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Forum Post: Five Reasons Why The Very Rich Have NOT Earned Their Money

Posted 2 years ago on April 16, 2012, 6:31 a.m. EST by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

by Paul Buchheit

The wealthiest Americans believe they've earned their money through hard work and innovation, and that they're the most productive members of society. For the most part they're wrong. As the facts below will show, they're not nearly as productive as middle-class workers. Yet they've taken almost all the new income over the past 30 years. (Image: Flickr by IronRodArt)

Any one of these five reasons should reinforce the belief that the rich should be paying a LOT more in taxes.

  1. They've Taken All the Middle Class Wage Increases

In 1980 the richest 1% of America took one of every fifteen post-tax income dollars. Now, according to IRS figures, they take THREE of every fifteen post-tax income dollars. They've tripled their cut of America's income pie. That's a trillion extra dollars a year.

For every dollar the richest 1% earned in 1980, they've added three more dollars. The poorest 90% have added ONE CENT.

Yet the average American factory worker, according to Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti, produces $180,000 worth of goods a year, more than three times what he or she produced in 1978, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

So workers have TRIPLED their productivity over 30 years while the richest 1% have TRIPLED their share of income. Worker pay remained flat as the top 10% took almost all the productivity gains since 1980.

  1. They've Mismanaged Key American Industries

We have the most expensive health care system in the world. Failing banks have survived because of taxpayer bailouts. Management-approved shortcuts have led to workplace deaths and chemical leak disasters. Companies lobby for cap and trade laws so their profits can pay for their pollution.

Over twenty percent of Americans are unemployed or underemployed as big companies hoard $2 trillion in cash. 93% of post-recession income is going to the 1% "job-creators" with no appreciable increase in jobs.

Private tuition is skyrocketing, with student loans reaching the $1 trillion mark. Bonuses continue for executives at Ford and Bank of America and Sirius and other companies who have underperformed and/or laid off workers.

No, the captains of industry have not earned their money because of their top-notch management skills.

  1. They've Benefited from 50 Years of Public Research

The very rich have made their fortunes in good part because of taxpayer-funded research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the Internet), the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and numerous other government agencies.

Consider just a simple communications device. Computer chips and audio/video/voice technologies grew out of decades of funding at the Department of Defense, the Air Force, NASA, and public universities. The pieces of the device were put together by a procession of chemists, physicists, chip designers, programmers, engineers, production-line workers, market analysts, testers, troubleshooters, etc., etc. They, in turn, couldn't have succeeded without another layer of people providing sustenance and medical support and security and administrative assistance and transportation and office maintenance for the technologists. ALL of them contributed to the final product.

But over the years private businesses have received government contracts to produce and market the results, and "entrepreneurs" have rearranged the pieces into products that seem to appear out of the magical world of a single individual.

  1. They've Increased Their Incomes By Not Paying Taxes

The richest 10% own 80% of the stock market, providing billions in "unearned income" that is taxed at less than half the rate of income earned through real work.

Hedge fund managers call their income "carried interest" instead of "income" to keep their tax rate at 15%. Even this small amount may not be paid. Hedge fund managers with incomes in the billions can pay ZERO income tax by deferring their profits through their companies indefinitely.

Real tax rates for the richest Americans have gone way down over the last 30 years, from 34% in 1980 to 23% in 2006. Yet the 1% claim they pay most of the taxes. They don't, if all taxes are considered. Based on recent data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the total of all state and local taxes, social security taxes, and excise taxes (gasoline, alcohol, tobacco) consumes 22% of the annual incomes of the poorest quintile. For the top 1% of Americans, the same taxes consume less than 10% of their incomes.

In addition, most inherited wealth goes untaxed, with estates valued up to $5 million exempt from federal taxes. The average tax rate on inheritance is less than 3 percent.

