Comments about ‘Letters: America's wealth’

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Published: Wednesday, July 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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high school fan
Huntington, UT

Government policies prevent the middle class from accumulating any wealth. It appears the goal is to have the middle class become dependent just as the poor are on the government. The wealthy have lasted so far just because they have enough to survive the governments efforts to get all that they have through efforts of paying their fair share. The powers to be want it all, not just the fair share.

Sandy, UT

"This did not happen by accident." Roland apparently knows why it happened, but he's going to make it his own little secret. Maybe one day, if we're really nice, he'll tell us. Until then, we'll keep him amused as we quibble amongst ourselves. C'mon, Roland, why would you give us just a hslf-letter?

Hayden, ID

Roland, Contrary to your assertions it not just the middle class seeing their prosperity evaporate. (CNNMoney) -- The number of millionaires is on the decline in the United States, even as the number of wealthy individuals has increased worldwide.
Millionaire households in the United States decreased by 129,000 in 2011, according to a new study from the Boston Consulting Group. The report defines these households as having over $1 million in cash, stock and other assets, excluding property, businesses and luxury goods.
Singapore has the highest proportion of millionaires in the world; 17% of all households in the Asian city-state have wealth of over $1 million. By comparison, 4.3% of households in the United States had wealth of over $1 million, which ranks it 7th in the world.
The United States also lagged when it came to the proportion of "ultra-high-net-worth" households, defined by the Boston Consulting Group as those with more than $100 million in wealth.
The Democrats war on the "rich" is taking the middle class with it!

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The wealthiest group of Americans today are those 55 and older. But for some reason this group will have their healthcare and SS checks subsidized by young working people with no wealth and children to support to boot.
But if you really want to talk about wealthy then let's discuss retired government employees. How much money would a person have to pay at age 55 for an annuity that pays them well over 50 grand a year in retirement benefits? Since life expectancy is approx 80 years then the present value of that annuity would be at least a million bucks. So who are the new millionaires in America? Retired Government workers.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

THE EXPERIENCE OF MANKIND has shown that the people of communities and nations among whom wealth is the most equally distributed, enjoy the largest degree of liberty, are the least exposed to tyranny and oppression and suffer the least...

ONE OF THE GREAT EVILS with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended…are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations. By its seductive influence ... It threatens to give shape to the legislation, both State, and National, of the entire country.

If this evil should not be checked, and measures not taken to prevent the continued enormous growth of riches among the class already rich, and the painful increase of destitution and want among the poor, the nation is likely to be overtaken by disaster; for, according to history, such a tendency among nations once powerful was the sure precursor of ruin."

~LDS 1st Presidency

And of course ---
The warning throughout the ENTIRE Book of Mormon [i.e., the Gadianton Robbers]

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . all the wealth that used to go to the middle class now goes the very richest people in our society. This did not happen by accident."

No, it didn't. But, what liberal commenters invariably fail to mention is that those rich people that are being further enriched at the expense of the middle class are nearly all government bureaucrats and their affiliated buddies in government services and government contracting.

The percentage of Americans who meet the definition of super-rich is negligible, as it always has been. But those in the next 10% has ballooned rather dramatically.

The third most-common occupation in that category? Government worker.

And, we know that those in the 2 categories above them -- services [including medical] and production/manufacturing -- obtain a goodly share of their income from government.

Meaning us.

So, it's odd that big-government liberals so fond of bashing "the rich," when it's clear that big-government liberals ARE "the rich."

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Orem, UT

"The wealthy have lasted so far just because they have enough to survive the governments efforts to get all that they have through efforts of paying their fair share."

Actually, it's the opposite. The wealthy have lasted so far because they own so much of the government!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Folks, isn't it obvious what Roland is talking about? Come on now, stop acting like you don't understand.

Roland is highlighting the complete and utter failure of Supply-Side Economics (Reaganomics). This "trickle down" effect? It's just a bad joke. Then again, what can you expect from an actor and not an economics expert? It's merely stealing from the poor and middle-class to give to the rich.

For decades now, we've seen this attitude of deregulation and tax breaks for the rich. What has happened? Job creation has been squashed, jobs have been shipped overseas, and wealth has been redistributed to the top.

I had hoped that Obama would stop this train wreck but has wilted to tea party pressure.

Is there anyone left to fight for the American middle-class? Who will fight for America? Or are we doomed to continue on this path towards 3rd world country status?

I'm sorry folks, but the party is over. Supply-Side Economics have failed. The rising tide is NOT lifting all of our boats. The wealth isn't trickling down.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Listing all the reasons would take an entire other letter, but here are a few: The refusal to enforce our labor laws which led to the destruction of unions. The refusal to enforce the Sherman anti-trust act which allowed Corporate America to eviscerate small local businesses. Shipping American jobs to third-world countries. Allowing high levels of immigration, both legal and illegal. Deregulation of the financial system which led to the financialization of everything in our society. The list could go on and on.

