To "Commodore" what do you meant that " CEOs are not really worth
$300 million a year plus stock options. Likewise, the janitor at your company is
not worth $25,000 a year, he is actually worth more." How many people do
you know that have the skills, knowledge, and reputation for successfully
leading a multi-billion dollar corporation? (Hint: Think Pro-sports and the
multi-million dollar contracts)As for the janitor not being worth
$25,000/yr. What if I have a small investment company that operates in a 3000
sqare foot office. I may only need a janitor to come and clean twice a week for
4 hours each time. Why should the janitor be paid $60/hr when they have no
specialized skills?The problem is not what YOU deem somebody to be
worth, but the availability of persons qualified for the jobs available. Few
are qualified to be CEO, and thousands are qualified to be janitors. Plus, how
do you know what a person is worth? We know what they are worth to you, but not
True wealth is created in and by labor. Laborers deserve a bigger piece of the
pie than they are currently getting because without them, capital has no vehicle
to create products or services. I'm not in favor of equal pay for all that
won't work. They say that you are paid what you are worth, but
that is a lie. CEOs are not really worth $300 million a year plus stock options.
Likewise, the janitor at your company is not worth $25,000 a year, he is
actually worth more. People are not paid what they are truly worth,
because what the market will bear and fair wages are actually two very different
things. In the 1960's the largest employer in America was GM
and they paid their employees in today's wages about $50 an hour+ benefits.
Interestingly enough unions and high progressive taxes were firmly in place
then. Today the largest employer in America is Walmart and they pay their people
about $10 without benefits. If higher tax brackets and unions are effective
methods to encourage companies to be more fair with the distribution of wealth,
then I say yes to more of both!
To "andyjaggy" you assumption about "Most of the super rich are
super rich because they started off with an already good stash of
money/inheritance" is wrong. If you read "The Millionaire Next Door:
The Surprising Secrets of American's Wealthy" in the NY Times, they
point out that most millionairs are first generation millionairs. That means
that most of the wealthy people came from middleclass or poor families.
"The wealthy are not getting rich from their work or talent, but from their
wealth, Weissmann says."I agree with that statement. Most of the
super rich are super rich because they started off with an already good stash of
money/inheritance, and where then able to make that money work for them, they
are rich from investments usually, not because they started a company. Obviously
there are exceptions. The solution? I don't know. Here is a
start though, get rid of social security and let me invest that money on my own.
If I could do that in addition to what I already do, I could retire with 2-3x
more wealth than I otherwise will.
Vern001,The "average american" isn't paying 36% of
their income to taxes...that tax rate is reserved for the wealthiest of
American's. The "average american," by definition is paying almost
no income tax since 50% of the American populace pays no federal income tax at
all.As for the capital gains tax, isn't that just a 2nd tax on
the same income? Business income is already taxed at the federal level, so the
owners (shareholders) of that business have already paid a tax on the productive
profits that they have generated with their capital. However, then
the capital gains and dividends from that successful capital investment are
taxed AGAIN at the individual level at 20% (only for the rich though...the
"average american" is the one that pays 15% for capital gains and
dividends these days). It seems that in combination, the capital
holders get taxed quite a bit on all of the value that they help to create?
To "Danite" the middleclass defend the rich because someday they hope to
be rich.Lets think about what this "economist" is proposing.
If you build a business that does really well, you will be taxed more to
discourage you drawing too big of a salary. Now, why would you bother to grow
your business very much since you will be taxed the more you earn.As
others have pointed out, this will kill innovation. Is this what you really
want to do?
If Marxists and socialists truly want to change the world, and change the
rich,they need to teach morality, yes that is right, morals,and not teach theft and coveting and violence and force to get their
way.Change mans heart not his wallet. That is the right way.
Very well written UStraveler. It restores a little faith in capitalism for me.
Unfortunately, our government is not responsive to us--they respond to the
wealthy in the form of campaign donations and special interest groups consisting
of multinational corporations and the 1%. I am frustrated because I don't
feel we have a voice as the general public, or at least one that is responded
to. If it were, we wouldn't have politicians having pensions for their
entire lives with nothing to show for it. It indeed has become "crony
capitalism". There is no "trickle down" as the rich and their
supporters suggest. If so, why are so many without jobs or not even receiving
cost of living salary increases? And yes, college has become unaffordable and
only large sums of debt are incurred with hopes of landing a job that will pay
it off. But pell grants are not the answer. I have seen far too many people at
a university with a very honest reputation w/these students using them for the
biggest TVs, x boxes, brand new cars, and other luxury items while still getting
financial aid from their parents.
