Redshirt 1701,Companies go overseas to places where there are no
regulations, and they can hire child labor for pennies on the dollar. The only
goal of those companies who go offshore now is to make the largest profit
possible. They don't care about the workers or being a good steward of the
land and or the environment. It is all about the bottom line. They have the
right to do that even though many times what they do is morally and ethically
wrong. As many posters have said, companies have no responsibility to create
jobs or pay good wages, labor costs cut into profit and companies exist for
profit. So lets all be honest see most companies for what they are and applaud
those few companies who actually care about their employees.If we
deregulate and cut taxes for business to zero, there will be no increase in
jobs, no increase in wages but there will most certainly be an increase in
profits, because that is what companies are designed to do. We should not make
companies villains or victims, but we should understand them for what they are.
To "pragmatistferlife" I know you would like to think that liberal
policies would restore manufacturing to the US, but history has shown us what
really happens. Liberals will continue to "regulate our way to
prosperity", which never works. Companies go overseas to locations that are
willing to work with US manufacturers and allow them to operate with fewer
regulations than what the US imposes.The only way that liberal
policies can restore the manufacturing jobs to the US is to collapse the economy
so much that that US dollar becoems worthless.
Check the numbers. If you define the "Reagan Era" from the time Reagan
took office to the time he left, the numbers are stunning. GDP growth averaged
3.1 percent per year, including the 80-81 recession. Real median family income
grew by 0.8 percent per year, from $36,500 to $41,000. (All figures are in 1994
dollars). This followed zero household income growth from 1973 to 1980, and was
followed by a decline of -0.3 from 1988-95. (Source: Economic Report of the
President, 1996). The numbers get even better if you define the "Reagan
Era" from '81--when his tax cuts passed--to '89, the year after he
left. And yes, the growth was across all household income levels.
So Redshirt, rather than argue ideologies with you, let me just encourage you to
look at the countries that are in fact doing well. The common thread is they
have re-tooled, re-educated and moved ahead with new industries that demand
higher skills and thus higher wages. They are producing (first
plus) products that no one else can (what America use to do, and needs to do
again). That should be the goal not simply less government involvement in the
economy. I and most "liberals" would in fact favor
government policies that move us to those goals. In some cases I'm sure
that would involve getting out of the way. Other policies may in fact require
some government support (technology development).Given our current
economy however, there is no natural movement to a new technology driven
industrial economy, which is the answer to inequality..higher paying work.BTW this use to be the Republican/Conservative view.
To "Ranch" it is coveting the minute you begin to desire what belongs to
another person.From Webster's Dictionary the definition of
covet is "to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably".
If that isn't good enough, Oxford's dictionary defines it as to
"yearn to possess or have (something)".Your statement shows
that you covet what the wealthy have. The question is who's labor is more
valuable. Is it the person with no skills flipping burgers, or is it the person
that makes decisions regarding contracts and marketing for the entire company?
If the burger flipper doesn't perform well it will only directly effect
that one location. If the CEO constantly makes bad decisions, it destroys the
company. Tell me which is harder to find, a good burger flipper or a good
CEO?You want to go the communism route where everybody is paid the
same regardless of skill or knowledge. The free market teaches us that you are
paid according to what skills and knowledge you bring.
To "pragmatistferlife" actually the person in the White House can
significantly alter the economy based on the policies that they implement or the
laws that they allow to be passed.For instance, in the article
"$1.8 trillion shock: Obama regs cost 20-times estimate" in the
Washington Examiner points out that the regulations and Obamacare combined are
going to be sucking $184 billion out of the economy each year. What do you
think happens to businesses that now have to pay more to comply with
regulations?How can jobs be created when the employers end up with
fewer profits to use for expansion?You are wrong about how to pull
out of the recession and get the economy going again. If you go back to 1900,
and look at every recession since then you find the same thing. The more the
government tries to "fix" thing, the worse it get. When the government
backs off, or better yet cuts taxes and spending, the recession is over quickly.
Individual people are the solution, not government regulations and programs.
Since when is it "coveting" the wealth of others to work an honest
day's work and have the fruits of your labors go to the man at the top? It
seems to me, the coveting is being done by those at the top. They're
coveting (and taking) the fruits of another man's labor.
"We need to understand why it is happening."Multi-factorial.
