now, please answer the question: Is there any evidence in support of your assertion that immigration has had a greater impact on income inequality than education in the united states? (A different sub-article which doesn't overlap with the economics article.) EllenCT (talk) 02:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict)@EllenCT: I will no longer enter into discussions with EllenCT seeing as EllenCT showed bad faith with this post. I understand that EllenCT believes that the way they are editing is best for Wikipedia, even if I do not share that view. Without a civil editing environment continuing this discussion only leads to conditions that fly in the face of policy. G'day.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:48, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

So instead of answering the question, you make accusations of incivility? On what grounds? If you go around saying 1+1=0 then don't say that people correcting you are unfriendly. You have had ample opportunity to present any evidence that supports your opinions. EllenCT (talk) 03:23, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
@EllenCT: Comment on the edits and not on the editor. Otherwise, editing becomes impossible and WP:BATTLEGROUND ensues. Not the best way to go about it in my experience. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:27, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps your comment should be directed at the party making unfounded accusations of incivility instead of addressing the question of whether their opinions are unsupported by facts. Please see Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement. EllenCT (talk) 03:38, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
EllenCT, politically speaking, I am on your side of the aisle. But your approach here is really disturbing when you are not capable to realize that comments from you such as If your idea of an excellent encyclopedia article emphasizes only the topics according to your discredited political preferences, then perhaps your skills would better serve your fellow citizens by editing Conservapedia, are utterly useless in a discussion about how to improve an article. - Cwobeel (talk) 13:48, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Of course such niche, opinionated soapboxing isn't appropriate in this article, and this latest of many pushes flooding this page is just part of a larger crusade to, as another poster aptly put it, kick as many balls as possible toward the goal to see how many she can get in. Ellen's claim that, "...right-wing views would properly be sidelined and marginalized because the demographic center of Americans' political preferences is to the left of the Democrats. That is not an opinion, it is a fact" while suggesting another poster who's concerned about neutrality should be editing "Conservapedia" instead is not only ludicrous and demonstrably false but says more about her editing here than anyone else could. VictorD7 (talk) 19:51, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence that the influence of immigration or any other factor on income inequality has been greater, or will be greater, than that described in [2]? EllenCT (talk) 04:57, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
What, globalization and technology? Arguably immigration is another aspect of globalization, and it certainly at least exacerbates the plight of American workers. Unionization and to a lesser extent the minimum wage also contributed to American workers becoming expensive enough that much of the manufacturing sector transferred overseas. But none of that has anything to do with my point that this debatable stuff is a niche topic, and soapboxing doesn't belong in the article anyway. For perspective, Americans still have one of the highest median incomes in the world (by far the highest of any large nation), even one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the world, and both globalization and the rise of high end technology has enormously benefited people in other ways, especially as consumers. These are very complex issues that don't lend themselves well to brief treatments in a broad summary article like this. VictorD7 (talk) 18:44, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Any sources comparing the magnitudes? Everyone is affected by the economic effects of education levels, including resulting tax collected, but immigrants and outsourcing represent a much smaller proportion of workers affected. EllenCT (talk) 21:23, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

I added the proposed sentence, and I would like to learn what others think of including a discussion of the return on education investment and the impact of declining middle class wages on the affordability of higher education, and the resulting fiscal impact on tax revenue. EllenCT (talk) 03:45, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Your recent massive alteration, which was to multiple sections and not just the brief addition mentioned here, was mostly opposed on this page and was reverted in the article by another editor. Please stop using Wikipedia for soapboxing. VictorD7 (talk) 19:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
None of the changes were discussed for less than a week, and the one pertaining to this question has been discussed for more than half a month without any substantive objection. If you object to it, or any of the others, then please state why. And again, do you claim that any other factor has had a larger impact on income inequality than education investment? Do you claim that any other factor has affected tax revenue more? Do you claim that any other factor has affected median wages more? EllenCT (talk) 23:52, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Every editor who responded has opposed your proposal here, with solid, legitimate reasons. I haven't seen some of your edits, like changing Republicans from "center-right" to "right wing" discussed at all, though it had already been reverted by multiple editors after another editor had unilaterally tried to make it. If you can't grasp that you personally feeling like an issue is important to crusade on doesn't make it legitimate for Wikipedia inclusion, particularly in any article you happen to be in at the time, then I'm not sure how to reason with you. VictorD7 (talk) 19:34, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Contemporary history[edit]

I have some proposals for changes to the contemporary history subsection:

1: I propose the removal of the mention of NAFTA from the contemporary history section. NAFTA is already discussed in the foreign relations section (where I feel it better belongs), making its further mention in the history section redundant. In addition, I feel that the current mention is also clunky, non-chronological, and overly-detailed. If any mention of NAFTA is to remain in the history section, I would propose that it be greatly reduced in detail (certainly no more than a sentence) and placed in a more sensible location chronologically (certainly before 9/11, as it was formed in 1994, and was a major political issue mainly in the 1990s). But it is my opinion that NAFTA is simply not historically significant enough to merit mention in the history section with its current low level of detail (which I think is ideal). I will note that NAFTA is mentioned once in the body of the article on Canada (a FA), in the economy section, and once in the article on Mexico, in the history section (excluding mentions in the leads of both articles).

2: I propose the removal of the precise date range given for the Great Recession. I feel that giving these exact dates is far over-detailed. I also feel that the previous ambiguity given to the start and end dates of the recession was ideal, as whether or not the recession actually ended in 2009 is highly debatable. The source given in the article ascertains these dates for the recession by examining the dates at which the business cycle was at its peak and at its trough. For comparison, If we applied this standard to the Great Depression, we would date it from August 1929 to March 1933. But we don’t do this (at least not here); both because that would be far too detailed, and also because it isn't really true; virtually any non-economist living in the country would have said we were still in an economic depression long after March 1933. The case is very similar with 2009.

3: I propose the removal of the portion of the text referring to Barack Obama as the first multiracial president. While this is true (as far as we know), I don't feel that this fact is one worth mentioning in this broad overview of American history. As has been discussed previously, the primary reason Obama is mentioned at all is because he is the first African American president, and this is what makes him particularly historically notable. While personally I'm still on the fence about whether this alone is sufficient reason to mention him, I certainly feel that the further mention of his multi-racial heritage is excessive in detail.

You may have noticed that the application of these changes would largely bring the subsection back to the way it was previously, immediately after the large-scale summarization we went through some time ago. This is not a coincidence. There is a clear tendency for this subsection to grow in length over time. I think it is important for us to keep this in check, making sure the level of detail in the subsection is not disproportionate to that in the other areas of the history section. Allowing a higher level of detail here just because the events described occured more recently is textbook recentism.

I will apply any changes without objection in a few days. --Philpill691 (talk) 00:28, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Leave the NAFTA element in. Contemporary history is to range from 1991-present. The NAFTA agreement began to phase in 1994 and was complete in 2008. It is one of the largest free trade areas in the world, which has great significance relative to the ability of the U.S. to recover from the Great Recession faster than the Europeans. It is significant enough to remain as a consensus element of contemporary history. In foreign relations, NAFTA is an exemplar of the U.S. openness in international cooperation for free trade as noted in that section. The mention of NAFTA in one section need not be mutually exclusive for mention in another for different purposes.
On the other hand, the Foreign relations or Contemporary history section is missing the “special relationship” the U.S. fosters with military allies to form international coalitions of the willing for humanitarian and punitive purposes as sanctioned by international organizations such as UN, NATO, OAS or the Arab League in the 21st century modern era. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:27, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
IMHO the multiracial background of the current President is just as important as the fact his father was an immigrant from Africa. I also agree with TVH on the importance of NAFTA and other multinational alliances formed by the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries. Furthermore, I do agree with Philpill691's suggestion of removing dates of the great recession, especially since public perception still sees it as an ongoing event (as late as January 2015, June 2014, March 2014).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
"Public perception" is not what counts here. What counts are the reliable sources that speak about the end of that recession. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:21, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of RSs that describe the end of the recession, despite what the good folks at Fox News say. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research is the official arbiter of U.S. recessions, per the source used. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:27, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Anyone here believes that mentioning the first black/multiracial president is not relevant or noteworthy? I mean, really? - Cwobeel (talk) 21:29, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Not just Fox News, but HuffPo and Pew Research as well. Why only mention Fox News?
Fact is, polls indicate while statistically economist say the economy has turned around, many people do not agree with economist say.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:06, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
We can mention polls on public sentiments if you want, but recessions are based on very specific economic metrics. See Recession. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:32, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
If we provide unusually specific NBER defined dates for this recession for some reason, we should also point out that this has been the worst recovery in US history ([3], [4], [5], [6], [7]). The still overwhelmingly negative "public sentiment" is based on very real factors, including a sharp decline in median income over the past several years, anemic GDP growth (even this past quarter only saw annualized growth at 0.2%), and a lousy job market that's seen both the labor participation rate fall to its lowest point since the 1970s and what new jobs have been created since the last peak in 2007 mostly going to immigrants ([8]). And it's not just conservatives and business reporters saying this is an unusually weak recovery, but left wingers (the kind of people who use "Fox News" out of the blue as an insult; [9]), though of course they put a different spin on the causes, both insisting the anemic recovery was "expected" and somewhat contradictorily blaming Obama era policies like an alleged lack of spending. The truth is that there has been an L shaped recovery unlike the V shaped ones that have followed other sharp recessions, almost certainly due to record shattering spending increases and deficits, tax hikes, massive regulatory expansions, and rhetoric from an anti-business administration poisoning the climate to the point where some of Obama's former high profile supporters (like Steve Jobs) felt compelled to publicly admonish him. At this point we'll be due for the next cyclical recession before we've recovered from the last one.
Regardless of one's stance on these issues, the bottom line is that the technical NBER recession from late 2007 through early 2009, by itself, isn't noteworthy enough to include in this History section when other recessions, even extremely serious ones, aren't mentioned. What is worth noting is the ongoing economic stagnation that has plagued the nation for several years. That's what makes the downturn worth mentioning at all. Therefore if the specific NBER dates are kept in the article, we need to mention the disastrously anemic recovery since then to avoid warping our description of reality. VictorD7 (talk) 19:56, 30 April 2015 (UTC)


I don't see a discussion about imbalance in the "Income, poverty and wealth" section. Unless a discussion is started, the tag will be removed.- Cwobeel (talk) 21:24, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I suggest a discussion of the economic aspects of education would balance the new discussion of immigration. EllenCT (talk) 00:38, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The imbalance, is due to heavy insertion of content by EllenCT which lead to the ongoing discussion which is ongoing above. With all the content newly added by EllenCT, one sentence (which is referenced to a reliable source) added by myself is not "balanced". Unfortunately, the imbalance template does not have an area which links to a specific talk page section as discuss inline does.
If we look at the content added to the section, primarily by EllenCT since this article was elevated to GA status, it has unbalanced a section which arguably was already skewed to begin with. Therefore, IMHO, the tag which Cwobeel removed, was appropriate.
I have attempted to propose compromises to EllenCT to no avail it seems. Therefore, as EllenCT has continue to edit the section, I followed their lead by adding one single sentence recently. And now EllenCT is asking for balance? When previously, addition of content (many more characters than my insertion of one sentence with supporting reference) by EllenCT IMHO was one sided and caused the imbalance in the first place.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:59, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
You have presented no evidence that immigration has had a greater impact on income inequality than the costs and benefits of education. It absolutely would balance the article to mention more substantial causes instead of less important causes that you favor. EllenCT (talk) 02:46, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

I took a look side-by-side GA version and current version, and could not identify the imbalance you mention. Can you be more specific? here are the two versions. - Cwobeel (talk) 18:46, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

GA version

Americans have the highest average household and employee income among OECD nations, and in 2007 had the second highest median household income.[1][2] According to the Census Bureau real median household income was $50,502 in 2011, down from $51,144 in 2010.[3] The Global Food Security Index ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013.[4] Americans on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union residents, and more than every EU nation.[5] For 2013 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 5th among 187 countries in its Human Development Index and 28th in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).[6]

