Screwdriver -"The Bolshevik revolution would not have been
possible without the starvation caused by the Czars policies. Neither the French
revolution nor the Mexican revolution. 'Good points, the common
element that sparked those revolutions was a huge income disparity.Eventually the peasants, and the serfs, and the peons ALWAYS rise up after
being trickled on for years by the great "generosity" of their Lords,
and Masters, and Patrons, and the Plutocrats who, through Reagonomic-like
policies, have succeeded in keeping the working class down and impotent.The founders gave us government for the purpose of solving problems and
implementing sensible and workable SOLUTIONS. The huge income gap and the rise
of plutocrats who can advance their agendas at the expense of the nation and it
citizens is a PROBLEM that needs to be addressed.Plutocrats, like
the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, who don't want their power
challenged, have found it effective to neutralize government. They have
launched successful propaganda campaigns turning a substantial segment of
American society into nodding automatons, who now regard our government
(designed by the founders to promote the general welfare), as an evil entity
that cannot be trusted.Come on "Conservatives," . . . Get
Fred 44, YEP.The irony is that most of the GOP thinks they are on
the side of the wealthy which they are not. They are upset because their
standard of living in declining, but they have been predictably and effectively
propagandized to blame scapegoats other than the real rats. The reality is that
red states have the majority of those that don't pay any federal income
taxes and whose states benefit the most from federal spending. They also support
the most spending through large military expenditures and farm subsidies. In that scenario of cognitive dissonance and the realization that armed
revolutions only result in democracies a small percentage of the time, I think a
armed rebellion and revolution from the right will almost certainly NOT result
in a democracy or republic of any kind. It just doesn't have any of the
elements of truth in it that would be necessary.
patriot:"Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of
Communism." Yes. Communism was marked by a whole truckload of people who
made very little money and a few at the top who raked in boatloads. We are
indeed headed for such an outcome. In this way, corporate capitalism and
communism are similar. Now, if we had worker-owned businesses, then those who
created the wealth might get to keep some of it.
Fred44Salt Lake City, UtahScrewdriver,So are you
predicting the next American revolution because of the current maldistribution
of wealth?12:45 p.m. May 20, 2014=========== Why not?The 1st American Revolution was over Wealth -- the nobles
vs. the peasants?So was the French Revolution.As was the Bolshevik
Revolution.The REAL takers are the Wealthy, The REAL makers
are the Workers.
Screwdriver,So are you predicting the next American revolution
because of the current maldistribution of wealth?
Would ONE conservative please explain how at the peak of American prosperity
[1950-1970's] -- We had the highest taxes, The highest
wages, andThe stongest Unions, And today we have -- The lowest taxes, The lowest wages, andthe weakest
Unions.Yet, Amerincan GDP and productivity has NEVER been higher?
Resources have to be maldistributed first to enable the will to redistribute.
The Bolshevik revolution would not have been possible without the
starvation caused by the Czars policies. Neither the French revolution nor the
Mexican revolution. The American revolution would not have happened
if the English had not made policies that maldistributed the wealth from the
people here to the few in England.Te Lord keeps having the same
problem over and over: Whenever he leaves his children alone he comes back to
find a few taking all the stuff and the others doing all the work.
@Thid Barker;Without the checker at WalMart, the stock boy or the
cart chaser, the Waltons would have no money to pay in the first place.@ClarkHippo;So you put in 14 hours per day, what about the people
who work for you? Without whom, your business couldn't function at all
(unless your a one-man band). Those people deserve a piece of the pie
they're helping you to bake.
"Those creating the wealth are the innovators, those who take the risks of
actually producing products and services that are in demand so they are able to
HIRE workers!"What risk? We bailed out the banks. We bailed out
the home builders. These companies and their CEOs have become very good at
minimizing their own risk, and never bother to return their massive paychecks
when their formerly high-flying companies fail. The wealthy, thanks in large
part to various tax loopholes, have become increasingly adept at protecting
their wealth from the tax man.
