Comments about ‘Gap widens between U.S. rich, poor as top 1 percent controls 25 percent of wealth’

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Published: Tuesday, Sept. 27 2011 9:36 a.m. MDT

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abinadi
Magna, UT

Near as I can tell, the kids aren't even planning on buying a truck. they're just planning on living with their parents and hanging out with their friends all day. And, don't blame it on the teachers either folks. The teachers in Westlake are just as dedicated as those in Wasatch, but the kids are vastly different. Sorry, but I am absolutely disgusted with the whole situation and where it is headed. Very soon we will be a 3rd world country!

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

voice of reason: "In reality, if you destroy the rich, you literally destroy the economy. Rare Paris Hilton freeloader exceptions notwithstanding, the rich are generally rich because they have grown the economy and created jobs...that is the only, repeat only, way an economy can grow."

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I beg to differ.

The way to make the economy grow is to have more consumers who want and can afford to buy products.

The rich may loan the money to start a new company, but if there are no customers (beside the rich) to buy the product, that company will fold - the rich loses, the company loses, the employees lose. It starts a cycle.

Right now the rich are not even willing to invest in new companies.

floridian
navarre, fl

As an outsider - I'm in Florida - I find it very interesting to read these comments. My wife and I tried living in Utah for a couple of years a while ago, but for several reasons had to move back to where we are now. As we looked at houses to buy we saw 5, 6, 7 bedroom homes, with every kid having his own room, furniture, TV, computer, and other goodies. While there I had to chuckle every time I saw another house being built higher up the mountain in all parts of the Wasatch - "look at me, I'm above you". While there the best selling SUV was the Cadillac Escalade - "look what I'm driving". And these were young families, with little children, just starting out in life and careers. And to afford the extravagance both the Mom and Dad had jobs. Many of today's rich lived modestly, saved, invested, as they planned for and then made their future. Don't demand they be taxed; follow their example!

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Christy | 11:26 p.m" it's funny that you ask what Paris Hilton did to "earn" her wealth. (I am not a fan, but at least recognize reality.)

Paris Hilton earned her money through her modeling career, She has appeared in at lest 10 movies, had 3 TV shows, and numerous cameo's on other shows, she has recorded a music album, and has written 2 books.

Apparently even Paris Hilton works for the money that she has.

To "UtahBlueDevil | 7:46 a.m." your example proves the point that many (not all) of the poor are not willing to work as hard as the wealthy. If the Virginia Coal miner doesn't earn enough to send his kids to college, why didn't that miner move away, get a loan and start a business, or send his kids to college using educational loans? You make the poor look like ambitionless people who are trapped and are forced into manual labor.

Fish4Fun
CLEARFIELD, UT

Two Comments: 1) in the graph that shows the distribution of wealth in 3 color coded bars, the last bar is titled "ideal distribution". Would someone explain to me why the ideal requires that 30 percent of the population must remain poor. This is utter nonsense

2) Which political party survives only on the backs of the poor, and in their "ideal" world still must have 30 percent poor. Therefore, there shall never be a redistribution of wealth, only the rhetoric.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Typical Republican

The answer to the increasing middle class - rich gap is to get rid of the progressive income tax and death tax, and institute a flat tax.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

Why is that when a discussion about changing a failed system that was instituted by President Reagen 30 years ago that lowered the taxes on the rich with the promise that they would create jobs and that the economic benefit would be shared by all is an attack on the rich. Trickle down economics was suppose to free up capital for the rich (job creators) so that they could create more better paying jobs, and everyone would benefit. An examination of the results very clearly shows that those at the top have benefited and are currently benefiting significantly, those at the bottom have lost significantly and are currently losing significantly, and those in the middle are trying not to get pushed to the bottom. This is not debatable,and saying it is not class warfare. Reagonomics has failed the American people it is time to rethink our economic structure. History has shown that creating a system where the majority of the money and resources placed in the hands a very few will eventually lead to civil unrest and ultimately a revolution. Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

Truthseeker - The problem with your study is that it is based on a faulty premise that Presidents matter to the economy the most. In reality, it is the Congress that has a far greater and more immediate impact on the economy than the White House for a number of reasons, most notably because they hold the purse strings. The only time a President really gets what they want budget-wise is when their party holds the Congress, and even then it's often an exercise in compromise. And the truth is, neither the President nor the Congress have nearly the effect on the economy that many think they do.