There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s.[7] While inflation-adjusted ("real") household income had been increasing almost every year from 1947 to 1999, it has since been flat and even decreased recently.[8] The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent, which has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has had a significant impact on income inequality,[9] leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations.[10][11][12] The post-recession income gains have been very uneven, with the top 1 percent capturing 95 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012.[13]

Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half claim only 2%.[14] Those earning in the top 10% paid 49.6% of all federal, state, and local taxes in 2014.[15] Growing income inequality and wealth concentration have resulted in affluent individuals, powerful business interests and other economic elites gaining increased influence over public policy.[16][17][18]

Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth is down $14 trillion.[19] At the end of 2008, household debt amounted to $13.8 trillion.[20]

There were about 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2009, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. In 2011 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic.[21] According to a 2014 report by the Census Bureau, one in five young adults lives in poverty today, up from one in seven in 1980.[22]

Current version

Americans have the highest average household and employee income among OECD nations, and in 2007 had the second highest median household income.[1][2] According to the Census Bureau real median household income was $50,502 in 2011, down from $51,144 in 2010.[23] The Global Food Security Index ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013.[24] Americans on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union residents, and more than every EU nation.[5] For 2013 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 5th among 187 countries in its Human Development Index and 28th in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).[25] There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s.[26] While inflation-adjusted ("real") household income had been increasing almost every year from 1947 to 1999, it has since been flat and even decreased recently.[27] According to Congressional Research Service, during this same period, immigration to the United States increased, while the lower 90% of tax filers incomes became stagnant, and eventually decreasing since 2000.[28]

The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent, which has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has had a significant impact on income inequality,[9] leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations.[10] The post-recession income gains have been very uneven, with the top 1 percent capturing 95 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012.[29] According to an article published in Perspectives on Politics, growing income inequality and wealth concentration have resulted in affluent individuals, powerful business interests and other economic elites gaining increased influence over public policy.[30][disputed ]

Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half claim only 2%.[31] Between June 2007 and November 2008 the global recession led to falling asset prices around the world. Assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value.[32] Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth is down $14 trillion.[33] At the end of 2008, household debt amounted to $13.8 trillion.[34]

There were about 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2009, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. In 2011 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic.[35] According to a 2014 report by the Census Bureau, one in five young adults lives in poverty today, up from one in seven in 1980.[36]

"Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth is down $14 trillion." should be "...was down $14 trillion but by 2015 had regained $14 trillion above 2006 levels."[10] per #No consensus to revert to out of date, inaccurate 2009 descriptions of 2008 recession (RFC) above. And again, a discussion of the impact of education on income inequality, and vice-versa would serve to balance the new addition on immigration. EllenCT (talk) 03:37, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
There has been three sentences added to the first paragraph, increasing the POV of class warfare, and one which increases the relationship of wage with immigrant population growth.
Second paragraph has been widely edited by EllenCT to conform with the POV of the sources provided by editor.
Third paragraph has been modified, as per RfC merging the third and fourth paragraphs in the GA version
Last paragraph is largely unchanged.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:38, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you claiming that replacing assertions based on the mistaken proposition that income inequality promotes growth is tantamount to class warfare? The RFC results supported the inclusion. How would you prefer that such corrections be made? EllenCT (talk) 02:43, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Problem with inaccuracy and bias in the disputed productivity/income graph and sentence.[edit]

The graph juxtaposing "productivity" and "real median family income" in the Income, poverty, and wealth section and its companion sentence.."There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s.[403]" sourced entirely by an opinion piece by EPI, a liberal think tank. The graph is based on the group's own original calculations. Numerous sources dispute it and similar presentations (which most frequently appear on liberal blogs as a talking point), critiquing both the methodology involved and the relevance of the comparison (e.g. conservative think tank [11], St. Louis Federal Reserve [12]; even a liberal leaning think tank has acknowledged the methodological problems involved [13]).

Criticisms include comparing total productivity to "median" income (as opposed to mean; in other words apples and oranges), using data from two different sets that are based on different inflation adjusters (IPD for productivity and CPI for income; also apples and oranges), using annual income rather than hourly when people are working fewer hours, failing to capture all of the increased benefits workers have been compensated with in recent decades, and failing to account for factors like technology-driven depreciation increases and import price measurement problems that overstate productivity. Adjusting for these and other factors has led to alternative charts being produced (see the first two criticism links listed at the end of the above paragraph) that look very different than what's currently being given unchallenged authority in Wikipedia's voice. Additional complicating factors include productivity rises not necessarily occurring in the sectors where most people work and such charts being skewed by postwar incomes growing with aberrational speed.

Given these various vital problems, WP:NPOV policy is in gross violation and I propose the graph and sentence be deleted. The alternative would be to add sources to the text sentence and dramatically expand the chart caption the way it was on the Economy of the United States page (scroll down slightly), but that's an extreme bloat that would be unlike any other picture on the United States page and would still leave a skewed and unnecessary visual presentation. It works on the Economy page because that's a more specialized, lower traffic article. Here deletion would be better. VictorD7 (talk) 22:26, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

If you use the mean income, that tracks productivity well. The median income also used to very tightly correlate with productivity, but it hasn't since 1973, as has been illustrated by a graph in this article which has been there for at least a year. The right-wing think tank sources you cite would prefer that you remain ignorant of the distinction, or at least their patrons would. EllenCT (talk) 04:54, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
No, educating people like you on the distinction was their point. Your graph doesn't compare median income to median productivity, and, even setting aside the fact that your chart only starts at 1947 and shows a correlation for about 20 years, there's no reason to assume given the rise of technology that productivity or income gains would be evenly distributed throughout the population. Also, I cited right and left wing sources critiquing EPI's methodology and you didn't address the other problems I listed. Even if you somehow manage to disagree with their arguments at the very least a rational person has to acknowledge that the material is disputed on both accuracy and relevance. VictorD7 (talk) 18:25, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
How is it even mathematically possible for mean income to decouple from productivity growth the way median income did in the 1970s? That would require huge macroeconomic or monetary policy effects dozens of times those observed. The last link in your first paragraph of this section doesn't work, but the underlying PDF confirms that part of the reason for the decoupling is the very well documented income shift from labor to capital. I am indeed skeptical of the other factors described therein, and their characterization. EllenCT (talk) 21:19, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
The last link (to a cached version of the liberal think tank piece; they had moved their pdf) works for me, but our respective opinions on the factors involved don't really matter. I've shown that 1. The graph and sentence are original creations of a liberal group and 2. the material and its significance is highly disputed. VictorD7 (talk) 19:46, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
The graph was originally suggested here by a moderate editor who describes himself generally as right of center. There is no such dispute in the peer reviewed reliable sources, only with the WP:FRINGE political blogs you favor and so-called think-tanks without any WP:SECONDARY academic support, both of which are WP:UNDUE in an encyclopedic WP:SUMMARY geographic article but are welcome in e.g. Politics of the United States. EllenCT (talk) 23:13, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't recall which poster allegedly first "suggested" it, but it was added and has mostly been kept in this article by a very left wing editor who replaced an older, more neutral chart of median income without the cherry-picked POV juxtaposition of (a disputed version of) productivity. He even added the sentence ex post facto after it was pointed out to him that the chart he added had nothing to do with any of the section's text. Your post is nonsense. The chart's source is EPI, a left wing think tank/lobbyist outfit, and not a source that's any more "peer reviewed" than the ideologically diverse expert commentary I linked to disputing it (indeed publications like the St. Louis Fed. piece I posted are peer reviewed). I'm proposing it be deleted, not that it be replaced by anything, "blog" or otherwise. VictorD7 (talk) 00:30, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

False characterization of tax progressiveness and weasel words[edit]

I object to [14] and [15] because they are a false characterization of tax progressiveness, among other things and including WP:WEASEL words. EllenCT (talk) 13:19, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Your second link has nothing to do with tax progressivity and was simply me revising your recent income inequality addition for neutrality and appropriately broad detail level at this summary article level. We can objectively and neutrally mention that this is a subject of debate, including sources from both sides to support the point, but we shouldn't cherry-pick a hotly disputed partisan talking point and present the opinion unchallenged in Wikipedia's voice. WP:NPOV is policy, not a suggestion. It's also probably not the place to break down every aspect of both sides' arguments in detail. That's better suited for other, more topically specific articles.
Your first link is a botched conflation of several different edits. If you meant to refer to my reversion of your recent Government finance alteration, do you really want to start down this road again after everything that's happened over the past couple of years? Unlike your inequality claims, the progressive nature of US taxation by international standards is not in serious dispute, and indeed the segment is sourced by references from across the ideological spectrum. There is nothing "false" nor weaselly about it. VictorD7 (talk) 19:55, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I am in agreement with Ellen here. The statements and wording are natural and reflect the sourcing.Casprings (talk) 03:12, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
This is an old debate that has been rehashed over and over again. The Federal Income Tax code is progressive. It may not be progressive enough from some quarters, but that's a policy discussion and not a matter of definition. There's some selective obfuscation that happens when medicare and social security are considered. Even though these are also progressive programs (those who pay less get much more per dollar in benefits, per the CBO) they are lumped into the income tax discussion. That's fine for politics, but not really encyclopedic.Mattnad (talk) 12:03, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
And overall taxation is progressive even when all taxes at all levels are considered, as even the left wing lobbyist outfit Ellen championed for years concedes. As you say, whether it should be even more progressive or not is a subjective debate that doesn't affect the facts given. VictorD7 (talk) 19:46, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
After transfer payments, the U.S. is one of the least progressive of any of the developed democracies, or the socialist, welfare, or even the totalitarian states in the developed world. If you want to improve the accuracy with which you characterize the level of Americans' economic development, why not start with reporting the proportion of poor with access to their own transportation and laundry facilities and describe the concordant demands on time and effort, instead of harping on how fridges, microwaves, and video games have become so ubiquitous? EllenCT (talk) 23:20, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Sidestepping your uninformed tangent on poverty, welfare payments are spending, which is covered throughout the article in a number of ways, and America's income/wealth inequality is already given extensive coverage in the Income section (indeed it's been shoehorned in to the point where it's its overarching theme), including international comparisons. The Government finance segment in question by contrast is strictly about taxation, not the impact of fiscal policy on society. VictorD7 (talk) 00:56, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
So you admit it. You are relying on an arbitrary section topic distinction to push the exact opposite of the truth in furtherance of your political biases. Could there be any stronger evidence that you are WP:NOTHERE to write an encyclopedia, but instead as a POV-pushing propagandist? And my point about transportation and laundry facility ownership stands as a clear improvement over your Heritage Foundation-sourced talking points on microwaves and videogames. EllenCT (talk) 02:09, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Admit what, that taxing and spending are distinct activities? That's what I've always maintained. Hardly "arbitrary". Your entire post, especially the false personal attacks against me, is babbling nonsense. VictorD7 (talk) 18:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
You are trying to insert that "U.S. taxation is generally progressive, especially the federal income taxes, and is among the most progressive in the developed world" and I am trying to claim "U.S. taxation is somewhat progressive, especially federal income taxes, but after transfer payments, US fiscal policy is among the least progressive in the developed world," citing Adler, Ben (April 15, 2010). "Why America's Tax Code Is the Least Progressive in the Industrialized World". Newsweek.  because fiscal outlay policy is supposedly not related to government finance? You are trying to claim that "Government finance" is about taxation only, and not fiscal policy for spending on government programs, because you want the article to claim that U.S. fiscal policy is progressive. That is an obvious attempt at deliberate POV-pushing deception. Why would anyone have any reason to think that it isn't? Furthermore, the fact that we've long had "National debt" as a subsection clearly indicates that the "Government finance" section is about fiscal policy in general instead of just taxation. EllenCT (talk) 03:30, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Obviously finance and spending are linked. But less progressive spending policy is not a simple function of tax policy. The US is very progressive in its taxation, but overall taxes its population less, particularly for middle and lower income households than other industrialized nations. In Quebec Canada, a household with $45K in income hits the 38% marginal income tax rate and there's a 16% VAT on most goods and services. The top marginal tax rate, starting at $138K, is around 50% which is close to some US federal, state, and local taxes combined (New York City for instance). Capital gains tax rates are also lower than what the U.S. has for high income households. Quebec is far less progressive in its taxes than the US, but it also has universal healthcare, highly subsidized day-care, and very inexpensive tuition for higher education.Mattnad (talk) 10:59, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
No, reread what I said. I spoke of that Government finance segment, which is solely about taxation. Indeed your own original preferred sentence didn't mention anything but taxation, and the national debt paragraphs are separated into a different subsection (which, btw, doesn't cover niche spending topics like military, healthcare, etc., all of which are covered elsewhere). Your latest version is even worse as it does mention "transfer payments" and passes a shaky but overly broad judgment on "fiscal policy", shoehorning in a cherry-picked conflation of two different topics to erase proper coverage of one. Your new opening assertion that US "taxation" is "somewhat progressive" is totally misleading since US taxation is extremely progressive by international standards, with consequences for topics like economic growth and revenue volatility that have nothing to do with income redistribution per se. That's why it's legitimate to separate tax progressivity into a distinct topic. And I'm not trying to insert anything. The segment you're trying to change has been very long standing, in place for years. You're engaging in POV pushing by watering down the verified truth with weasel words based on a cherry-picked apples and oranges juxtaposition the segment isn't about. If you wanted to include a segment about the US have a smaller welfare state than Europe, I might be persuaded to support that (depending on the text neutrality and source quality involved), but it would belong in the Income or Economy sections, which is where it was before it was deleted by someone (not me) during the big article shrinkage a couple of years ago. It doesn't belong in Government finance, which is just an overview of....government finance. VictorD7 (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