Bennett: "In the last 15 years, California's industrial employment base
shrank by 600,000 jobs. In the last 20 years, roughly 4 million more people
moved out than moved in, most of them young families. California’s
unemployment rate is fourth highest in the nation."Pray, how
does this square with Sen. Bennett's support for massive unskilled, Third
World immigration, legal or illegal? California doesn't have enough jobs
for Americans, but it has so many vacant jobs it needs illegals to fill them.
Which is it, too many jobs, or not enough?Follow the logic: business
is creating so many jobs it needs illegals to fill them. We're supposed to
worry that increasing the minimum wage will reduce the number of jobs businesses
create that they already claim they're unable to fill with American
workers?Increase the minimum wage, help poor American workers, and
reduce the demand for illegal immigrant workers. The goal of having a strong
economy is to help Americans become better off, not to maximize the number of
employees, citizen and immigrant, legal and illegal, that businesses employ.
Patriot... if it were really all as simple as voting Obama out of office.....
but it isn't. Our economy has been changing for over 3 decades away, and
those who perform low skill jobs are seeing their jobs go away - and they
aren't coming back - ever. No presidential change is going to change that
fact.What is going on is the economy is poor for those unskilled
workers. For those with skills... actually the economy is doing quit well. In
the middle, there is a miss mash of opportunity and despair..... depending on
your skills.I wish I agreed with you that the panacea to problems
was Republican control... but alas I just don't see it. I don't see
it with Democrat control either. We need someone, some group that is willing
to invest in America. We can not win by the raw numbers. China, India will
have bigger economies - that is inevitable. All we can control is the value
our workers bring to the global economy.
re:UtahBlueDevilHelping those in need is never ever been achieved by
giving hand outs. Handouts (wealth redistribution) creates a de-insentive to
work and to acheive and an attachment and dependence on government which
essentially extingusihes freedom. The best way to help all classes of people
(from the very poor to the very rich and everyone inbetween) is to create a
STRONG economy where jobs are plentiful and pay is high. Today we have a weak
economy and many have simply given up looking for work and instead have just
resigned themselves to the next welfare check from Mr Obama. This is a recpipe
I have no problem with something thinking up something, working hard, and having
a business.What I DO take issue with, is Vulture Capitalists -- Those who buy up a businesses, smash it up into itty bitty pieces, liquided
the assets, sell off the pentions of the employees, out source and off shore the
jobs, and pop champange and pat themselves on the backs for making lots of
money!They produce nothing, and just like the name implies --
are carcass feasting vultures, fattening themselve up on the others. Garbage birds, flies and maggots. Like the Money Changers in
Jesus's time -- They buy and sell, they PRODUCE nothing.Just leeching off of others.
What you tea party types fail to realize is that most "liberals" do not
envy the rich. They typically ARE the wealthier, more educated people who
realize that it is not beneficial to society to have such a large gap between
rich and poor. And they care about those in our society who are in need. And
don't give me that baloney about how "liberals" don't donate
their money. Take a look at most of the major philanthropists in our country.
Giving 10% to your church is a good thing, but it doesn't help the poor and
needy, and it skews the numbers to make church attendees (who for some reason
that I cannot fathom are typically ultra conservative) look more generous.
"Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of Communism."It
was also a key component to Adam Smith's writing - the guy who first
defined the capitalist system. A strong capitalist system requires a motivated
and engaged working class to survive. When the balance trips to far to the
"rich", workers loose hope and stop participating in the system. Plainly said, we need people who are motivated to take low income jobs,
because those jobs still have the potential to improve their lives. When those
jobs stop helping people provide for themselves, people become disengaged. And this is where the welfare state can cause problems. If the delta
between doing nothing, and being engaged is too small, there is no incentive. If
moving forward is so incremental, it doesn't provide a carrot to join the
system where your work is going to benefit someone else far disproportionately
than to yourself.It's a tough balance... helping those in
need... and providing them a path out.
Too many who post here are not understanding the differences between
entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and capitalism. But, may I say: for those who
feel because they have worked hard and created an enterprise that they feel they
should have the right to succeed on the backs of slave labor, you are mistaken;
and you shouldn't be in business. You should go work for a minimum wage and
learn some humanity.
