Hard times: Despite record corporate profits, wages are being frozen

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  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 24, 2014 9:22 a.m.


    I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for the reason businesses are hoarding money. They do so not because they are afraid of government. They do so because there is insufficient demand for them to invest in increased production. This is a result of falling wages for the lower and middle classes. The upper crust doesn't consume proporationately to their income. This is made clear in "Inequality for All" by business tycoon Nick Hanauer.


    Reich's ideas have not been tried in Europe. And if you think Europe is such a failure, you've never lived in Germany, as I have. They'd never trade their economic system for ours.

    Those of you who seem to think we have too much government need to read David Korten's "When Corporations Rule the World." This is why we're in the predicament we are. And what other entity has the clout to break corporations' stranglehold on our future, except government? If government would do its job, we might someday be free again. I'm afraid, though, that the corporate system will probably have to collapse under the weight of its own excesses and self-centeredness.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 23, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    Most of are missing a very important reason Walmart exists. It provides less expensive goods that poor people could not access otherwise. There is a reason poor people do not often shop at Nordstrom.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 22, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    I wonder if the CEO:worker ratio in America is so high because corporations are so much bigger now than they were in 1965. Merger fever has been intense for decades. How many major banks existed in 1965 than we have today?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 22, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    I'm sure the Lord wants 80% of his blessings to go to 1% of his children.

    Walmart has 100's of applicants for every position. Because nobody wants to work in America anymore we're told, we're just takers.

    Please take half of my $15,000 a year Walmart job in taxes so I can sleep better at night Mitt Romney.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    I don't see anyone addressing the real cause of low stagnant wages. Wages like anything else are a product of supply and demand. Wages especially at the lower levels are stuck because of a large surplus of labor. Not hard to understand.

    The cause of this labor surplus has been increasing for several generations. The causes are: 1) Mechanization, 2) Automation, 3) Globalization with millions of factory jobs off-shored to cheap labor countries, and 4)Allowing a flood of legal and illegal labor into the United States in competition with America workers for both low and middle income jobs.

    The world economics has dramatically and become more global the past two decades. Not much can be done about jobs lost to 1-3 from above, but it is not necessary to flood the labor markets with cheap immigrant labor, which is causing depressed wages and high unemployment.

    Those who claim to want to improve wages, especially at low income levels, but still support amnesty, legalization, more visas, or even the presently high number of visas and illegal workers are a big part of the problem. Reduce immigrant labor and wages will increase, as the labor market tightens.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    I don't really see hundreds of applicants for a single job at Wal-Mart as a good thing. It suggests a lot of unemployment and underemployment. I don't see them paying pittance wages because hundreds of applicants applying as a good thing either. If most of these jobs are adults trying to feed their families on these wages, I don't see this as a good thing. If most of these jobs are so low paying that these adults with families have to get government subsidies to basically survive, I don't see that as a good thing either. I also don't see as a good thing agreeing too much with the Senator of Vermont (Bernie Sanders) who has said it is time to stop subsidizing Wal-Mart.

    I do believe in responsible capitalism. I wonder if any Wal-Mart would go out of business if it raised its wages of its lowest paying employees to $10 an hour. I doubt it. But I think they could get happier, more productive employees that might have some more cash to spend in our economy which helps us all.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 22, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    "Walmart had a food drive last Thanksgiving for its employees."

    I would not fault anyone for trying to help.

    The theme of your posts is that Walmart is encouraging others others in the community to help the Walmart employees.

    But, isn't it just a bit sad that people who are employed by one of the largest corporations in the world have trouble putting food on their table?

    The CEO of walmart makes an hourly wage comparable to what his new employees make in a year.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    We could raise the minimum wage say a buck an hour. It has been awhile.
    Also, some families have two worker's who both qualify for healthcare benefits. Currently, you have to choose one or the other, and the one you don't choose the employer keeps the money they would of kicked in to subsidize it. Why not give employees the option of taking that money in wages or say retirement benefits, if they can prove they have health insurance through their spouse.
    Since "non profits" get huge tax advantages and should be for the public good and we would hope their directors would work more out of altruism than greed, it seems reasonable their directors or CEO's shouldn't make a killing especially when they ask for donations. How about such a rule (it has to be as simple as possible) as they can't make more than the President of the United States, or 15xs the poverty rate for a family of 4 (24Kx15), or 10x's the average wage of their workers.
    For 100% private companies no regulations of wages are needed.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    March 22, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Walmart had a food drive last Thanksgiving for its employees. It was a success. We should be grateful that the retail giant sees that its employees need help and can encourage others to help them. That's what makes America great!