NPOV violation: Source removed under false pretenses.[edit]

The Income section sentence "The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate." is a neutrally worded summary segment followed by a note that supports the "debate" claim by including three sources representing the left wing "inequality is a terrible problem" side and three sources representing the more conservative "no it's not" view. That such a debate exists is not in dispute, and the sources illustrated it well. Except Ellen and Griffin just teamed up to delete one of the conservative sources, one extremely important for supporting the broad claim about the extent of inequality being a subject of debate, under the pretense that it's a "blog" and somehow not "RS" ([16] [17]).

Here's the source. Even if it was merely a blog it would still be RS for its own opinions, but the truth is it's an editor's news blog (which policy--WP:NEWSBLOG--allows even for supporting one sided factual claims, much less simply illustrating the existence of an opinionated disagreement) hosted by the Washington Free Beacon, an online news site that's broken numerous major national stories.

The Free Beacon piece covers, quotes from, and links to an article by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein in the The Wall Street Journal, an article in the Financial Times (part of a long running, widely reported on investigative series), a National Review column by economist Veronique de Rugy that also features opinions from economist Tyler Cowen and four French economists from the l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and a Cato Institute article by economist Alan Reynolds. All these people are noteworthy experts, in many cases notable enough to already have their own Wikipedia articles, and their publication platforms are all respected and notable. I could just add them (and others) as separate, impeccable sources, but using the Free Beacon piece is useful because the consolidation saves space and because it quotes key elements from the various articles, which in some cases are restricted to subscribed viewers. Most people wouldn't be able to access these articles, so using the Free Beacon lets readers at least see the essential points.

There's no legitimate reason to remove this source and I ask any good faith editors observing this to revert this deletion. VictorD7 (talk) 20:57, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

No, because saying something is a matter of debate is a waste of readers' valuable time and a perfect example of WP:WEASEL words. If it is a matter of debate, then what do you propose as opposing sources? EllenCT (talk) 23:26, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
No, it's an accurate summary supported by the sources we've already used. Deleting one side while adding biased sources from the other side of a debate is a clear WP:NPOV violation. The statement is broad because this is a broad summary survey article where any more specific discussions of these very complex arguments isn't merited. If the statement is a waste of time (which it isn't if the sources are all added) then the solution would be to delete it, not replace it with a POV segment on a niche topic you've selected on which to soapbox. VictorD7 (talk) 00:41, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
And your commentary about the "debate" text doesn't even address the point of this section, which is to discuss the improper removal of a source. The text still stands. VictorD7 (talk) 00:59, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
What evidence do you have that any of the cited sources are a matter of debate? Are there some bloggers unhappy about them? Because the MEDRS-grade secondary sources on the topic are not in discord. Note that your weasel words also directly violate the consensus outcome of the closed RFC above, which considered this question specifically. EllenCT (talk) 02:07, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
The economists I listed are credentialed, highly respected experts writing in the world's premier financial newspapers (among other notable outlets), not "bloggers". The text isn't "weasel words". Your RFC, which was unproductively framed from the beginning (with an absurd apples/oranges false dichotomy) yielded a discussion that was all over the place, with the close only concluding that there was support for the material "in some form". That's extremely vague (even my final comments could be construed as supporting that). Certainly there was a lot of resistance to your proposed text. VictorD7 (talk) 06:41, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
The free beacon says itself that it is there to promote a conservative perspective. For these claims there are a number of clear academic work that is peer reviewed and statistical data. We should use that as it is the most reliable and not put in partisan sources simply because they support your POV.Casprings (talk) 14:37, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Did you not read the article and miss the part where I point out that it's mostly just links to articles in other publications by respected economists? Address them (Feldstein, WSJ, FT, etc.), not the Free Beacon. That said, who cares if they're conservative? It's scary that you seem to assume that's a disqualifier. It's not. This is a controversial issue, so the sources on both sides are inherently biased. We aren't restricted to using avante garde research, and "peer review" doesn't mean endorsement or anything else too special in this context. Heck, Feldstein and the others cited are peers reviewing material. Piketty and Saez are socialist activists, and Bartels has a clear political bias, though he's so radical he's also been criticized even by some well known liberals (like Ezra Klein). Most of the sources used here and on other pages are biased in some way. That's explicitly allowed by policy. Don't use Wikipedia as a propaganda platform by adding controversial talking points supporting your POV while censoring out any counterpoints. VictorD7 (talk) 19:11, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Why do you think that the policy you linked to allows citing a politically biased blog which in turn cites reliable sources as opposed to directly citing the reliable sources themselves? EllenCT (talk) 03:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
So you acknowledge the sources it links to are reliable? Of course the news site in question is RS here too, but does this mean you'd accept me adding the sources it links to as references? VictorD7 (talk) 18:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Are you calling [18] a "news site"? It's a political propaganda blog, "dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day," without the necessary separation of management staff from editorial and reporting staff or the reputation for fact checking and accuracy necessary to pass WP:RS. It's currently carrying large ads for [19] and [20] on every page. In answer to your question, the RFC closed 15 April 2015 is clear: "Growing income inequality and wealth concentration have resulted in affluent individuals, powerful business interests and other economic elites gaining increased influence over public policy" is to be included, not weasel words about being subject to debate which were never even proposed in the RFC discussion. EllenCT (talk) 00:10, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a news organization. It is large and professionally staffed by prominent journalists, albeit ones you apparently don't like. You cherry-picked the "about us" sentence. :The Washington Free Beacon is a privately owned, for-profit online newspaper that began publication on February 7, 2012. Dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day, the Free Beacon produces in-depth investigative reporting on a wide range of issues, including public policy, government affairs, international security, and media. If you have problems with it as a RS take it to WP:RSN. It looks fine. Capitalismojo (talk) 16:55, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
it literally says "editor's blog". also, guys, they have a "Hillary Laugh Button" i think we can trust them as a serious news outlet --Golbez (talk) 18:29, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
This literally says "blog" too: WP:NEWSBLOG. There's no policy prohibiting news blogs. In this case you don't need to "trust" them as a "serious" news outlet because essentially all this piece does is quote and link to prominent economists writing in other, more established publications. It's verifiable. You didn't even address the underlying issue of those sources. To address caesar's comment below, the reason for using the Free Beacon article is that at least two of those linked articles, the WSJ and Financial Times pieces, aren't freely accessible to most readers so the quotes in the Free Beacon could at least let them see the essentials. An alternative would be to instead use something like Feldstein's WSJ piece as the source and include the link to the Free Beacon article as a "see also" note for those who can't access the main article. I've seen that done elsewhere in this article. VictorD7 (talk) 19:11, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I think our readers are better served by direct citations than by going through a blog post of this low quality. --Golbez (talk) 20:11, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Not if they can't directly access those sources them. You again totally dodged the substance of my post. BTW, I think it's a perfectly fine news site, especially compared to many of the other sources used throughout this article, but I'd be willing to use one or more of the cited, even higher quality sources as the actual reference(s) if we can add the Free Beacon link as a "see also" for those who lack access. VictorD7 (talk) 00:06, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
VictorD7, you basically said that if a source can't be accessed on the Internet for free, it should not be included. Wikipedia in fact allows offline and paywalled sources. --Golbez (talk) 02:26, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I just said that if it is closed off then it's better to include a link to a readable version, or one that quotes the essential elements, too. There's no rational reason not to. VictorD7 (talk) 03:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
There's a reason if the article is a poor opinion piece that you're using to lead in to the actual sources. --Golbez (talk) 05:10, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Did you read it? What was "poor" about it? It mostly just accurately reports what various prominent critics are saying. As for having a bias, we're supposed to edit neutrally but the sources aren't required to be without bias, especially if covering different POVs in a debate is the point. VictorD7 (talk) 20:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
No, actually, the last image told me enough of the quality of the column. It's like discarding people who say "Micro$oft" or "Faux News". You don't see that in quality discourse, nor do you see stupid photoshops of those you disagree with. I mean, it's fine for his blog, but it's beyond the pale to suggest that this is a quality work of journalism worthy of citation on Wikipedia. --Golbez (talk) 21:15, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, because classy publications like the New Yorker, Time, or major urban newspapers never use cartoons or caricatures. So this far into the discussion you still haven't read it. Fine. What do you think about my proposal to cite the WSJ piece instead, and only use the Free Beacon link as a "see also" sub note for those who can't access it?VictorD7 (talk) 21:30, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a blog. This is why we should not have allowed news blogs as RS at all in the first place, because the line between reliable and unreliable blogs is so messy. Fully concur with EllenCT's incisive and accurate analysis. There are numerous traditionally published conservative periodicals that have likely published well-written articles that can be cited for the same point. Use those instead. --Coolcaesar (talk) 17:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, and it's a blog piece that is an attack in Piketty's work, which is not the subject of this article. The silly propaganda images contained within of Piketty and Krugman demonstrate that this is a right-wing hit piece, not anything close to a reliable source. Not only that, but the Chris Giles piece this article references has largely been discredited. Ergo, this garbage does not belong in this article.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 17:22, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll note that you didn't answer the question, Ellen. As for your RFC, the closer's quote was only "The consensus is to include both in some form", which the current, neutrally worded sentence does, complete with your leftist sources of choice. I'll add that the RFC was barely participated in, and four of the seven respondents either outright rejected your proposed addition, supported it with the qualification that you attribute it (which you didn't do, and which, of course, would only emphasize the need for balancing material), or commented on the absurd apples and oranges false dichotomy of your RFC's construction that limited its clarity and usefulness from the outset. That's probably why the closer felt compelled to leave the "form" of the inclusion vague and undecided by the RFC. VictorD7 (talk) 19:12, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Why do you think there is any more appropriate "some form" than the texts actually proposed in the RFC? EllenCT (talk) 17:56, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
We should not provide parity between mainstream views on inequality and "conservative" views that are only expressed in opinion pieces. If those writers who are economists have an acceptance for the views they express in editorials, then one would expect them to have prominence in mainstream economics journals, which they do not. TFD (talk) 02:38, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
What are you talking about? All the economists I cited above are very respected and have had all sorts of works published in "mainstream economics journals" and elsewhere. I could have added some (mentioned in the US economy article) who have received the Nobel Prize. But you certainly shouldn't assume that every piece of avante garde (cutting edge) research that comes along represents established mainstream consensus, even if it's published in an economics journal, especially on controversial issues. These articles themselves even typically have disclaimers along the lines of "these results are tentative and more research is needed". There's certainly no basis for drawing a distinction between "mainstream" and "conservative" economists; both liberal and conservative views are established and widespread enough to merit coverage if we decide that such a debate is worth mentioning here. The real question is how much detail should be included, and on which niche topics. VictorD7 (talk) 03:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
We need to be cautious in presenting a false balance. Same as with climate change, and other subjects, we need to rely on academic and mainstream economists views, rather than politicians, lobbyists, left-wing or right-wing media outlets. For the conservative and liberal views on the economy of the US we have the respective articles for that. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:29, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Also very importantly, the section "Income, poverty and wealth" needs to be a WP:SUMMARY of Income in the United States, Poverty in the United States, Affluence in the United States, and Income inequality in the United States, an not a section created from scratch, see WP:SYNC. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:44, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
We need to be even more cautious about presenting a false consensus in Wikipedia's voice, and I suggest you read the bios of some of the economists I cited above. However, I do think you get at one important point by mentioning subtopic articles. They would be a much better place for detailed presentations of these various political/economic opinions than this broad, summary country article. VictorD7 (talk) 03:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Density Calculation[edit]