Only the most foolish and gullible cannot see that conservatives like to use
everyday facts to demean our government. Is there anything in life that one can
give to another that he did not receive from another.
Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of Communism. Do we really want to go
down that road...even an inch? America has always been about individual ambition
but today with Obama the message is "ask not what you can do for your
country but what your country can give you for free". This is a very
slippery slope and once you create a society of dependent people it is nearly
impossible to reverse that until it collapses your economy - ask Greece. I fear
for the America my son is going inherit let alone my grandsons. If America does
choose wealth redistribution and Communism then we can expect the predictable
outcomes and they are ugly and final. I fear the American electorate isn't
informed enough anymore to choose leaders who will bring back propsperity. We
live in an historically dumbed down society today in this country and one need
look no further than the past two presidential elections. Should we be scared -
YES!!! Are we ? NO!! Like Alfred E Newman of Mad Magazine we instead stupidly
say "what - me worry"? China is passing us by this year economically -
should that scare us to death? Yes!!!
What gets me is how so many commentators pick a few bad apples and assume that
the whole barrel is that way.On the left, they find a few lottery
winners or overpaid CEOs and assume that all rich people are corrupt and
don't deserve the money they have. They want to tax all wealthy people with
punitive taxes that target the successful small business owner the same as hedge
fund managers.On the right, they find a few welfare dead-beats who
game the system and spend food stamps on lobster and steak while they surf all
day at the beach and assume that all poor people are a bunch of moochers.The solution to these kinds of problems is not to implement punishing
rules and taxes aimed at the few bad apples that tend to miss the target and hit
a bunch of innocent bystanders.
The problem with Bob's editorial is that it doesn't tell us
"how" wealth is created, and who contributed to it's creation. And
why it was created in the first place. All wealth is the creation of
human labor, either physical or mental. All the buying and selling of the
wealth thus created does not create wealth itself but provides the mechanism for
the distribution and redistribution there of. We generally call that mechanism
Business. All wealth is for the satisfaction of human needs, wants
and desires. Business is an absolute necessity of civilized
society. A civilized society being defined as a society where the talents and
labors of its members are shared by some sort of economic business system.Business systems, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism etc., are the
remnants of human history where brute force was the distribution mechanism of
business. Today's Capitalism is the current refinement of the brute force
system in the distribution and redistribution of wealth. Today's brute
force is called money. But it is not any more fair or better for people.
@ClarkHippoWhat I heard RanchHand saying is what I see: Those at the
owner end forget that it requires the entire team to make them profitable. They
see their hard work and the jobs they create, but they dismiss their
employees' contributions as 'what I paid for." This may
technically be true, but it also objectifies the employee. It isn't a
team. It's about the ones at the top. THEY'RE the important ones.
It's also frequently implied that there's something wrong
with those who aren't wealthy or running their own businesses. This
completely ignores the fact that none of us choose our personality traits and
gifts, much less the circumstances into which we're born. So,
yeah, it rankles a bit when the most fortunate in the gene pool behave as if
they're successful solely because they worked harder. This is hubris. And
it's a small person that looks upon those born with less and blames them
for it.I think of the nation as a team and a team is only as strong
as its weakest player. It behooves us to spend more time developing the weaker
Piketty's book calls for careful reading. I understand Piketty to be
saying that as the rate of return for capital exceeds the overall growth rate,
capital concentration will accelerate and labor will be crushed. Though Piketty
doesn't claim to be a Marxist, his thesis reminds me of Marx's laws of
capital accumulation. There is a dynamic in capitalism which is the
root of its own death according to Marx. Is Marx right? I'm not sure, but
he needs to be examined by the economics profession who shun him. I am sure
Marx needs to be critically examined, especially with the new light being shed
by Piketty.I wonder if Senator Bennett has ever read Marx's
"Capital." He should.