There is no developed country on the face of the earth in which such a large share of the national wealth goes to such a tiny minority of the people. We are even much more unequal than most third world countries.

Red State pride is apparently incensed that a working person could get a $50,000 annual pension, yet has absolutely no problem with the money-changers of Wall St. who make $50,000 an hour, and no, that's not an exaggeration. That's where the fundamental problem lies, the people at the very top are syphoning so much money out of the system, that there is nothing left for workers.

Tooele, UT

Re: "This "trickle down" effect? It's just a bad joke."

Only because an out-of-control Big Government is preventing the resources from trickling down.

Invest [by reducing taxes, not taking ever more away from us and funneling it into that large government toilet] just 25% of what is criminally wasted on bloated, unaccountable, counterproductive government, at all levels, and the American economy would be on fire!

That trickle would be a Niagara!

Hayden, ID

@ LDS Liberal. Trickle down prosperity is far better than trickle up poverty. Try Cuba where the only "rich" people are government dictators. Redistribution is killing America economically, morally and socially. Don't believe it, just step out of line and the IRS will contact you post haste!

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Greed from the wealthy.
Take a look at the Koch brothers. Their $billion$ doubled under Obama's first four years, but somehow that wasn't enough so they put hundred of millions of dollars into creating the tea party & defeating Obama.
The middle class used to have money then in the 80s the rules were changed for banks and wall street giving the wealthy all the breaks.
The US may recover but only after it gets worse.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Nice letter, Roland.

high school fan: What country did you say you lived in? It certainly isn't the U.S.

Mman: Way to cherry pick one statistic out of a million. Study after study reports that wealth is steadily accumulating at the top and the divide between rich and poor is widening (and has been since Reagan's implementation of supply-side and trickle-down economics). Perhaps there are fewer millionaires because so much wealth is going to the billionaires. But as a group, millionaires have done quite well, thank you.

Ford DeTreese
Provo, UT


Neither trickle-down nor trickle-up economics works well. The only realistic solution to our economic inequality is for businesses to share more of the profit and the capital with those who actually produce and sell the products and create the wealth. Sharing ownership with the workers would address the cause of the problem. Redistribution through taxation doesn't work well because the wealthy can always find (or buy) new loopholes in the tax code, and, anyway, it just makes Republicans mad.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Q: So what happened to all that wealth?

A: Ronald Reagan.

Orem, UT

If the rich aren't dependent upon the government then why do they spend so much money bribing errr lobbying?

Nibley, Ut

Simple. More and more people are shifting towards government welfare and less towards creating their own wealth. After all, creating your own wealth takes time, discipline and a lot of effort. That is just not very appealing to a lot of people these days. In today's instant gratification world, if they can't have a million dollars by 5PM delivered to their home, they arent interested. No one will get rich living off welfare. Blaming others for your lack of wealth is reckless at best. Quite frankly, the lack of accountability is one of the primary problems in this country. It is always someone elses fault. 86% of millionaires in the US are self-made. So, it can happen, most people are just too lazy.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Maverick and Sentinel,
I know Reagan is your boogy-man, but he didn't invent Capitalism.

Capitalism didn't start with Reagan, and it isn't the problem today. Capitalism and the liberty to engage in it... is the engine that made America prosperous in the 20th century. If you're really looking for what went wrong... might you not look at Progressive Agenda? I mean that's what came along about the time our trajectory started to change.

I don't have proof, but like when I'm debugging software problems... It sometimes helps to look at what changed about the time the bad behavior started happening. I'm just sayin...

LDS Liberal

I agree that, "communities and nations among whom wealth is the most equally distributed, enjoy the largest degree of liberty".

Equal distribution is ideal. And ours is WAY out of wack today. But the fix is NOT Government Redistribution of Wealth.

I think LDS leaders would agree with me on that. Google "Ezra Taft Benson speech on Socialism" (If you think LDS leaders are OK with Socialism, and government redistribution of wealth).

They would use voluntary programs like fast_offerings, charity, etc, not Government force.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is not about socialism or about government redistribution of wealth. President Eisenhower once gave a speech in which he stated that the greatness of American capitalism relied on the fact that an average worker could buy a nice house, and a nice car, and send his kids to college on his income alone. That situation existed because the business elite in this country realized that it was in their own long term interest for their workers to be prosperous.

Our current business elite thinks they should get it all for themselves, and if their workers end up in penury that is no concern of theirs. We simply can't have a stable society in which a large number of workers are unable to make a decent living.

President Eisenhower also stated that the capitalist countries that were ripe for communist takeover were those in which a tiny fraction of the country controlled all the wealth and the workers did not share in the prosperity. That describes the U.S. today.

Salt Lake City, UT

@high school fan
"Government policies prevent the middle class from accumulating any wealth."

You expect me to believe that CEO pay is many times higher than that of basic worker pay in this nation only... because of the gov't? How does that work?

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