Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

$200,000 per job. And they wonder why people are angry.

September 27, 2011 3 comments


More absurdity.  It’s not a surprise, mind you, because we’ve seen this before.  But one has to wonder how this man continues to have a job.

‘You’ve got to think about the costs of the alternatives,’ Geithner said when asked about Harvard economist Martin Feldstein’s calculation that each job created by President Obama’s American Jobs Act would cost taxpayers about $200,000.

That’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner not disagreeing with a recent study which concludes that each job created by Obama’s proposed “jobs bills” will cost taxpayers $200,000.00 for each job created.  And it’s not like the jobs “created” are going to receive salaries of $200,000.00.  Considering the types of jobs at issue, i.e., construction and government, over half of that money will be absorbed by bureaucrats.

Geithner speaks of alternatives.    What are these alternatives?

‘If government does nothing, it does nothing now because they’re scared by politics or they want to debate what’s perfect, then there will be fewer Americans back to work, the economy will be weaker,’ he said.

Apparently the only alternative is to do nothing.  This man is being paid $191,300.00/year, with a bad-ass pension, to be the super-smart economic policy guy.  According to him, the choices are either shoveling money to public employee unions and well-connected construction companies, to the tune of $200,000.00/job, or nothing.  Whatever happened to brain-storming?  My kid could give me better alternatives than that.  In fact, she did.

I asked my seven year old daughter what would be a better way of getting people to spend money, thereby stirring economic growth.  Let everyone keep more of their own, or spend a ridiculous sum on a few jobs for a small group of people.  Her answer: let everyone keep more of their own money, because then they’d buy stuff.  See, there’s one alternative so simple, a child could come up with it.

Why don’t we have a payroll tax holiday?  Why don’t we reduce the burdens on business, or cut the corporate tax rate?  Why don’t we just simplify the tax code, and lower everybody’s rates?  These are all things that could be done, which wouldn’t involve throwing more money at politically-connected groups.  That won’t happen though…why?  Because it takes away Barry’s only road to re-election: make the independents think the Republicans only care about the rich.  Let’s not forget the key point: that the “job’s bill” depends on raising taxes on the evil rich (while apparently giving everyone else a self-sustaining pony that craps rainbows).  I, for one, am bored with the “eat the rich” meme…and I’m not even rich.

The job’s bill is the worst kind of political theater, because it actually causes a few people to have hope that their situation will improve through government intervention.  It won’t.  See, this entire “spending” debate brought about by the Tea Party isn’t about taking money from the “most vulnerable.”  It’s actually about identifying those that truly are in need, and making everybody else get a friggin’ job.  There, I said it.  Do I believe giving anybody two+ years of unemployment benefits is going to make them take a lower-paying job than the one they just lost?  Call me cynical, but no.

Let’s review all that great government intervention: TARP?  Well, it certainly helped the big banks, which have largely paid us back.  Of course, it didn’t do anything for anyone else (which is not surprising when you consider the fact that Europe had done the same thing several months before), and the talking heads are now either complaining that it helped the wrong people (duh) or are giving airtime to the bored who are currently camping out on occupying Wall Street.  How about those auto bailouts?  Both GM and Chrysler went bankrupt anyway, with GM ultimately being owned by us…and the UAW (and they still haven’t paid us back).  The first stimulus?  You know, the one that was identical to the current jobs bill, except even more money was spent?  Sure it created some jobs.  But those jobs are now gone (because you can only fix a road so many times in one year…see, for example, Illinois), and the economy has never grown like the economists “expected.”

Based upon the Fantastic Failures of Government Intervention, Mr. Geithner’s other alternative, i.e., doing nothing, would certainly seem to be a better option.  Let’s face it.  Government manipulation of the housing market got us into this mess, and government’s efforts at resolving the crisis have only made it last longer.  Now, because our president wants to be re-elected, we’re going to try something that we already tried two years ago, and that we know failed in every conceivable way possible.  It’s this nonsense that angers people like me.  If the goal were to actually help people that needed it, you wouldn’t hear anybody like me complaining.  How about re-opening the state psychiatric facilities whose closure put a lot of disabled people on the street to fend for themselves.  Or maybe providing better care to our Veterans?  Instead of common sense, we get loads of borrowed money put into the programs that we know will fail because an election’s coming up.  Geithner’s justification: Why not…there’s loads of countries that are willing to loan us money.