It's no different for corporations. U.S. Office of Management (OMB) figures show a gradual drop over the years in Corporate Income Tax as a Share of GDP, from 4% in the 1960s to 1.3% in 2010. That's ONE-THIRD of their previous share. From 2008 to 2010, the top 100 U.S. corporations paid only 12.2% of their income in taxes, and thirty of them paid nothing at all.

The lack of SEC regulation has also allowed corporate America to seek tax dodges beyond our borders. Citizens for Tax Justice reports that the 280 most profitable U.S. corporations sheltered half their profits from taxes - up to $337 billion a year - between 2008 and 2010.

Most shocking is the long-term shift in the tax burden from corporations to middle-class workers. For every dollar of workers' payroll tax paid in the 1950s, corporations paid three dollars. Now it's 16 cents.

  1. They've Contributed Little to Society

The richest individuals and corporations have shown little regard for the majority of Americans who depend on sound financial management for their economic security. According to sources such as the New York Times and ProPublica, Wall Street firms including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs have been repeatedly charged with fraud only to avoid punishment by paying a fraction of their profits in fines.

Financial insiders have figured out how to cheat other investors by timing the purchase of a stock option to precede good corporate news, timing the sale of a stock option to precede bad corporate news, and changing the purchase date on a stock option to a time when the price was lower.

One hedge fund manager, John Paulson, made $4 billion by working with Goldman Sachs to create a financial product that would allow him to bet on the collapse of the housing market. Other financial masterminds packaged toxic derivatives for sale to unknowing pension funds, as ratings agencies were paid to ensure the worthless packages received AAA ratings.

Meanwhile, the banks were roughing up the homeowners. Bank of America foreclosed on tens of thousands of Americans by using unverified evidence called "robo-signing."

Disdain for average citizens goes way beyond fraud, and well outside our borders, into the areas of environmental and human rights abuses. Computer and phone makers like Apple save money by obtaining their coltan from the Congo, where children dig it out of the mines. The "blood coltan" goes to China, where teenagers stand for 12 hours a day performing repetitive tasks for a few dollars. Monsanto's herbicides and pesticides cause biological damage, promote the growth of 'superbugs' and 'superweeds,' and generally don't outperform organic methods of farming. Exxon is not only the biggest profitmaker and polluter, but the company has conducted a lengthy campaign to deceive the public about global warming. Corporate Accountability International named Monsanto, Exxon, Koch Industries, Chevron, Blackwater, and Halliburton to its Corporate Hall of Shame.

And finally, how well is society served when valuable resources are spent on a yacht complete with golf course, submarine, beach, and helicopter, and which qualified for a second-home mortgage deduction? Or on a $250,000 playhouse for the kids?

Studies show that increased wealth is correlated with a lesser degree of empathy for others. Despite their dependency on society for everything else, the super-rich have apparently earned the right to live in their own privileged world.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/16

59 Comments

59 Comments


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[-] 5 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Here are the 5 reasons why the very rich have not earned and do not deserve the incomes they take:

1) They don't work 50 to 50,000 times harder than everyone else even though they take 50 to 50,000 times more income than everyone else.

2) They didn't earn this money from willing consumers in the market. When consumers purchase a product they are not in any way endorsing the way INCOME is allocated in the economy. Yankees fans buy Yankees tickets because they think the game is worth the ticket price. They don't buy tickets because they believe they should make $80k less at their job so that A-Rod, the Yankee third baseman, can make $25 million at his. If consumers had a choice on how workers were valued, no worker would ever be able to earn thousands of times more income than another worker because they would never be able to convince consumers to take a huge pay cut in order to pay the inflated salaries to the people at the top.

3) They shouldn't have the power to force the rest of society into poverty or financial struggle. When A-Rod takes $25 million in income, that is $25 million less the rest of the workforce can make. The top 3% take so much of the available income they leave the bottom 97% of all workers earning a below average income and the bottom 50% of all Americans in poverty or close to it.

4) There is no economic justification that requires us to pay them this amount in order for the economy to work well. The only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to do difficult work and give their maximum effort. We don't need to pay people 50 to 50,000 times more income in order to get people to work hard.

5) It makes society undemocratic since their 50 to 50,000 times greater income gives them 50 to 50,000 times more political power than everyone else.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18135) 2 years ago

Further to your excellent comment, I append the following interesting & relevant video and short article :

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by SPAR23 (25) 2 years ago

Number 3 doesn't count. A-Rod gets his money because people buy things. The ticket, merchandise, food and drink, and many other things that people buy pay his salary. It is because people buy things that he gets paid. So it's not like they are stealing tax dollars. They make that money fair and square. It is simple sports driven economics.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

When a customer buys a ticket they are only saying they think the ticket is worth the price. They are not saying they should earn $83k less at their job so that A-Rod can make $25 million at his.

If consumers had the option of not buying A-Rod products in exchange for an income closer to the $135k average, A-Rod would never get customers. Nobody is going to give up $80k of their income in order to pay A-Rod millions.

[-] 1 points by SPAR23 (25) 2 years ago

They are not earning less because they decide to buy products. The league takes the revenue from everything and divieds it up for salaries and other things.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

If you aren't familiar with my posts, this will probably help you better understand where I am coming from:

What I advocate is that we change the way we allocate income. Instead of allocating income based on bargaining power, which is very unfair, we should allocate it based on hard work.

Making this change would enable us to: Guarantee everyone a job, raise the minimum wage to $115k, pay students to go to school, offer 100% mortgages at 0% interest, and reduce the work week to 20 hours by using existing automation to eliminate the need to do half the jobs we do - jobs nobody has any interest in working and that are a complete waste of human effort.

The number 1 problem in the world, by a very wide margin, is lack of income and people only lack income because the top 3% unfairly take more than they earned and deserve, leaving too little income left over for everyone else.

In fact, this small group of people takes so much of the available income that 97% of all workers are forced to make a below average income and 50% of all Americans are forced to live in or close to poverty.

Since the only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get people to work hard, the only fair way to allocate income is to limit differences to only what is necessary to get them to do difficult work and give their maximum effort.

Allowing the top 3% to take more than what is necessary to work hard, allowing them to take as much as 50,000 times more income than everyone else, or even 50 times more income, is unfair and undeserved because 1) they don't work 50 to 50,000 times harder than everyone else, 2) they didn't earn this money from willing consumers in the market, 3) they shouldn't have the power to force the rest of society into poverty or financial struggle, 4) there is no economic justification that requires us to pay them this amount in order for the economy to work well, 5) it makes society undemocratic since it gives them as much as 50,000 times more political power than everyone else.

Income should be allocated based on hard work. If someone currently in the bottom 1% of earners works just as hard as someone currently in the top 1% of earners, they should get paid the same. Society should work equally well for everyone. That is only fair.

Allocating income in this way would end poverty, end financial struggle, end the number one cause of most of the world's misery, and even end the middle class since it would make everyone wealthy.

Every worker in America in 2012 should be wealthy. Worker productivity in this country is $65 per hour which means if everyone was paid equally, full-time workers would get paid $135,000 per year. So there is more than enough income to go around.

If we determined that paying the top earners 4 times more than the bottom earners was enough incentive to motivate people to work hard, we would be able to pay every worker from $115k to $460k per year. That would end nearly every social problem we have.

You can read more about how that would work here:

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

They don't earn less because they buy products. They earn less because the people they buy from allocate income unfairly.

When A-Rod takes $25 million in income, that is $25 million less the rest of the workforce can make. The top 3% take so much of the available income, there simply is not enough income left over to pay everyone else. They leave the bottom 97% of all workers earning a below average income and the bottom 50% of all Americans in poverty or close to it even though workers produce $135k per year in income on average.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

who pays ARods salary?

[-] 4 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

Still stuck on the old straw-man market argument? Not done guzzling the cum of the 1%?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/23/us-insight-bankers-idUSTRE81M1S420120223

Dell is a hypocrite defending con artists and self entitlement on the largest scale. Are you that blind to reality? In this society, these con artists do get away with their crimes. Do you think reiterating your flawed market argument will change anyone's minds here?

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

ARod is a con artist? Then don't buy a freaking ticket ! Geezzzz!!!! I am in freaking loserville on this forum - holy cow!

[-] 1 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

Hilarious... when you can't hold your ground against solid points, you deflect by making nonsensical claims. Your blind fantasy market argument doesn't work when con artists don't get punished by the 'market'. But go ahead, deflect to ARod again and make some more senseless banter. I'm sure it will get you much more credibility and purpose around here.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

deflect what? this is how the world works. ARod is a con artist lol! you guys come up with some crazy world view

[-] 1 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

Oh I see, you still want to drink the cum of the 1%. Where did I claim ARod was a con artist in any of my post? Your deflection is obvious along with your flawed world view that the 'market' fixes everything. Go on, continue to guzzle down their cum like the good lapdog you are. But please spare us from a video of you taking said phallus down your throat.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

you really are fixated on cum aren't you lol. I think you have some deep dark secrets playing out here. your quote - "Dell is a hypocrite defending con artists" The subject above was ARod's salary.

[-] 1 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

I'm just calling it like I see it. Hey, if you enjoy taking the phallus of the 1% down your throat and guzzling their juice, then that's your thing. You quoted a part of my statement that was based on a number of your previous posts on OWS. I don't see where in my posts did I mention ARod.

You on the other hand seems to be fixated on your imaginary "market magically fixes everything" argument. The good ole invisible hand letting criminals get away scot-free and preventing this wonderful recession right? If you truly believe in this fairy tale, then you must be incredibly naive. If you do not really believe in this fiction and are just using this argument as a front then I question the reason. Perhaps you see OWS as a threat to the 1% who have their cock down your throat?

Either way, this world would be a much better place without people like you.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

hahaha! yea the world would be a better place with all the messianic communists running around promising you utopia hahaha! good luck !

[-] 1 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

Yes, the world would truly be a better place without communists like yourself promising a fictional utopia where the infallible market magically fixes all the problems. hahaha! good luck !

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[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The GM of the Yankees pays his salary, not the consumers in the market. That is why it is misleading to say he earned it in the market.

If consumers had a choice between paying Ticket Price A where they earn $33k at their job and A-Rod earns $25 million at his or Ticket Price B where they both earn close to the $135k average, then the market would be valuing workers.

And if consumers did have this power to value workers, income would be allocated completely differently because nobody is going to voluntarily choose to earn $82k less at their job so that A-Rod can make $25 million at his.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

how is it that ARod's salary causes me to earn 82K less ?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

There is only so much income available to be paid out. When you pay someone $25 million of the available income, that is $25 million less that everyone else can make.

If income was allocated based on hard work instead of bargaining power, the average worker would get paid an income closer to the average income, they would earn roughly $82k more.

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[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

and where does the GM get the money to pay ARod's salary?

[-] 3 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The GM gets it from consumers. And these consumers paid that money because they think the ticket price is worth paying to see the game live. They did not pay that money because they want to earn $82k less at their job so that A-Rod can make $25 million at his.

Consumers are valuing the ticket price, not A-Rod. Consumers do not have a choice in how income is allocated. There are no alternatives.

It is like a monopoly claiming that the market is choosing their product when in reality consumers are only choosing their product because they have no choice; there are no alternatives.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

"The GM gets it from consumers." Doesn't this contradict your earlier statement? "The GM of the Yankees pays his salary, not the consumers in the market." The market values anything by what someone is willing to pay. Simple.

[-] 3 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"The market values anything by what someone is willing to pay."

And since the market did not decide to pay A-Rod $25 million (his GM did), the market is not valuing A-Rod. The market is valuing the ticket price.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

of course the market decided to pay ARod by going to games, buying his jersey etc If they dont approve they would not support the Yankees. boy you are very confused.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Boy, you are very confused about what happens in the market.

