Comments about ‘Income inequality in America: How do we fix it, should we try, and what is government's role?’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 2 2014 7:00 a.m. MST

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freedomingood
provo, Utah

Capitalism as we know it has NOTHING to do with "doing for yourself."

Name a person that is considered wealthy in our capitalism that did it with the labor of his own hands. There are very few. The majority of those that are rich in our country are rich because they have the power to hire smart and productive people for low wages so they can enjoy the difference in their productivity and the least amount they can pay them.

This started when kings declared they owned everything and you could only keep a few of the apples you collected and the king got the rest. I'm sure the Lord loves this idea right? Make it all for everyone and one guy declares it is all his. Our fiat currency system is loved by these self made "kings" because it gives them power, not because it's fair.

The only reason these people can hire people smarter than them is because our economy is based on fiat monetary power, not on productivity. Honestly, when was the last time you said to yourself, "my boss is the smartest, hardest working person I've ever known."?

Shaun
Sandy, UT

How achieve income inequality.

First value yourself and your time, period. If you can speak English coherently, be on time, be helpful, and be polite, you are worth more than minimum wage.

Second, do not be afraid to ask for more money or find a new job that pays better. I read Larry H. Miller's autobiography and I was surprised how many times he quit a job early in his life because a boss promised if he work hard he would get a raise or promotion. They didn't keep their promises so he quit and moved on.

Third, work towards something you are passionate about. Passion causes you to work hard and working hard allows your dreams to come true.

JP71
Ogden, UT

@freedomingood

I am a wealthy man who did it with my own hands. I was raised in a low income area and made average grades in school. I joined the military to pay for college which I did at night and I finished my last class while deployed in Iraq. I borrowed money from credit cards to start my own business. I worked a full time job and ran my business at the same time. I am now selling my business for millions. I did this, no one else. The benefits of life are for those who work hard and take them.

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

The common phrase "to be self-reliant" is just fancy sophistry from the top to blame the the ever-growing masses forced into poverty, as they merely subsist (if they even do that), while even fewer live in ever-more unfathomable opulence. That is the failure of capitalism, as freedomingood so well described the mechanics behind it. Capitalism, by this measure, has proven to be as big a failure as Communism did.

Demosthenes
Rexburg, ID

Why should a concept like "income equality" be a goal? It's a philosophical fantasy. It's not achievable without complete totalitarianism. Even then, it would never really happen because power, connections, and influence are never equal.

If the goal is to increase prosperity, America has been the best example ever in history. Wealth hasn't just increased for those at the top, but for those at the bottom as well, as is mentioned in the article.

The facts demonstrate that the American capitalist system is the greatest force for prosperity and reduction of poverty the world has ever seen.

To those who disparage capitalism: Where else in the world would you rather live and make a living? And why aren't you there?

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

Demosthenes:

Some of us, probably a great many right now, would like to leave to just about any other place (US has the largest inequality gap than any other country, by far), but US capitalism has left us far too impoverished to even afford the means to leave. When a nation caters only to the 1%, as the US does, trust me, it can get pretty miserable for man others sunk by such degradation.

Your proposition bellies, however, the real choice: consecration (the only economy endorsed by divinity) versus capitalism (in all its failed instances). That really is what many of us on the bottom would also choose, Consecration (you know, no rich nor poor), rather than your false choice of US capitalism versus worldwide capitalism -- clearly flailing everywhere, but nowhere so much as here in the US (my native country that I no longer recognize nor laud). Blame on your cherished capitalism.

David
Centerville, UT

I got my first job in 4th grade delivering newspapers. at 16 I worked in a grocery store.

I have mowed lawns, taught school, worked as a secretary in an emergency room, and now own my own small business.

Did I do this alone? No. My parents helped me with the heavy, Sunday papers by driving me around my route when it was snowy (we started at 4 a.m).

My parents let me use their car to get to work at the grocery store.

My wife taught piano lessons to help me get through graduate school.

Our families gave us left over food to supplement our diet.

During a particularly tough time we received an anonymous envelope on our doorstep with cash in it.

We have been helped along the way. We are grateful. We aren't done with the struggles. We have very little retirement. We are working hard to provide for our children and pay off our business debts, student loans, and mortgage. We try to help others on their way.

But we are so grateful to live in America, and hope it can remain great for others.

worf
Mcallen, TX

There is no income inequality, because people are not all the same.

In high school, there was no grade inequality either. Some just work harder than others.