This truth remains: Poor incomes have grown much faster under GOP Congresses than under Democrat Congresses, when they almost haven't grown at all. But honestly, I don't credit the GOP or blame the Democrats all that much in either case.

Lane Myer - You're making the demand-side-only argument common on the left, which ignores the fundamental reality that demand can't happen until people have jobs, and jobs can't happen until companies (mostly rich people, sorry) hire them. The key is a mixture of BOTH supply-side and demand-side policy.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Redshirt,
You might expand your education beyond "People Magazine".
Guess you must have never heard of the Hilton family and their massive wealth (Conrad Hilton, Hilton Hotels, etc).
She's kind of like Mitt Romney, and the other trust fund kids.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

There is nothing wrong with the gap. We should expect it. Improvements in technology make it possible for one person to make a contribution that is worth the life time work of 100 people or more. For example, a software engineer can write a program in a few hours that replaces 10 data entry people. An astute businessman can organize a team of engineers that will create devices that replace thousands of workers.
What is wrong is that while some move forward, others fall through the cracks and are left in a state where they struggle to make ends meet.
Instead of a system of wealth re-distribution we need a system that helps the people who are falling through the cracks achieve their potential. They need help identifying their talents, figuring out which of them are useful in the economy, and then developing those talents.

Wastintime
Los Angeles, CA

re:RedShirt
Have you ever read Paris Hilton's bio? She got kicked out of high school and even did a stint in Provo Canyon School for troubled youth. Oh, but she did later get her GED.
Yeah, she is a hard-working gal who has clawed her way to the top and her privileged upbringing had nothing to do with it.

Bill Gates, though he didn't graduate from college, grew up in a upper middle class family and attended an exclusive preparatory school. The prep school was where he first became involved with computers, which weren't available at that time (in the late 60's) to average American school children. I'm not even sure if computers were available to the average college student back then. Yes, what Gates has achieved is amazing, yet luck played a significant role--he was at the right place at the right time, opportunites available to only a handful of people. And Gates himself recognizes this fact which is why he and his father believe in estate tax and increasing taxes on upper levels of income.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "no fit in SG | 10:40 a.m." and "Wastintime | 12:31 p.m. " you both missed the point. The fact is that even Paris Hilton has had to work to earn money.

"no fit in SG" you only reinforce the fact that even the wealthy have to work to maintain their wealth. Look at Mitt Romney. He could have lived off of any inheritance given to him, but instead, he worked. If you read about how Romney earned his millions, he did it through is own work, not a trust fund.

"Wastintime" it doesn't matter what a person's educational background is, before you mentioned it, that wasn't even an issue.

If Gates, Soros, and Buffett really believe that they should be giving more of their income to the government, why are they not doing so? There is an office in the Treasury Department that is able to take whatever amount they feel is appropriate. You have to ask yourself this: If they believe that the government allows them to keep too much of their wealth, why are they not giving what they feel is excessive to the government?

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Work?
Hmmmmm
Pass the time and try to "look productive"?
Yes.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

Redshirt
What type of logic is that? They acknowledge they should pay more taxes. It doesn't follow they will do it of their own accord.

There are many ways to become rich, sometimes requires to take risks, other is just to belong to the right family, or just be in the right place at the right time.

The rich enjoys wealth and hopefully a great quality of life in all aspects, and that is wonderful for them. I hope they keep enjoying that status.

This is not class warfare, it is simply you cannot get benefits from society without paying for them. The American rich benefits most from the infrastructure that is generated with the taxes of the majority of Americans.

They are able to control and manage their wealth because of the education and civility of those who have less than they do.

I don't care if the rich enjoys life, good for them. I do care however, if a child is starving and lacks the basic necessities of life because our political representatives are slaves to economic interest.

