Comments about ‘Letter: American billionaires’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11 2013 12:00 p.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

If you want to be rich, you have to work at it. Nobody deserves to have his wealth redistributed just because some people are so foolish that they think that they are "owed" wealth.

The formula is simple; it has been known for thousands of years. If you want to prosper, you get out of bed, early. You work hard, all day. You spend less than you make. You invest your excess. Anyone who buys a soft-drink has spent some of his excess. Anyone who has two pairs of shoes has spent some of his excess. Knowing the difference between wants and needs is a major step in learning what things MUST be purchased and what things must NOT be purchased.

Greedy people demand that money that they have not earned be redistributed to them. Bank robbers feel the same way. The money in the bank is not theirs, but they feel entitled to it. A bank robber is a thief. Anyone who allows the government to forcefully redistribute the wealth of others, for his own personal welfare has the same philosophy as that bank robber.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Why are Democrats offended if someone, anyone, in America is successful (except of course rich liberals)? Should we punish success and make certain no one in America is successful, like N. Korea, or Cuba? The more we punish success, achievement and prosperity in this country the less we will have of it at every level. The solution is the more people in America who succeed the better everyone will be. Get the government out of the way and lets all have a chance at success instead of punishing it.

Everett, 00

All they [Republicans] hear is guys like Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity telling them what they want to hear.

Listening to any one of them is almost like attending an Am-Way convention.

See all this wealth?,
if YOU work hard enough, you too can be this wealthy.

But you will NEVER be wealthy like me if the Government raises taxes,
and whne YOU get wealthy, you don't want to be taxed at a higher rate either --
so for YOUR own good, don't raise taxes on the wealthy,

We create your jobs,
We create your wealth,
hurting me is just hurting you.

Pay no attention to the fat little man behind the EIB curtain...

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I wish I could post links here, but I can't. Forbes magazine, which bills itself as "the Capitalist Tool" posted an article on their website the other day which, upon examining historical data, found that large concentrations of wealth at the very top are always, always bad for the economy. it always leads to speculative bubbles, which invariably pop. It also leads to underinvestment in the productive economy, because there is insufficient demand to justify it.

The article also states that the economy does better under Democrats than under Republicans.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Roland Keyser
I'd seen before that the worst years for income inequality the past century were 1928 and 2007. The economy crashed shortly after both of those years. Turns out squeezing the lower and middle classes isn't good for the economy.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Roland Keyser
I'd seen before that the worst years for income inequality the past century were 1928 and 2007. The economy crashed shortly after both of those years. Turns out squeezing the lower and middle classes isn't good for the economy.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Roland Keyser
I'd seen before that the worst years for income inequality the past century were 1928 and 2007. The economy crashed shortly after both of those years. Turns out squeezing the lower and middle classes isn't good for the economy.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to pay my bills or pay for my share of government resources.

The fact that Mitt Romney is rich does NOT make the government more expensive.

Its sad there are so many lazy people who think rich people should pay for their share of the country's expenses.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

I had an epiphany last week...

BrighamYoung taught about "usury".

If someone takes money out of circulation, that money no longer getting "used".

We see this happening with the 1% who own 80% of America's "usury".
They already have everything money can buy; so there is no incentive to spend or "use" it.
So the take it out and bury it away.

Jesus taught a valuable lesson about a Master, his servants and his money.

He gave some talents.
Some took that which he gave and they "used" it.
They circulated it and it blessed everyone.

One took that which was given to him and buried it in the ground.

When the Master returned,
those who had spent and stimulated the economy were praised.

But, to the one who buried his treasure in a safe place, the Master scolded and castout for being a slothful and unwise servant. He blessed no one with the "usury".

Mitt Romney showed us how the uberrich take money OUT of the economy and offshore it, burying it in the ground of foreign banks.

It blesses no one but themselves.

FYI --
America's uber-rich have buried over $21 Trillion in foreign bank accounts.

Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with several of the posts above that mentions that the government should "just get out of the way and let's all have a chance for success." The government getting out of the way would have to include making Romney and Buffett paying the same tax rate as the average Joe or Jane Doe. The Rom makes $21 million for the year he showed his tax return and paid 14.3 % in tax. 14.3% when the lowest tax rate is 15%? Nice work if you can get it. Also the poor hedge fund manager pays the cap gains rate (15%) for all of his income. Let someone making $50 or $60 K do that and they throw them in jail. So yeah, absolutely get the government out of the way and level the playing field and then lets see how things go.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Have you seen that before? It wasn't clear the first 3 times, maybe you could post it a 4th time? Again, its not Mitt's job to share his money with me. It's my job to make myself more valuable to EARN more.