@ClarkHippo – “even after I do all that, in your eyes I'm still
nothing by someone skims off the top?”You make an excellent
point and I know very few people (except perhaps far-lefties) who would argue
for exorbitant taxes of most businesses.Where it get interesting
though is when a business owner begins to make huge sums of money for no other
reason than economies of scale (i.e., is the founder of McDonalds working any
harder than he did when he had 100 stores as when he has 10,000?) Same logic
applies to a hedge fund manager vs. a small investment advisor or any other
Fortune 500 size business.Why shouldn’t those folks pay a
higher marginal rate when their tremendous gain in wealth is based almost
entirely on scale? Isn’t that a form of “hitting the
lottery?”And what about the people who did inherit all their
money from Daddy? Does it make any sense to pass along hundreds of millions of
dollars to a few individuals who did nothing other than be fortunate enough to
be born into a particularly family (e.g. Sam Walton’s kids)?
@banderson... what makes you think you know how much any of us make, or how big
of a house we have, or what any of our own personal wealth is? I am blown away
by people who say the only reason someone would want equality is envy. Im am
not sure if it is because you are speaking from your own point of reference, or
if the marketing machine has just worked hat well. But I assure
you, many of us who post here are not in "need" nor are they envious of
anything you or anyone else has. I am amazed at how many people think they have
something I or others would want.I have been deeply blessed in this
life, and envy has nothing to do with my wanting others to be able to achieve
those blessings as well. Envy, nor greed has anything to do with it.
Roland,OK, specifically adjust how hedge fund managers are taxed, do not
place a blanket “INCREASE TAXES ON THE RICH” demand across our
economy, when MOST of the wealthy ARE creating wealth, and not just vacuuming
money off the top.bobdc6ever hear of the Smoot Hawley tarrifs
and what they led to?GaryO,Arnold? That’s the best
you’ve got? Thanks for the laugh. But everything you’ve said just
points out the CA government has more; it does not address the flight of jobs,
families, and wealth from the golden state.Esquire,Bob should
read the Huffington Post? Why? No truth there. BlueDevil,We
DO want equal opportunity. What too many of your liberal co-horts want is equal
outcome, which means we all are equally poor.Want to make more than
the minimum wage? Make your labor more valuable than minimum wage.
Funny how people love to ridicule CEOs and business owners who become wealthy
but no one directs the same attacks toward pro athletes, singers, or movie
stars.I would truly love to see President Obama one day give a
speech before his Hollywood and pro athlete pals with people like Michael Moore,
Oprah, Bill Maher, George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Michael Jordan and LeBron James
in the audience and say something like:"You people are all
greedy. You don't need all those millions of dollars, I'm going bury
you people up to your ears in taxes and give that money to those who truly
earned it and truly deserve it."If you've had the same
wish, I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.
"Republicans like the minimum wage, the more minimum the
Is it greed, greed, greed, or envy, envy, envy! I'm sure there is a lot of
greed going on in Capitalism, but the biggest emotion is envy. Just look at the
number of responses here! None will admit it, of course, because it is much too
easy to vilify the wealthy and their greed then to overcome your own envy!
Why is saying that employers should pay a reasonable wage when they are
profitable is redistribution of wealth? Why is saying that the country was
better when taxes were higher on the wealthy called envy? Why do so many come
on this discussion board and bash the poor but get offended when someone
suggests that the wealthy have been given an advantage by government policy? The facts are the distribution of wealth in this country is tipping
rapidly and dramatically toward the wealthy. The "trickle down"
economic policy we embarked on under Reagan has led to an increase in the money
in the pockets of the wealthy and has not trickled down to the middle and lower
classes. The current trend of wealth distribution if it continues will
eventually lead to the destruction of the America that we know and love. We can
make all the excuses for creating policy that advantages the wealthy we want,
but in the end it will not be good for America.
@RanchHandIn other words, if I create a business, use my own ideas,
techniques and strategies to make it profitable; if I put in 14 hours a day, six
to seven days a week looking at ways I can improve my business. If I beg, borrow
and risk all I have because I truly believe in my business, and by means of my
hard work I am able to make a fabulous profit, hire employees and in the process
expand my business even further; even after I do all that, in your eyes I'm
still nothing by someone skims off the top? Someone whose profits should be
taken away?I know many people think all CEOs and business owners are
simply robber barons who inherited the business from Daddy and do nothing but
sit in their office all day counting the cash.