Sounds like coveting to me. So I'll never be super rich. We manage to get
by on a pretty good income, but it took us years to get where we are. The one
percent should be helping out others, like Bill Gates , but many are selfish.
This is their right. They have the agency to choose what to do with their money.
This is America, the land of the free and the right to choose how to live our
lives. True happiness comes from helping others.
@vern001 - "College is increasingly out of reach for the average American
family."What?!? How many people are going to college today
versus a generation ago - or two generations ago? It's hard for graduates
to find jobs with their degrees because every one else has one too. Two
generations ago an associates degree would ensure you a middle class income. A
generation ago it was a bachelor's degree. Well, now it takes a
Master's. Why? Because college is accessible to everyone - not a bad thing
- but it is. Some have parents who pay for it (and can afford it) others receive
Pell Grants, and others have to take cheap, flexible, government subsidized
student loans (that's me). Either way, if you can study hard, work hard,
and live moderately to minimize your debt, anyone can go to college today.
Markets are the solution to the very problem he is suggesting exists. The
redistribution of poverty simply increases the number of poor dependent on the
government. Sad to see the Deseret News running an article promoting such
vern001, Amen brother!!!!
I think something left out here is a look at history and a look at what we call
"free market" capitalism. In the past 200 years, we've had the
greatest increase in wealth and long life ever. That's due to capitalism
and the concept that you don't fight over pieces of a pie that never grows.
You fight over pieces of an ever increasing pie. That's why the
"poor" of today have two cars, three tv's, cable subscriptions,
microwaves, and other items people from 50 years ago would call luxury items. No
other system can claim that kind of success. Today we see a crony
capitalism based on the rich getting richer because of rules and regulations
that benefit them. They crowd out those willing to work under a true free
market. Then those against capitalism can decry the result and point the finger
in the wrong place. We have plenty of examples.- Insurance companies
benefit from Obamacare- Cities pass laws banning Uber because of
"safety" reasons and thus allow cab companies to keep their $100,000
medallionsToo many examples, too little time.
@happy2bhereYou clearly spend very little time with liberal debates,
which, if one is otherwise convinced, why bother? Though if you did, you would
understand that those very issues are being addressed, including by Piketty
himself. The crux of the American debate is resting more on which party can
present credible arguments for their policy position and which can wield
alternate means of garnering votes, including propaganda-style media assaults.
Take the Obamacare example. It was a complex attempt at a fix of an
even more complex problem that is our health care delivery system. Rather than
concede the point that America's health care apparatus is lousy and propose
methods of fixing it, the right entrenched itself in denial and continues to
spew misinformation and hyperbole. If half the effort employed in screeching
about socialism had been used instead in fixing Obamamcare frailties, the
success would have been bipartisan, instead of just an increasingly clear
victory for the left. It will continue to reflect poorly on conservatism for the
Republican party to be fixated on denialism instead of addressing issues with
clear and direct solutions.
Piketty is scaring the Right because he uses data to back up his points. And the
data is unequivocal: Wealth is flowing up, not down. College is increasingly out
of reach for the average American family. Healthcare costs have skyrocketed. Two
incomes are necessary for families to scrape by.So, we can sit
around and wait for the "free market" to solve these problem--although,
it has done nothing to solve the problem in the past thirty years, so why should
it do so going forward?--or we can try to fix this problem.How do we
fix it? Piketty calls for taxes on the wealthy and education for all. The
wealthy largely pay capital gains taxes on stocks (15%) while the average
American pays taxes on income (up to 36%). How about we start by not penalizing
work and taxing capital at the same rate as labor? And let's help poor kids
go to school by raising the value of Pell Grants so they cover ALL of their
college education, not just a fraction?If we want the US to maintain
its position among developed nations, we can't afford to leave massive
swaths of the population behind.
scldenizenOK, maybe you and George Will should have a
conversation.On the matter at hand, It occurs to me that many on the
political left are greatly concerned with wealth re-distribution and have
contempt for the wealth being held by too few people. Question, do they ever
worry about too few people having to much of a WEALTH of POWER!? That is what
seems to happen whenever government takes over the private sector business. In
that arena, the left seems to believe that there should be no restrictions on
how many laws and regulations and taxes government can impose on the wealth
producers. Which, if it becomes too much will lead the country to where I first
posted. Atlas will shrug.
@happy2bhereConsider my views of the Burkian conservative tradition
- in favor of consistent, methodical change implemented through robust and
pluralistic institutions. The modern template is to recognize the failures of
our institutions, in this particular case our news outlets and higher education.