Tax structure--low capital gains tax and carried-interest
loophole.Pay structure--worker wages not increasing along with management
wages. From an article "The Causes of Rising Inequality" by
the National Bureau of Economic Research:"Their review of the
CEO debate places equal emphasis on the market, in showering capital gains
through stock options, and an arbitrary management-power hypothesis based on
numerous non-market aspects of executive pay. "CEOs, through compensation
committees and inbreeding of boards of directors, have a unique ability to
control their own compensation," the authors write. "Furthermore, if a
director approves a higher compensation package, that may subsequently lead her
to receive more compensation at her own firm."They cite one
study of 1,500 firms that found that the compensation earned by the top five
corporate officers in 1993-5 equaled 5% of their firms' total profits
during that period; by 2000-2, that ratio had more than doubled to 12.8%. The
trend was caused in equal parts by arbitrary pay decisions by corporate boards
and by the showering of stock options on CEOs, they conclude."
RedShirt," under Obama, income inequality has INCREASED. Of course it has.
It's steadily been increasing for the past 40 years despite the President.
It has to do with the structure of the economy not who's in the White
House. Who's in the White could effect the structure of the
economy but hasn't so far. This is what pulled us out of the great
depression, and has a 100 year "This is what pulled us out of
the great depression, and has a 100 year track record of working with every
recession that has occurred." First of all not exactly true, but more
importantly what worked in an emerging industrial society, and a fully
functioning industrial society is not what will work in a post industrial
society. Until you have an economy with jobs that once again demand
an equal share of the wealth unleashing unfettered market forces simply
centralizes the wealth in the top 1%. Such jobs are not easy to
come by, but they certainly aren't created by further empowering the
financial sector. There's absolutely no incentive for them to do anything
but create and hoard.
Cur: So your solution to income inequality is to hire a smart attorney so that
you pay the lowest rate? You think you get Buffett level advice from H. &
R. Block?? The tax code was written by no one of either party. It was written by
those with the most money to pay lobbyists to favor their "sacred cow'.
Didn't Confucius say: "Them that has gets!"Flash: The
Forbes 400 list catalogues the 400 richest in America. How many know more than
the Gates and Buffets? #6, #7, #8, and #9 on the list all share the same last
name: Walton. That would be the fortune amassed by Sam Walton. 6,7,8,9 are his
kids. Only number 7 has ever had a thing to do with Wal-Mart, yet their total
fortune is listed at 136 Billion dollars. That figure would make them #56 in a
United Nations list of Countries by GDP. Do those facts give you not the
slightest pause that the playing field is level in the USA, that hard work will
win the day?
To "Roger Terry" the best plan Republicans have is to get rid of Obama
and let the free market operate again. This is what pulled us out of the great
depression, and has a 100 year track record of working with every recession that
has occured.As the Huffington Post and Daily Kos have pointed out in
some articles, under Obama, income inequality has INCREASED. See "Income
Inequality Worse Under Obama Than George W. Bush" in the Huffington Post.What bothers me most is that people think that Obama just needs more
power and more time to get things right. Unfortunately that not only won't
work, but ultimately leads to less freedom.The only plan Republicans
need is to have is dismantle most regulations and government programs that have
been enacted over the past 20 years.To "Open Minded Mormon"
it is a lie that most wealthy people have inherited their wealth. Read "The
Decline of Inherited Money" in the WSJ. Less than 10% of the wealthy
inherited their money.To "one old man" but the wealthy do
pay their "fair share" of taxes. They account for around 35% of all
income in the US, yet pay close to 40% of all income taxes.
I have more disdain than empathy for people who covet the wealth of others.
I'm okay with inequality.That said, we do need to recognize the
fact that the money one earns is a function of what you *negotiate* more than
what you actually produce. The people who get fabulously wealthy in this
economy are the ones who were able to negotiate for themselves wealth that was
actually produced by legions of others. Again, I'm okay with that.My concern is with the effect that inequality has on the overall
economy. Say a poor man and a rich man work *together* to produce a dollar
(worth of goods and services). How they divide the dollar they jointly created
effects the macro economy. The poor man will spend his part, while the rich man
will save his. Given that an optimal economy has a macroeconomic balance
between saving and spending, too much money going to the rich hurts the economy.
What? Still no takers? I'm still waiting for a Republican response to my
challenge. Mike Lee tried, in his recent attempt to convince establishment
Republicans that he is no tea party stooge, but his proposals do nothing to
reduce the ever-widening gap between the rich and the rest.Maybe
I'll have to wait forever . . .
high school fan:Please explain to me, then, why we refer to the huge
tax cuts on the wealthy as the Reagan tax cuts and the Bush tax cuts?Flashback:It doesn't matter who is president when the tax
code is almost set in stone (Grover's stone, that is). Look what it took to
merely allow the Bush tax cuts on the ultra-wealthy to expire, raising the top
rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. But tax rates are merely a mechanism to
fund (or underfund, if you're Republican) the services we require of
government. The real problem is the initial distribution of wealth, which has
gotten more and more skewed over the past 30 years. The problem is that the
people who actually create the wealth don't get a fair share of it. Why?