Dear Editors,

We were just checking the population density of the US for fun, and when we entered the figures for square mileage and population on this page, we came up with a different result. Can you explain the discrepancy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

@ Thanks for pointing that out! The numbers were off, in addition to the math being wrong, the population was out of date and the density calculation was using total area instead of land area. They should be fixed now! Winner 42 Talk to me! 00:46, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Religious affiliation in the U.S.[edit]

The table & section needs to be updated from the 2007 survey to the 2014 survey.Phospheros (talk) 19:27, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you happen to have a reliable source that has 2014 survey data? --Chamith (talk) 19:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
The current ref is the same, the link is dynamic: but here is a specific link: --Phospheros (talk) 21:43, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Source seems reliable to me. Why don't you go ahead and update the data? --Chamith (talk) 03:13, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Republican Party center-right[edit]

Is the Republican Party center-right? While there may be some members who are more center-leaning, I don't think I usually see the party as a whole described as being center-right, but I can't check the source. This is at United States#Parties and elections. Dustin (talk) 21:39, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Whatever we say about the Republican Party, it needs to be fully attributed per WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV, and include competing viewpoints ( fully attributed as well), if any. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:13, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Also note that what may be considered "left" or "right" in the US, can be considered very different in other countries, thus the need for full attribution. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:14, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Then why did you just re-add this new, unsourced description in place of the long standing (and accurate) one, Cwobeel? VictorD7 (talk) 23:23, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, since it says "Within American political culture", the fact "left" and "right" may have different meanings in other countries is irrelevant. But both parties, particularly at the leadership level, are predominantly at the center of the U.S. spectrum, which is where they have to be to compete at a national level. 00:24, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the distinction, it needs to be attributed. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:25, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I think one might want to state they have become more conservative since the 50s to 70s. I think that can be backed up by peer reveiwed articles. When I get to a computer I will research some cites. Casprings (talk) 13:34, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


So I stop watching this page, and I see it has devolved with editors whom would like to SOAPBOX attempting to edit a million views plus a year article into a piece that requires it to be locked due to POV pushing. -sigh- --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:10, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Yep. It's shithouse. I imagine we could vastly improve the quality of discourse here with a couple of well-targeted bans. But that requires going through months of procedure and debate and blaaah blaaah who has time for that. Much easier to hit unwatch and just get on with life; it's not like we have any personal stake in this article. If other people step up, awesome. If they don't, well, I guess Wikipedia was a nice experiment while it lasted. The bureaucracy serves to protect the trolls. --Golbez (talk) 16:48, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
It was locked up due to edit warring, which is not acceptable. If the section "Income, poverty and wealth" can be created as WP:SUMMARY of Income in the United States, Poverty in the United States, Affluence in the United States, and Income inequality in the United States, and not a section created from scratch, this entire saga could be avoided. 17:02, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Yep. After a long period of relative stability that finally led to a recovery of the page's "good" status that had been lost in early 2012, a couple of familiar faces returned and tested the waters by trying to blitz the article with sweeping POV changes across multiple sections over opposition from multiple editors. VictorD7 (talk) 20:29, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Takes two to edit war, champ. In fact, I see sufficient reverts from you to nudge the three revert rule. Protecting the page actually protected you from getting yourself blocked. Do try to be a bit more careful, hm? --Golbez (talk) 21:50, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I only had three reverts in 24 hours, and in this case it was more than two people "edit warring". The problem was the massive POV pushing attempt the op here is rightly complaining about. Since you've repeatedly shown yourself to be little more than a bad tempered troll whose contributions are almost never productive (latest example: [21]) I bet you and I would disagree over whose banning would benefit this article, chief. VictorD7 (talk) 19:00, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
This is some expert-level word lawyering. Yes, you did three reverts, hence nudging you against the rule. Not passing it. Another revert would have gotten you blocked; three is where the warning hops in. And I'm amused that you take "it takes two to edit war" and then say "more than two were doing it!" as some sort of schoolyard defense. My point was is that you were edit warring as well, not that other people were also doing it. You were edit warring, Victor. You were edit warring. You reverted three times in 24 hours on an article that got locked for edit warring. You were edit warring. And now you're blaming other people of edit warring when you were edit warring. As for our relative qualities, I don't need to engage in that because I know I'm productive and a vast net positive to Wikipedia, except when it comes to dealing with the bullshit that passes for discourse on this talk page, in which case I freely admit to being a troll because that's what it deserves lately. People get way, way too tied up with this article, as if it reflects on them personally. Unlike you and some others here, my politics are opaque because I don't base my entire editing career around them. I'm here to objectively improve the encyclopedia rather than promote or defend my particular politics. --Golbez (talk) 19:35, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Well at least you admit to being a troll, though I guess you forgot that you have engaged in lengthy political debates before here that have made your left leaning political views quite clear. In fact you gave some dubious speech about how you used to be a libertarian but changed over time. I'll add that you also presided as self appointed steward over this article during the years in which it degenerated to the point of losing its "good" status in early 2012. You later laughably tried to blame me for that even though I didn't create my account until later in 2012 after that had already happened and had never edited Wikipedia before then. By contrast, while I've always been open and honest about my politics, I've edited for neutrality, not to propagandize, and I was one of the posters who put in the hard work to upgrade article quality over the past couple of years to the point where "good" status was restored, a project you mostly just watched and occasionally undermined with your trolling. So I'm glad we're both clear on how we see ourselves and each other. VictorD7 (talk) 21:15, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
" In fact you gave some dubious speech about how you used to be a libertarian but changed over time. " I don't accuse you of being lying when you indicate what your politics are, so don't do it to me. It's one thing to call me a troll or point out inaccuracies, it's another thing entirely to accuse me of lying about who I am. Also now it's my turn to point out how you ignored the meat of my statement for the low-hanging fruit. Hey, pointless flame wars on Wikipedia are fun, aren't they? I wonder which one of us will give up first! --Golbez (talk) 21:38, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping to give you the last word since you sound obsessed with it (as I gave it to you in the other section where I wasted time having a lengthy exchange with you about an article you eventually admitted you hadn't even read), but I have to correct you by pointing out that you've ignored the "meat" of this section, which was the POV pushing that was the underlying problem here, not the "edit warring" per se. The latter resulted from the former, and frankly the article would have been worse without editors being willing to revert. VictorD7 (talk) 21:55, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Bans? I think that is unnecessary Golbez. I may disagree with other editors, but to ban them outright, when they believe they are doing what is best for the article (even if I may oppose that opinion) is IMHO a bridge to far.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:48, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
We ban and block people every day who are doing what they believe is best for an article, because their belief is incompatible with everyone else's. I'm not proposing doing it; I'm certainly not going to spend the energy to do it. I'm just the crotchety old uncle in the corner complaining about kids these days. I am so ever this shit, it's mindblowing, and Wikipedia will be left off worse for it. --Golbez (talk) 20:55, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Hey Golbez, remember that WP:WPDNNY. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:59, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
It's really upsetting to see something like this happening to one of the most visited pages on Wikipedia.--Chamith (talk) 19:36, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
And I concur with Golbez and Chamith. --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:United States/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

Initial statement[edit]

I am concerned about the status of this article as GA status. As can be seen in the article's talk page there is SOAPBOXing occurring, leading to the lack of stability. Therefore this article fails criteria 4 and criteria 5 as listed at WP:GACR. Therefore, I am nominating this article for reassessment. I might be one of the top ten content contributors to this article, by amount of data added (not edits), but that doesn't mean I can't be critical of it.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:43, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

By soapboxing, do you mean the blatant disregard of the outcome of this RFC or something else; if so, then what in particular are you accusing of being soapboxing? EllenCT (talk) 17:44, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
The above editor has been slowly pushing to advance an agenda on the talk page, and making edits on the article to that affect. That makes the article non-neutral, as well as non-stable. Please again see WP:NOTSOAPBOX. See this statement by Cwobeel:

EllenCT, politically speaking, I am on your side of the aisle. But your approach here is really disturbing when you are not capable to realize that comments from you such as: If your idea of an excellent encyclopedia article emphasizes only the topics according to your discredited political preferences, then perhaps your skills would better serve your fellow citizens by editing Conservapedia, are utterly useless in a discussion about how to improve an article.

It is this type of environment on the talk page that has lead to the article being non-neutral and non-stable. I walked away from this article because the civility was gone and the POV pushing was blatant. Seeing how it was listed as a GA, having reviewed GAs in the past, knowing it did not meet the criteria required by GA, it begged to be reassessed.
That being said this reassessment is not about the actions of EllenCT, this reassessment is about the article. It was locked due to edit warring. This is sufficient to show it no longer meets the stability requirement required by GACR. During the edit war the above user changed (by reverting a revert) the description of a major party to right-wing (instead of centre-right), showing a POV push targeting a party the editor appears to not agree with, among other edits.
This means that criteria 4 and 5 are not met, and thus this article should be delisted.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:55, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Note, I had a vested interest in seeing this article improve, adding 48k worth of references to the article, but the vitriol found on the talk page drove me away from this article :( .--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:34, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry you were offended, but I stand by my statement. After repeatedly accusing me of POV pushing without providing any reasons why, for example, describing economic outcomes by education level is biased, this is clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Need I make a list of all your unsubstantiated, uncivil such accusations over the past year so that they can be compared to the statements about which you complain at such length? EllenCT (talk) 01:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

I haven't been involved with this article for months, and only recently submitted a couple of comments to the talk page. I concur that it has become a hotbed lately of POV pushing, particularly around fashionable discussions relating to income inequality. This has lead to arguments over how much should a high level summary article include, as well efforts to slant the writing. The result is both a battleground and sections that have had large POV additions and charts that are WP:UNDUE to say the least. This had degraded the quality of the article IMHO, and it's clearly not stable.Mattnad (talk) 14:04, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

I helped other editors to bring this article to GA state last time it was nominated. However since then, like RightCowLeftCoast said I too noticed many cases of POV pushings. Most of the time editors involved in the dispute didn't care enough to reach a consensus on talk page first, or they jut didn't want to wait for other editors to reply to their discussions. Some editors just kept reverting others and provided explanations as an edit summary. They headed to the talk page after edit-warring. By then the damage was already done and it lead to full protection of the article. Anyhow this article has changed a lot after the last GA review and I too believe all these POV pushings over time has damaged the integrity of the article. --Chamith (talk) 19:28, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