How can you preach about Christ and neglect your brothers in need.

VST
Bountiful, UT

I will repeat. Redistribution of wealth via government direction or mandate or taxation is a basic tenant of socialism, pure and simple. If someone advocates redistribution of wealth from the rich for the benefit of the less fortunate, they are a socialist; not a capitalist.

The United States is a capitalist economy; not a socialist economy. As very evident in Europe with their current economic turmoil, they are showing vividly that the European version of socialism does not work. Greece is poised to become the first example of how socialistic government policies are not the answer.

We are the United States; not Europe. We should NOT become like them economically by embracing any their socialistic economic policies including income redistribution via taxation.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Baccus0902 | 3:32 p.m." let me explain it more clearly. If the wealthy that are going around saying that they should pay more in taxes (they don't send enough money to the government) are not voluntarily sending more money into the government, why should we listen to them?

It is like the homeless guy with the sign "will work for food". The truth is he doesn't want to work, he just wants the money.

How do we know that the wealthy won't just get other wealthy people taxed while their income remains untouched?

You are approaching the correct question.

Who should be the first one concerned with the well being of the starving child? Should it be their parents, or the government. Liberals would have us believe that it is the Government.

How can you preach about Christ, and leave the care of the needy to the government? Doesn't the Gospel of Christ also teach that each of us as individuals need to take care of the poor and needy first? What does a faceless politician in Washington know about the need of the person who lives 2 houses down from me?

est061985
SOUTH JORDAN, UT

Reading all these comments makes me fear for the future of this great country. I cannot believe the blatant class-warfare on display here, and i hope it does not represent the majority. I am currently working 2 jobs while finishing up a "relevant" degree in college. I am not doing this so that someday, when i am able to make good money, half of the "fruits of my labors" will then be redistributed to those who made poor choices in life- or decided not to take the necessary risks in order to be financially secure.

Also

How does increasing the marginal tax rate on the wealthy strengthen the middle class?

And why do people insist on comparing the disparity today to the disparity in the days of kings and peasants? Peasants could not work themselves out of poverty, today we can. If you were not born into royalty, you had zero chance of ever being "rich". Today, we have examples all around us of individuals born to humble circumstances, that become extremely successful. Other than "A knights Tale" you will not hear stories like that from early history.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

est, you haven't entered the corporate work place yet. Just wait and see how poeple that went to big ten schools get fast tracked even when thier ideas are terrible and thier plans fail. Hence the epidemic of CEO that get bonuses even when profits fall and stocks plunge.

The most important factor of a persons future success in America is still the income level of thier parents.

- Booth Newspapers review of tests scores and family income

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: Truthseeker

Education already exista for those desire it and value it.

Taxing the rich more does not effect this.

Please try again

Also, Companies and CEOs can do a lot things, but they on;y have a finite amount of money to work with, they MUST maintain a healthy bottom line and keep the company financially healthy and growing,

or the company goes bottom up, and helps no one,

they use use the company money wisely,

over spending puts the company in jeopardy,

Things are not simple as you want to make them.

'Tax the rich', is marxist/ socialist/ leftest/ liberal rhetoric,

built on unbased fears,

that is spoken without thinking things through.

that is spoken like child who wants his,

but does not consider others, or the implications (of getting what he wants) for the rest of the world.

Using the force of government is simply the wrong way to fix things.

Destruction or confistication of another freedoms, property, and rights, is not the answer.

If the left truly want to change things, they should be changing hearts, teaching morals and principles,

not reaching thier fingers into anothers wallet.

Thomas Alvord
PROVO, UT

We need to end the federal reserve and end debt spending. This causes printing of more fiat money and mega inflation. Inflation over the past 25 years has been 106%. With inflation the rich prosper and the poor get poorer.

We need to move away from government welfare and have more community charity, where individuals serve and care for one another in ways that require more than the govt. redistributing wealth.

If there is anything I see from this article it is that government welfare doesn't work. It has failed. The solution is to do something else, not up the redistribution of wealth.

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