Thid:Mitt Romney is a prosperity and job creator? Please. I'd
say Mitt is more of a prosperity bandit and a job taker. Have you looked at his
record at Bain? Do you understand what "private equity" firms do? Just
because we've renamed these corporate raiders doesn't mean they do
anything different than they did in the 1980s. I'd suggest reading David
Stockman's "Mitt Romney: The Great Deformer." Stockman is a fellow
Republican and fellow private equity investor. He knows whereof he speaks.
The oligarchs (of BOTH parties)like to keep the American public arguing about
WHO should pay more, not only in taxes, but also in salary distribution on the
open market. Using the "argue till you drop" logic, - nothing will ever
happen. Of course wealthy (and stingy)people understand that.How's this: What if we tied the salary of the highest pd. executives to
the lowest pd. in a company - by law?For instance; if the top 10% of a
company earns (as an aggregate)10 million for instance, the LOWEST 10%
wage-earners MUST earn (again as an aggregate)at least 1 million?Legislatively, the percentages could be tied to any formula politically
feasible. But WHATEVER formula was implemented, it would act to bring up the
wages of the "bottom" tier of the earning spectrum to somewhat of a
relevancy in relation to exorbitant out of control executive salaries.
The average middle income wage earner has not seen an increase in real wages in
over 30 years. The gap between the haves and the have nots is the largest it has
ever been in our counties history. There is generation of income in our country
it's just not going to the workers. Talking about gas attendants and
equating it to today is a weak argument at best. It's the greed of some who
exploit labors to work for less and less while they protect their money in
offshore bank accounts who are driving this argument against a strong minimum
wage. The fact is when we invest in our workers and allow them to share in the
increased wealth this nation has seen (which the very wealthy have realized) we
will have a stronger country. The greed of the few prevent the real realization
of the American Dream or even the ability to participate in it in some small
way. The arguments against a better minimum wage ring hollow.
Calls for greater equity in society are not always sour grapes, or class envy, I
think that some of you would be surprised to find that some of the progressives
who comment on this subject in the DNews are doing quite well, financially.What amazes me is that people who lack economic opportunities often
times vote against their own self interests!
"I don’t argue with the concept of a minimum wage. However, if it is
set too high it can re-distribute poverty instead of wealth."No,
Republicans don't argue with the concept of a minimum wage. They just want
to keep it below the level it reached in 1950, which is where it is today. In
1950, six years before I was born, the minimum wage in today's dollars was
$7.29.And how on earth could we possibly set it too high? We're
not Switzerland. We're talking about giving workers the gains they should
have earned just through cost-of-living increases. Instead, those gains went to
the owners and executives who refuse to pay people fairly. It isn't setting
the wage too high that redistributes poverty; it is setting it too low, which is
where it's at today. This is just more conservative excuse making.And all the talk about moving jobs offshore is largely irrelevant. Most
minimum wage jobs are not exportable. (I'm not going to drive to Bangladesh
to buy a Big Mac.)
This debate will never be resolved so long as folks continue looking at the
problem through the lens of their own narrow self interest. Sure, everyone
wants to make more money, but getting there is the trick. And focusing on the
top 1% (or .01% as is even more fun apparently) only compounds the problem by
taking our collective eye off the ball.The entire discussion of what
the top earners make is a red herring because it fails to address the root
causes of wealth dissipation: lack of education or poor educational choices,
living beyond one's means (i.e., going into debt for luxuries and not
necessities), frittering away one's time in front of the television,
computer or video game console, failing to understand the nature of risk in
starting and maintaining a successful small business, being unable or unwilling
to devote the incredible amount of time and attention required to run a
successful business, and so forth. One truth remains absolutely inviolate:
envying the wealth and success of others never did and never will produce wealth
for the person doing the envying and complaining.
Or, as Sir Winston Churchill noted, "The inherent virtue of Socialism is the
equal sharing of miseries."