In response to Vanceone, the comments of whom are indicative of
either general contempt for or ignorance of scholarship, one may certainly paint
the comment liberal if being liberal means rebutting frivolous and unserious
"Or, as Thomas B. Edsall in the New York Times puts it, 'worsening
inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism.' Capitalism
always leads to inequality."---------------------This is
**hilarious**!!If someone wants to see just how out of whack
inequalities can get, go try an pry the lid off of the more extreme examples of
the polar opposite to capitalism, Communism. Even one example, N. Korea, would
suffice. There you have the party elites who systematically enslave the rest of
the population in conditions of starvation and/or generational imprisonment, all
while piping a constant drone of propaganda to let everyone know what a paradise
they've been provided by the "Dear Leader".I can live
with what I too believe are the inevitable inequalities of life. The crucial
difference with Capitalism is that I can realistically have the expectation that
with sufficient drive and determination, my condition will rise to some level
that I prefer. AND, that my preferential level is mine to set.In
other words, I am **free** to decide where on the scale of inequality I want to
be and can reasonably have faith in determining it.I love freedom.
I oppose marxism because of its intrusiveness. It solves the wrong problem.
Being wealthy is not inherently evil. Having vast resources gives one potential
to do vast good, it really depends. Marxism's reach, however is
too unwieldy. It doesn't just apply to taking money from rich people. It
involves constant surveillance from committees. It's a good idea to read up
on the implementations of communism before you decide that rich people are the
problem. I've read a number of biographies from men who
fiercely loyal to Marxism, and saw it as a supremely moral, but once it was
implemented met with disillusion and were even victimized by oppressive
communes. I like the limited freedoms I have enjoyed in the current
US oligarchy with its smatterings of capitalism. I have not dedicated my life to
the pursuit of wealth, and I have not had to oppress my neighbors in their hope
to achieving their dreams either. Until human beings stop their
hate, envy, pride, lusts, and ignorance, Marxism will always be unachievable and
flawed. It robs men of their individual rights and ability to achieve good as
slcdenizenInteresting responses. When responding to Vancone you
sounded like a liberal. When responding to Danite you sounded like a
conservative. Was that your intent?
@VanceoneIt's clear you've neither read the book nor
understood the general premise. If your politics are driven by
mischaracterizations of groups and ideas, then you must fit in perfectly with
Republicans. You didn't also attend BYU by chance? @DanitePerhaps your question is rhetorical, but I'll nonetheless take a
stab. Accompanying the increasingly busy lives of working Americans is a
marriage between entertainment and news. Hence the attention grabbing headlines
that fill most websites promising groundbreaking information or events. The
result is an uninformed populace unaware of their ignorance, and often times
convinced that they have a firm grasp on the topic of the day. Contributing to
this problem is our school system which breeds confidence in place of humility.
Education ought to shed light on how little one knows about their world, rather
than reinforce the notion that the world is small and easily perceived.
Read Ayn Rand and you will see what will happen. The smart, ambitious, movers
and shakers who are the ones that have the ability to create wealth will just
take their ball and go home. (to their mansions). The average person (who has
depended on the few wealth creators) will be left hanging. In this case the
average person is 99% of us. If capitalism in America is somehow torn down, we
might as well change out the stars and stripes for the hammer and cycle.
"If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his
diligence and obedience … , he will have so much the advantage in the
world to come” (D&C 130:19).I think the concern about
jumping into a relationship with all Americans so that we all earn equal
amounts, is that I don't trust most Americans. There are way too many
freeloaders for that to work out well for us at the present time. Having the
opportunity to make substantial economic advancement helps bring out all sorts
of innovation that might not otherwise happen if we all shared everything
I think about how many Fed,State and local jobs. The people that count on the
support and how many who work in the privet sector, I can tell that the tower of
babel will fall.
Can someone please explain to me why average earning Americans are the fierce
defenders of the super rich? Why aren't middle class Americans more
concerned about what is best for middle class Americans? It's easy to paint
a picture of any one who dislikes such huge inequality as Communists but man, if
you read your scriptures, it's pretty clear God doesn't approve of
The ultimate liberal mantra: Everyone who makes more than me needs to have what
they have stolen and given to me. Marxists: No one every dreams
about being the janitor in the New World Order, comrade. They are all part of
the ruling class. Who, pray tell, is going to be the janitors in this brave
communist world that Piketty's peddling? Him? Somehow, I doubt that he is
willing to have his wealth confiscated and be put to work scrubbing toilets.
That's for some other chump.