Idahoan138
Pocatello, ID

Income inequality?
Grade inequality?

Well, what about "Point inequality"? We see it every week, played out on national TV, and yet no one complains, argues for equalizing, petitions Congress to rectify it - - in fact, the masses encourage it with all their screaming and yelling!!

Prime example today:

The Superbowl.

Why can't all the teams just agree to take turns making touchdowns, safeties, etc., and then averaging the total points, so that in the end, each side is equal and has the same number of points?!

The inevitable corrupt, nonPC attitude that these team sports foster is the false notion that somehow those who have exerted great effort to develop greater skills, or who deny immediate wants to save or invest or study, or who work harder, or who sacrifice more to improve themselves and their situation are somehow entitled to more things (points, money, healthcare, etc.) than those who just kick back, drop out, and wait for their free Obamaphone....

I mean, let's face it: Is one team really "better" than the other? Sounds like one-percenter's to me.

We should end "Point inequality" today!

A_Chinese_American
Cedar Hills, UT

When any politician put the war on “Income inequality”, and promote it as their political agenda, I would say they are making false statement because, first of all, this “Income inequality” cannot be eliminated by anytime if human being still living on earth (please refer to “School Grade Inequality”, “Sports Point Inequality”, etc.) therefore it’s a false political objective; secondly, any politician promoting such false objective has real intention to gain “innocent” voters to grab power instead of really making contributions to society.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Ok all of you who blame capitalism for the income inequality. Lets do a simple thought experiment with you.

When was income in the US more evenly distributed?

Now, ask yourself, do we have more or less government influence or regulation over businesses?

Are you seeing the connection. It isn't capitalism that is the problem. The problem is government, and government seeking power to control capitalism to feed its selfish desires.

If that isn't enough, lets look at it this way. How many people work their way out of poverty because of government handouts? Now, how many nations have cut their poverty rates by adopting capitalism or at lest by letting it work more freely?

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

RedShirt:

And who do you think controls government? It is blatantly obvious that the plutocracy, the capitalists with all the money they gained via capitalism (you know the 1% with their now unprecedented concentration of wealth), control governments around the world, and especially here in the US. They consider it investment, but it is bribes, and look at all the legislation that is passed by the US congress -- overwhelmingly on behalf of the 1% to the detriment of all else. Have you noticed that as wealth inequality increases, so does bad governance? I wonder why. Plutocracy, a direct outcome of capitalism, is the word that comes to mind.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Nosea" it isn't the capitalists that control government. If they did, we would not have the massive regulations on health insurance or banks. What we have is a government and their fascist cronies using the government to get gain and power.

Lets look at what congress does. Some members of congress will begin to work on bills that they call "milk bills". The bills get started and sent to comitties. At that time the congressmen tell the big businesses that they might be able to get rid of the bill if their campaigns received more donations.

I hate to tell you, but a plutocracy is a byproduct of the march to socialism. The wealthy seek to protect themselves and their wealth by gaining favor with those marching to socialism.

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

RedShirt:

Let's narrow it down to just the two examples you specifically mentioned, to prove my point, shall we: "health insurance" and "banks."

The "health insurance" industry used their power (wealth) to write Obomacare (ACA), as a huge boondoggle to themselves. The "banks" (Wall Street investment banks) used their influence on government (wealth) to get a massive tax-payer funded bailout in 2007 and 2008 (trillions of dollars) to save themselves as the nearly collapsed the world economy (and you are worried about over-regulation?).

Can you say plutocracy! I rest my case.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Nosea" where is your proof that the insurance companies wrote the ACA bill? There are sources out there that point to marxist revolutionaries being the ones who wrote the bill. If they did write the ACA bill, why did they write a bill that is designed to put themselves out of business? Are they trying to commit suicide? When the bill was written, the primary person that has been labled as writing the bill was part of several highly liberal policy groups, groups that want a single payer system and the elimination private insurance.

As for the banks, that was political payback. Most banks did not want the bailout. There were a couple of corporate banks that used their influence to get rid of their competitors, but the majority of banks did not want the bailout.

However, none of that would have occured if it wasn't for the fascists/socialists that want government to control business.

Again, plutocracy is a byproduct of the march towards socialism. A plutocracy cannot occur where the government has very little power.

worf
Mcallen, TX

We all make our own beds.

A Chem Engineer
Pocatello, ID

And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men. (Alma 28:13)

Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. (1 Ne. 17:35)

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matt. 11:15)

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