    We're a very generous nation. I think Walmart could partner with food pantries and other social services to encourage more community involvement to give to their employees.

    Think of it as communities "giving back" to all those Walmart employees who work hard to allow us to buy stuff cheap from China.

  • Taylor Orem, UT
    March 22, 2014 3:20 a.m.

    Nice op-ed piece, and a lot of interesting comments. The author could have made her point if she had included some footnotes for all her statistics. She said average wages climbed 5% since 1979. When I also graduated in the 1970s, minimum wage was around $2.30; was it possibly between $2-$4 by 1979? Now, the minimum wage is what, $7.50? She made good points, but with confusing statistics like that, she decimated her credibility. Perhaps with inflation? Who knows. Too bad, because we could agree with a lot of her points. She definitely should have included some sources for her "information".

    Has anyone ever considered the income redistribution that is going on? That a lot of income that should go to the workers actually producing goods goes into the hands of a very few? Nobody recognizes that as income redistribution? And those folks seem to control legislators, tax subsidies, and a lot more? I believe we should abandon the one-sided discussion of income redistribution.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Businessmen make their business decisions on the amount of profit, not on how efficiently they made the profit nor how many people contributed nor the margin of profit. A million dollars profit spends just the same if it takes 1 employ to make it or 1,000,000 employs.

    The wages paid for labor has little to do with the value of the labor. Wages are paid to workers according to the supply and demand for workers. If we add a million doctors to the medical industry, the cost of hiring a doctor would go way down. If we reduce the number of doctors the cost of hiring a doctor would go way up. In either case the qualifications of doctors might be the same and the value of fixing a broken finger the same also.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    The only thing that will bring back the proper balance between wages and profits is the restoration of the proper market for labor. Business interests have cheated the American worker by flooding the market with foreign labor. The prevailing opinion that we have a free market, government cannot force business to share properly and as we have seen, government cannot bribe business to hire people at proper wages.

    We need a new employer on the scene and took up the slack in the labor market. Barring some kind of miracle, only the government itself could do that kind of mass action. The government should hire every unemployed worker at a proper salary. Doing so would end unemployment and its undesirable effects and costs.

    The cost of the unemployed is being paid by the American taxpayers in general when it should be paid for by the business activity of businesses in the USA. By further manipulations by business to lower wages, business is stealing more of the employed worker's money to care for the unemployed. So, to restore the cost of people to where it belongs a tax would be placed on all American business.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 21, 2014 1:01 p.m.


    If you inflate each salary at 5% compounded annually, the ratios do not change.

    In year 36 Ed (President) makes $551,602. Joe (Assembly) makes $55,160. The ratios are the same as they were in year 1. Ed still makes precisely 10 times what Joe does.

    Did I miss something?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    South Jordan, UT
    $22 minimum wage?

    So you will pay $50 for a happy meal?

    10:44 a.m. March 21, 2014


    If it take 2 hours to make a Happy Meal,
    Then you are not only a lousy Fast Food resuraant,
    But you deserve to be out of business!

    [FYI - a happy meal takes less than 60 seconds to put together. Going from $7.25 to $22.00 an hour increase labor cost goes from .12 cents to .35 cents. The additional $45 you are suggesting will happen would of course then go onto the Billionaires who have already been keeping the profits.]

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    March 21, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    The change started in the mid seventies when Executives decided on a new way to make workers think they were getting treated fairly. Basically they said that everyone would get a raise or increase in benefits based on the same percentage point.

    So Joe in Assembly who made $10,000/yr got a 5% raise or $500/yr.
    Pete in Engineering made $20,000/yr and got a 5% raise or $1,000/yr.
    Jeff the Sales Manager who made $60,000/yr also got $5% or $3,000/yr.
    And Ed the President made $100,000/yr and got 5% or $5,000/yr.

    Then when the second year 5% raises were figured Joe got 5% of his now $10,500/yr or $525/yr while Ed got 5% of his now $105,000/yr or $5250/yr.
    And by year 6 Joe is making $12,763.28 while Ed is making $127,628 so the difference in their 5% raise will now be $5743 instead of the original $4500. If the 5% raises continue over a 36 year career Ed will be getting a raise equal to Joe's salary in the 36th year.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 21, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    So many of you commenting blame American Liberals and Progressives as the cause of this nation's ills. The facts paint a different picture.

    Face it folks, the underlying cause to most of America's problems is American "Conservatism," a regressive, knee-jerk, emotion-based, simple-minded system of governance. I'm not suggesting that all Conservatives are the same. Under the umbrella of American "Conservatism" are a whole lot of people who absolutely hate government of any kind.