Because corporate capitalism has a dual pay system. It pays a small cadre of
owners and executives as much as possible, while it pays the workers as little
as possible. This is viewed as good business. Labor is merely a cost to be
minimized. And if workers won't accept lower pay, ship their jobs off to
Bangladesh or Vietnam.
I have to agree with Chris B, who at 2:02 yesterday posted:"Its sad
there are so many lazy people who think rich people should pay for their share
of the country's expenses."Let's edit that a bit to
make it accurate:It's sad there are so many hard working people
who think rich people should pay for their share of the country's expenses
by eliminating their ability to dodge tax payments by hiding their money in
overseas bank accounts and finding creative ways to use a multitude of tax
shelters that are not available to those of us who are less affluent.
Tax deductions were originally set-up as a means to force spending.[see my
earlier comment about "usury"]If a person or business sat on
his money [buried it like the unwise and slothful servant] - he would be taxed
for it.However -- If you "used" it, invested it in
something "useful" [equipment, machinery, computers, trainging, hiring
new employees, expanding a business, home improvements, etc.] - he could
deducted it and not show it as earned "profit" and therfore avoid the
tax entirely.The problem is -- The uber rich and businesses
have been abusing and gaming the system to their advange the rest of can't.
One thing is for certain: we need to allow the billionaires and millionaires to
hoard more money so the poor and middle class can pay all the taxes.
Grover, Mitt's 2.9 million (14% of 21 mil) is most likely way more than you
have paid in income taxes your whole life. Personally, I think that Mitt has
paid his fair share. By the way, he took advantage of legal deductions. Mr. Letter writer, just who has been president most of the time since
2007? The rich have gotten way richer with a Democrat in the White House the
last six years, not a Republican.While I agree that sometimes the
rich overdo it, they have earned the money and worked hard to get it, so they
deserve to keep as much as they legally can. Until we have a flat tax that
hits everyone the same percentage, nothing will change.Republican
solution? Flat tax, no deductions. Simple as that. Not your "progressive
tax" nonsense with all kinds of loopholes and deductions.
Joe, "WHY is the wealth collecting so rapidly at the top?" Details are
important but let me give my opinion as to the meta cause of this
transformation. America was equalized as our economy was
industrialized. Starting in the late 70's and especially the early
80's America began to de-industrialize and turn it's economy into a
financial economy that just simply doesn't need workers (of course
that's a little bit of an overstatement but not much). A
financially based economy is designed to amass the wealth in the few. It's
been described as a larva eating it's host alive from the inside out. The problem simply doesn't have a conservative solution because the
old is gone. Reality demands a new economy, one where the old platitudes like
you need to get up early and work hard make some sense;BTW,
President Obama has made such suggestions multiple times and been rebuffed by
the right every time. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahIf you want to be rich, you have to
work at it. 12:21 p.m. Dec. 11, 2013========= No you don't.The truth is -- MOST rich people have never worked a
single day in their lives.They inherit their wealth.Some
ancestor of theirs did the "work", and they simple reap the
rewards of someone else's "work".It goes against 100%
against God's law of the Harvest.BTW - Why do you covet the
I suggest that we look at the realities of the disparity in wealth and the
trend.By any reasonable account, this is terrible for our
country.So, we must ask ourselves, "WHY is the wealth collecting
so rapidly at the top?"It would be easy to just say that the rich are
getting smarter and working harder.But, does one really believe
that? Can someone show me how the poor and middle class are getting dumber and
lazier?This is terrible for our country. We need to understand why
it is happening. Then, make some changes. Any suggestions as to
Just remember that the tax code was written by congress which the democrats have
controlled for much of the past ninety years. Ask the founder of Facebook about
being wealthy, or the owner of the Dallas mavericks or how about the Larry H
Miller family, or the Huntsman's or the Romney's or anyone else that
now has money when their ancestors didn't.That is what makes America,
our ability to progress. And now as to nearly half the country that pays
absolutely nothing in federal taxes, you can't get better than zero except
yes you can because of earned income credit rule. You get money back that
someone else paid in. Only in America.
@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.
"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.
To understand trickle down,you need to look at what you have, and
NOT at disparity (what others have).
"Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has
won. It's been a rout."-Warren BuffettGreat 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
Grover,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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
alt134,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
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.
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
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
@Roland KeyserI'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.
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.
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
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.
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.