Comments about ‘Is the 1% greedy? Study says yes’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Feb. 2 2014 12:10 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

I too would feel conflicted about supporting more social programs out of pocket given that these lower income people don't pay any State or Federal income tax. Religous conditionaing aside, how much should the rich support the poor beyond the taxes they pay?

Bountiful, UT

It's more difficult for a wealthy person to relate to the plight of the less wealthy. It just is. In their minds, typically, there's no reason why everyone shouldn't be wealthy.

I have an uncle who is a multi-millionaire, who says we shouldn't have a minimum wage, because "most of those people aren't even worth that!"

I started to repeat the Biblical admonition about a camel going through the needle easier than the rich man getting to heaven, but then I realized the point was futile.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

Shocking! The middle and lower income class want to raise taxes on the wealthy.

The wealthy were hit hard in 2013 with tax increases: 3.8% additional tax on passive income, 4.6% increase in highest marginal rate, 1% additional taxes on wages, 5% increase on capital gains rate, the phase out of itemized deductions and phase out of exemptions. Those paying the most taxes are paying a lot more taxes.

Most of the bottom half continue to pay zero income taxes. Fair?

Forest Grove, OR

The 1% would like to re-write the scriptures as well, to say: "where much is given much more should be given, and where little is given much more should be taken away" versus actual scripture: "where much is given much is expected." Their callousness and brazenness never ceases to amaze.

Thid Barker
Hayden, ID

What should we call the people who lust after the wealth of others; greedy?

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

If the rich don't support certain social programs it doesn't mean they don't care for the poor. Perhaps they understand that such programs don't work well. I have talked to several people who had their jobs outsourced to India. The more we cry for increased benefits and wages, the more many companies will save money by outsourcing or cutting their labor supply. Sometimes raising the minimum wage (or other measures) leads to job loss and hurts the very people we intend to help.

The ultimate "wealth redistribution" is the experiment of the USSR which ensured that everyone was poor and all waited in lines many hours to simply get bread. There is a vast array of disagreement among economists and people of all political persuasions as to how effective various social programs are. It is entirely possible that trapping generations of poor people in inter-generational poverty with dependence on government programs is the most cruel thing we can do for these people. Of course, some of the rich are greedy and don't care about the poor, but these are the wrong questions and methods to determine that.

Salt Lake City, UT

I wonder if there is any consideration given to the fact that most of these wealthy people became that way without any of the proposed programs. That they understand why such programs are **counter** productive and actually make the problem of achieving prosperity **harder**!

My family of 6 children was very financially poor when I was young. Our father's salary was raised to $750/mo. just six months before he died at 61, the highest point of his life. Yet every one of us graduated from college. Some with the help of scholarships (my slothful school work precluded me from such) but **all** of us with the help of Summer and part-time jobs.

None of us achieved anything like the wealth of the people described in this article. And none of us would ever consider it just or fair to take (remember, taxation is a coercive process) anything from them to "equalize" the results of our live. Even to pay for the well-intentioned government programs being proposed.

I value freedom much more than wealth.

Cache, UT

What a shock. The 1% doesn't want to give more to the poor than they are already coerced into giving.

Westbank, BC

There is a certain segment of the poor population that if you keep giving to them, they will always expect to receive. Even among that poor population there is a sense of entitlement. The way the help the poor is to help them get on their feet so they can help themselves. Free handouts never work.

Rock Springs, WY

know a guy who has bought various companies. he then increases his profits by freezing or eliminating his employee's retirement and places more burden on his employee's shoulders with the other benefits they get. It is true where much is given much is required. But it shouldn't be the government deciding who gets what and how much. Greed, pride and the entitlement mentality of the people is ruining this world.

Fruit Heights, UT

The rich may or may not be greedy but support/non-support for government social programs, if reported correctly here, is a poor proxy for determining greed. For example there is ample evidence that raising the minimum wage actually hurts the poor because it eliminates jobs and opportunities for low skilled workers to gain skills that can command higher wages. It could be a valid reason some rich people oppose it but the study doesn't appear to take such factors in account.

Back Talk
Federal Way, WA

With regard to the scriptures "where much is given much is expected" is referring to people's responsibility back to God who gave those blessings. Government didnt give people their wealth nor did God appoint goverment to be the reciepient of those "much expected" returns.

Still, I completely agree with this principle. I guess goverment can try to copy it try an jusify what they want to do. However, at some point you have to define what "much expected" means as far as percentaisge of income being taxed. Lets remember, that all money going to the poor doesnt have to go through the government. In fact, that might be the least cost effective way to donate to the poor.

Back to the scriptures, some rich person might quote the Parrable of the Talents. Paraphrased it said that "to him who was faithful over many things shall be given more from those who were not faithful over even few things.