When you buy a jersey, just like when you buy a ticket, you do it because you think the jersey is worth the jersey price. You didn't do it because you wanted A-Rod to earn more money.

If you are confused about this, go to a store and ask a customer whether they bought that product because they valued the product or because they wanted the producers of the product to make more money (or because they were happy with the way that company allocated income).

You will find out they bought the product because they valued the product.

Next, ask an average Yankees fan who earns a median income if they had a choice between buying Ticket A where they earn $33k at their job and A-Rod earns $25 million at his or Ticket B where they both earn close to the $135k average, which ticket they would buy.

You will find most if not all Yankees fans will not choose to buy the ticket that allocates income in a way where they are forced to make $83k less at their job but A-Rod is able to make $25 million at his.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

when you buy a ticket to a ballgame you buy it because you think it is worth the price. It sounds like you want a line item vote on every single decision that is made in the world! It doesn't matter what the fans say when I ask them - the opinion that matters is the people that have an opinion by expressing it through their wallets. Apparently enough approve to keep the whole organization thriving.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Consumers do not approve. They simply have no say in how income is allocated. They have no control over what the Yankees pay their employees.

And my original point stands. A consumer who buys a ticket does so because they think the ticket is worth the price. They are not at all saying they bought the ticket because they want to make $80k less at their job so that a-rod can make $25 million at his.

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[-] -1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

Actually I think you are confused. The market did determine his value because other GMs competed for his contract. The Yankees could have picked Ian Stewart to play 3rd, and he was way cheaper (and far less talented) but they voluntarily chose Arod.

And anyone can go right to any sports outfitter and buy a baseball jersey with no name on it and it will be less expensive. If you go to a Memorobilia store and ask a customer why he bought a Tim Tebow shirt, it is because its a Tim Tebow shirt.. Tim Tebow stuff sell 10X more than other shirts because its a Tim Tebow shirt. Owning a baseball jersey for utilitarian purposes is stupid, you could buy a real nice work shirt at Target for $20, not the $175 an authentic baseball shirt costs.

In particular a New York Yankee fan doesnt care that ARod earns $25 million. He wants a winning team. The Yankees could easily hire a new player for the league minimum and watch their ticket sales plummet like a stone. Arod sells tickets. Ian Stewart does not.

Do you ever watch the NFL draft? Fans go nuts when a team drafts a star player and they know full well how much that player will command come signing day.

Your last statement is so wrong there is little way to even understand it. Yankee fans go to see stars and have a winning team. If tht wasnt the case, then the Yankees could just exchange players with the San Diego Padres, who pay hardly anything for their players. Of course the Yankees will be 2-9 right now and the fans will be looking to burn down New York if they were.

You are really really wrong in this matter.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This isn't difficult.

The consumers did not determine what to pay A-Rod, the GM did.

And when a consumer buys a Tebow shirt it is because... now follow closely... it is because that consumer values that Tebow shirt. It is not because they want to get paid less at their job so that Tebow can earn hundreds of times more money at his.

.

"Arod sells tickets. Ian Stewart does not."

And that is exactly the point that I am making. Consumers are BUYING TICKETS to see A-Rod. They are not trying to give A-Rod as much income as possible.

.

"a New York Yankee fan doesnt care that ARod earns $25 million"

That is because they have no say over his pay. That is the point I am making. Consumers don't decide his salary. But if they did have a say, and understood that the economic system has to pay you $83k less per year every year in order to pay A-Rod $25 million per year, they would care and A-Rod would never be able to convince enough consumers that his increase in pay is worth them taking an enormous pay cut.

[-] 0 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

Consumers dont have to buy a ticket. Everyone knows what Arod makes. If they were upset about his salary they can vote with their feet and not go to a game. they choose to go.

"And when a consumer buys a Tebow shirt it is because... now follow closely... it is because that consumer values that Tebow shirt. It is not because they want to get paid less at their job so that Tebow can earn hundreds of times more money at his."

They value it because they think he is worth it. They know he gets a cut. So they think his cut is OK. If they didnt they would vote with their feet.

"And that is exactly the point that I am making. Consumers are BUYING TICKETS to see A-Rod. They are not trying to give A-Rod as much income as possible."

Yes they are. If they did not want him paid that much, they would not go to the games. If they thought he was overpaid, they would say so. They dont.

"That is because they have no say over his pay. That is the point I am making. Consumers don't decide his salary. But if they did have a say, and understood that the economic system has to pay you $83k less per year every year in order to pay A-Rod $25 million per year, they would care and A-Rod would never be able to convince enough consumers that his increase in pay is worth them taking an enormous pay cut"

Prove this. They have plenty of say over his contract. If they didnt like his salary, they would not go to the games. They dont think there is any connection between their income and his. Only you do.

How do I know? the Green Bay Packers are owned by the fans. There is no corporation owning the Oackers. The fans who are the owners approve Aaron rodgers contract. There is no arguing this although you will. This is a very sound, unimpeachable example of what fans would do if they had player salary control. We have clear proof.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"If they were upset about his salary they can vote with their feet and not go to a game."

And the reason why they do not do this is because they know if they did, it would not have any effect whatsoever on how income was allocated in this country.

But if consumers had the option, like I have been explaining over and over and over and over again, where if they did choose not to go to a game that A-Rod's income would be reduced and their income would be raised from $33k closer to the $135k that the average worker produces in this country, then consumers would be voting on how they think A-Rod should get paid.

.

"They dont think there is any connection between their income and his. Only you do. "

They may not think there is a connection. But that is only because people don't understand economics. There is only so much income to go around each year. And if 1 person takes $25 million of it, that is $25 million less everyone else can make. This is simple math.

Every dollar you pay some worker above the $135k average income, that is 1 dollar someone else has to get paid below the $135k average.

.

"The fans who are the owners approve Aaron rodgers contract...This is a very sound, unimpeachable example of what fans would do if they had player salary control."

You don't understand the way our economy works. If the owners had the choice between paying themselves $100 million extra in income or paying that to Rodgers, they would choose to pay it to themselves.

They only pay it to Rodgers because they have no choice. He has the bargaining power, the owners do not.

The Packers company is not a football player charitable organization. The Packers company is not a vehicle that the fans can use to raise as much money as possible for Rodgers.

And this gets back to my original point. We allocate income based on bargaining power which is unfair because a very small minority use their bargaining power to take far, far, far, far more income than they earned and deserve.

Rodgers does not work thousands of times the hours as everyone else and he does not work thousands of times harder than everyone else. And he certainly has not convinced consumers to all take pay cuts in order to generate the extra income necessary to pay him millions. So he has not earned the money he takes.

Advocating a system that unfairly pays the lion's share of the available income to the few at the top and leaves you and the rest of workforce broke, is not smart.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

I'm not sure why you are finding this so hard to grasp. The customers who watch packer games, even if they are part owners in the team, DO NOT have the individual ability to decide not to purchase a ticket and therefore decrease the income of their players and increase their income closer to the $135k average. That option is not available to them."

Its is availsble to some. They choose not to. Good luck with your zealotry.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"Its is availsble to some. They choose not to."

Like I said, you do not know how the world works. No packer fans are given the option to make $135k per year by choosing not to contribute to the inflated player salaries.

The 1% are taking advantage of your ignorance and have brainwashed you to promote their idea which continues to make them rich and continues to make you poor.

