Wealth inequality

Income inequality results in wealth inequality. In 1980, the average large corporation CEO’s salary was 50 times that of the average worker. Today that number is anywhere between 250 to 1,000. As companies grew, the workers have not shared in the growth.

“Trickle Down” economics, a.k.a “Supply Side Economics” has proven to not work, at least for 90 percent of Americans. In the late 1800s they had an earthier name for it: “Horse and Sparrow” economics. If the horse eats enough oats, eventually there will be some oats on the road for the sparrows to pick over.

Both parties hide the fact that this theory just doesn’t work. I think that’s about to change.

Through the post-World War II era, the top one percent earned 10 percent of all income. By 2007, that figure had jumped to 23.5 percent, the most since 1928.

We can start by making the minimum wage a living wage. In the US, five percent of the workforce makes at or below the minimum wage. This is no longer just a part-time, student job thing – the average age is 26. Not doing that is, in effect, giving taxpayer dollars to subsidize the company’ profits.

Seventy percent of U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending. If consumers don’t have money to spend, the economy tanks. If we put money into the hands of consumers, the economy picks up. The Pope understands this – and in the coming elections, you will hear more about income inequality.

Jon Monday

67 Responses to "Wealth inequality"

  1. Lee   February 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Jon, thank you for your Op-Ed.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, what does NOT work is not some sort of economic system be it this system of that system, etc.; what does no work . . . is money itself. If we, as a species, get rid of money, this planet has a chance of making it; if we do not, we don’t have a prayer in heck.

    Money is the root of all evil. We MUST get rid of money once and for all.

  2. LMAO   February 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Fabulous idea Lee. I’ll be happy to take yours.

  3. grunt   February 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Jon, did you know that only 1.6% of Americans make minimum wage? And, did you know that most minimum wage earnes are in families that make over $48K a year? over 68% of these people are earning the second or thrid income in the family, so raising it will not really help the "poor", instead you will see the demise of the traditionly minimum wage job. Already some fast food restraraunts are starting to reduce staff and use robotics; in other cases either the price of food will go up or the business will shut down. Expect to see 7-11 closing at night- not enought sales to pay the pay worker.

    Again, the key to wealth is work, education, dedication. Those that missed the boat – smoking pot, boozing or whatever instead of studing are now paying the price. We all have choices- the wrong choice can haunt you for a life time.

  4. Alanjohnstone   February 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    No , its not a laughing matter but a serious alternative that Lee proposes.



  5. Really?   February 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    You Class warfare nitwits thrive on ignorance about where income originates. Listening to you drone incessantly about income inequality, makes me think you assume that a huge pile of cash exists in LaLa Land to be handed out

  6. Mike W   February 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Nice comment Lee, in essence you are right, but allow me to make a slight correction. Money is not the root of all evil but the LOVE OF MONEY is.
    The problem lies within the current system, not the money itself but the system brought about by the LOVE of money, which is the DEBT BASED MONEY SYSTEM, which is the greatest con ever perpetrated on the masses since the days of the money changers.
    Cesar established a DEBT FREE money system that worked very well, but he was eventually assassinated and the debt based money system returned and the people were soon impoverished. Abe Lincoln and JFK both tried to go back to the debt free system, both were assassinated before they could.

    One of the most award winning documentaries out there about our money system is called the Secret of Oz (see link below) Once you understand our current money system, the current state of our economy becomes clear. If you care about this country and where it is heading then arm yourself with knowledge rather than guns.

    The Secret of Oz ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qIhDdST27g

  7. Lee   February 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    " . . .
    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world
    . . . " (Lennon)

  8. Really   February 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm


  9. Mike W   February 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Comment # 3 "Again, the key to wealth is work, education, dedication. Those that missed the boat – smoking pot, boozing or whatever instead of studing are now paying the price. We all have choices- the wrong choice can haunt you for a life time."

    Let’s see ..Hmmm.. In 1962 I was 18, rented a 5 bedroom house on the beach in Newport Beach CA for $125 a month. After moving in 4 friends, I could literally pick up pop bottles around the lifeguard stands and flirt with cute girls two days out of the month to pay my share of the rent. I soon became tired of roommates, got a minimum wage job as a short order cook at the coffee shop across from the Lido Yacht anchorage working a 30 hour week, rented the upper half of a duplex in Corona Del Mar, and had plenty of money to by a used car for cash and put a little in the bank. Last half of 1964, rented a two bedroom house up in Bluebird Canyon in Laguna Beach CA. for $125.00 a month, all on a 30 hr minimum pay workweek. A year later I got drafted, I had no cost of living or dying, all was taken care of but my pay scale dropped to 16 cents an hour based on a 24 hr day.. It was there I learned to drink beer and smoke pot until I got out in the last half of 65. Fast forward about 10 years, I rented a large house with a swimming pool on 8 acres of a much larger established avocado grove at the end of Acacia lane in Fallbrook for $200 a month though I didn’t generate much money making turquoise jewelry in my garage, I had plenty to maintain automobiles, food and housing for myself and two small kids and a girlfriend or two.
    So in the nearly 20 years between 1962 and 1980 the cost of living grew slowly but picked up speed in the latter part of the next 20 yrs between 1980 and 1990 then the cost of living skyrocketed and it has maintained that trajectory ever since, but I am here to tell you it is a grand misconception, a lie, an illusion, brought about by the value of the dollar going down, which makes it look like the cost of living is going up.