@ChamithN: I was also part of the group that got this article to GA status, but the constant lengthy political bickering kept me away from the article after that. It is unfortunate that there seem to be a number of editors who solely edit the politically controversial parts of this article to push their POV. These folks are not seen editing other sections of the article nor do they edit much outside of United States political issue articles. While this is not a crime, it has led to significant WP:BATTLEGROUND and un-civil behavior that has culminated in the protection of this article. I'm sure everyone knows who I am talking about. Dispute resolution has failed time and time again for resolving these politically changed editors issues, so perhaps some topic bans are in order. Winner 42 Talk to me! 20:40, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
If you are going to make such accusations, I would like to see specific diffs supporting what you see as disruptive behavior. I've been editing this article for years, am also in the top ten by text added, within a few tenths of a percent of the other recent top editors, and yes, I certainly do focus on standard of living, health, economics, and related issues. I make a point of discussing all changes for at least a week before actual editing (in stark contrast to the large number of undiscussed edits we've seen here in the past month) and I certainly don't do undiscussed mass reverts such as those which touched off the recent edit war leading to full protection. Should the editor who decided to make that undiscussed mass revert be sanctioned? I am very upset about the blatant attempt to disregard the most recent RFC outcome, and suggest that is the most disruptive behavior that we've seen in this article beyond simple vandalism. I have opened several RFCs here, and never once failed to abide by their outcome. Suggesting that any discussion of controversial topics needs to be avoided isn't just contrary to the first sentence of the WP:WEIGHT policy, it's absurd from an encyclopedist perspective. Can you imagine an article about North Korea which doesn't discuss human rights? How is topic banning editors who follow the discussion and RFC process on the most prominent controversies -- which I repeat WP:LEAD directs should appear in the introduction -- any different? EllenCT (talk) 23:48, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose delisting and request closing of GA3 The initial reasoning has no bases in GA criteria. There is nothing in the criteria about the talk page demonstrating "soapboxing" etc, and no specific item or concern from the article itself has been questioned. Edit warring on a GA article is also not likely to be a reason to delist. It IS a reason to stop a GA review. Therefore, if this is a review of the article, this must be closed until the edit warring is over...not just until the article is unlocked. If we delisted every time there was edit warring on GA or FA....we wouldn't have any GA or FA articles.--Mark Miller (talk) 00:26, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Last I checked neutrality and stability were two criteria of a GA article. This article has neither at the moment. I believe Mattnad, ChamithN, and Winner 42 would agree with me on that.
Furthermore, unless I am unaware, there is not different criteria to base delisting articles. Therefore, we must look at the article based on GACR.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to be hopeful that EllenCT's giant disputes resolution section (props to him for that) will lead to some stability and neutrality in the short term, but the question remains whether such a high-traffic article can remain stable in the long term. I think whether a GA review is required will become apparent in the week following unprotection depending if edit warring resumes or not. Winner 42 Talk to me! 01:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
How can you cherry pick the criteria you want to use when the criteria is clear. You must quick decline a GA nomination if there is edit warring. How can you use that to begin a GA3? If you have no specific concerns how can anything be addressed?--Mark Miller (talk) 03:04, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Mark Miller:I think you are misunderstanding me, I'm agreeing with you. I think that we should wait to see if "significant instability persists for more than a couple of weeks" before considering a GA reassessment. Winner 42 Talk to me! 03:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC) fault. I was replying to RightCowLeftCoast and should have stated that.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Our guidelines actually speak directly to this issue and both RightCowLeftCoast and I are correct: "Requesting reassessment during a content dispute or edit war is usually inappropriate, wait until the article stabilizes and then consider reassessment. If significant instability persists for more than a couple of weeks, then reassessment on the grounds of instability may be considered.". So, while the lock will run out tomorrow, I urge RightCowLeftCoast to close this now per guidelines for community reassessment and if the problem persists re-open based on that fact.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:16, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Mark has a good point. I understand why RightCowLeftCoast listed this page for reassessment and I would have done the same thing given that this article ranks 58 by traffic. And as he pointed out stability and factual accuracy are key points of a GA article, but, like WP:GAR says its not appropriate to reassess the quality until the edit warring is over. Which means whoever is going reassess the article must start his review after the article is stabilized. However, I don't actually think reassessment request should be closed. My opinion is that the reviewer should take a while before jumping into the reassessment. Because, article healing process takes time.--Chamith (talk) 06:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
For me it's not content disputes alone. The article is bloated and it's not just from POV pushing (although there is that problem too).Mattnad (talk) 16:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Would you say there is more bloat in the sports section or in redundant references? Do you think the history section can be further summarized? EllenCT (talk) 01:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed compromise on taxation progressivity/ redistributive spending.[edit]

The current long standing Government finance segment stays the way it is, and we add a comparative sentence on redistribution to either the Economy or Income sections along the lines of... "The United States has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than European nations."...sourced to something generic and relatively non polemical like this OECD paper that mostly just lays out facts: [22] (see especially figure 2 on page 5).

That's similar to a once present segment deleted during article cleanup/reduction a couple of years ago, and should address any concerns about only telling part of the fiscal story, without obliterating the tax progressivity segment which is a legitimate stand alone topic in its own right for reasons that go beyond just income distribution (e.g. economic growth, revenue volatility, and simply accurately describing "taxation"). I'll add that there is already extensive commentary on income inequality per se in the Income section, including international comparisons.

Does that sound reasonable, EllenCT? Mattnad? Anyone else who wants to weigh in? VictorD7 (talk) 20:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm completely okay with that. Going back and forth between "among the most progressive in the developed world" (Federal income tax) and "among the least progressive in the developed world" (overall fiscal policy) isn't working. EllenCT (talk) 17:46, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll also note that, as the OECD paper makes clear, there's a difference between redistributive impact and progressivity per se. Nation A can have a more progressive tax structure than nation B but if it's much smaller in size (overall tax burden) it can have less redistributive impact than nation B's. That US taxation has one of the biggest redistributive impacts despite being smaller in size than most OECD nations' underscores how extremely progressive it is. US transfer spending is fairly progressive too, but makes a smaller redistributive impact than its taxation does, the opposite of typical European systems. I figure I'll add the proposed sentence to the Economy section since it seems to fit better there. VictorD7 (talk) 19:10, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
How do you feel about stating both that the federal income tax is among the most progressive in the developed world, but the overall fiscal policy is among the least progressive? How do you want to summarize Figure 2 of that OECD paper? EllenCT (talk) 23:52, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Well overall US taxation is among the most progressive in the developed world,* and, as I led off this section by saying, I think the progressivity tax segment in Government finance should stay the way it is. The compromise is adding the sentence to the Economy section about the size of the welfare state and overall redistribution. What figure 2 shows is that the US redistributes among the most through taxes (the extreme progressivity makes up for the relatively smaller size of the tax burden here) and among the least through transfer spending (and less overall). The latter doesn't necessarily speak to progressivity per se (which deals with structure) as much as the smaller size of US welfare spending. So I was planning on going with the sentence I suggested above, about how the US has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income overall than in European nations. That's safe, solid, accurate language.
*A fact underscored repeatedly in this OECD paper. For example: (page 13) "In many high-tax countries, taxes have a relatively low redistributive impact because they embody little progressivity (Figure 7, Panel B) – this is particularly the case in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. And household taxes are more progressive in the United States than in most EU countries.16 However, some countries (including Chile, Korea and Japan) combine a relatively low tax burden with very little progressivity."
(page 27) "Various studies have compared the progressivity of tax systems of European countries with that of the United States (see for instance Prasad and Deng, 2009; Piketty and Saez, 2007; Joumard, 2001). Though they use different definitions, methods and databases, they reach the same conclusion: "the US tax system is more progressive than those of the continental European countries."
Also worth noting: (page 1) "The redistributive impact of taxes and transfers depends on the size, mix and the progressivity of each component." It's not just about progressivity.
(page 4) "Cash transfers reduce income dispersion more than taxes (Figure 2).5 The United States, however, is an outlier with virtually the same redistribution achieved through taxes as cash transfers. It relies heavily on the tax code to provide support to low income groups – the Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the largest US social programmes – while other countries rely more on cash transfers."
(page 7) "For instance, in Portugal and the United States transfers attain about the same reduction in inequality but for different reasons. In the United States, the limited reduction in inequality is due to the smaller size of transfers compared with the OECD average whereas in Portugal it is mainly due to their lower progressivity." Hopefully this helps clarify things. VictorD7 (talk) 18:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
It's reassuring to see, editors who appear to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum to reach a consensus, thus bettering the article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

A radical proposal to reduce the POV pushing on this article[edit]

As you all know the article for The United States has recently become a hotbed for POV pushers to advance their views on the nation. The article on The United States is also a very long, currently at 321,081 bytes. My proposal is that we reduce and get rid of a number of the most POV-pushy sections of the article entirely.

First on the chopping block is Government finance, the second paragraph can be removed entirely. It gives undue weight to the issue of income inequality, which while an important issue in American politics does not deserve its own paragraph.

Secondly, the National Debt is given undue weight as well. We don't need a subsection talking about this, a single sentence with debt as a % of gdp and (possibly) the credit rating would work.

Finally, the Income, poverty and wealth section also can be reduced to a single sentence with a statistic discussing the distribution of wealth.

I understand that this will likely annoy a lot of editors, but that is the point. I believe that these are some of the measures necessary for the article to retain its GA status by reducing the undue weight that is currently being given to these political issues. Winner 42 Talk to me! 03:06, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. This article could benefit as a summary article by limiting itself to country descriptions which find their way into reliable scholarly sources published in academic journals or peer reviewed publishing houses -- rather than featuring pressing issues ripped from the headlines based on statistics which are then revised within ninety days. Government finance and National debt should be linked to subsidiary articles, reduced to a single sentence such as Winner 42 suggests. It could slow the volatility of the page. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:42, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
An excellent proposal. Fully concur. Obvious violations of WP:UNDUE. --Coolcaesar (talk) 13:20, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with this. POV pushing or not, this article has become bloated. The opportunity for expansive discussion of the topics is in the related articles.Mattnad (talk) 15:40, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Just because you're unhappy with the outcome of an RFC and unwilling to abide by its closure doesn't mean it's an opportunity to scrub all of the largest controversies concerning the economic situation which comprise the clear plurality of headlines on national issues these days. The article has been incrementally and painstakingly negotiated with consensus compromise over more than half a decade for some of the statements in question, and there would be no edit wars if people would abide by the RFC consensus process. The article achieved GA status with the sections you want to delete, and would clearly lack the comprehensiveness required by the GA criteria if the sections you want to delete are deleted. And if you seriously think that "the Income, poverty and wealth section also can be reduced to a single sentence" then what do you propose for that sentence? EllenCT (talk) 17:53, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
"comprise the clear plurality of headlines on national issues these days" Wikipedia is not about shoving in whatever is getting headlines these days. WP:RECENTISM. Reflecting headlines is not what this article is for, in any way. --Golbez (talk) 18:28, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
By "these days" I mean since the very early 2000s. Per WP:LEAD, the largest controversies shouldn't just be in the article, they should, according to that guideline, be summarized in the introduction. EllenCT (talk) 18:30, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
"As of 2007, the United States had a GINI coefficient of 45.0, the 41st highest in the world" With a citation to the CIA factbook would suffice. As Golbez has pointed out, all these sections are very Recentism focused while providing WP:UNDUE weight. Additionally, previous consensuses can be changed by new consensuses such as the one forming here, in fact that is the point of consensus in the first place. Winner 42 Talk to me! 19:02, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Less than one out of twenty economics undergrads can correctly state what the Gini (not all caps) coefficient means, let alone the general international readership. Your proposal doesn't say anything about the trends or the vast numbers of GenXers who have had to move back in with their parents. I don't see how you can make a WP:UNDUE argument against text which has been in the article for several years, and for which corresponding detail is in most of the other developed nations' articles. And again, you are trying to remove controversies when the WP:LEAD guideline directs that "prominent controversies" shouldn't just be in the article, they should be in the intro. EllenCT (talk) 19:09, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
We know where you stand on this proposition. How we capture a summary sentence or two can be worked on. Is there a reason we'd want to add large sections on your topics of choice for a summary article vs. reserving an expansive exploration in articles dedicated to the topic? Coming back to this being an encyclopedia, I do not see anything like what you propose in Encarta or Britannica. Recent-ism or not, there's a level of detail that's out of whack here. We shouldn't have, as you put it, "the vast numbers of GenXers who have had to move back in with their parents" in a summary level article.Mattnad (talk) 19:21, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Fine, we can link the article on it then, Gini coefficient. If you have a better statistical measure for income inequality please say so (I would not be opposed to something like the Hoover index). The article on the United States is not meant to describe the many political controversies currently going on in the United States and the WP:LEAD guideline specifically has a footnote that says not to give undue weight. How would you determine what is a major controversy in the United States anyway? I could list hundreds of current issues (Gun control, drug crime, relations with Russia) and past issues (Gold standard, tariffs, slavery) that could all be considered major controversies, but have no place in a summery level article. Additionally, a section's duration of stay in an article has no bearing on its neutrality, not does the existence of the section in other articles. Winner 42 Talk to me! 19:32, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:NPOV states that "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each [in those sources.]" Wholesale removal of anything controversial simply violates that requirement. Can you point to anywhere else on Wikipedia where difficulty editing around controversies has been resolved by deleting mention of them? The reason we don't discuss gun control, drug crime, Russian relations, or most of the other issues you mention is because they affect a very much smaller proportion of Americans than the standard of living and economics issues you propose to sweep under the rug. And there is plenty that we do discuss regarding slavery: 23 mentions in 13 sentences across 5 paragraphs. 'Summary' is not spelled with an 'e'. EllenCT (talk) 00:12, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
While I sympathize with the goal of reducing article bloat, I think your suggestion goes too far too fast, and your proposed single income sentence is way off base. The most legitimate topline income section would probably be the current opening sentence mentioning mean and median income, not a Gini comparison. In fact there was a push a while back (I got sidetracked and tuned out; not sure if it's still going on) to remove Gini as a Wikipedia standard metric since it's calculated with different methodologies in different sources (it's non standardized) and isn't regularly updated on a global level the way more important stats like GDP are. It was proved by editors that Gini comparisons currently used in different prominent country articles are apples and oranges. More importantly, all that aside, you'd be the one elevating "inequality" to an undue emphasis by making it more important than basic, non POV pushing stats like mean and median income. As for Government finance, I'll point out that the facts there aren't really disputed, and the two primary parties disagreeing over the phrasing there just reached a compromise solution. VictorD7 (talk) 19:21, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
For the sake of neutrality, perhaps this is best, with see also hat notes in the sections to related articles. Perhaps, on income and income inequality, it is best to not include a sentence at all, but instead providing a hat note to those specific articles. A sentence on the average income, and percent in poverty, might be sufficient.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Specific individual disputes[edit]