Piketty’s data driven tome looks interesting, not to mention a bit
alarming, however we should be less concerned about income inequality per se
than the rise of the super-rich (the 0.1%) and their disproportionate influence
on society. The new study by Princeton and Northwestern (US is an
Oligarchy) is far more alarming.Sadly, the Tea Party folks recognize
this yet their solution is simply to “drown government in a bathtub”
failing to realize that oligarchies can thrive in the absence of government
power (that can effectively check an oligarch’s power) as much as they can
by controlling a too powerful government.Our centuries long
experiment in democracy and the values of the Enlightenment may be coming to an
end… let’s hope not.
I don't get why we get into this "wealth redistribution" rhetorical
circle... when what most want is just equal opportunity to wealth creation.
Some come by the opportunity by class or place in society. Others have families
that help foster a culture of wealth creation. Some have the desire, but
don't have access to capital. For others, its education. But it is much
more than just taking money from one person to put into anthers pocket.But we do the topic injustice when we dumb it down to the the sound bit
mentality of "wealth redistribution".
Wealth is being created, and quickly redistributed to a very select few. There
is no largesse in the system anymore, no desire for all to get ahead. Just a
I agree with Idahotransplant. Since we have an income tax and it's not
likely to go away any time soon it should be: A flat tax. No loopholes. No
exemptions. No deductions. Everybody pays at the same rate. Remember Mr.
Buffet's secretary? Her tax rate was higher than Mr. Buffet's. His tax
bill was much higher than hers because he had a much higher income but she paid
a larger percentage of her income than he did. This is not fairness. A flat tax
paid by everyone is the only way to make an income tax fair. There
are those who oppose a flat tax because they think that the poor should not be
asked to pay taxes. Wrong. Everyone deserves the dignity and self respect that
comes from paying their fair share. We have multiple programs designed to
provide necessary asstance to those who need it. Asking them to pay taxes just
like everyone else does them no harm.
Instead of essentially arguing for his own personal interests, perhaps Bob
should look at the plight - yes, plight - of the low income earners, many of
whom never receive a pay raise ever because many employers will only pay minimum
wage, period. Perhaps Bob should read the story on today's Huffington
Post, entitled "Here's The Painful Truth About What It Means To Be
'Working Poor' In America" to get another perspective. I'm
sure that he and other apologists for the wealthy, who are doing incredibly well
overall, can come up with all sorts of reasons why they should be entitled to
hoard their fortunes and not pay an honest wage for honest work. In the end,
best management practices include taking good care of your most valuable asset,
your people. This creates a happier and more productive workforce, and creates
more economic activity, all of which is good for business. Some business people
need a little help prying the money from their tight fists, but in the end,
giving them that help is good for the whole of our society.
@ Ranch. "Mr. Bennett ignores the fact that those "creating" the
wealth are the people actually doing the work down in the trenches." Totally backwards! Who signs their paychecks? Who gives them a job in the
first place? Those creating the wealth are the innovators, those who take the
risks of actually producing products and services that are in demand so they are
able to HIRE workers! People have to have a job before then can work in the
trenches! Our problem is that too few jobs are available and too many people are
unemployed, on food stamps and have given up looking for work therefore they are
unproductive and only consume the fruits of other people's work! Mitt
Romney is a prosperity and job creator! Obama never created a job in his life
at least that some other worker didn't have to subsidize.
In the past the nations financial sector was around ten percent of the nations
economy, today it is near thirty percent and it is a sector that produces no
product but over lapping services of skimming and scamming the working mans
wages. For every hard working American earning ten bucks an hour there are three
worthless financial types ripping off apiece of the pie. Today there are more
(so called) money managers than there are accountants.
A simple fix to all of this is a flat tax. no if and's or Butt's.
eliminate the loopholes, seriously simplify the tax code.
The government cannot give to one without taking from another. Only the most
foolish and gullible cannot see that irrefutable truth.
Mr. Bennett you make some great points in your article, in that there has to be
some money or funding to squabble over, a pie in order to cut up the pieces and
divy them out.One point this article touches on but did not really
addresss is that the money made to this point and there has been alot of it is
now residing not with those who earned it but with the upper 1%.This
country and the workers can make more money but without some directional change
the result will be the same.The tax breaks George W. Bush used to
pay off the voters has cost the country in excess of 1 trillion dollars, that
money would put a great beg dent on our deficit, or pay for healthcare for
everyone in the country under 40 years of age. Of course we know had
the tax break not been handed out that money would still have been spent and not
on either of those two valuable ideas. However the money was given back and it
migrated right into the hands of those elite who hold it now.Fix the
system or repeat history.