    If you want to know why the value of our dollar has gone down, just look to the money changers, those who are manipulating the interest and the supply.
    So please try to understand that it is not the lowlife

  10. Mike W   February 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Comment 8 is so typical of the few hopelessly judgmental, closed minded hayseeds here abouts.
    Try actually watching the Oz video Sir, before making your lame statements, in the video they state over and over again that gold backed money only works for the super rich who always end up monopolizing it. What they advocate is a debt free money system and show examples of how it has worked well at various times in history .. and how the gold backed system of Julius Cesar destroyed their economy .. Please, get a grip on the reality that exists just outside your little sphere for a change before making your usual derogatory remarks…

    Sorry for the misquote in comment 6 "Cesar established a DEBT FREE money system"
    He actually got rid of it and replaced it with gold coins with his face on it..

  11. Jon Monday   February 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    The evidence of Horse and Sparrow economics not working is Household income being flat or dropping for 30 years, not individual income.

    And consider this, 30 years ago many mothers stayed home, at least through their children getting through grade school (like my wife).

    The addition of the income from members of families who take low wage jobs has not been enough to life household income.

  12. grunt   February 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    "we all live in a yellow submarine" – Lennon. So what?

  13. Jon Monday   February 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    I thought I’d directly answer some of the serious points raised in the comments:

    Lee – Money is just an easier way of bartering with an agreed value being placed on the token (coins, bills, etc.). Greed is one of the roots of all evil, not money.

    Grunt – 1.6% of Americans on minimum wage is a very large number – in fact it’s over 5 million individuals. It’s shameful, especially since we’ve not raised the real value of minimum wage to keep up with inflation. If we had, it would be over $10 an hour. What is your source for the other numbers you mention? We can talk when you post that. The only reason businesses say they can’t raise the low wages is they believe that Americans are too self-centered to pay a little more for a hamburger to help out those less fortunate than themselves. I’m willing. To characterize all low wage earners as pot heads is insulting to the poor. I’ll say again, and this is a VERY BIG POINT: The minimum wage should be a living wage, otherwise the companies are expecting the Taxpayers to pick up the difference. Personally I’m sick of subsidizing large corporation profits through tax breaks, wages that their employees can’t live on, and even allowing those employees and executives who stop paying into Social Security when they hit $112,000.

    To Really? – The US economy depends on consumer spending. Henry Ford proved the efficacy of paying more than the minimum. He wanted his employees to be able to buy his products. Yes, it take capital to start businesses (such as I have done), and the best thing for the economy is to pay a fair wage, and not pour all the profits to the top management. As I’ve said else where, the last company I worked for had roughly a 10 to 1 ratio of the highest paid (the CEO at about $350,000 a year) to the warehouse guy (about $35,000). When the company was profitable, the CEO got a very nice chuck, and everyone else got a very nice, but dis-proportionate bonus, depending on the contribution to the overall profits. I was part of the Senior Executive Staff and every year would hit the SS cap – I didn’t need the extra few hundred bucks in my pay checks, and I would have gladly sacrificed it to know that SS would be solvent forever. I have never talked about Wealth Inequality, except that it is the result of Income Inequality. You talk about a free market system, but he US doesn’t have that. We have an Oligarchy, which is defined as a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. In the US it’s not individuals, but market segments that control the power: Wall Street (including banks), Media, Health Care, Energy, and the rich (as a group). These market segments control politics, prices, and, in effect, people’s minds. It’s not about individuals getting together in a smoke-filled room somewhere, but just the common interest driven by unbridled greed. One of the reasons the economy was so successful building the middle case after WWII was a top income tax rate of 90% (they didn’t pay that much from dollar one, it was bracketed). CEO’s left money in the company to do long-term R&D, paid their employees more than a living wage, and paid nice dividends to their investors. Those power groups have also allowed companies to keep two sets of books – one to report to Wall Street to boost stock, and one to report to the IRS. It is largely acknowledged that the actual tax paid by the top 500 corporations, as a percentage of gross income is sometimes zero, or less than 5%. Individuals can play games with their income and taxes, so they also pay little or no taxes, while complaining about the rates (but not actually paying anything near the rate they should be). You say, "In the past only

  14. Lee   February 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    @ #13 Jon Monday

    Bartering is no different than money: both assign an arbitrary "value" on an item. An item has no value. How does water have a value? How does shelter have a value? How does food have a value? Is the value of a gallon of water $1, $248 billion, one cow, 568 cows, or what? Before money and barter, man lived WITH and IN nature and simply took from nature that which he needed to sustain life; barter and money threw that balance out of balance.

    How can greed be the root of all evil when money is the underlying culprit? When you have money — or barter — you automatically have greed. When you don’t have barter or money, you actually do not have greed. There are many societies/cultures who do not live on barter or money, i.e., Amazonian natives, et al., and who live perfectly fine and in harmony with nature, and have done so for centuries. Native Americans did the same until the white man came along . . . with his barter and money. The rest, as they say, is history.