    And it should not be surprising to any of us that electing government-hating politicians into office can only result in terrible governance . . . which it does.

    Plutocrats have a stranglehold on the Republican Party, and they have deftly propagandized a good portion of the American electorate (i.e., Republicans) into believing that giving the wealthy even more money at the expense of everybody else is good governance.

    Republicans still admire Ronald Reagan, the Alzheimer's riddled President who plied his acting craft to the the benefit of plutocrats by delivering apparently heartfelt renderings of scripted performances. Limbaugh and Hannity laud each other as Great Americans, and many "Christians" despise the poor. That's Modern "Conservatism" for you.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 21, 2014 11:11 a.m.


    I understand about the aberration of WWII. Yet Asian and European companies have a CEO to worker ratio much lower than ours and compete quite successfully in the international marketplace. Why can it work for them and not for us (even though it once did).

    Value (of labor or any other item) is ALWAYS through the lens of the purchaser. Value varies. It is not intrinsic or immutable. The marketplace for labor has changed in the USA and the perceived value of labor. Some forces certainly have entered that were not here prior. But Asia and Europe are not immune.

    We need to do some better analysis. The effects of a long-term impoverished working class does not bode well for a nation.

  • Burkean South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    The problem with Robert Reich's ideas is that they've been tried for a long time in Europe and they don't work. Yes, the income gap between the ultra-rich and the poor is smaller but that doesn't mean the poor have more economic opportunity. It just means their rich are poorer and the poor are none-the-better for it.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    @Vanceone. The formula for the tax on workers greater than 50, assuming the company doesnt provide insurance, is typically $2000 per employee. However the first 30 employees are exempt so the company would be taxed $2000 for 20 employees not 50.

    I am wondering in this political environment if any meaningful solution could actually happen.

  • Burkean South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    $22 minimum wage?

    So you will pay $50 for a happy meal?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 21, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    Vanceone - "The real reason companies are hoarding cash? They are terrified of the government."

    Well, absolutely, and who can blame them?

    The economic bubble created by the GW administration popped with a sickening pfffft that caused many businesses to go under and others to just barely hang on.

    Businesses are gun shy and afraid to go out on a limb and invest. Memories of government-promoted over-exuberance during the GW Bush admnistration and the consequent economic disaster are all too vivid.

    And you speak of wealth redistribution . . . Well if you read the article and other comments, you can see that wealth has been continuously redistributed from the middle class to the already wealthy since the early 1980's.

    I would like to see that wealth un-redistributed back to the middle class and the poor.

    Reagnomics has proven itself to be a resounding failure for middle class America.

    We need to get the tax rate for the highest earners back where they should be. During the Eisenhower administration, the nominal tax rate for the highest earners was over 90%. We fought the cold war, built the interstate highway system, and still balanced the budget because we had adequate REVENUE.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 21, 2014 10:29 a.m.


    In years past, most companies offered health insurance as part of the employment package.

    Why has that changed? Could it be that the cost of healthcare has skyrocketed?

    Why is our deficit skyrocketing? Entitlement spending. Of which over 70% is SS and Medicare.
    And it will become unsustainable in future years as more baby boomers retire.

    The healthcare system must be changed.

    We have 3 choices.
    1- cut benefits to age 65 and older
    2 - raise taxes to pay the increased costs
    3 - try to cut costs.

    What else is there?

    By any reasonable measure, we have the most expensive healthcare costs in the world. By a long shot.

    So, while I am no fan of Obamacare, SOMETHING must be done.

    I am open to suggestions, but logic tells me that the GOP staples of Tort reform and reducing regulations will not solve the problem. it may help, but more is needed.

    And the GOP has no other ideas.

    What do you suggest?

  • Burkean South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    The Eisenhower era - and the American economy of the 50's and 60's - was an abberation. Coming out of WWII we were the only fully industrialized nation that hadn't been bombed out by the war.

    That's not the world we live in anymore.

    Labor has a cost and a value. That's a fact that cannot be changed.

    The way out of poverty isn't income redistribution or government programs - it's the same things it's always been and these things still work. And companies like Walmart don't stand in the way of any of this.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    The denial by the Right of the causes of inequality will eventually work to their downfall. But this is a problem that is not new at all. I was writing about it in the mid-1990s. Of course no one paid attention, but the trends were already easily recognizable then. They have merely become impossible to ignore now (except by those who wear blinders).