Since the controversial edits leading to the recent full protection were rolled up into a series of massive reverts spanning several sections, originally by an editor who does not seem to have been working on this article previously, and exemplified most recently by this diff, I thought I would pull them out into eight individual questions that I hope we can work out separately while editing is suspended. Can we try to reach compromises on all eight questions before the full protection expires? EllenCT (talk) 18:24, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Republican Party description[edit]

1. What are the sources supporting that Republicans are "center-right" and what sources say they are "right-wing"? Which is the more prominent description in the peer reviewed WP:SECONDARY sources? I happen to believe that since the Democratic Party leaders' preferences are well documented as being to the right of the demographic center's preferences[23][24][25][26] that calling Republicans "center-right" is entirely inaccurate. Are there reliable sources in opposition? I am not okay with simply calling Republicans "conservative" because they've been radically redefining the status quo over the past several decades. Eisenhower was conservative when he took post-WWII marginal tax rates down to pre-WWII levels. Reagan was not when he returned capital gains rates down to Gilded Age historical lows.

It might be better to separate these into different sections. On 1, I completely reject your premise that the population is to the left of Democrats (if anything it's to the right of where people usually vote, which is why Democrats have to run further from their base rhetorically in general campaigns to be competitive than Republicans do; e.g. - [27] Pew poll showing by 58% to 35% Americans prefer "freedom to pursue life’s goals without state interference" over the state playing "an active role in society to ensure that nobody is in need", the opposite of the Europeans' responses; [28] In Gallup polling self identified conservatives have typically outnumbered self identified liberals roughly 40%-20% over the years, and currently outnumber liberals in all but three states; [29] more Americans have consistently seen Republicans as "too liberal" than the Democrats as "too conservative"; [30] a strong majority--most recently 59%--favor abortion being "under stricter limits than it is now" or not permissible at all; [31] Americans consistently favor spending cuts over tax hikes to tackle the deficit; [32] when asked for actual ideal numbers instead of just "should they pay more or less" most people prefer "the rich" pay a lower tax rate than they actually do; [33] super majorities have always supported prayer in school; I could go on and on), but regardless Republicans have always been identified as "center-right" in serious political science textbooks, even ones that transparently lean left:
Understanding American Government By Susan Welch, John Gruhl, Susan Rigdon, Sue Thomas (2011, page 185) "The Democrats tend to be a center-left party, and the Republicans tend to be a center-right party." That's without getting into the fact that, as TFD pointed out, the text says "Within American political culture...". In fact the Republicans and Democrats have traditionally been viewed as center-right and center-left in a global context too. The two major US parties have bigger tents and more across the aisle voting on particular issues, and are therefore more moderate than typical parties in parliamentary systems. VictorD7 (talk) 20:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Let us remember there are extremist in both parties: William J. Chambliss (3 May 2011). Crime and Criminal Behavior. SAGE Publications. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-4522-6644-2.  Therefore, to label one party to "right-wing" but the other "centre-left" is IMHO WP:UNDUE, The source provided by VictorD7: ( Susan Welch; John Gruhl; Susan Rigdon; Sue Thomas (18 January 2011). Understanding American Government. Cengage Learning. p. 185. ISBN 0-495-91050-3.  ) does a good job at neutrality and presenting both parties. We can go into this book ( Byron York (January 2006). The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of the Democrats' Desperate Fight to Reclaim Power. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1-4000-8239-1.  ), but IMHO the Cengage book is sufficient.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:41, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
re the party issue, let's look at their respective articles. The GOP article doesn't definitely state its direction, but the Democrat article says "center-left", presumably far better sourced than we can manage here. The GOP does state that their philosophy is conservatism. So why not use those terms? The Republicans are conservative, whereas the Democrats represent the center-left? The work has been done for you. If you disagree with that characterization then I think the best place to discuss this is at the appropriate party discussion page, rather than here; this is a summary article, and the argument over how to define the parties should take place on the party pages, with that filtering down to here. To do it here is both a duplication of efforts as well as a usurpation of encyclopedic responsibility. It'd be like, oh, saying on this article that Puerto Rico is part of the United States but Puerto Rico disagreed. That kind of hypothetical situation. --Golbez (talk) 04:14, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Hypothetical indeed, the intro sentence at Puerto Rico says it is a U.S. territory. The work of including how Puerto Rico as a part of the U.S. in a geographical sense is done for you, sourced by U.S.G. and scholarship. I think that the hypothetical argument that U.S. territories are external to the US may be sourced to Iran, North Korea and Cuba. In the case of political parties, Communists and some Socialists claim Democrats are not “left” anything, but fascist captives of Wall Street, — however WP discounts WP:fringe, so some hypothetical disputes can be laid to rest. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:45, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
@Golbez:: Please re-read my comment. That section is not about GOP or Democratic parties' economic positions or distinctions. That section needs to be a summary of the main articles on the subject. The problem is that editors here are trying to write that section from scratch, including the impossible task of defining the GOP and Democrat parties in one sentence and without context. - - Cwobeel (talk) 14:02, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Well that's just it, I'm with you on being against writing it from scratch, we should be pulling purely from the subsidiary articles. I don't think we need *any* description of the parties here, but if we do, it's best to pull the description [and sourcing, if necessary] from the main article rather than go through the entire discovery process here. --Golbez (talk) 15:21, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
It is important to identify which party leans left and which leans right for foreign readers who don't know. Such brief, almost universally understandable qualifiers are far from "impossible", and are reflected in the linked party articles. VictorD7 (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
A non-U.S. audience would find the term "center right" explanatory - the Republicans are similar to UK Conservatives, German Christian Democrats and Australian Liberals. But the lesser used term "center left" would be confusing. "Center left", if the term is used at all would refer to Social Democrats as opposed to Left parties and Communists. The Democrats would lie between center left and center right. TFD (talk) 16:49, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
That is the problem... I'd say, leave these generalizations outside of this article, just mention the two main parties with wikilinks to their respective article and leave it at that. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:37, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Or we could just stick with the very long standing "center-right"/"center-left" description in the political science textbook I quoted from above, especially since "center-left" would be a lot clearer to many foreign readers than "liberal" would be, given the qualitatively different meaning of "liberal" in a modern American context compared to how it's used throughout much of the world (e.g. Brits calling conservatives like Reagan and Thatcher "neoliberals"; the Australian conservative party being called "Liberals", even US politicians on both sides using "liberal" to mean free market/individual liberty oriented when speaking in an international context, almost the opposite of the political domestic usage, etc.) Calling Democrats "centrists" would be even more absurd. They're no more "centrist" in a global context than the Republicans are, and their base liberal ideology is less so in a domestic context as the material I posted above shows.
Basically "far right" refers to Nazis/fascists while "far left" refers to communists/socialists. Pretty much every major party in between is "center-(one way or the other)". This isn't complicated. In fact the Democrats have more in common with socialists than the Republicans do with Nazis/fascists. Senator Bernie Sanders, a self described "socialist" independent, caucuses with the Democrats. By contrast I don't know any Nazis/fascists who hold American office, and if they did the Republicans wouldn't caucus with them. US conservatives, heavily libertarian, and Nazis/fascists are qualitatively different, whereas US liberals differ from socialists by matter of degree, with some overlap. But there's no need to get that precise here. In the rough one dimensional spectrum widely used around the world, the Democrats are still center-left overall, and the Republicans are center-right. This is basic stuff. VictorD7 (talk) 18:23, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
In fact, the term "far left" is never used to refer to socialists anywhere other than in the U.S. Socialists form the government or main opposition party in most countries outside the U.S. Even in the U.S., I do not remember the news media referring to Tony Blair as far left. TFD (talk) 18:55, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The Labour party, led by Blair himself, moved away from socialism toward a position of relatively free market, "New Labour"/"third way" type politics, as did a lot of the world's left leaning parties in the wake of the Cold War's decisive empirical verdict. But above I wasn't referring to those who embrace various aspects of qualified socialism so much as the parties that are hardline enough to call themselves "Socialist", as opposed to the social democrats that typically make up the European center-left. But this tangent is unnecessary. Whether one considers parties like the French Socialists to be center-left or far left on the global spectrum (as opposed to the French one), certainly "center-left" is broad enough to include US Democrats, the party trying to pull the US to the left, as the textbook I quoted above states. VictorD7 (talk) 19:20, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Tony Blair used the terms socialism and social democracy interchangeably. Ironically, Sanders has presented as his model of socialism the Scandinavian social democrats. You are using the "no true Scotsman" argument: I like Blair therefore he is not a socialist. TFD (talk) 03:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I suggest you read up on the Third Way movement Blair helped lead (with Clinton) in the 1990s. Blair used these terms with qualification, and tried to redefine what he meant by "socialism", contrasting it with traditional socialism. He also embraced "capitalism" (again, with qualifications), and dropped the clause committed to nationalizing industry from the Labour Party Constitution as part of what he called "New Labour". In office he left most of Thatcher/Major's economic reforms in place. Here's a BBC piece crediting him with completely remaking his party. Even recently he's advised the defeated Labour Party to move more toward the center and become more "pro business". You can't just ignore all this if you want to talk about Blair and modern Labour ideology. Bernie Sanders is to the left of Tony Blair...and he caucuses with the Democrats. VictorD7 (talk) 19:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