Senator Bennett clearly hasn't read Piketty's book, which most
emphatically does not suggest income distribution in pursuit of
'fairness.' Piketty's evidence clearly demonstrates that
we're approaching a point where the return on capital exceeds the return on
industry. In other words, money accumulates at the top in such quantities that
it chokes off investment and economic growth. And, as capital is concentrated in
the hands of a few super-wealthy inheritors of wealth, debt accumulates among
the poor and middle class. The richest people are, increasingly, not job
creators at all, but are heirs to vast fortunes. Read the actual book. It's
brilliant, convincing, and quite terrifying.
Mr. Bennett ignores the fact that those "creating" the wealth are the
people actually doing the work down in the trenches. Without these people,
there would be nothing at all for those at the top to take. Fairness, imo,
would be for those making the [insert product/service here] to receive the lions
share of the proceeds from their efforts; those who skim at the top should skim
quite a bit less.
Wall Street allows anyone to risk money. What too many people fail to understand
is that there are a lot of people who have lost a lot of money on Wall Street.
Stock prices do not always go up. Hedge fund managers also lose a lot of money.
The headlines only tell us who the "winners" are, but there are a lot of
losers.If you want to make money, you fill a need. It's that
simple. Ask the kids who sell lemonade on a warm summer afternoon why they
don't sell lemonade in December. If kids are able to recognize a need and
then find a way to profit from satisfying that need, shouldn't adults be
adult enough to watch and learn. Kids don't expect the government to force
people to buy their lemonade. Kids don't expect the government to
subsidize their lemonade stand or transfer income to them. Kids find a small
table, a few chairs, some clean cups and some lemonade. They know the
secret.Why do so many adults look to Washington when the wisest of
the wise are the kids selling lemonade?
Agreed that wealth must be created. Distribution should not (other than a
reasonable safety net) be the province of govt.But this leaves
business. We used to have (in this country, not some foreign or socialist
nation) am idea of community involvement and fairness that began with the
business community. Not to say all were saints - but there was a prevailing
standard that most adhered to. Now, not so much. That is where the change must
be - in what business leaders do and say.
Mr. Bennett, real wages for middle-class Americans have stagnated in the last
30+ years while the income of the top 1% has skyrocketed. That's a
straightforward fact.The US economy grows when wage earners spend
their wages, not when billionaires create new tax havens in the Caymans and move
their factories to China.If the minimum wage kept pace with
inflation, it would be about $10.50 per hour today.States and
municipalities that have raised their minimum wages have _not_ seen a decline in
employment, in fact the opposite. Local economies become healthier.US Corporations are sitting on record-setting cash reserves, executive pay as
a multiple of front-line employee pay is at all-time-high levels, the
hyper-wealthy have never been hyper-wealthier, and Wall Street behaves as though
they've learned absolutely nothing from the crash of 2008.
Excellent article! If you tax them too much, they will leave, because they are
forced to leave! Is this the reason liberals are called the "left"? When
the government takes too much, producers, job creators and innovators will leave
and take their money and jobs with them and guess who is "left"?
Detroit is an excellent example as is much of California. This is real world
wealth re-distribution and it happens all the time. Mitt Romney was a prosperity
creator and how we needed him instead of what we got; prosperity destroyers!
Of course capital will always seek the best tax deal, among the states and among
the nations. Bennett says nothing about the accelerating maldistribution of
wealth. One doesn't have to be a Marxian theoretician (though it helps) to
appreciate that capitalism will choke itself if this continues.