    We must eliminate barter and money once and for all, and the foolish and invalid notion of assigning a "value" to things. If we do, this planet has a chance; if we don’t it does not.

  15. Bill L   February 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

    When you reference how great the pre WW1 economy was due to less ‘income inequality’ before Bretton Woods and becoming the currency reserve are you talking about the time when the average salary was only $1268 per year and the unemployment was upwards of 18%?

    What a utopian dream.

  16. Bill L   February 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Also your ideas about the housing crash and cash flow during Clinton years is wrong. The debt was reduced due again to republicans. The underpinnings of the housing crash was Andrew Cuomo reducing documentation required for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans and for setting quotas for minority and low income buyers that were unqualified.

  17. Bill L   February 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

    A good book for beginners on economics is The Ascent Of Money by Niall Ferguson.

  18. Bill L   February 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Jon Monday, even Paul Krugman would tell you that your ideas aren’t serious. He’s about as liberal and Keynesian of an economist that you will find.

  19. Jon Monday   February 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    To Lee –

    I’m not going to waste any more time on your comments – you can’t be serious about eliminating money and barter.

    There are, in my philosophy, three roots of evil: greed, anger, and lust.

    Seeing all people as extensions of your own family takes care of greed, loving everyone as if they are your own family, even if you have differences of opinion, and love – not lust – is a necessary ingredient. These things are not caused by anything external to yourself – you own these emotions.

    In other words, not being greedy, not being angry, and not lusting are the core principle of all the world’s religions, if you can get past the facade of the religious organizations, dogmas, interpretations, and their histories. But, delve into the mystical branches that all say our souls are sparks of God, each identical in their true nature. We are all children of God, but don’t see things that way.

    Simple truths such as embodied in the Sermon on the Mount, are all we need to produce a harmonious society and world.

    As a side note, in the mid-70s I was invited to do audio recording of native Samoan music by the government there, who were trying to preserve their culture before it was lost to Western values. Of course, they had a sort of informal bartering (who doesn’t), where I’ll trade you some fish I caught today, if you will help re-thatch my hut. I’m not sure anyone kept track, it was just helping each other as family.

    But, the most valuable things in their society were objects called fine mats. These were finely woven straw mats for wall coverings. What made one mat more valuable than another was not how beautifully it was or the intricacy of the design, but the auspiciousness of the occasion where the mat was given as a gift.

    The CD of that trip is available on Amazon and download sites. The title is simply The Music of Samoa. You can hear where the Beach Boys were influenced by the South Pacific harmonies.

  20. Pink   February 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    @Lee: "For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil" Timothy 6:10 (Bible)

    You know Lee, it would be refreshing, if just once, you would actually open a history book, or go on line and do some research before you make statements which you cannot back up. In fact Native American’s actually had a barter system in place when the colonists first landed on these shores. Since money was in extremely short supply, the colonists adopted the Native American barter system as their own. (Native American Cultural Center) among other sources.

    The Yanomami Indians (consisting of at least 4 different Amazonian tribes) inhabiting the tropical rain forests of southern Venzuela and Northern Brazil, have bartered goods amongst each other for hundreds of years. (Look it up).

    According to the Bible ancient peoples have been bartering and trading with one another for thousands of years. In fact, scientists have discovered that ancient hunting tribes traded (bartered) for flint over 150,0000 years ago.

    Don’t despair Lee, the day when you will no longer be allowed to use money is coming soon. Unless you have the mark on your forehead and the palm of your hand (computer chips??) you will be unable to purchase anything. Revelations 13: 16-18.

  21. Cut the BS   February 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    More superstitious babble from the biggest work of fiction ever…….the "holy" bible.

  22. Lee   February 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    @ Jon Monday

    I am completely serious about eliminating barter and money. Why don’t you want to discuss this matter further? Before civilizations, man lived without barter and money. Worked like a charm. And, again, there are still people today who live without them, too; And they live perfectly well in harmony with nature. We could learn a thing or two from them.

    Do you truly believe that if we raise the minimum wage, greed will disappear? Do you truly believe that? I can prove to you that it won’t with a simple example. Let’s say this were the 1950s when the minimum wage was whatever it was, say $2. (I don’t know what it was.) So, let’s say people wanted to increase the minimum wage back then and it was, in fact, increased. Fast forward to today when you have the increased minimum wage, . . . so wouldn’t you say that we have greed today? Of course, we do as you correctly point out.

    Jon, it does not matter if the minimum wage is one penny or $2 billion; you will always have greed as long as you have money and barter.

  23. grunt   February 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    To Mike W.– seems you make point, not refute it – you do not seem to be complaining that others have it made while you don’t. you don;t know me- I am retired Marine, so yes, I am in the work force now, and have to worry about everything you do – housing, food, shelter. Although I had to on active duty too – except when I was deployed; still had to budget for wife and kids. And, I thought for myself 100% of the time – surprised that you – you said you were in – take that cheap shot,.

  24. grunt   February 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Jon Monday – again 1.6% is NOT a lot – and most are not "raising a family of four". Look at the damage that will be done raising the minimum wage. Look at Obama care – income loss as people’s hours are cut – this was predicted and yet liberals insisted it was the best thing, seems if it helps one person but destroys many, you are in favor of it.