On "how the GOP is decribed, I think that we also need to look at how the Democratic Party is described. Global standards are the ones to look at. As such, I think one could describe the dems as center right. They are to the right of most conservative parties in Europe.Casprings (talk) 23:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll note that so far RightCowLeftCoast and I are the only ones in this discussion to actually provide sources pertinent to the question. In any context the Democrats are a left leaning party. Some much smaller European countries being more left wing on average than the US doesn't change that. In addition to the textbook I cited above, here are some other sourced notes from the Democratic Party (United States) article:
Arnold, N. Scott (2009). Imposing values: an essay on liberalism and regulation. Florence: Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-495-50112-3. "Modern liberalism occupies the left-of-center in the traditional political spectrum and is represented by the Democratic Party in the United States."
Levy, Jonah (2006). The state after statism: new state activities in the age of liberalization. Florence: Harvard University Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-495-50112-3. "In the corporate governance area, the center-left repositioned itself to press for reform. The Democratic Party in the United States used the postbubble scandals and the collapse of share prices to attack the Republican Party ... Corporate governance reform fit surprisingly well within the contours of the center-left ideology. The Democratic Party and the SPD have both been committed to the development of the regulatory state as a counterweight to managerial authority, corporate power, and market failure."
Here's Michael Barone, coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics and one of America's most prominent political scientists over the past several decades, referring to the Democrats as "center-left" and Republicans as "center-right", roughly comparable to the British Conservatives and modern Labour Party: "British politics has a familiar look to Americans, with a center-right Conservative party and a center-left Labour party resembling America’s Republicans and Democrats.
The Democratic party is staunchly Keynesian, with widespread socialist elements in its base, and generally favors higher taxes, more government regulation, more social welfare spending, and liberal social policies. In rhetoric it favors "equality" themes over "freedom" ones. All of these elements entrench it firmly within the global left as described by Wikipedia's own articles (e.g. Left-wing politics). This is really clear cut. VictorD7 (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If dropping the descriptor for both major parties is necessary to relieve this from becoming a contentious point of a possible edit war, I am OK with that. But if not, I agree with the statement by VictorD7 above.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, of the two sources Victor has provided above, neither are actually describing the Democratic party but liberalism.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:49, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
False, not that it would matter since the Democrats are the "liberal" party. And I've provided four sources, not two, all of which explicitly speak about the "Democrats" or "the Democratic Party" in the context of being on the "center-left". I suggest you reread my posts. VictorD7 (talk) 19:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Right now the line in the article reads: "Within American political culture, the Republican Party is considered conservative and the Democratic Party is considered liberal.[269]". We should try to have more book sources of course but why are we trying to define the parties. Even trying to say one party is conservative and the other liberal is time sensitive and does not reflect all of history. At one time Republicans were the liberals and Democrats the conservatives. I have a Time magazine from the period describing the parties that way as well as other sources. We need to be far more neutral here and I think brevity may be the answer.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
"Brevity" shouldn't mean we simply name the two major parties without any description whatsoever. In country articles the major parties typically have some ideological description. It's useful to retain the "conservative"/"liberal" labels since those terms are so ubiquitous "within American culture", and to restore the brief "center-right"/"center-left" labels to clarify for foreign readers who don't already understand those issues. For the record the notion that the two parties "swapped" ideologies is an erroneous myth, though it's not worth getting into that tangent here (the Democrats certainly changed ideologies when modern liberalism arose from the socialist and progressive movements of the late 19th Century, but that's not a swap). It's true that "conservative" and "liberal" mean entirely different things in different historical/national contexts (though, labels aside, a speech from Coolidge reads like it could have been delivered at a Tea Party rally), which is all the more reason why we should just restore the very few words needed to clarify what they currently mean in US political culture. VictorD7 (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
VictorD7, far from being "staunchly Keynesian", the Democrats rejected Keynsianism when Jimmy Carter became president and appointed Paul Volker chairman of the Fed. He remained chairman under Ronald Reagan. Nixon OTOH had said, "We are all Keynesians now." The "Socialists" in the U.K. had already accepted monetarism under the government of Labour prime minister Jim Callaghan. Your basic misunderstanding of these issues probably explains your conclusions that the Democrats are socialist (and the self-described Socialists in the U.K. are not). TFD (talk) 07:16, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, TFD, Carter only reluctantly nominated Volcker near the end of his presidency under heavy pressure from Wall Street, Republicans, and others due to the soaring double digit inflation wrecking the country, and only after he had earlier appointed the disastrous George Miller, who was one in a long line of Keynesian Fed chiefs (Carter then made the failed Miller Secretary of the Treasury!). Even then Carter actively undermined Volcker's attempts to reign in inflation with threats to strip his post of power, causing Volcker to temper his actions until Reagan came into office and (with Milton Friedman himself as an adviser) gave his agenda unqualified support. Nixon was one of the most liberal Republican presidents ever, instituting wage and price controls among other things, though he never actually said "We are all Keynesians now" (that misattribution is a terrible bastardization of something Friedman actually said). I'm not sure what your point is there. Democrats have been staunchly Keynesian before and since, while Republicans have favored alternatives like supply side economics. I almost mentioned widespread support for monetarism among European central bankers myself earlier to illustrate that Europe is to the right of America on certain issues (this is also true on tort law, immigration, current abortion law, and the public childhood education systems). I never said "Democrats are socialist", only that there's overlap in their base among liberals and socialists. I was just providing yet another piece of evidence that the Democrats lean left rather than right. You have no idea what you're talking about on any of these issues (including our Blair discussion above), and your failure to read for comprehension or grasp any nuanced point is rendering this discussion unproductive. Fortunately you don't have to understand politics or history, TFD. Just acknowledge the several sources I've provided here explicitly saying the Democrats are "center-left". VictorD7 (talk) 19:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Here is a pretty short rundown on a U.S. Political parties versus UK political parties. . Both dems and the GOP should be placed in the proper global context for political parties. Will provide more sources as I get the time, but I think we will find that the Dems are similar in position to most conservative parties in Europe and the GOP is further to the right.Casprings (talk)

Basically, being conservative or liberal within a party is not what defines the party and is looking at them through a political filter. I strongly support dropping any description of either party in this manner, using Wikipedia's voice of authority. Trying to define the Republican party as left, center left, center, center right or right, is a perception and opinion and should be only be written as a quote from a reputable political science expert, most notable in the field and highly cited.--Mark Miller (talk) 22:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I would agree with that. But if we are going to describe them, it should be in a global context.Casprings (talk) 00:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Mark and Casprings, you posted a blog by some guy named "Bump" that can charitably be described as moronic, especially since it it ignored the fact that Democratic operatives acting as free lance hired guns served on both sides of the recent British election (and more tellingly, because it was at Obama's direction, on the side of the leftists in the recent Israeli election, while a Republican operative helped Netanyahu), with David Axelrod himself helping Labour and Messina catching heat from American liberals for helping the Conservatives, and a short magazine piece that didn't really have a point except that current UK policy is more left wing on healthcare than the US (yes; so?). The books you linked to appear to have nothing to do with this discussion, which may be why you didn't quote anything from them.
You say we should cite expert opinion. Well I quoted from several such sources, including a political science textbook, scholarly works, and a column by the smartest and most respected political scientist in the country. It's not controversial to describe the Democrats as "center-left" or the Republicans as "center-right". That's widespread and accurate on the global spectrum. You can't honestly believe that there's no way to describe the parties' ideology in a fashion as neutral and well sourced as the rest of the article is. The United Kingdom, France, and most other country articles I've seen describe their major parties' ideologies. All we need to do here is restore the long standing, brief, non controversial labels. It's easy and harmless. VictorD7 (talk) 03:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
First, I posted a Time Article. Second, one has to understand it is a moving target and plenty of peer reviewed articles show that the Republican Party has moved to the right.

Both peer reviewed and show the latest in how the field views the Ideological position of the republican party. What you posted earlier were general despriptions from work that did not directly deal with the issue of the political positions of the parties. Casprings (talk) 12:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You posted a terrible blog piece from "the wire" that I easily debunked (it would show good faith for you to acknowledge that, btw) and a short Time article that didn't address the question at hand. Your two new articles don't address it either. Even if one accepts their premise that Republicans have moved to the right, what's your point? They can move to the right and still be center-right. Are you trying to argue that Republicans are no longer center-right in a global context? Your papers' abstracts didn't make that claim or even mention the term "center-right". Are you trying to imply that Republicans are now Nazis/fascists? Because no, libertarians wanting tax/spending cuts are quite different from Nazis/fascists. Both American parties are near the global spectrum center. It helps to think through what your point is before posting, Casprings. Also, for the record since many Wikipedia editors don't understand how scholarship works, having an article "peer reviewed" isn't an infallible process even in the hard sciences, and being "peer reviewed" means almost nothing on humanities topics (apart from it generally being good for writers to get a little feedback). Here's a recent example where a study designed to promote gay marriage was retracted for falsifying data after it was published in the highly touted peer reviewed journal Science, and the falsifications may not have been noticed if it hadn't attracted so much attention by being eagerly trumpeted throughout the media. In your case you posted articles mostly written by students who come across as extremely biased leftist activists and their work doesn't directly address this discussion anyway. By contrast I quoted from a political science textbook (which undergoes much more review than typical journal articles do) and established, prominent experts all stating that Democrats are "center-left" and Republicans are "center-right". Can you find a single real source even disputing that by directly saying these people are wrong, and that the Republicans aren't "center-right" on the global spectrum? VictorD7 (talk) 20:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd suggest to WP:DROPTHESTICK and leave the descriptions of the parties to their respective articles. Here we can just mention the two main parties by name and leave it at that. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:49, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Except the debate hasn't come to an end, since only one side has posted pertinent sources. Unless you're acknowledging that's the only side with pertinent sources to post. Why should the United States article contain absolutely no description of the political parties when the UK, France, Spain and most other country articles I've seen do, and when reliable sources have been produced attaching non-controversial labels to the US parties? VictorD7 (talk) 21:11, 22 May 2015 (UTC), but maybe "accept" as in...consensus. Look, this is contentious and always will be. I think Cwobeel is correct and we should not try to define the parties in this article. I think there is a rough consensus for that.--Mark Miller (talk) 01:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
There certainly isn't a consensus for that, with at least five editors disagreeing with you (counting the ones who reverted the attempt to alter or remove the long standing labels). Besides, consensus isn't dictated by people simply driving by and voting. It's based on argument weight, and you haven't presented a rationale for removing the material, much less a sound, compelling one. I assume the intent wasn't to spam a bunch of links that don't address the question here in hopes of ending the debate in manufactured dissonance. How about actually responding to the points made, acknowledging source evidence posted, and explaining why you don't think the labels belong (apart from vague, unsupported assertions that "this is contentious"), backing your argument up with evidence? VictorD7 (talk) 02:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
In a consensus discussion, the only thing that counts are the arguments and consensus of those involved. A closer doesn't count edit warring which got us to the discussion to begin with. If you are finished accusing me of drive by voting I might remind you I am a major contributor to this article and helped raise it to GA. If you are having problems with consensus and wish to filibuster, this thread may need admin closing.--Mark Miller (talk) 02:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Spare me the threats. I wasn't even referring to you with that comment, but I will note that you dodged my request to provide an actual argument. Contrary to your false "filibuster" accusation, I'm practically begging you to speak (substantively). There clearly is no consensus yet and I don't think the discussion has reached an end. Even if it does peter out I and others would have the option of initiating an RFC over it to bring in the broader community. BTW, I spent far more hours elevating this article back to good status over the past couple of years than you did, not that such posturing has anything at all to do with this particular discussion. VictorD7 (talk) 02:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
That wasn't a threat. That's what I recommend for this section; administrative closing. You are being highly aggressive and an bit disruptive however, if there are other arguments then the discussion will continue, but at this point you do seem to be the lone hold out with the least persuasive argument. At this point, the rough consensus is not for defining the parties. I don't care if you the major contributor. We have identified those parties that have major interested editors with time and input in both the article and discussion. it isn't a contest, but a defense against your continued personal attacks.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:21, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Progressiveness of taxes and fiscal policy[edit]

2. I agree with VictorD7's compromise proposal on taxes being somewhat/generally/most/least progressive above. We shouldn't be getting hung up on adjectives for numerical facts which can be described with quantitative rankings.

Well the word is what is important. As Ellen points out, the US tax system is somewhat progressive with many regressive aspects (sales tax, for example).Casprings (talk) 13:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
As currently worded it shows plenty of POV on something that is properly factually wrong and is, at the very least, highly disputed.Casprings (talk) 13:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, the current section accurately describes the taxation issue, including the regressive aspects (like sales/consumption taxes) and overall progressivity, and is well sourced by outfits from across the political spectrum. The facts aren't in dispute. See also [38]. VictorD7 (talk) 19:57, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Private prisons[edit]

3. Is the [39] additional reference for "The privatization of prisons and prison services which began in the 1980s" does not seem to be the subject of an actual controversy here on the talk page. Is it actually controversial? I don't think "has been a subject of debate" is appropriate, but that hasn't been part of the edit warring. Can we say something quantitative about the prison population instead?

We can say that privatization of prisons is controversial (as per Incarceration in the United States#Privatization)
Do we need to go into the prisoner population size? Comparatively U.S. prisons are more humane than other nations (while not as nice as say Nordic prisons). Perhaps a link to Incarceration in the United States article is sufficient.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 03:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Not occurring to most human rights groups. For example: Casprings (talk) 13:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The page you linked to doesn't appear to contain international comparisons so it doesn't dispute what RightCowlLeftCoast said. That's leaving aside the fact that HRW is a mostly George Soros funded, left wing propaganda outfit with an anti-American bent.
Back to the actual topic here, Ellen is right to observe that the source in question hasn't been the subject of controversy here. It's simply there to illustrate one side of the debate and no legitimate rationale was presented by the editor attempting to single it out for removal. It should remain if the rest of the segment does. VictorD7 (talk) 20:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Is it notable enough for mention here is there is little to no context? The subject itself is controversial, but is it notable enough for mention in this article?--Mark Miller (talk) 01:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I would delete the entire sentence, but if it remains there's no reason to start deleting sources covering one side's opinion on a complex, controversial issue while leaving all the other side's. VictorD7 (talk) 02:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I think the key thing you have to mention is that the U.S. Has the largest per capital population and actual number of prisoners in the World. I think that is the unique and important fact here.Casprings (talk) 02:39, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
A function of the US being the third most populous country in the world, and one with the combination of extremely effective law enforcement and the somewhat higher crime rate that often comes with having a freer society (as opposed to Saudi Arabia, totalitarian China, or even states like Singapore that are mostly libertarian but deter crime by punishing it very harshly), particularly one with massive immigration (legal and illegal) from third world sources. Of course that is mentioned in the article. Does that mean you'd support deleting the "privatization" sentence? VictorD7 (talk) 02:51, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
What is the point of the private prison statement in the section and what balance does it provide. I am unclear of that.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:26, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Living space[edit]

4. I don't think we need to say "According to a 2011 report by The Heritage Foundation" before "Americans on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union residents" because I don't think the underlying statistic is in dispute, so it's fine to say it in Wikipedia's voice. I would prefer that we find a more centrist source to cite, but I don't feel strongly enough about that to go looking for one. I do wonder whether we should be reporting highly skewed mean living space as "average," instead of the median. Therefore I propose to replace the mean with the median living space size. Does anyone have a source for that? EllenCT (talk) 01:36, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Not RS for that claim in my opinion. As a conservative think-tank I don't know why they would be cited for this fact.--Mark Miller (talk) 01:39, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
But you have no problem with EPI (a liberal think tank) or countless other leftist sources used throughout the article? Unlike the EPI based chart/sentence, which is based on EPI's unverifiable (in fact disputed) original calculations and yet shoves a striking visual image on alleged "productivity" into readers' faces, Heritage simply relays publicly available government information. The source is definitely RS and the facts aren't in dispute. As to Ellen's question, I'm fine with adding median stats if one can find them (I don't recall off the top of my head if I've seen them or not), but mean is a legitimate stat too, and in this case the gap is so large that it wouldn't fundamentally alter the international comparison anyway. Even on income using median instead of mean doesn't radically alter international rankings. VictorD7 (talk) 02:33, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Income inequality trends[edit]

5. This was discussed and revised at great length, and I thought I addressed all of the objections; if any objections remain, please state them so we can work out a compromise: "According to Pavlina Tcherneva at Bard College's Levy Economics Institute, the lack of income increases commensurate with productivity, the gender pay gap, and the erosion of unemployment safety net welfare at living wages have led to the increases in income inequality.[1][2][3]"


  1. ^ Tcherneva, Pavlina R. (April 2015). "When a rising tide sinks most boats: trends in US income inequality" (PDF). Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Casselman, Ben (September 22, 2014). "The American Middle Class Hasn’t Gotten A Raise In 15 Years". FiveThirtyEightEconomics. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Parlapiano, Alicia; Gebeloff, Robert; Carter, Shan (January 26, 2013). "The Shrinking American Middle Class". The Upshot (New York Times). Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
I have said this before and I will say it again. That section needs to be a summary per WP:SUMMARY of Income in the United States, Poverty in the United States, Affluence in the United States, and Income inequality in the United States, and not a section created from scratch. I will strongly oppose any new litigation about what to include, what to exclude, and how it needs to be framed, of any material that is not a good faith attempt to summarize these articles here. The leads of these articles may be a good starting point, as leads are supposed to be an abstract of these articles. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:48, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Why not United States counties by per capita income which is also a linked "further information" header? In practice at least portions of virtually all Wikipedia articles are written from scratch, in part because all of these articles are in constant flux. Material is sometimes taken from subarticles and added to pages like this, and vice versa, but other times fresh material is added. As for doing nothing but summarizing other articles here, low traffic articles are often lower quality (sometimes extremely messed up) and the question of how to summarize four or five subarticles covering different topics into one, different section in a way that's appropriate for this article is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Also, if editors want to improve encyclopedic coverage, should they start editing from scratch at the linked subarticles, the subarticles linked to on those pages, or the ones linked to from there, etc..? Should editors just let problems sit on very high traffic articles while all this is taking place? If you feel the section doesn't properly summarize the linked "further information" articles, and this really bothers you, it may be a more efficient solution to simply change or delete those header links. I'm not sure we need five for Income anyway. There likely would have been far more resistance to them being added at the time if editors had thought they would be rigidly dictating the sections' permissible shapes. VictorD7 (talk) 18:23, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Can you tell whether Tcherneva thinks that increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit forms a legitimate unemployment safety net? At first glance, it might not, because it doesn't apply to the unemployed, but in reality is the incentive and consumer spending demand sufficient for growth? EllenCT (talk) 01:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Everything in this section needs to be ironed out there is a huge ugly template and a tag in the section. That needs to go away and to do that a consensus here is important. The sentence makes no sense to me.--Mark Miller (talk) 01:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Influence of the wealthy / RFC outcome[edit]

6. This is the one which pisses me off the most, because it was an attempt to blatantly disregard the outcome of this closed RFC:

RFC-approved passage Post-RFC text inserted without discussion
Growing income inequality and wealth concentration have resulted in affluent individuals, powerful business interests and other economic elites gaining increased influence over public policy.[1][2][3] The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate.[1][2][3][disputed ][4]


  1. ^ a b Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page (2014). "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens". Perspectives on Politics 12 (3): 564–581. doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595. 
  2. ^ a b Larry Bartels (2009). "Economic Inequality and Political Representation". The Unsustainable American State. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.003.0007. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas J. Hayes (2012). "Responsiveness in an Era of Inequality: The Case of the U.S. Senate". Political Research Quarterly 66 (3): 585–599. doi:10.1177/1065912912459567. 
  4. ^ Winship, Scott (Spring 2013). "Overstating the Costs of Inequality" (PDF). National Affairs (15). Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
    "Income Inequality in America: Fact and Fiction" (PDF). Manhattan Institute. May 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
On 6, the RFC (which was barely participated in and featured significant opposition and qualified support) close only said "The consensus is to include both in some form." The closer went out of his way to word it that way and it wasn't a rubber stamp of approval for your specific text. There should have been more discussion of the precise form of inclusion before it was added. In my opinion at this summary detail level the best way to neutrally include your proposed material is with the statement acknowledging a broad debate on the topic of equality, backed up by sources illustrating the views on each side. Since neutrality is policy I suppose the alternative would be to allow your longer, more detailed exposition and others laying out alternative points of view, though that would bloat the article even more and skew it with undue emphasis on selected topics. VictorD7 (talk) 21:36, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
There were no other proposals made during the RFC period, and your subsequent proposal violates WP:WEASEL. EllenCT (talk) 01:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
My "proposal" was made during the RFC discussion, and may have influenced the closer to go out of his way to use the language "included in some form" rather than just "included". The debate over the causes, extent, and impact of inequality is much broader than a couple of cutting edge research papers on very niche subtopics. I strongly reject the assertion that the current language is weasel. It's accurate, neutral, and appropriately broad for this detail level. We can't just censor out the fact that many reject the premises and opinions of the leftists bemoaning "inequality" as if it's the biggest problem we face, and as if it's the purpose of the government to guarantee equality of result. VictorD7 (talk) 03:05, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
In general that's also the problem with 8, 7, 5, and adding more specifics on 3: too much niche detail for this summary country article. All of these also represent POVs on controversial issues. They'd be better suited for more topically focused articles where there would be more room for laying out details and for neutrally covering alternative views as well. Not including them here would also let us avoid the logical question, "Well why not cover issues x, y, and z too?" Different editors have different pet interests they'd like to include if it became a free for all. VictorD7 (talk) 21:36, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I will respond to this at 7 and 8 but ask that you address points that might not have been on 3 and 5. EllenCT (talk) 01:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Support the RFC version. The degree of income inequality in the US is unique and its effects should be covered. In my opinion, this as to little WP:WEIGHT.

Thank you. Please sign your statements with four tildes here on the talk page. EllenCT (talk) 01:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Inequality already has about six full lines of text in the Income section alone, and receives by far more coverage than any other topic there. Just how much weight do you feel it should have? VictorD7 (talk) 03:05, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Poverty trends[edit]

7. I am not sure this passage was discussed on the talk page before being inserted, but I certainly support its inclusion: "Academics claim that since the 1980s, new and extreme forms of poverty have emerged in the U.S. as a result of neoliberal policies and globalization.[1][2]"


This kind of wording can be problematic, because it is possible to cherry-pick academic sources to make such a sweeping statement (or WP:WEASEL). You can collect several sources by Chicago School right-wing academics or leftist academics to make contradicting "Academics claim..." statements. --Pudeo' 00:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Correct. It's usually problematic to get into selective correlations and assertions about causality in this article, especially if it's potentially controversial, as this certainly is. There may be a place for neutrally laying out various significant views on a controversial issue, but this isn't the right article for such opinions, and one view on a disputed issue should never be cherry-picked for unchallenged presentation. VictorD7 (talk) 18:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree because "new and extreme forms of poverty" emerge when the median real income falls. It is sufficient to describe the trends in the underlying statistics than to harp on their resulting misery or gloat at their blessings. Instead, we should tout our best proposals for further improvement. EllenCT (talk) 01:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Wage trends by education level[edit]

8. This was extensively discussed without actual objections to the text as was included, as far as I can tell, just unsupported claims that it is somehow POV pushing, which I think is absurd because it's such a plain non-political and hugely economically significant fact: "From 1990 to 2013, workers with high school education or less have lost more wages than those with college degrees have gained.[1]"

This is in line with the wealth inequality argument, except that the statement "workers with high school education or less have lost more wages than those with college degrees have gained" actually seems nonsensical to me. The Times article implies that the answer is a higher minimum wage and unionization. But a higher minimum wage will only work if it does actually increase worker productivity, when the arguments tend to center on workers not being able to lead the good life. What's likely to happen is that stores will close (already lost my favorite McDonald's) or the $9/hr people will be replaced by $15/hr people. The eventually corrupting power of unionization is well-known (see Levinson's _The Box_, which makes containerization, and thus globalization, seem worthy if only because it undercut the pilfering, featherbedding Longshoreman's Union). And there isn't any comment on the havoc that the lousy school systems have wrought (ever see a native-born American worker with a worse grasp of English than someone for whom English is a second language, the number of years of schooling being equivalent?).
And where are the articles on this issue from the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, etc.?
But I digress. Your point of view pushing is demonstrable. You labeled me as "uninvolved with this article" when my name is on the diff referenced by the closing statement of the RfC you were recently purporting to be implementing. In other words, I hope that, on the verge of the article being reopened, you will stay your hand at making further changes. We should set up a section on wealth inequality, assuming that it's not thought too contentious to include, where the actual text of what is to be included in the article will be cobbled together, voted on, and then placed by someone less passionate on the issue, referenced easily by a link in the form of talk page name-section name, and not have vague claims of consensus stand in for that. Dhtwiki (talk) 00:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Please forgive me if I mischaracterized your involvement. How would you phrase the essential statistic? Do you think the revenue implications are more or less as important as the underlying fact? EllenCT (talk) 01:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Irwin, Neil (April 21, 2015). "Why American Workers Without Much Education Are Being Hammered". The Upshot (New York Times). Retrieved 25 April 2015.