"There have been plenty of other factors involved in turning
California’s business climate into the worst in the Union"
Yes, the devastating reign of the Republican strongman, Arnold the Gubernator,
almost terminated California's economy, didn't it?Now,
under Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, California produced the first budget
SURPLUS in many years. “ . . . academic support for the call
for hefty increases in . . . taxes on the rich.” HISTORY
shows us that the country has done much better overall (everything else being
more or less equal) when taxes for the highest earners were high.We
won WWII when the taxes for the higest earners was 94%. We went to the moon,
fought a war, AND had a budget surplus in 1969 when those taxes were 77% . At
91%, we built the interstate highway system, fought the cold war, had surpluses
and low deficits when Eisenhower was Pres. But since the beginning
of the GW Bush administration, with the highest tax rate at only 35%,
everything good has gone downhill in this nation.So why not do what
works for a change? . . . and RAISE taxes back where they should be for the
However, the fundamental truth remains -wealth must be created before it can be
redistributed. ========= Bob, Where have you
been?The Wealth has indeed been created - in record amounts.Look at WallStreet.Look at Corporatate earnings.For crying
out loud - YOU of all people - helped "bail" them out.The
point you should be making is this -- Greed knows no bounds!
Wise Words... Actually basic financial sense.This is exactly what
Mitt Romney was trying to incorporate. His Big Bird moment as an example of how
little America cares or understands its situation.SO...Fix
something before adding to it. Ahem... Healthcare!Earn it before spending
it. Ahem... Nearly everything the government tries to do.
Bennett focuses on taxes but ignores the fact the rich have made incredible
gains regardless of tax structures. And, after accumulating more wealth, the
rich have not raised the wages of their workers the way "trickle down"
economics dictate. If Bennett is right saying we help the poor by making the
rich richer - where are those improvements? Show us the stats that indicate
supporting the rich is justified and good for our poor.
"the fundamental truth remains -wealth must be created before it can be
redistributed."I think that is the argument. The wealthy keep
getting wealthier, but the middle and lower classes seem to be left out of the
economic boom they've enjoyed. While I'm not a fan of
"redistribution" per se, I do believe it is in the best interest of
society to create opportunities for the middle and lower classes to enjoy
economic freedom and opportunities through education, job training, and
government service (for training and job experience). I was reading
that it may have been a anomaly in our history that post WWII, the GI Bill
created a booming middle class to foster rapid economic gains for lower and
middle classes in this country by offering low-cost/free education for the
masses. As the wealthy have moved manufacturing off-shore and conservative
legislatures across the country have cut higher ed funding, that engine for
economic opportunity has evaporated, and so coming generations of Americans will
be less well-off compared to their parents and grandparents.It's a free country, so the wealthy can work against the nation's
I think Mr. Bennett is missing the point of President Obama's ideas on
income inequality.I think Obama is referring to tax policies which
enable Billionaires, and people like Mitt Romney, to find ways to shelter large
portions of their incomes from taxes altogether, and then magically convert the
rest of their earnings into "capital gains" which are taxed at a measly
15%,Tax fairness is when the CEO of Fed Ex is taxed at the same rate
as the people who deliver the packages.
I think Mr. Bennett is talking about the economy. US jobs have been off shored
not due to taxes, but due to cheap overseas labor and US environmental laws.
That will not change until the Congress figures this cost into import duties on
cheap overseas goods. Mr. Bennett doesn't say how a 15% tax on hedge fund
managers results in more jobs for the poor, but I doubt that it does. Even Mitt
Romney talked about raising revenue by closing loopholes, but he never said
which ones, his or mine? Fair taxes means closing those loopholes written into
law by a Congress responding to those who give the biggest political donations.
This group includes the big Wall Street banks who are responsible for crashing
the world economy and other special interest loopholes sold by Congress, but Mr.
Bennett didn't mention any of that.
The four highest paid hedge fund managers earned as much last year as all of the
nation's 160,000 kindergarten teachers combined. Four people make more than
160,000 people. And those 160,000 people tend to be well educated and
productive. David Tepper, the nation's highest paid hedge fund
manager, made 3.5 billion dollars last year. That comes out to $1,750,000 an
hour. Mr. Tepper made more money in one hour than an average American worker
will earn for a lifetime of work. If you have ever studied the business model of
hedge funds you will find that they create nothing of value. They simply vacuum
money out of the top of the economy leaving less for everyone else.This is what the inequality discussion needs to be about, not gas station