  25. Jon Monday   February 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Bill L,

    I think you have several typos, as you reference things you attribute to me, but I didn’t say or imply. For instance:

    "When you reference how great the pre-WW1 economy"

    Did you mean WWII?

    I’ll try to address the point you raise, as I can figure them out:

    RE: "The debt was reduced due again to republicans."

    The debt was reduced by the parties working together. If the parties work together now, we can reduce the deficit in a sane way. After the Bush created recession, there needed to be stimulus, as both parties have done in the past, but Republicans decided (and said up front) that they wouldn’t do anything to help the economy while Obama was in office. Hence a slow recovery.

    RE: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – they held the standards to end – but they bought loans from banks who lied about the qualifications. The liar loans were all from banks, not from those two agencies, but they got stuck with them.

    RE: Krugman – I love him and agree with all his suggestion and policies. I wish he was the Secretary of the Treasury or Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He and Robert Reich (who I’ve met and discussed economic policy) have the right ideas. I don’t think I’ve said anything that is contrary to their ideas. If you think so, please point it out.

    I welcome sane and calm discussion on these issues, but they must be grounded in fact and history.


  26. Sincerly Sally   February 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    All religions have been a hindrance to the progression of mankind since the dawn of time, but no religion has been as bloody and oppressive than Christianity.

    Mankind should focus on the known and tangible, and should embrace science and education. NOT put faith in the unknown and that which cannot be proven above the progression of mankind.

    There should be a global separation of Church and State. No religion should have any influence on a nation’s political state nor on its policies.

    Morality is manmade. The concept of right and wrong has nothing to do with any myths or biblical fairy tales.

    No society should be forced into the financial support of any religious groups or programs. This includes but is not limited to tax exemptions for churches, government vouchers to private religious schools, and religion based reform in the prisons.

    Everyone has the right to question what the read and/or hear, regardless of what they are told by their churches. I’ve read the bible numerous times and nothing is so violent and primitive as it. I’m glad we’re moving away from it!

  27. Pink   February 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Once again Lee refuses to allow common sense and facts to stand in the way of a convoluted theory that has absolutely no basis in fact. Bartering for goods has been around since the beginning of time; Wars, famine, murder and greed have always been around as well. There is no recorded history of any group of people ever living together in complete harmony, and there never will be, mankind being what it is. The love of money is indeed, the root of all evil. Nobody, no matter who you are, can get into heaven pulling a U-haul. Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man. "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Jesus).

  28. Jon Monday   February 10, 2014 at 12:20 am

    To Grunt,

    Real Liberals wanted single payer.

    Experts on that approach were not even allowed to testify, by both parties. The Democratic party is not liberal – just slightly left of center, if not right of center, by their actions.

    My best proposal would have been to have Medicare for all – with those under 65 paying their full prorata share.

    Universal coverage is what every other developed country has and it works for the national economy, the only people it hurts are the private insurance companies – which is why single payer was blocked and Obamacare was implimented, which was almost entirely a result of Republican changes to the original plan proposed by Democrats, but it was the only way to get anything past the 60 vote minimum in the Senate.

    But, the hook is set – the American people won’t allow going back to precondition exclusions, annual and lifetime caps, women paying more than men, etc. This is why the Republicans can’t propose anything but repeal, repeal, repeal.

    What are they going to replace it with? Ask Issa what his proposal is. You’ll get a blank “deer in the headlights” stare.

    I’ve noticed so many here defend the Faux New/Rush lines – but who are you fighting for? The insurance companies? The energy companies? Wall Street?

    Wake up – the policies that the far right push are a detriment to all but the top 10%.

    I’ll give a short example, but it can be applied to all the major sectors of the economy that control our government.

    97% of climate scientists say Global Climate Change is real. The proof is on TV every night. But the press, for the most part report it as if there’s still a debate.

    If 97% of doctors and health experts said a certain drug needs to be taken off the shelves, as people are dying from it – and virtually everyone and every economy in the world will be affected by it, there would be an immediate outcry in the press and public if the government did nothing.

    Why isn’t GCC reported that way? Because energy companies are major advertisers.

    Wall Street created the biggest crash since the Great Depression, but the press is timid to report it that way (PBS does). The reason? Financial institutions are major advertisers.

    Keep in mind I don’t want to debate those subjects, the point is Big Media, which is about 85% owned by 5 international corporations who don’t give a darn about America or Americans – but just look at the bottom line.

    As I’ve said before, we don’t have a free market, a free press, or a real democracy. We have an illusion of democracy, but the real power rests with the money – which brings us back to GREED.

    The American way has become step on the backs of others to get ahead. The top 2% just do it on a massive scale.

    Two examples of the way greed is driving everyday impacts on people’s lives. When a factory or school, or any business allows the employees to vote to take a 10% drop in salary or lay off 10%, all too often (but not always), they vote for the layoff, hoping it won’t be them that gets the pink slip.

    Companies that have a policy of only hiring people who are presently in jobs just hurts people and wastes money.

    These are just a couple of examples of moral failure that has become acceptable.

    What a shame.

  29. Lee   February 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

    @ Jon Monday

    "Seeing all people as extensions of your own family takes care of greed, loving everyone as if they are your own family, even if you have differences of opinion, and love – not lust – is a necessary ingredient."