Government cant establish Religion so it makes sense that it shouldnt try to be a substitute for it either.

Murray, UT

I don't think their is anything inherently wrong with being wealthy, but my two major concerns are: the wealthy using their monies for pushing their agendas through donations to politicians, PACs, etc for which the middle class and working poor really have difficulty (honestly, no chance) competing against. The prevailing tax rates in this country penalize the working class disportionately more than the wealthy, there should be a larger tax rate on wealth rather than income.

Sandy, UT

Perhaps it would be more logical to assume that most of the wealthy worked for it, and understand how wealth is gained - through hard work, ingenuity, and more hard work. Perhaps they have not forgotten the hard work they put in to gain their wealth, and they would rather not cripple the very people who are wanting more by giving them money.

It is clear that giving people money does not build their capacity to earn more money. In fact, it holds them in the lower classes. Welfare studies bear this out - welfare becomes a generational family tradition, not a "way out" to prosperity and hard work.

When you give someone something for nothing, you have just reinforced that doing nothing is what must happen to get something. Humans are simple creatures and when reinforced, continue the same pattern.

The wealthy know it is all a scheme to trap the "common man" in poverty so the social planners can own their votes. It will be the undoing of our country as people are no longer motivated to work hard and prosper, being tricked by the false "charity" of those who use governmental power to steal from some to pay others.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wealth seems to be evil, until someone else wants to take it away. One man's greed is another's ambition. Wealthy people spend their money on commodities and services thus creating jobs. I love those ugly, garish McMansions in SLC and Park City considering all of the craftsmen they employed, their maintenance costs and the high property taxes they pay.

Riverton, UT

This study and article are misleading! The writers are implying that people who are opposed to government sponsored social programs are greedy. I can think of many very charitable, giving people who fight for ideas like personal responsibility and initiative, rather than government social programs. One of the most giving leaders I know used to speak about the evils of the dole.

I'm not saying that there aren't greedy millionaires. Lets just be careful to not judge someone as greedy because they want to help in a different way!

Riverton, UT

This study and article are misleading! The writers are implying that people who are opposed to government sponsored social programs are greedy. I can think of many very charitable, giving people who fight for ideas like personal responsibility and initiative, rather than government social programs. One of the most giving leaders I know used to speak about the evils of the dole, not because he didn't want to help pay for it, but because of the harm he saw it causing people!

I'm not saying that there aren't greedy millionaires. Lets just be careful to not judge someone as greedy because they want to help in a different way!

Centennial, CO

Most rich people got there by working harder than most non-rich people want to. [I know some are rich by inheritance, but---most.]

So it's not a surprise that most rich people look at poverty as fixable by hard work.

Also, most rich people did not get that way by government programs. [I know some make it by getting government contracts and building a business or whatever, but---most.]

Thus, it's not always that they're greedy as it is that they know government programs are not a way to achieve wealth. If you want people to become more successful, government programs are not the way to do it--unless you're the one providing the program.

And--whether rich or not, if multiple levels of government come and take half your money, and you know they're spending much of that half to allow many able-bodied people to avoid working at all, you'd be unhappy. Don't pretend otherwise.

Plus, the study questions look somewhat biased toward the result they hoped for.

provo, Utah

If you are Christian you are supposed to realize that you haven't provided yourself with anything. The most you have done is gather what was given to the entire human race.Most of the wealthy in the us didn't even do the gathering; they have employees to do it.

So when you take more than you need and watch others go without, just be ready to justify it if you really think you can. Be ready to say ALL the poor people were lazy and didn't deserve to be able to see a doctor, a good education or a lunch at school.

A million dollars now doesn't make much sense if you are selling out your eternity. Of course most people agree with that on Sunday and then by the next day many are spouting off Glen Beck and Rush quotes about the poor that are just lazy.

Any parent including God, if they leave their kids home alone long enough will come home to find one of them taking charge and making the others do all the chores before they get a small piece of the pizza you ordered for all of them.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

The challenge is that most wealthy people had a leg up on the rest of society, either by being born into it and/or having the opportunity to get into the best schools and NETWORKS of the elite to further their wealth and elite status in society. The other "99%" have a more difficult time achieving that status because they have to work that much harder to attain the best education and tap into those elite networks.

Sure there are many "rags to riches" stories in America -- Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, etc., but most wealthy people had money to begin with and were able to build on that wealth and privilege (e.g., George Bush, Romney, Donald Trump, the Kennedys, etc.).

The challenge is how do we give the other 99% the same opportunities -- or at the very least, reduce those barriers so that they to can live the American dream of upward mobility. Some at the very lowest circles of society (the minimum wage earners) may never move up because they don't see or have the skills to move out of those realms.

But ambitious, entrepreneurial types need to be given a leg up.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments