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Old 04-23-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
Jim in CT
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How does income inequality hurt ANYONE

OK, I saw a speech last night, where Obama said "income inequality is a threat to the American dream". Hilary has also railed against the downside of income inequality.

In all seriousness, can someone explain to me how income inequality actually harms anyone? Because I don't get it.

The average NBA player makes more than I do. That contributes to income inequality. Next year, the average NBA player will get a bigger raise than I will, which exacerbates income inequality. The difference between my salary, and theirs, will increase. Income inequality will get more severe.

How does that hurt me? Why should I care? Answer - it doesn't, and I don't.

The way I see it, this can only impact me if wealth is finite, like a pizza. It only hurts me if every dollar an NBA player gets, means there's one less dollar for the rest of us to scrounge for. Does anyone believe there is a speck of truth to that?

Maybe one can make a slightly less insane argument that wealth is finite within a single corporation, that the more a CEO makes, the less his employees can make. Let's say I buy that argument. The left's number one corporate target for overall meanness, is Walmart.

I looked it up. The Walmart CEO made $19.1M in the last fiscal year. Walmart has 1.4 million employees in the US. So even if we assume the Walmart CEO is willing to work 70 hours a week for absolutely nothing, and every cent of that goes to the US employees, that works out to $13.64 for each employee. Now they can all go buy a house on Nantucket and send their kids to Phillip Exeter?

The rich have more disposable income to invest than normal people. Therefore, elementary school arithmetic guarantees that the rich will increase their net worth faster than everyone else.

The wealth gap will widen. That may not be "fair", since no one needs a $100 million boat while others are homeless. I concede the gap isn't "fair". But who, specifically, is it hurting, and how?

Unless you are talking about theft, one person's wealth does not cause another person's poverty. It simply doesn't work that way.

It seems to me that those inclined to vote Democratic, are constantly looking to blame someone else for whatever financial issues they are facing. It's a lot easier to blame someone else than it is to take responsibility.

I want everyone to be comfortable, and it pains me that not everyone is. But the income earned by the wealthy, except in cases of theft, simply isn't "taking" anything away from anyone else.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:49 PM   #2
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It's like the 2 fish verses 1 fish mentality 😊
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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When the elected left talks about income inequality they always talk about greedy CEOs, bankers, Wall Street hedgefund owners etc. (But they have no problem taking their money.) They never mention thay they are the 1% or villianize the the athletes, actors, and other members of the 1% that share their ideology. It's always the conservative 1% that is greedy and needs to pay their fair share.

It's the typical hypocrisy of many, not all, on the left. The rich need to pay more....yet I would wager to bet that every elected politician calling for higher taxes on the rich takes every deduction they can and has a finiancial advisor helping them keep more of their money.

Just look at the hypocrisy from the hosts at MNSBC -Sharpton 4.5 million in back taxes, Toure -59K, Harris -70k, Reid 5k - All on record complaing the rich don't pay enough, unless of course it is them!

Am I jealous at the millions others may have, sometimes, but do I think they don't pay enough in taxes, no. Just look at the IRS numbers, the top 10% pay the vast majority of taxes collected. Which by the way is at a record high.

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Old 04-23-2015, 11:25 PM   #4
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If the salary of an NBA player goes up then so does the price of a ticket to the game. If you enjoy taking your family to a game of any sorts,tell me it doesn't hurt.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:14 AM   #5
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If the salary of an NBA player goes up then so does the price of a ticket to the game. If you enjoy taking your family to a game of any sorts,tell me it doesn't hurt.
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It's a lot more complex than that. It's part of the total economic system being bent, stretched, expanding as more money is filtered into its various parts. The high paid Athlete, show biz, entertainment market in general is similar on a more expensive scale to the middle and lower paid labor market in effect when its wages go up. When wages in the rest of the market go up, the prices of the products do as well. But other factors, in a healthy market, compensate by leveling or overall raising in other ways.

Various discount ways to deliver products are devised, as well as being accompanied by the usual inflationary effect of wages rising all around as prices rise. Prices today for most things are much higher than they were 20, 30, 40 years ago by average factors of 4 to 15 times higher, or more. And wages have also risen by similar factors.

The dramatically rising wages in professional sports, in one way, have made going to games accessible to more fans than in the lower paying past. More money has attracted more to choose a sport over another profession, to be more dedicated and better at it, to devote far more time in training, etc. And so, because the pool of highly skilled athletes has expanded, more teams are able to be created and dispersed into cities that once did not have a team. Far more fans can attend games than in the past. And, of course, all the surrounding business and infrastructure is expanded as well. More jobs, better facilities, more things to do, growth, in general, is a product of more money being earned and spent.

And the great influx of money also makes attractive the expanded opportunities of the stay at home viewers. Viewing channels are created, sports talk shows abound, the aftermarket in clothing and paraphernalia booms, and so on. The present is the sports home-viewer's heaven. Huge high def TV's at lower costs than some original televisions, an endless variety and supply of stuff to eat and drink in well furnished man-caves which are more and more being availed by the fairer sex as well.

Sure, the immediate impact on some "hurts." But for most . . . it's all good.

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Old 04-24-2015, 03:39 AM   #6
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If the salary of an NBA player goes up then so does the price of a ticket to the game. If you enjoy taking your family to a game of any sorts,tell me it doesn't hurt.
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Ty for simplicity, this post started to hurt my.brain as soon as i saw Obama and Hillary' s names.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:06 AM   #7
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If the salary of an NBA player goes up then so does the price of a ticket to the game. If you enjoy taking your family to a game of any sorts,tell me it doesn't hurt.
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Ah, a desperate totalitarian attempt to connect dots.

Here's the thing...if there was a law that said I had to buy season tickets to the Celtics, then yes, it would be hurt. But there isn't. See, there is this thing called free will, by which, the NBA cannot force me to go to a game, it is my choice. If I choose to pay the higher prices, then the only person inflicting that additional financial burden on me, is myself. If I choose not to go to games anymore, and enough people feel the same way, they will be forced to lower prices to get me back.

It's called the free market, and as long as there is some regulation to prevent abuse, it works pretty well.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:09 AM   #8
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Ty for simplicity, this post started to hurt my.brain as soon as i saw Obama and Hillary' s names.
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It was simple...it was also demonstrably false. No one can force me to buy a higher-priced ticket, I only buy it if I choose to do so, in which case no one is forcing that burden on me, but rather, I am assuming that responsibility myself.

Liberals aren't very fond of the concept of personal responsibility...
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:16 AM   #9
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Cost of living increases. Ceo and upper management get a raise. You don't. In fact you are required to give up your over time pay and work less hours but do as much work.
That's a problem.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:32 AM   #10
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It doesn't affect you that much because you're middle class and you have a pretty good handle on life. Thing is you're middle class and you have more wealth than a huge majority of the country. If we're talking globally you're in the 99%. The other small percent above you prob 3% of the country have an astronomical amount more than you, and the ones below your class are living in squalor. Get it? Its not supernatural, income inequality means more poor people and a weaker economy...

something clever and related to fishing
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:13 AM   #11
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The left never looks at the wealthy for what the do and that's create jobs .
I make my living working for people much wealthier then I and i am greatful for it .
Whole economies revolve around the mega wealthy .
They are much better at job creating then the Government.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:31 AM   #12
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Cost of living increases. Ceo and upper management get a raise. You don't. In fact you are required to give up your over time pay and work less hours but do as much work.
That's a problem.
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But as I showed with the Walmart example, even if the CEOs worked for free and gave their salaries to the employees, it's not a meaningful amount of money for each employee. It's not worth talking about.

Blaming CEOs makes for a great sound byte. But it makes zero sense when you think about it. It's so easy to tell people that nothing is their own fault, that someone else did this to them.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:32 AM   #13
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So I answer the question but since Mr Paradox can't grasp the simplicity of such,new tangents are invariably introduced. Somebody must have really picked on you at recess.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:40 AM   #14
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As much as I dislike your president and the clintons inequality basically got its start in the late 80's with corporations and wall street and with the middle class starting to shrink.Inequality for the middle class started when corporations started to give upper managers and CEO's pay raises thru corporate shares and giving much of the profits to shareholders and giving back little to its workers and not putting profits back into factory infrastructure. Also corporations started buying back shares and splitting shares to stockholders making some rich.....if U R not in the stock market U should be.

Nobody that works believes in equality unless U R on the bottom of the pay scale...do not tell me that U do....if U think U do here is what I want U to do....pick 9 people that U do not know take your weekly pay check and divide it equally amongest the 10 of U that is money equality......

Can U imagine movie stars or professional players let alone the clintons believing in equality.....how many would go to the homeless shelters and devide their wealth.....LOL...

If it was not for the rich, the poor would not be working....

"When its not about money,it's all about money."...
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:41 AM   #15
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It doesn't affect you that much because you're middle class and you have a pretty good handle on life. Thing is you're middle class and you have more wealth than a huge majority of the country. If we're talking globally you're in the 99%. The other small percent above you prob 3% of the country have an astronomical amount more than you, and the ones below your class are living in squalor. Get it? Its not supernatural, income inequality means more poor people and a weaker economy...
I agree that I'm middle class and comfy, and that I'm better of than 99% of the world when you consider places like Haiti and Africa. I agree. But the uber wealthy in this country are NOT TAKING money away from those people.

The vast majority of wealthy people,got wealthy because they came up with a way to make people want to givethem a little bit of theit money, by their own choice.

"The other small percent above you prob 3% of the country have an astronomical amount more than you"

That's absolutely true. But th efact that they have more doesn't result in me having less. If Bill Gates didn't exist, that doesn't mean that his billions would be spread out to those who need it. It doesn't work that way. He created that wealth, he didn't confiscate it from soneone else.

If the rich get richer, that does not mean that there's less wealth available for the rest of us. Wealth is not finite, it';s not like a pizza where a bully eats half on his own, leaving little for the rest of the group. Wealth doesn't work like that.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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So I answer the question but since Mr Paradox can't grasp the simplicity of such,new tangents are invariably introduced. Somebody must have really picked on you at recess.
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Your answer was demonstrably false. In that example, you made it seem like the NBA is reaching into my pocket, against my will, to pay for Lebron James' higher salary. It doesn't work that way. If I choose to buy the higher priced ticket, I can't then complain that they are stealing from me.

And if we're talking about the truly uber wealthy, much of their income comes from dividends and capital gains on investments. How does that represent theft of anyone else's money? How does that hurt anyone else?
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:35 AM   #17
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Jim. Come on man. Dividends come from corporate profits. The less money a cooperation pays its employees, the more profits are made and the higher the dividend potential is.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:46 AM   #18
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Jim. Come on man. Dividends come from corporate profits. The less money a cooperation pays its employees, the more profits are made and the higher the dividend potential is.
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That's a valid, fair point.

But if I'm a CEO, and I pay my employees meager wages to improve profits to increase dividends, isn't it true that no one will want to work there?

What you say is 100% true, but paying slave wages isn't the only way a company makes profits.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:19 AM   #19
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Jim.. Do you know how many people are miserable at their jobs? A whole lot. They would leave in a heart beat if they could find a better paying job.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:25 AM   #20
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If the salary of an NBA player goes up then so does the price of a ticket to the game. If you enjoy taking your family to a game of any sorts,tell me it doesn't hurt.
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You couldn't pay me enough money to go to an NBA game....

"I know a taxidermy man back home. He gonna have a heart attack when he see what I brung him!"
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:29 AM   #21
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Jim.. Do you know how many people are miserable at their jobs? A whole lot. They would leave in a heart beat if they could find a better paying job.
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Count me among the miserable. But whose fault is that? How do I blame that on the rich? I have a dull job. I knew that going in...
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:46 AM   #22
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You couldn't pay me enough money to go to an NBA game....

Agreed and for me that is any game.....front row seat at home with instant replay and about 87 cents for bacardi and coke and do not have to wait in line to go wee wee....

"When its not about money,it's all about money."...
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:50 AM   #23
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Jim.. Do you know how many people are miserable at their jobs? A whole lot. They would leave in a heart beat if they could find a better paying job.
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Do you know how much that was always true, even before there was less "income inequality"?

Do you know how many people are miserable at even higher than average paying jobs? Or even higher paying than that?

Are we to assume that income equality will make people love their jobs? Wouldn't it drive those with more ambition and ability to strike out on their own to find or create something in the way of compensated work that was more satisfying to their souls--whatever they considered their souls to be? Even if it paid less?

Start with yourself. Is your satisfaction with your life dependent on income equality? Does the existence of billionaires diminish your quality of life? Examine what are those things which make your life worthwhile. And what is necessary for the society you live in to allow you, encourage you, or guarantee to you, the ability to do those things that make you life worthwhile.
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:27 PM   #24
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Inequality

Historically, there used to be a compact between corporations and labor so that the so-called rising tide floated all boats. That compact, for lack of a better term, ended in the 80s when Mr. reagan took on the air traffic controllers and started the union-busting ideology that is so prevalent today. Just imagine if there were no unions; non-union employees would be getting slave wages like the 30s and 40s, there would be no upward mobility, etc., etc. The greed of Wall Street and their co-conspirators in Congress have, basically, wiped out the American Dream for the majority of Americans. Corporations want more work and output for reduced wages (remember, the Cost of Living goes up, wages stay stagnant). Tell me if you are better off now than before 2006 or so??? The migration of jobs overseas started in the 70s and we are left with sports and dancin' with the stars; that's America's output now; entertainment above all things to keep our eyes off the ball. Yes, we have the best government money can buy…
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:51 AM   #25
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Does the existence of billionaires diminish your quality of life?
Are you kidding me.

Simple answer. F*CK yeah.

Enough said.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:32 PM   #26
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Historically, there used to be a compact between corporations and labor so that the so-called rising tide floated all boats.

Historically, it was not a compact, but became so when the federal government forced corporations to submit to collective bargaining. The historical relation between wages and labor, in its purest sense, was due to market forces. But governments, also historically, have always managed to distort that relationship, sometimes in favor of corporations, sometimes in favor of labor, but always in favor of government. And, historically, when market forces were least distorted by government, the so-called rising tide did float many boats. But rising tides also can sink boats. And "the market" is not totally comparable to the tides.

That compact, for lack of a better term, ended in the 80s when Mr. reagan took on the air traffic controllers and started the union-busting ideology that is so prevalent today.

Mr. Reagan was closer to FDR regarding unions than the union leaders of today. Reagan took on GOVERNMENT employee unions in the air traffic controllers controversy. FDR, the great labor union hero, though he aided private sector unions, was against having government unions. And with very good reasons, as exemplified by the fiscal and operational problems that federal and local governments have today because of union contracts.

Just imagine if there were no unions; non-union employees would be getting slave wages like the 30s and 40s, there would be no upward mobility, etc., etc.

Before industries or corporations became heavily unionized, their worker's wages were usually better than what they would have had if they were employed elsewhere. The so-called Industrial Revolution was a tide that lifted many boats. And the industrial corporations after that, even before unionization, paid well above average wages. The idea that their compensation pre-union were "slave wages" is nonsense.

And upward mobility was a mark of American culture long before industrial or corporate unionization. The mobility was driven by entrepreneurship, innovation, ambition, and a free society which permitted it. It was not that those things depended on the existence of unions, it was, rather, that unions depended on those things in order to have a prosperous base in which to organize. If anything, the nexus between unions and government creates a status quo in which growth and mobility are less possible.


The greed of Wall Street and their co-conspirators in Congress have, basically, wiped out the American Dream for the majority of Americans. Corporations want more work and output for reduced wages (remember, the Cost of Living goes up, wages stay stagnant).

As far as there is really such a thing as "the American Dream," beyond the desire to be free from overbearing government, you may be on to something. When it is left to government to define and create what that dream is, it is then within the government's power to redefine or "wipe out" that dream. If the connection between Wall Street and the Federal Government (which definitely includes the President, not just the Congress) is so close that they start to become indistinguishable, they can dole out whatever dreams they wish.

If corporations and their Wall Street financiers were restricted to pure market forces, their income would be based on actual production, consumption, and competition. Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, but he understood that profits were made by sales, and he created assembly line production to mass manufacture his cars, and knew that his workers as well as the rest of the mythic "middle class" had to be able to afford to buy them. So, well before unions took hold, as much as they did, the American standard of living was that much more enhanced. This can be said about the industrialists who preceded him, some of the most successful of them being called "Robber Barons." But the least successful needed government regulations to protect them against their "monopolystic" competitors. So the government/corporate nexus began in earnest and has grown into the tightly controlled government/big business complex we have today.

And, like the FDR administration which solidified that complex and who strove in the face of a depression to keep prices and wages up by government spending with creation of non-market make-work projects and highly coercive and restrictive regulations on the private sector (including the union beloved NLRB), the progressive and quasi-progressive administrations which have followed, became deeper and deeper intertwined with the private sector "economy" to the point of being a de-facto CEO. And the continuation of government intrusions to "fix" economic downturns by propping up failing corporate giants and trying to maintain union presence, all rather than letting the market naturally cure itself, furthers government power and control, but diminishes market forces into obsolescence.

So now we have, not the military/industrial complex which Eisenhower warned us against, but the much more pervasive government/big business complex. And this monstrosity cannot be abandoned by progressive government, since it is its child. It must, somehow be nourished and maintained.

Wall Street must be bailed out by government. Big automotive companies and their union employees must be bailed out by government. Trillions of stimulus money unconnected to market forces must be infused into the pockets of the banks. Unions must be propped up by the NLRB attempting to deny a big corporation from moving to a right to work state.

And if all else fails, do the old slight-of-hand. Pretend you are for protecting the "middle class" while permitting and encouraging a huge influx of low skilled illegal immigrants who will work for lower wages. Of course, the government prefers not to mention that wage stuff. It talks about compassion for the poor, and rails against a straw man racism against latinos. The hope must be, somehow, that the corporations will actually loose-up some of that stimulus money to hire the immigrants at a more profitable low wage, thus increase employment statistics, and maybe provide some more wage-earners to fund future Social Security payouts. That it will create more SS recipients in the future is merely a growing bubble that some future administrations will deal with.

Of course, this underlies a realization that the inflationary cycle created by government spending and growing social transfers has given us an unsustainable "trajectory." That was also rather quietly admitted when the government forced the auto unions to redo contracts and start out with lower pay and less generous benefits for new workers when it briefly owned GM and Chrysler. It's peculiar that the government doesn't recognize it also should do the downsizing that it made the auto companies do.

And, of course, there is the biennial call for higher minimum wages. But the government Wonks aren't dummies. They know that's mostly counterproductive. But, they rely on business to adjust by raising prices, or cutting costs, or eliminating jobs, or doing those things with more robotic production. In the meanwhile, the government looks like it is trying to help the poor. And, of course, unions love rising minimum wages since they become a base mark from which their wages should rise.

So, government "fixing" of economic problems mostly leads to the inflated cost of living that you don't like, and, along with efforts to level societal inequities, leads to a shrinking of the so-called middle class. And, because big business is forced to downsize its workforce, more of the profits will go to the CEO's.


Tell me if you are better off now than before 2006 or so??? The migration of jobs overseas started in the 70s and we are left with sports and dancin' with the stars; that's America's output now; entertainment above all things to keep our eyes off the ball. Yes, we have the best government money can buy…
Would the jobs have migrated as much if government distortion of our market forces had not occurred? And what about government's answer to that distortion by replacing the migration of U.S. jobs to low paid workers in other countries with the migration of low-paid workers into the U.S.?

Sure, big business can "buy" government regulations which eliminates or minimizes its competitors, but what about government being able to print more money than any business can earn and buying into its quasi-ownership of the private sector by bailing out their preferred "greedy capitalists" when they fail.

And because of this government/big business complex, what happens to smaller businesses which cannot operate as easily as the big ones under the massive regulations that government imposes. The true heart and soul of the "middle class" is not the unions. It is the small business owners and their employees. As those businesses shrink under the burden of government regulation, so does the "middle class." And so does the dependence of a growing population divert from working wages to government transfer of money.

And, ultimately, so grows the power of government.

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Old 06-01-2015, 09:25 AM   #27
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Are you kidding me.

Simple answer. F*CK yeah.

Enough said.
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I would just love to see you elaborate on that. How does the existence of billionaitres diminish your quality of life? Maybe a specfic billionaire hurt some people on the way up, but in general, how are the rest of us hurt by the existence of these people? Are you going to claim that if those billionaires didn't exist, their money would be spread arond to the rest of us? It doesn't work that way.

We are helped by their existence, here's how. Most of them pay a lot of tax dollars, which lowers the burden on the rest of us. Most of them give a lot of money to charity, which helps people in need. And unless thet stuff all that money in their mattress, they either (1) spend it, (2) invest it, or (3) put it in the bank. In any of thos ecases, their money is in circulation, helping th eeconomy, which helps everyone.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:12 AM   #28
Nebe
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Jim. Where to the billionaires reap the billions from? One way it happens is from paying workers as little as possible to skim all that cream from the profits and goes right to the top. Wages have stagnated.. Profits have risen and the rich keep getting richer. If you want to see this country prosper greatly, support any cause that will help the middle class. A strong middle class is the key to a thriving economy.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:30 AM   #29
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Jim. Where to the billionaires reap the billions from? One way it happens is from paying workers as little as possible to skim all that cream from the profits and goes right to the top. Wages have stagnated.. Profits have risen and the rich keep getting richer. If you want to see this country prosper greatly, support any cause that will help the middle class. A strong middle class is the key to a thriving economy.
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Nebe, unless we own our own business, we all work for someone who presumably pays us less than we wish we were getting paid. Lots of those billionaitres (Bill gates, Michael Dell) made an awful lot of people rich along the way.

My employer pays me as little as possible to keep me here. That's called "real life". It's not unfair, not in the slightest.

"skim all that cream from the profits and goes right to the top"

If I want access to more of the cream, I can work my way higher up the ladder, or I am free to start my own company. There is absolutely nothing unfair about it.

Nebe, when you buy a new car, do you just pay sticker price so that the salesman can get a nice commission, or do you try to get the best deal you possibly can?

You are confusing "what you want", with "what you are entitled to". i would love to have my CEOs pay. If I want it bad enough, I am free to do what I need to do, in order to be qualified to have his job.

If my compensation is unfair, I am free to leave and work for a competitor.

i just don't get this attitude of always, always, always blaming the swells (more accurately, blaming the conservative swells...liberal swells are acceptable) for the shrinking middle class. It just doesn't pass the commn sense test.

Would the world be better off if more rich people spread their wealth around? Certainly. The less poverty, the better. But just because the wealthy have the ability to alleviate some poverty, that doesn't mean they caused said poverty, not by a long shot.

Also, the rich keep getting richer, because they have more disposable income to invest. There is nothing bad about the rich getting richer. Would it be better if no one got richer?
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:53 AM   #30
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Nebe, put it this way...

Bill Gates founded Microsoft. h ehas tons of employees, and to please his stockhoders, he doesn't pay them more than he needs to. Agreed so far?

You say that's bad. Let's pretend Gates was never born. Microsoft no longer exists. What reason is there to believe, that the majority of current Microsoft employees would be better off, if Gates hadn't founded Microsoft?

If someone starts a new company, that means he mght need employees, and that means more jobs, which means salaries increase due to increased competition for employes.

You also say those at the top keep most of the cream, or something like that. I don't think so. The favorite liberal symbol of corporate evil is Walmart. The Walmart CEO made $35M last year, and there are 2.1 million Walmatrt employees worldwide. Do the math. If teh CEO works for free, and gives every cent of that to rhose employees, it works out to $16.67 each. Whoop-dee-doo.

Do you see? We cannot put any menaingful dent in poverty my confiscating more from the rich. There aren't enough rich people, and they aren't rich enough.

It's SO EASY to blame the wealthy. But the math, and common sense, suggest it's not logical.
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