Needless to same, I have come to the conclusion that obtaining an advanced degree in finance or economics from an Ivy League school is the equivalent of saving enough box tops to get that decoder ring you’ve always wanted: it may take awhile, but at least you get to eat a lot of cereal.


Reflections on the Weekend: Deadbeats, Sea Monsters, and Bozo the Clown

August 8, 2011 3 comments

Look at how happy that guy is about the free stuff

So, what have we all learned this weekend?  I’ll start with me.  I learned that it’s easy to scare my children with stories of sea monsters that couldn’t possibly live in the lake we were sitting on while fishing.  The Boy: “Dad, you’re kidding right?”   Me: “Well, when you lose both arms due to a Croctopus attack, you’ll have your answer.”  What else?  Well, we learned that S & P dropped our AAA credit rating to AA+.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know what the credit rating is and why it matters (and if you haven’t, then you probably have bumper nutz hanging from your truck and need to be sterilized).  In response to America’s credit rating having dropped FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, the market is tanking and our Prez gave another speech in which he assured us that popularity doesn’t matter as long as you believe in yourself (or something like that).

As usual we ask: Does it matter?  Well, yes.  It does matter…sort of.  It matters because it has angered the markets, and it may affect interest rates at some point, somewhere.  However, as Barry rightfully said in his speech, America will always be a AAA nation…in comparison to all the other deadbeat nations out there.  In a world filled with debt and communists, we’re still the safest investment.

However.  The important point was made by S & P when it said it will continue to view America as a credit risk until it figures out what to do with its long-term debt problems.  And as I’ve said here before, there isn’t any politician who wants to deal with the long-term debt problems because that would mean doing something about medicare, medicaid, and social security.  And everyday Americans don’t want them to do anything about it.  Why?  Because everyone loves free stuff (even if it’s only kinda’ free).  And politicians like to get re-elected, so….what’s the moral of the story?  Continuing to give people stuff they didn’t pay for only works on “The Bozo Show.”  In every other circumstance, it eventually results in a nation of (happy) deadbeats.

Why None of this Debt Ceiling Stuff Matters. Vol. II: This Time With Graphs

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Well Congress did it…they passed the debt ceiling bill.  Hooray!  Hooray!  We’ve avoided certain DOOM.  So, it’s all over now right?  Well, sorta.  I mean, the debt ceiling crap is over (for now), but we did just pass a bill that allows the treasury to borrow another $2.4 trillion!  From a conservative’s perspective, the deal seems better than contracting syphilis, but not by much.  But still you ask how could averting DOOM not matter?  DOOM is, after all, bad.  This is why:

So what does this fancy graph mean?  It means that, by 2049, every penny of tax revenue will get eaten by the entitlement programs.  And even if we raise revenue by taxing the filthy rich, it might get us a few more years.  And absolutely nothing is being done about it…and I don’t really anticipate anything being done about it until we simply run out of money and the programs all go bust.

I know, you’ve been told that stuff like Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit.  “Never contributed a nickel” is what libs like to say.  They point to the FICA on your paystub and say “see, it’s earmarked for Social Security.”  Here’s the problem: there is no special little fund where the FICA goes…it goes into the same pot as all the other taxes, and Social Security (and Medicare, and Medicaid) get paid out of that pot.  So, instead of your FICA going to a bucket somewhere so that it can pay you upon retirement, it’s actually going straight to your dad (freeloader).  Anywhere else, this sort of “take from Peter to pay Paul” relationship would be illegal…it’s called a Ponzi scheme (see Bernie Madoff).

Here’s the point: we’re never going to get rid of our debt without significantly changing the entitlements…and no one will touch “granny’s income” until there literally is no income.  Without doing something about entitlements, we eventually get this…

…debt we literally can’t pay for and we get DOOM for real.  Don’t believe me?  See Greece.  Don’t worry though.  Your Congressman who doesn’t want to hurt granny will be dead by then.  And you’ll be eating cats.   But not those big fat cats like Garfield.  I’m talking the small, bony cats you see in those ASPCA commercials.  Yes.  The ones with all the lesions.