A 100% chance at making at least $115k or $230k for working 20 hours that a system that allocated income based on hard work would give you is a better deal than a 3% chance at that kind of income which our current system is giving you. The goal should be to advocate for ideas that will improve your lot in life, not make it worse. You are being suckered.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

The Packers are owned by the community. They ownership could easily choose to pay all the players the league minimum, and take the new excess profits and distribute them to the local hard workers but they dont. Your model says they should, but in real life they dont. With the TV contract and the solid tickets sales they could reduce the team payroll by about $45 million which using $100000 as near the $115000 you postulate, could give 4500 "hard workers" in the area income they cant even dream of. It would be your example, exactly, on a small scale. A perfect experiment there for you. But they dont. Your idea up in flames. This wont give you pause to reflect and say "hmmm?, maybe I need to re- think this, because that IS a very good near example," because you are a zealot in your belief. And thats OK, the world needs zealots and gadflies, as long as they arent armed.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm not sure why you are finding this so hard to grasp.

The customers who watch packer games, even if they are part owners in the team, DO NOT have the individual ability to decide not to purchase a ticket and therefore decrease the income of their players and increase their income closer to the $135k average.

That option is not available to them.

Do you really think each and every packer fan is given the choice to earn closer to the $135k per year by merely saying they are going to contribute less to the players!?! lol

You are being a loyal member of the 1%'s useful idiots.

You should better familiar yourself with this concept:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullibility

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

If the Packer example didnt convince you nothing will. You of course know more than the 20 or 30 or 50 million fans that enjoy pro sports. If you are so right, why are you on this forum?

I am done. You clearly think you know more than most Americans, if they would just listen.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"If the Packer example didnt convince you nothing will"

Your Packer example is not an example of consumers making a choice between getting paid $33k at their job so that Rodgers can get paid millions at his or everyone getting paid paid a fair income closer to the $135k average.

.

"You of course know more than the 20 or 30 or 50 million fans that enjoy pro sports"

I don't claim to know more than them. I'm just saying that when they buy a football ticket they are not doing because they want to earn $83k less at their job so that the football players can make millions at theirs.

.

"If you are so right, why are you on this forum? "

To help people like you better understand the way our economy works so you can make better decisions about what is in your best interests instead of making decisions based on the propaganda of rich people who want you to stay poor so they can stay rich.

You will likely earn 4 times more in a system that allocates income fairly based on hard work where the minimum income is $115k than in our current system that allocates income based on bargaining power where you have a 95% chance of making less money and which favors the people who are already rich and favors the very, very few people who get lucky in the market.

[-] 1 points by Spring12 (25) 2 years ago

Im pretty sure men like Bill Gates and the late and great Steve Jobs sure as heel earned their money.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8656) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

A very good post, I would like to add that the income picture only tells part of the tale, and in my opinion not the most important part. The accumulation of net worth is even worst, numbers on this are very hard to gather, but you might have some access to them. A little over the basic needs is all it takes to start to gather wealth, then you pass it on and six gens later wahla Paris Hilton. This is why I like the idea of the government being funded with an across the board property tax, all forms of property, so each pays according to how much net worth the government protects for them.

“Pay for the Kingdom you keep.”

Anyway, great post.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Wow, this post has a lot of factual information.

Excellent post !

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Demian: Though we disagree about other issues, on this we certainly don't. GREAT article. Thank you.

You might like this as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&hd=1

And maybe this:

http://robertreich.org/

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

This one belongs at the top! Not only do they lack empathy but they preach it to others as a religion.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Interesting summary of what's going on. Thanks for posting.

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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Most of that wealth is inherited. I have known a lot of VERY DUMB people who have a nice sack of change.

[-] 0 points by SPAR23 (25) 2 years ago

You can't say that about all rich people. My grandfather started a logging distribution business when he was 8 years old and worked his ass off for the better part of 40 years. He had thousands of employees and paid fair and honest wages with full covered healthcare. How can you say he did not work for his money. He is now a millionaire from it. He deserves everything he got.

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

how did oprah earn her money?

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[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

how exactly does someone "take" your wages? Give an example - What specific job are you talking about?

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

"Yet the average American factory worker, according to Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti, produces $180,000 worth of goods a year, more than three times what he or she produced in 1978, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

So workers have TRIPLED their productivity over 30 years while the richest 1% have TRIPLED their share of income. Worker pay remained flat as the top 10% took almost all the productivity gains since 1980."

