The idea of "income equality" is strange. It has never existed, nor do
we have reason to believe it ever will. It's frightening to consider that
income equality is a central tenet of Marxism, and we all know how that turns
out.People are unequal; therefore, incomes are unequal. So what? A
billionaire takes nothing from me or you. In fact, I'd like to become a
billionaire! Wouldn't you? Billionaires employ others, many of them
donate huge sums to charity, and some of them are actually nice people. Oh, and
they're constitutionally free to accomplish and earn whatever they can
legally, just like you and me. That's the heart of "the American
dream," and is our constitutional right.Discussion of an
"income gap" is ridiculous. There is no gap, there is a bell-curve
spectrum of incomes. Picking two random spots and comparing them is
meaningless. And of course the top and bottom of the bell curve consist of very
few people -- so what?I'm afraid these discussions are an
attempt to break the American capitalist economic system that has made America
great. Don't be fooled -- don't let it happen!
What I would like to see both sides focus on is the declining share of the
national income going to workers. The share of income that has been shifted away
from workers and into profits is equal to the entire amount of taxes collected
by the U.S. government. That is the real crux of the problem, and one that is
Well said, Mr. Raymond. Google my screen name, Kenngo1969, along with the query,
"Of Jobs and Math" for my thoughts on the matter.
Guess what? There's also a intelligence gap. Just look at IQ scores and
how they are distributed. There will always going to be people at the top and
bottom. Go figure!
Hate to break it to you but... minimum wage laws wont FIX the income-inequality
gap. It would take a LOT more than that.===If you think
you can legislate wages, and end the gap with legislation... you don't live
in the America I grew up in.A Free Market economy beats a Marxist
economy any day. Compare the results.The poorest person in America
lives better than the middle-class in most countries. And yet we weep and
whine that somebody still makes more than I do...We have sunk to a
new low in America.We used to go to school... work harder... and
longer... if we wanted to make what our neighbor makes. Now we just tell the
government to take it from him... and give it to me.===Minimum wage is not meant to be an income-equalizer. It's a safety net.
It's a minimum. It's not the goal. Nobody should EXPECT minimum
wage to end inequality.The only way to end income-inequality would
be to guarantee that all people are equally skilled, equally hard working, and
have exactly equal opportunities.... there's literally not way to guarantee
America's days of being a prosperous nation are over! America was once
prosperous because we were so very productive. Now 20% of Americans are
dependent on food stamps, the most in our history and we have the highest
national debt in history with very high real unemployment and have very high
taxes (all taxes included). Dependency and debt are the opposites of
productivity and dependency and debt produces no prosperity, none, zero, zip,
nada! Prosperity is produced by productivity. Think about this: If low
productivity, high taxes, massive debt and high unemployment produced
prosperity, there would be no poverty. Minimum wages are for low productive jobs
and will not lift people out of poverty, in fact it practically guarantees that
person will remain poor! The only real way to help people is to help them be
more productive. Prove something to yourself. Next time you go to work, try not
being productive and see what happens to your prosperity! America is losing her
prosperity because she is not a productive country anymore and $17.2 trillion
national debt, record high welfare dependency and high unemployment proves it!
Instead of engaging in class warfare and screaming at prosperity we should
There have been two important economic articles in the last week on the Deseret
News:-A couple of days ago was an article about Indices of Economic
Freedom, specifically a couple of them from conservative sources. The notable
point is that the US is now considered "mostly free", and has been
surpassed by Canada, in addition to a number of other nations.-Now
we're hearing more about economic inequality and people noting the various
problems associated with an increasing economic divide. The CIA assesses
nations around the world with various analyses, but one that is pertinent is the
GINI index, which assesses economic inequality. On that index, the US also
performs more poorly than Canada, in fact we're much closer to Mexico.What do the Canadians do that we don't?They have a
single-payer healthcare system that covers more & costs far less than ours,
they spend more money on social programs (which help narrow economic
inequalities) and their financial markets are far more regulated - they really
didn't suffer much in the Great Recession because big financial players
didn't turn their markets into casinos.
Unemployment rises based on COLA adjustments.Minimum wage does not -
it is a fixed rate based on Congress.Unemployment is more than
minimum wage.Republican response - No minimum wage increase, keep
unemployment higher than working, and whine and complain about the high
unemployment.vs.Democrat response - Raise Minimum wage above
unemployment levels, people will have better incentive to find a job, ANY job,
and get off of unemployment.I see the Republicans and their dead end
plan loosing again, and Democrats and their win-win plan winning again.