    If you haven't seen the documentary "Inequality for All," featuring former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, you should. It is available on Netflix, or Amazon Prime, or you can even go to your local library like I did and check it out. Reich examines what is happening in America in very clear terms. And it's very entertaining, to boot. Sad, but entertaining. One point made in the documentary is that when wages started to stagnate (in the Reagan years), Americans compensated with women entering the workforce, then by both genders taking on two or three jobs, then by increasing their credit. This ended in 2008 with the crash. Now we have no other option but to watch the standard of living for most Americans decline. Time to wise up before it's too late.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    You guys don't get it, do you? If I have 49 workers, and demand says that I could make and sell 80,000 worth of new product if I hire someone for 50,000--well, logic says I should do it. I'd be making 30,000 more.

    But government regulations say that once I hit 50, I will suddenly have to pay 3,000 a worker fee. So the real cost of that new employee is 200,000 now--50 for her, and 150,000 in new fees. For only 80,000 in revenue. Totally not worth it. So I don't hire the employee. Instead, I look to make money another way--productivity.

    The regulations are littered with stuff like this. You get punished in myriad ways for being successful. Another example: If I want to start a small company, I better not start in farming--because the regulations are obscene. I can't afford multiple six-digit machines the regulations would force me to have. And certainly no workers to work the machines.

    Food for thought: Why do most billionaires favor democrats?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    To Vanceone: Not one poster here has talked about redistributing wealth. They are talking about people who work being able to make enough money to survive. Did Eisenhower force companies to pay middle class wages for routine work? No, he clearly said that they understood that it was in their interest to do so. It still is.

    These were not high skill jobs that he was talking about. They required no more education and training than a current WalMart or McDonalds job. Yet they paid a living wage. Unless you think that Dwight Eisenhower was a radical leftist, there is no reason to fear going back to the employment arrangement of his time.

  • Burkean South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Ah, the good old standard lefty canards about income inequality and those devious 1%ers.

    Since the author goes out of her way to slam Senator Inhofe for coming to conclusions based on his political ideology I'm sure she'll welcome some actual facts into this debate:

    There is no economic correlation between income inequality and the upward mobility.
    There is no evidence that the rich getting richer is at the expense of the poor staying poor.
    In fact someone making more money is an indication that they are providing something of value to people and society (the exception being if you manage to cozy up to government and get the state to funnel money your direction).
    Ranting about the gap of income between a minimum wage worker and the CEO us just populist rabble rousing with no basis in actually doing anything meaningful or helpful to upward social and economic mobility.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    Oh, to have a Republican like Teddy Roosevelt back in the WH. Someone to kick corporations in the teeth. Corporations are the new Kings and our goverment has been trained to serve their interests above all others.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:27 a.m.


    Your argument would make some sense if there were penalties for laying people off.

    Businesses hire the number and type of employees they feel will counter their competition, maximize profits. We're seeing ample proof of this.

    Here's the proof: If Obamacare was abolished tomorrow, would we see a sudden surge in job openings? Of course not - there has to be product demand.

    As we see with Walmart, companies will squeeze their costs (ie, keep a lid on employment and wages) even to the point of seeing their own demand flatten out... like Walmart. A couple of economists studied the employment impact of Walmart and concluded that with their size, they have the ability to impact the lower end of the labor market and impact their own bottom line.

    Essentially, if Walmart increased wages by 15%, other retailers would follow suit, and Walmart would see an increase in sales and in profitability.

    Instead, Walmart has concluded that their growth lies in other nations. Even with 300 more stores, Walmart's total employment is less than it was before the recession.


  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Provo, UT
    The solution, of course, is to just confiscate the wealth and distribute it to the poor, right comrades? How dare someone actually earn money! If we punish all those greedy fat cats, they will all go away! And when we have no rich people, we will all have well paying jobs! From the magical Money machine!


    I'm sure those greedy fat cats, loungingg around their pool equipped yachts moored off of Sri Lancha, are all working so SO hard to "earn" that money deposting into their Swiss or Caymen Island taxfree accounts, just "dreaming" about giving their employees an extra .20 an hour raise.

    Roland Kayser is right --
    Back in the Good 'ol Days --
    Back when CEO's "earned" 20:1 vs today's 273:1

    Companies had options --
    Pay 40% in taxes --
    Take Tax deductions by investing in things like:
    Employee's Education, new Factories and Equipement, training, HealthCare, etc.

    Capitalists are motiviated by competition,
    So, Companies were offered better and better benefits in addition to wages to "compete" for employees.

    In today's race to the bottom,
    Americans are competing for jobs against Communist China.

    Eisenhower and our Founding Fathers must all be rolling over in their graves.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 21, 2014 8:53 a.m.


    First, it is not that companies are hoarding cash. It is that compensation ratios are so out of kilter with what we (here in the USA) used to do. See Roland Kayser's post above.