    I could not agree more with you. So why the need for money? If you truly love somebody, why charge him/her for something?

  30. Lee   February 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

    @ Jon Monday

    Jon, one more question.

    Jon, let’s say I am hungry and don’t have any money, and I approach you if you could offer me a loaf of bread. Would you give me a loaf of bread for free or not because I cannot pay you?

  31. Really?   February 10, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Comment #25

    “I welcome sane and calm discussion on these issues, but they must be grounded in fact and history.”

    As a disputant, you are not in the role of judge or forum moderator. You do not inform us of the outcome of the disputation. You make your case, then recede confident that you have done what is possible.

    We the readers decide how you have accomplished, if anything.

  32. grunt   February 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Lee, please define "before civilizations". I guess if you mean the animal world gets along with out money you are right. And also please provide one example of "People today who live without.."

  33. Jon Monday   February 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    To Grunt,

    I was mostly talking about Lee’s concept of a world without money or barter, in terms of fact-based comments.

    I was also generally talking about people who just call people names, without any argument at all.

    In any case, I just described what I welcome. The Village News allows all voices to be heard, and that’s a good thing. Thanks Debbie.

    To answer Lee’s question, I was eating lunch one day at a Taco Bell, and there was a guy eating directly out of the trash bins. I asked him to put it down and took him inside as said to order anything he wanted and I paid for it.

    Again, I don’t think you’re serious.

    To Sincerely Sally, I think there should be a different word for religion and religious organizations. Religion is what you practice in your heart, that is carried into your life. Your faith, words, and deeds are what should define religion.

  34. VDH   February 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Funny how you liberals do not mention: Responsibility inequality, skill inequality, knowledge inequality, accountably inequality, work ethic inequality, achievement inequality

  35. For a free America   February 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    The nice thing about free markets is it maintains our ability to choose how we spend our money. People that hate a CEO or company for whatever reason, can boycott. If enough people do that, the company will have to change their ways or fold.
    The worse thing that happens here in the USA is when there is no competition. Laws prevent monopolies except for Government. With Government we are forced to pay hundreds of California Employees over $400k/year and can not do a thing about it. See http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/02/07/hundreds-of-california-government-employees-are-paid-over-400000/year

  36. Pink   February 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    @Grunt comment #22: Lee was called out on his ridiculous claim that there was no such thing as a barter system among Native American’s or Amazonian tribes, when a simple on line search would have told him that wasn’t true, so he had to scramble to come up with a "before civilization" comment that is even more ridiculous and bazaar. "Before civilization" is totally and completely meaningless. Does Lee believe that the Vikings lived in perfect harmony with, lets say, England? Does he believe that that there was no money in ancient Rome? If so, where did all of those old Roman coins come from? How about gold dubloons? When Marco Polo went to China wasn’t it to barter and trade? Were all people living in perfect harmony in prehistoric times? Pretty much not. If you burned all the money in the world and dropped all the gold into the middle of the ocean, guess what you would have. People diving for it. Money isn’t the problem, greed is. The only people we have the power to change is ourselves.

  37. Bill L   February 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Jon Monday, you are absolutely wrong.

    Re Reductions in US deficit during Obama administration, all reductions in spending are directly related to the negotiations to raise the debt limit in 2011. Democrats wanted to raise it without limits without cutting a dime. How do you give them credit for reducing deficits if they fought tooth and nail to stop it from happening. A good read on this subject: The Price Of Politics by Bob Woodward.

    Re: Fannie/Freddie. Predatory loans? No such thing. These banks were pressured to increase the amount of loans given to minority and low income earners. They set quotas and reduced the amount of documentation required to get a loan. People like HUD Secretary Cuomo pushed these policies.

    Re: Income inequality. This is the American way. Equal opportunities but not equal outcomes. Americans who work hard have no limits. If you put in the work and build yourself a business then you have the opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Why do you want to discourage ambition? American workers have opportunities that no other people in the world have. That’s why people come here.

    Nobody is stationary in their position. We all have the same opportunity to work hard and succeed. In your system of "income equality" everyone gets a similar paycheck determined by the all powerful government. This sounds like Brave New World.

    Re: Krugman. Even Paul Krugman has denounced John Kenneth Galbraith who came up with the ridiculous "horse and sparrow" idea. I’m sure you prefer the Obama model of economics where millions of people are out of work and we have the lowest labor participation rate in the history of our country. Where instead of promoting hard work and encouraging business to hire you promote dependency and disincentives to work. Where the president passes out food stamps, welfare, disability, unemployment payments, and tax payer money via the failed "Stimulus" instead of working to create jobs and opportunities for Americans.

    Re: Supply side econ. Supply side econ vs socialism and redistribution was settled back in the late 80s, remember Comrade when the USSR collapsed and the US was thriving with people making upward of $5000 more annually and having a much greater purchasing power.

  38. Lee   February 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    @ Jon Monday.

    Thank you. Again, I am completely serious.

  39. Jon Monday   February 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Just a short note, that will no doubt have little effect on distortions of the points I’ve raised.