Almost forget -- as for the inequality of the 1% vs. the 99%....I can't give the web address, but anyone can Youtube a video to see
the charts for yourselves.
@Thinkin' ManNobody is saying to make everything equal, they're
saying that the top 10% owned around 30% of the wealth from the 50s through the
70s and then after Reagan got into office it's increased since then. Our
economy was also a lot more steady in the 50s-70s. Now we lack the demand to
fuel growth and the lack of spending power by the poor and middle class thanks
to increasing income inequality is a large part of that.
@10CC "What do the Canadians do that we don't?"Top
federal income tax rate:Canada 29%U.S. 39.6%
"Firms will hire all the workers it makes sense to hire at prevailing wages,
"I know of no company that has a predetermined budget for HR -
where wages is the key variable, and most importantly hire right up to that
limit without there being some kind of demand side equation. Companies hire
the bare minimum FTEs needed, at the lowest possible cost, to get a task
done.... and not a person more. To presume otherwise shows the person has been
hiding in academia way too long.Wages don't determine number of
people needed. Wages impact margin - yes. Demand determines number of people
Minimum wage is not about income equality. It's a safety net. To insure a
family isn't starving even though the parents are working.It's not intended to be a 1% vs 99% equalizer.===Some evidently think the two topics need to be mixed (to encourage class-envy
I guess). But they are not related. One doesn't fix the other. One
doesn't cause the other. They are unrelated.=== If anybody thought the minimum wage would help income inequality... they need
to wake up.The only way to end income inequality is something almost
no American has the stomach to even propose (end Capitalism and have the State
own all business and set all wages).
A few years ago, I designed and manufactured process control computers that
increased the productivity of a worker from 250 items per hour to 1,500 items
per hour. The worker did not buy that machine. That worker didn't have to
learn more skills, in fact, the skill level of that worker was greatly reduced.
All the worker had to do was to show up for work and pay attention to producing
that item. The machine kept track of productive time vs idle time. It measured
how many units that the worker actually produced against the number of units
that the worker was could have produced. Not one worker lost his job. But when
new workers were hired, they could be trained in a day or two to do what
formerly took years to learn. Owners paid for the machines. Workers had easier
working conditions. The customer paid less. The owners made more per hour
because they risked capital. They tried something that had never been used
before. Why shouldn't they make a profit? They could have closed their
doors and fired everyone to conserve their capital.
Mike,Your scenario works up to a point, after which increased
productivity results in fewer workers being needed. Where does the surplus go?
To executives and owners, of course. This fact has played itself out across the
economy for some time now. Roland's point above, that less and less is
going to workers and more and more to profit, leads to an unsustainable economy,
which we are busily creating. If we fail to acknowledge this, we will reap the
consequences. Well, we actually are already. We've had a nice recovery for
Wall Street and corporations, but to Average Joe American, there has been very
little recovery. It's called a jobless recovery, and that is going to be
the norm in the future unless we deal with the root cause of the growing wealth
Nate:There is more to the story on maximum tax rates in the US and
Canada. For example, there is no mortgage interest deduction on income taxes in
Canada, or as one Canadian told me "we don't subsidize the housing
industry in Canada like you Americans do".The other notable -
which is related to the point above - is that Canadians don't have nearly
the number tax loopholes that we do. This explains how Mitt Romney
paid just under 14% in federal taxes - while not claiming some deductions -
instead of the 39% tax rate published. Any American who actually pays the 39%
maximum rate has no tax accountant helping them, or they've decided to skip
all the loopholes.There are analyses that indicate that total
taxation in Canada is about 38% of GDP, while in the US it is about 28%. So, if
you're paying more than 28% of your total income in taxes, you're
either not very adept at finding the loopholes, or you're not very wealthy.
souptwins said: "There will always going to be people at the top and bottom.
Go figure!"True, but there used to be a large percentage in the middle
that made America stronger, because millions of people paid fair wages buy far
more than a few people who only need so many mansions and escalades.Production is upA survey of employed email users found:22% are
expected to respond to work email when they're not at work.50% check
work email on the weekends.46% check work email on sick days.34%
check work email while on vacation.Increase in real value of the
minimum wage since 1990: 21%Increase in cost of living since 1990: 67%The government tried by asking them nicely and giving them the freedom
to do the right thing and called it trickle down. They didn't do the right
thing and proved beyond any doubt that greed unchecked leaves a widening gap
where the middle class of America used to be.
The bottom line is that if wages remain stagnant and the cost of living
increases substantially every year, then more middle class people will fall into
poverty. Wages aren't keeping up with inflation and the difference gets
bigger every year. Wages are stagnant because of the 1% and their profits have
never been higher.