    Second, this is not a recent phenomenon. It has taken us a few decades to get here. Not one administration or one party takes the blame.

    Third, of course taxes and redistribution are not the right way to grow the economy. However your point about cigarettes is a bit off. Higher taxation on cigarettes has proven an effective deterrent (and puts the tax burden on those who cost us more).

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    vanceone, I'm sure if you watch Fox your comment makes sense, but only if you watch Fox and have your "I hate Obama" goggles firmly installed.

    The article references a trend from 1965 and 1979. Walmart is simply one small, albeit significant example.

    Who would hire employee number fifty? The business owner who has demand that number fifty can fulfill. You all act as though providing health care coverage for an employee will suck out every last penny of profit that employee will produce. Maybe your profit will only be ten cents on the widget sold versus 12 cents, but that's exactly what Eisenhower was talking about.

    That kind of thinking and cooperation is what American exceptionalism looks like, and what made America great. Not "oh my" how can I keep my employees to 49 so I don't have to provide health care and still keep my Mercedes lease.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    The solution, of course, is to just confiscate the wealth and distribute it to the poor, right comrades? By force, preferably. How dare someone actually earn money! If we punish all those greedy fat cats, they will all go away! And when we have no rich people, we will all have well paying jobs! From the magical Money machine!

    /Progressive democrat mode off.
    The real reason companies are hoarding cash? They are terrified of the government. How the heck can you plan to hire new employees when you have no idea how much they will cost; when regulations are imposed on you that tax your entire company (like Obamacare--who in their right mind would hire employee no 50? The regulations, taxes, forms, fees, etc are immense. ) Democrats like to raise taxes on cigarettes, because it discourages smoking. They want to stamp out tobacco use. So they now want to tax success into oblivion, so we won't have that either. You want less income inequality? Stop punishing small business with government.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    I refuse to shop at WalMart.

    I know it hurts the workers,
    but until the top 1% starts paying those who created their massive fortunes,
    I will NEVER give them - or the Communists in China they buy from - another American earned penny.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    When we pay sports stars $100 million a year, which is way more than they need to live on, when company CEO's milk the company for more than they are worth, when the children of a company founder make more an more money, it has now turned into an ego thing. We want more money and more power seems to be the refrain.

    I don't mind people getting rich because they worked hard and earned it. I do object when it they don't take better care of their employees. If they want to see a resurgence in Labor Unions (something I don't support by the way) then they should take better care of employees.

    I'm pretty sure if the Walton's spread a couple of billion a year amongst their employees, everyone, including the company bottom line would benefit. One of the many reasons I refuse to shop at Walmart and Sam's Club.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    If poor Americans get government assistance, it's derided as corrosive to the American work ethic, undermines the American dream.

    If Walmart shareholders and upper management get (indirect) government assistance, and somebody reports it, it's called "class warfare".

    Mountainman: if hundreds apply for every job at Walmart, and many of these workers still are eligible for food stamps, what does that tell you?

    Today we're talking about Walmart workers... if technology proceeds as expected, tomorrow many physicians and other high-end workers will be displaced, and/or the demand for physicians will diminish, as superior diagnostic intelligence is supplied by computers.

    My sense is the debate will start to change, at that point. Physicians and lawyers seeing their children with limited career options will have a lot more clout to shape the debate than Walmart workers.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 21, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    A better indicator for our economy would be that Walmart has to work hard (maybe raise wages or increase benefits) in order to find good workers because the workers have other options.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 21, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    "For every job at Walmart they have hundreds of applicants, period!"

    Probably true. But that kind of shoots holes in the notion that the poor would rather get handouts than work.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    The rich get richer,
    the poor are getting poorer.

    See the demise of the formally great American Dream.

    Welcome to the Gilded Age, Part II.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 21, 2014 6:00 a.m.

    For every job at Walmart they have hundreds of applicants, period!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:22 a.m.

    President Eisenhower once gave a speech in which he stated that the genius of American capitalism was that an average worker could support a family, buy a decent house, and a nice car on his income alone. He also said that the reason for this was that the country's business elite understood that it was in their own best interest to ensure that their workers were prosperous.

    He added that the capitalist countries that were ripe for communist takeover where those in which a small group of plutocrats controlled most of the country's wealth while workers remained impoverished.

    I'm afraid that our current business elite have forgotten the lessons of Eisenhower's generation and our country is moving closer and closer to the countries Ike described as being susceptible to communist revolution. Although we no longer have to fear communism, it is not possible to sustain a society that is as unequal as ours. Eventually there either comes social disintegration or the advent of a police state.