    To VDH – I never talked about "wealth equality". I talked about income inequality, which over decades leads to wealth inequality. The example I used is how the top jobs used to be 10 or 25 times the lowest paid employee, but has trended to 500 or even 1,000 times the lowest paid, not counting bonuses, which should be more proportionally distributed – meaning the CEO should get a large chunk of profits, based on performance. But, lower paid employees should also participate in proportion to their base salary. This increasing spread between the highest paid and the lowest has created the two class society we have now, killing off the middle class. Remember, liberals (who know anything about business and economics) talk about INCOME INEQUALITY, not wealth inequality, except as a symptom of of a broken system.

    To Bill L – we’re talking past each other, so no use to continue, but one small point. Horse and Sparrow was an expression invented and used in the 1890s, which saw a level of a two-class society very similar to the late 1920s, and now.

    To all those who are, in essence, saying our economic is just fine, please look at the economic factor that compares the opportunity for anyone to lift themselves into a higher income bracket. We rank among the lowest of all industrialized nations.

    There is a big problem and it’s getting worse. The companies and individual at the top are not paying their fair share of taxes, in terms of taxes paid as a percentage of gross income. Warren Buffet has pointed this out as a major danger to our democracy.

    And, as I’ve said before – I did just fine in my career. I’m somewhere in the upper brackets, being in a member of executive teams in all the companies I worked at. As President, VP, head of multiple divisions, etc., I worked very hard for what I have, but I was very thankful and appreciative for the employees who worked for me, helping to create that success – and I made sure they were paid well for that effort.

    Lots of people work extremely hard and don’t get ahead. That is what I’m talking about – not the tiny fringe who try to cheat their bosses or the system.

    The problem is much bigger than that.

    The problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulted in a $5 Trillion mess, created by liar loans before the loans got to those agencies, which represents 10% of the $50 Trillion mess that Wall Street created with unregulated instruments like CDO and CDS. Read up on that and it will explain the real roots of the worldwide crash. There was barely enough money in the world to bail that out, so central bankers bought up the bad debt to keep the whole system going, as opposed grinding to a halt, which would have put us into a Great Depression II.

    No one should think what we need is more of the same economic system that has demolished the middle class over the last 30 years.

    Again, I’m just fine – I’m just have empathy for those less fortunate.

  40. Really?   February 11, 2014 at 8:11 am

    “Equality” is a meaningless political concept, with the single exception of “equality before the law.”

    “Equality of Income” is just as idiotic as “equality of price.” Should the relative price of hamburger and filet mignon be “equalized”? Should the price of a double-wide and Jon Mondays home be “equalized”?

    Just as idiotic: “Should the the incomes of Bill Gates and the lazy lout smoking weed in front of the local 7-11–who hasn’t so much as LOOKED for a job in two years–be equalized?”

    When you have notified all of us Mr. Monday that you’ve given away your possessions, then maybe, just maybe you will have some moral standing in demanding that others give away what they have, to a government that wastes 70% of what they coerce out of the electorate.

  41. grunt   February 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

    @Lee #38 -if you are serious then answer the question, please. Define "before civiliazation" and And also please provide one example of "People today who live without.." Until you do, I suggest that everyone ignore your comments (This is not an orginal idea, I have seen it sugested here before)

  42. Pink   February 11, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I completely agree with the comments of Bill L and Really? (#40).

    I have empathy for those less fortunate than I am as well Jon, and I do all I can to help those truly in need. However, we all know that there are bad poor people as well as good rich people, we cannot put everyone into a bottle. The liberal left have created more and more costly giveaway programs that throw money at situations rather than solutions. The people paying for all of that waste is the middle class. Meanwhile the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. There cannot be equality of income without equality of education. A person who has a degree in business administration is going to make more money than someone who quit school in the 10th grade to flip burgers at Mickey D’s.

    Education is the key to equality. We have to begin to actually care about the people we want to help. Instead of continuing to throw money at programs that don’t work we need to put all of our efforts into actually caring about the poor. Of course we will still need money and programs, but lets try finding a solution that actually works, rather than funding programs that don’t.

    Turning this country into another socialist experiment will not work any better here then it has in other societies, all that will do is turn us into another country where the people on top are very rich and the people on the bottom very poor. Guess who will be forced to do all the work.

  43. Justwondering   February 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Interesting concepts from the liberals who keep saying our social security will run out soon…yet not one mention of welfare benefits running out…so Mr mondy how is that "fair" ..those of us who have worked for benefits might not get them…(I’m thinking this might include you) yet welfare keeps sending the money…let me guess..Robin Hood?

  44. VDH   February 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm


    As you drone endlessly on about "income inequality" you should ponder for a moment that Government is the greediest company on the planet. There’s never enough money, there’s always the cry to "do more!" but Government doesn’t produce anything… it just takes. Good government establishes a framework for success, your desired form of government (again, just take a look around the world) establishes a framework for misery, poverty and despair. Self-righteous emoting Liberals seek to invoke some twisted form of justice into the world and seek to equalize outcomes with child like intentions. Unfortunately, for us that cherish and love our liberties thier chosen instrument is invariably the Coercive might of the State. Experience has shown time and again that coerced equalization of outcomes can only come at the expense of freedom. This is true regardless of whether you are one whose time and possessions are confiscated by the State, or you are the beneficiary of such forced redistribution. Either way you are enslaved; forced equality can only be achieved by destroying the very gift of freedom that makes us human.