Read

$180,000 worth of goods a year, for that, what do you think the worker's cut of the pie should be??? It is undeniable that workers are getting the shaft and taking it pretty hard. Anyone can see that from the article. Unless of course they lack empathy, morals, and ethics.

[-] 2 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

I doubt this is true. I bet most of the gains are due to modernization of the workplace with robotics.

I would like to see the study. I do know that 35 years there were tons of jobs for machinists. Now machinists are almost obsolete. A human simply cannot compare in terms of efficiency and accuracy with a machine in fabricating parts.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Industries in the south aren't using a lot of robotics. Sweat is still cheaper to purchase than quality equipment. The quotas are raised not because they have provided a new or better machine. At one factory, a guy's safety bar had been removed so he could go faster. Inspectors made the factory dig it up and reattach it. This is where some of the added productivity is coming from. I've actually seen the inside of a few factories and had the pleasure of working in them. Yes I heard at one that our machines were 20 years old and the Union Yankee sister factory had new ones. But alas I was in Georgia with no union and a twenty year old machine to work on. Computers helped people be more productive and they are affordable enough to find their way into any small business. Not many actual parts are manufactured here in the US, I suppose Chinese robotics are pretty big. Japan seems to likes robotics. If you are a factory, robotics don't pay if you have cheap labor that can fill up your warehouse. Having 1000 more tasters doesn't increase your demand for them.

[+] -4 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

if the factory worker is unhappy with his wages - he should look for another job and/or attain some additional skills so they can command higher wages.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Or he should starve or work for a sack of rice! HA HA HA! If you end enough social programs and cut education enough those will be his choices. Peddle your crap to someone who isn't retarded. We all know the wealthy got that way by shearing the sheep. Its not who they can help, its about how many you can step on on your way up and up and up. What most of you fail to realize is what most businesses are dependent on is disposable income of the masses of which there is less and less. Greedy guts ate the world up and didn't have a thing to stand on. You think you can pay workers with a sack of rice and then they can over pay for cheesy products. The rich are bringing about their own demise. Sure they will control the resources as long as the masses allow it, how much poverty do think the world will endure before they sacrifice the Oligarchy? Lets see.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Income is allocated based on bargaining power, not skill. And bargaining power is acquired mostly through luck in the market. We have a casino economy.

If everyone became a doctor, doctors would command the same salaries as retail workers get.

Plus, it is not practical for people in our system to change with the market. When you are a middle-aged man with a family and financial obligations, and your job becomes obsolete because of automation or outsourcing, they don't have the luxury to come up with $100k and 4 years of free time to get a new education.

They are forced to take whatever job they can find, in order to continue to support their family, which is usually for less money.

The problem is we have a terribly designed economic system.

[-] 0 points by NOAMISRICH (28) 2 years ago

Your website is retarded! You want everyone to get 40,000 a year doing nothing. absolute insanity.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Since the website doesn't say you get paid $40k for doing nothing and actually says you get paid an extra $40k for working full-time, is it the website that is retarded or is it you that is retarded?

And since that website is part of game which you have no clue about, is it the website that is retarded or is it you that is retarded?

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

what are you using to bargain with?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Your bargaining power is determined by whether you have more and better alternatives than the other party you are bargaining with.

If you are A-Rod and are the only one who can play baseball as well as he does, you have tremendous bargaining power because you have many alternatives - every single team in baseball wants you - and the teams you are negotiating with have no alternatives - there is only one A-Rod.

If you are just an average worker and you want to earn the average $135k income and every company that you can work at has the ability to hire any one of the current unemployed who are making nothing and all the unemployed would gladly take much, much less than $135k since they are currently making nothing, you have no bargaining power.

[-] 1 points by shooz (17796) 2 years ago

You say that like it's still the seventies.

It's not. Get out of your time machine, and enter the realities of the 21st century.