Salt Lake City, UT

Anybody that has actually studied our own American history should realize just how bad it can get. There was a time when the average American worker was at the mercy of big business. Sure, we can get up every day and work. Most of us do! There have been times when big business paid what they wanted. Workers worked 16 -18 hours a day for basically nothing!
Of course, it is great that we can get rich in this country. It is what makes it such a good place to live. Nobody wants to take rich people's money! Don't you think that they should pay the same percent of their income as everyone else! As their wealth increases, the rest of our incomes dwindle, and it isn't because we are lazy!The rich deserve a tax break no more than the rest of us! As far as redistributing wealth, give me a break! What a joke. Why don't people add up the tax cuts given to the rich. Call the average American lazy, it gives them more excuses to pay us less!

Roger Terry
Happy Valley, UT

Unfortunately, this letter and several others slipped through the cracks at the Des News and didn't get posted when they were printed. Consequently, Republicans have had an extra week to think about my challenge. So far, no takers. Nobody willing to offer specifics on how Republican policies can decrease the dangerous and increasing gap between the ultra-rich and the rest.

And Mike, just spouting platitudes about how it's unjust to redistribute a billionaires wealth doesn't count. When the six primary owners of Wal-Mart have as much wealth as the bottom 42 percent of Americans and pays wages so low that many workers qualify for food stamps, something is structurally amiss in America, and government is the only institution with the power to do something about it.

Please, offer some realistic solutions, not excuses.

Louisville, KY

Open Minded Mormon,

Though I have significant concerns about wealth distribution in the US and the reasons for it, please note that usury or lending does not take money out of the economy. It cycles through and creates more.

Bountiful, UT

This is one of the best letters I've seen in awhile.

The reason Republicans have no credible responses to this situation is because they focus on Micro Economics, not Macro Economics.

Everything is seen through the prism of individualism, perhaps most notably described by the conservative hero, Margaret Thatcher of the UK, who once stated "there is no such thing as society. There are individuals, and there are families, but society doesn't exist". Who really believes this?

When your focus is entirely upon individuals, it's hard to grasp larger problems that are at the societal level. We see it here in the responses above. They have no answer, other than to reinforce individual rights and sort of assume everything will work out fine.

When you throw macro economic problems at conservatives, their toolbox of solutions is very meager: "Max freedom, low taxes, little-to-no regulations, and everything will be fine. Anything else is a non-issue, by definition."

Bountiful, UT


The field is level. The tax code applies to everyone equally. It is how individuals use the tax code to pay more or less tax than someone else. Two individuals who make the same amount of income will pay different amount of taxes based upon how they live and use the tax code. It is possible to earn 100k a year and only pay 3K in taxes. It is possible to earn 100K a year and pay 20K in taxes.

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

"Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won. It's been a rout."
-Warren Buffett

Great letter, Roger, no matter the delay. I begin to wonder at a certain irony from the Right. In their panic to avoid any policy with a sniff of socialism, they have enacted policies that will, if unchecked, bring about the very economic conditions which historically create the underlying rage powering every socialist revolution. I have no interest in such an outcome, which is why we need to create a check on these policies now.

Chris B, considering the cut 'n paste spam you post on sports article after sports article, you ought to be above getting after someone for what's obviously a submission error.

the truth
Holladay, UT

To understand trickle down,

you need to look at what you have, and NOT at disparity (what others have).

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof ..."

"So the last shall be first and the first will be last ..."

I'd love to hear the explanation to the Savior by those who hoard more of the Lord's blessings than they can ever use in a multitude of lifetimes. There will be no spin doctors there, but surely the Savior's atonement will help them see things as they truly are and give all opportunity to repent.

We all need to be more charitable with the blessings we have. Some "of their abundance" may give millions away, but with their trophy mansions and extensive off-shore accounts, I doubt that they are anywhere near the class of the widow who "cast in all that she had, even all her living."

I fear that, for all the talk about wars on Christmas, and American Christian piety, that Mary and Joseph would find little welcome in the United States today.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mike Richards – “If you want to be rich, you have to work at it.”

Mike – can you explain the “work” involved that makes someone 10,000 times wealthier than one of his employees? And you may need to start with some (so far unknown) science because I think the laws of physics would be at a loss to explain how the efforts of any one individual can possibly be 10,000 times more productive than another.

I’ll save you the trouble – the vast majority of a billionaire’s wealth is simply a function of economies of scale. Sort of like compound interest – after a certain level is achieved (no doubt through talent & hard work), further gains are almost magically effortless.

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