    The false, coerced charity of the welfare state is the ugliest of sins. Remember this, the next time you visit the polls.

  45. Lee   February 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Psst, get rid of money.

  46. LMAO   February 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    @Lee: Psst, no one is listening to you, not even your little buddies on the left. You continue to make ludicrous comments that you cannot back up. You don’t even try.

  47. Really?   February 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    The term

  48. grunt   February 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    @lee- #45, psst- answer the questions. Define "before civiliazation" and And also please provide one example of "People today who live without.."

  49. Seriously??   February 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Lee isn’t going to respond Grunt. He has no response. I have said it before, and I will say it again, he is a hit and run commentator. No one takes him seriously. A third grader knows that Native American tribes bartered for goods long before the Europeans arrived, and anyone who has taken a course in World History knows that there is no recorded history that any group of people have ever lived together in complete harmony, with or without "money". Greed and avarice have been around since time began. Money is just a means to an end.

  50. Jon Monday   February 12, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I can only say that you judge the tree by its fruit.

    If you graph the household income of the top ten percent compared to middle class, you will see the top 10% rise over the last 30 years at about a 40 degree angle, while the middle class is flat.

    That gets us to the point now where things are so unequal, only comparable to the 1890s and 1920s. It will end in a train wreck, which can be averted by people waking to the fact that they are loving their servitude, instead of working to change economic structure.

    Supply side creates wealth inequality. No liberal is suggesting taxing wealth, or paying the CEO the same as the bottle washer. But, allowing wages of the middle and lower class to rise at the same rate as those at the top.

    If you graph the same brackets for the 30 years before that, 1950 to 1980, they rise at about the same rate. Again – for the wiseguys who want to be absurd, no they didn’t make the same income, but the relative rate of increase of standard of living and income rose at about the same rate.

    The cause of this is Supply Side Economics (I like the term, Horse and Sparrow).

    Before 1980, all boats really did rise with the tide – it ain’t so anymore.

    If anyone can defend the RESULTS of Supply Side, I’d like to hear it.

    I can’t excuse any system that is so rewarding to the wealthy, but leaves 80% of Americans staying flat or falling behind.

    No anecdotal examples please – real research, with real numbers, with links to facts by credible sources.

    To try and make my point clear, I’ll use an example, that isn’t necessarily the actual rate of inflation and inequality over the years, but it’s something like this:

    In 1950 a president of a large manufacturing company made $50,000 a year in salary, and the average skilled worker made $5,000 a year.

    By 1980 the president way making $100,000 a year and the skilled worker was making $10,000 a year.

    In 1950 the president made 10 times the skilled worker.

    By 2010 the president was making $5,000,000 a year and the worker was making $50,000 (or less).

    By 2010 the president was making 100 times the skilled worker.

    This is a crude example, but I hope you get the point.

    Most of the S&P 500 companies the difference was even larger – in some cases 1,000 times the skilled worker. All boats are not rising at the same time, some are flooded and sink – most gained nothing.

  51. grunt   February 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Jon, so in 1980 EACH got a doubleing in pay? Why is this wrong? If it were 75% increase to worker and 25% to boss, soon the worker would make more than the boss. BUT each getting the same percentage of raise? seems fair to me.

  52. DR DR   February 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    It is very refreshing to read educated, intelligent blogs on this subject, thanks VN for leaving it open. (Besides Lee of course) JM is stating facts above and it’s absurd reality.

    Taxpayers and voters have no say, if the results aren’t the outcome wanted, it is over-written. The rich continue to get richer and poor get poorer. This country is falling within as Rome did, this was foretold.

    We also have people like Lee that don’t want money to control life because then he would have to earn it, pay his own way, buy for others, when getting it free is so much easier. This mentality is why welfare, and government funded programs are abused, lazy people. How would we have highways, controlled environments (Police, Firefighters), buildings, medicines – anything, if no one was paid to do it.

    Competition comes from ambitious minds wanting and skillfully making products/life better for all of us. Those that truly contribute should be rewarded. It is those that do nothing and expect something that cry the loudest.

    Of course the president wants to increase minimum wage, with his wage, it makes no difference – he can afford a $50.00 loaf of bread. He doesn’t even comprehend what he is doing to the rest of us, if it ‘sounds good’ he does it. He’s just trying to make a legend of himself, being the first black president could have been enough, now it will be all the most scandals committed ever by a president.

  53. Seriously??   February 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    The average salary of a Fortune 500 CEO is about 10 million annually. Yes, that is a heck of a lot of money. Brad Pitt (actor) makes roughly $20 million per movie, and a star quarterback for an NFL team is going to make about 3 to 5 million (not counting TV commercials) President Obama makes $400,000 plus expenses. This is America, lots of people make ungodly salaries. Skilled workers are paid the going rate. Firefighters make a lot more annually than their brothers and sisters in the police force. I just don’t see what Jon is so upset about. Do I think Fortune 500 execs are overpaid? Yep. But then, so is Brad Pitt. I have worked hard all of my life, I have a pretty good retirement package. I am content.