People will be paid what they are worth.If you're worth more -
go get a new job. A new employer who is rich and greedy will WANT to hire you
and pay you more if you're going to increase his profits.If you
can't find a job that pays you what you want and what you think you deserve
- its because you don't deserve it.Stop crying about rich
people. It's not Mitt's job to make you money. It's your job.
Mitt doesn't owe you what he has earned. Go earn your own.
Another attempt of the Democrats to buy votes using other people's
money.I disagree with Mr. Alterman who is quoted in the article as
saying that as the rich get richer it leads to government corruption. I believe
government corruption is leading to the rich getting richer. The rich and large
corporations use their money and influence to gain more power and control. Large
corporations love regulation as they have lawyers and departments to enact them;
small businesses do not. As the Democrats continue to wage war on the small
business man, the money the small business man makes goes to the large
corporations and the rich get richer.
LDS LiberalUnfortunatly for your side, the biggest gaps in this area
have come during the Obama administration. In other words, it is the Democrats
and their policies that are increasing the gap. Or to put it another way, a
lose/lose for the country if Democrats continue to have power. To read some of
your posts one would believe that you think that this country has been run by
the Republicans for last 5 years now. Well, since 2007 the Democrats have had
the overwhelming amount of political power in America. Maybe it's time to
acknowledge that taking the Democrats always right, Republicans always wrong
approach is not working.
There should be no minimum wage at all! Wages should be based on performance and
the better you perform the higher your wages will rise because employers will
commit to keeping the best employees by paying them more. Nothing should be a
guarantee.We have the highest unemployment in the inner cities and
black youth, and for example and we have a mayor of Washington D.C. who told
Walmart to say out unless they paid their employees $15. Well... Walmart stayed
out, as well as any job opportunity and work experience for the inner city
youth. So if you raise the minimum wage then you will get fewer jobs.Minimum wage is just another means for wealth redistribution plain and simple.
And for those of you who are of the LDS faith the Book of Mormon states that
redistribution of wealth helped lead to the downfall of the Nephite nation (Hel.
6:38). The book is a forewarning to us so we do not follow the same destructive
canvas1San Tan Valley, AZThat scripture (Hel 6:38) warns about
the Gadianton's alright, but you missed that scripture, and have it
180 degrees wrong...ref the very next verse -- Helaman
6:39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch
that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs
upon the poor...40 And thus we see that they were in an awful state,
and ripening for an everlasting destruction.FYI -- The
NON-re-distribution of wealth, and the huge disparity between the rich and the
poor caused the Nephites destruction.
Those of you espousing Marxist policies (including forced incomes) surely must
realize you are embracing an oppressive, anti-liberty, failed theorem. The U.S.
constitution sets severe limits on the powers of the Federal government,
limiting those powers to those specifically granted by the constitution.
Nowhere is meddling in economics granted, except in the context of
"regulating" the commerce between states. Marxism has no place in
airnaut Thank you for commenting but you have it 180 degrees wrong.
The Gadiantons were not robbing in the dead of night. No, they were trying to
convince the more part of the Nephites to agree with the precept that it is OK
to take from some and give to others. It was an ideology they were selling for
the sole purpose of gaining power.Hence, as soon as they had the
majority agree to it, they took over the government. Well, who were they robbing
from? It wasn't those that didn't have much. Those on the receiving
end becoming dependent on the something for nothing, kept those that gave them
the riches in power. Sounds a lot like today!
airnautOne other thing. Those in power really do not care about the
poor just that they are comfortable. Sure some do care, but for the most part
the people with power use the poor for their benefit. They are not
interested in helping them become self sufficient then they wouldn't need
their help any more. If you really want to help the poor just giving them
something from somebody else for political gain is the height of priestcraft.
Firms will hire all the workers it needs to be able to supply the product. For
to long we have substituted entitlements for higher wages. Entitlements are paid
for by the taxpayers, higher wages by business. Keeping wages down,
and substituting entitlements is welfare for business.
It's important to keep in mind that the 1% who comprise a majority of the
wealth in the US are literally "citizens of the world" and are equally
as comfortable in Switzerland as the are in NYC, Chicago, or Beverly Hills, and
can literally take their wealth anywhere in the world they want. If Bill Gates
liquidated his entire estate, then paid taxes on that action, his remaining
estate would be tax free, and he could legally move it anywhere in the world and
live in great comfort, never stepping foot back in the US again. Taxing the rich is a nice theory unless they pack up their troubles and leave
the country, then who gets taxed to make up for their departure?