    My advice. Get an education, get a job, stop whining. Pretty much it. As a middle class taxpayer I am much more concerned about my hard earned money going to give away programs that don’t work, and being over taxed by the idiots in Washington then I am about executive salaries. We need to pay teachers more than we do, they have a far harder job than some guy kicking a football. My opinion. By the way Lee, I’m keeping my money, you can do what you want with yours.

  54. The Truth   February 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    These rancorous debates between proudly self-identified liberals and conservatives mean nothing. Your politicians don’t care about you. They are all well-paid actors engaged in a political drama that our society subsidizes. Backstage, they laugh at the rubes in the audience.

    You all sound like sports fans yelling impotently at each other about your team when the whole league is really just a front for a corrupt gambling cartel.

  55. Jon Monday   February 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    To Grunt,

    Up to 1980, things were progressing on a good track, the middle class and even the working poor had their standard of living increased in good proportion to the upper class.

    Where things when off track was when Supply Side was implemented, again as it was in the 1890s.

    The principle was to give the upper class more money, and it would "trickle down" to the lower classes.

    After 1980 to the present, the divisions grew larger, to the point where 80% of American’s household income was flat or sinking, while the upper class income and wealth increased to an astonishing amount.

    By 2014 the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation

  56. Really?   February 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    So let me get this straight. A guy living in a $$$$ house, is pontificating ad-nauseum about wealth/income inequality? How about all his credentials meant to make his argument immune to criticism.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is liberalism.

  57. Lee   February 12, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    @ #54 The Truth

    I agree.

  58. BonsallGayGuy   February 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Regarding comment #47: "The left uses language that subconsciously guides thinking……. They want to call homosexual unions, marriage equality. All tricks used in Neuro Linguist Programming. Look it up. What do you think Tony Robbins does for a living? It’s called re-framing, and pacing a conversation forward, a common technique used in Hypnotherapy."

    This technique is used by both sides in various political debates, it is not the exclusive province of just "the left" as you seem to think. Anti-gay activist groups use it as well. They use terms such as "pro-family" or "pro-marriage" as a more genteel euphemism in place of their real objective which is pro-state sponsored discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens and their families. Politicians also use the same rhetorical technique by naming legislation with titles which in reality bear no relationship to the underlying law itself. For example, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act doesn’t defend anyone’s marriage (heterosexual or homosexual) but nevertheless that’s what it is called.

    And regarding comment #40: "Equality is a meaningless political concept, with the single exception of "equality before the law." "

    And this sir, is the very crux of the reason why the marriage equality side is winning (your cognitive disassociation not withstanding).

  59. grunt   February 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Jon, a lot of companies, the small ones that employee most of the working people, do not have a huge profit margin, add the Obama care expenses with higher payroll (and the higher taxes to the employer with them) and the result will be increase in cost, which will mean those that did not the raise now have a lower life style, or the reduction in employees- increase in self check out stands, robotic fast food workers, reduction in hours. My company reduced personnel and increased duties of those remaining to maintain a small profit margin. without the profit, the company owner would have no reason to stay in business, and everyone would lose.

  60. Ray (the real one)   February 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Ya know….. I commented on this story last week, it was tossed in the trash, no problem becauase it really bashed Monday but let`s be for reaL. Monday posts LET`s every week, usually small novels and his rebuttal points are six chapters. If you can`t make your point in 200 words, you have no point and that is where the "red pen" should begin.

    Many who publish responses can make our points with less ink and wind than Monday, why is he given "carte blanche" to waste everyones time? because he`s a liberal and is given a pass like someone else we know…… (Obozo).

    Policy folks…..

  61. Ray (the real one)   February 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Wage inequality? Get a job, stay in school, advance your education.

    Library cards are still free right?

    Why work when you can live off others, taxpayers.

  62. Just Askin'   February 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

    How do you support yourself, Ray?

  63. Ray (the real one)   February 16, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Just Askin`

    I work for an alarm company again. Back in the Ranch. I do prewires and topoffs.

    Answer your question?

  64. JD   February 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    This is simple. Flat tax. I make 100k, I pay 30%. You make 1billion, you pay 30% (yes..a lot more) Tax the heck out of guns, booze, tobaco, and legalize pot and tax that too. Those are choices. Lower taxes on food, housing, heat…etc. And anyone who thinks welfare recipients are taking "our" money…ask yourself..do you want to live like that? NO is the answer!

  65. grunt   February 20, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    @ JD – the fairest is a national sales tax – certain items exempt – i.e baby food. The rich will pay more as they buy more expensive items (top of the line BMW, vs, used F150) Like your idea this will never fly as politicians would then not be able to "tax break" to gain compliance. The underground illegal economy, for example drug dealers, would then also pay their tax when they use their profits to buy a new diamond whatever

  66. Ray (the real one)   February 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm


    I have always been a fan of the flat tax. No exemptions and everyone pays. Sounds fair to me.

    Now remember…….. everyone pays.

  67. Grunt   February 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Flat tax would be fair — (go back to your last line). Too many tax reliefs, breaks and "hidden" money. That is why I favor the national sales tax – and stop all other (i.e. no income tax). Also, when (ha ha ha) that passes the government passes a law that says the Government can NOT spend nor budget more money in the fiscal year than it tood in the year before (HA HA HA ) like either of those will occur.


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