Oh, and you think I’m kidding.  Remember Moody’s from Vol. I?  Well, even with the debt ceiling increase, they’re still considering downgrading us.  Why?  Because of the fancy graphs upstairs.  So, hooray for compromise!  Hooray for cooperation!  Hooray for taking over my t.v. for several days and ultimately doing nothing that will matter in the long run.

My argument for the wealthy.

July 12, 2011 1 comment
Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

I want your money.

I’m here to stand up for the wealthy.  And by that I mean the ridiculously wealthy.  You know…the Scrooge McDuck types.  Is it because they need it?  Obviously not.  Is it because I’m one of them?  Obviously not (If I was, you’d know it because you’d see my awesome blog (and face) on huge billboards.  Everywhere.).    Is it because I hope to be one someday?  No.  In fact, the longer I live, the less I care about how much money I make.  I’m perfectly happy spending my weekends scaring my neighbors by mowing my lawn shirtless while drinking PBR.  I’m going to stand up for the wealthy because, well, I’ll get to that later.

As you may know by now, Washington is all a-twitter with the debt ceiling debate.  Apparently Congress needs to authorize itself to spend more of our money, and it’s having a difficult time securing such authority.  The right wants huge spending cuts…which include cuts to the entitlements.  The left doesn’t like to cut any entitlements, but instead, wants to raise taxes on the dirty rich people.  Many people out there think asking the ultra-wealthy to carry a little more of the burden, as opposed to taking food out of the mouth of grandma, is fair.  I say many people are idiots (and no one is trying to take food away from grandma, by the way).

Today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said this:

‘The president has proposed some very sensible tax reforms that would eliminate loopholes and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a modest additional share of the burden,’ Geithner said.

“Modest additional share of the burden.”  To that request, I ask this: why?  It’s an undisputed, proven, absolute fact that the United States has the most progressive income tax in the industrialized world.  What does that mean?  This:

The latest data show that a big portion of the federal income tax burden is shoul­dered by a small group of the very richest Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per­cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent—those below the median income level—now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. These are proportions of the income tax alone and don’t include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

In other words, the wealthy are paying the majority of income taxes, while earning a comparatively disproportionate amount of the money.  At the same time, the bottom 50% pay virtually nothing as far as income tax.  What’s the point?  The wealthiest Americans already shoulder far more than their fair share.

Why do I care?  Because citizens of this country should benefit from their success.  We should all get to keep more of what’s ours.  And everyone should actually have to pay their fair share.  In fact, I’d bet you my lunch that if everyone actually did have to pay their fair share, you’d see both parties drop tax rates real quick.  But I digress….

The idea that we should tax the wealthy more because liberals can’t stop throwing money at the “most vulnerable” is nonsense.  And don’t start talking to me about “doing what’s right.”  Liberals lost the right to make the morality argument once they offered the assertion that an unborn baby equates to an appendix.  Oh, and if you’re really interested in “helping your vulnerable neighbor,” try walking next door and offering them some help.  That’s what most of us do.

None of this matters at the end of the day though, because real reform won’t occur without the economy truly crashing.  What’s real reform, you ask?  Allowing me to opt out of Social Security.  Allowing me to opt out of paying for public schools that my kids don’t attend.  Reforming the tax code and related legislation so that there are simple low rates for everyone (and every business), and all subsidies and deductions are eliminated.  That means no more of my money going to a solar energy plant that can’t light my house in January.  So, in a round about way, it’s all about me.

Algore is a Lunatic…and a Desperate Swindler

June 22, 2011 2 comments

I despise Algore.  Possibly more than any other liberal I can think of. Why?  Because when you disagree with him, he calls you an unsophisticated rube.  One of those flat-earth, religious zealots.  Can’t understand science.  Now don’t get me wrong-all liberals make these same claims.  But no one rambles on so unapologetically like Algore.

For example, see his article in Rolling Stone magazine, in which he spends approximately 12 pages venting his spleen about how everyone who doesn’t believe in man-made global warming is a Grade-A moron.  When you read the article, you can’t help but picture Algore, stomping around his gigantic carbon-footprint of a house in L.A., throwing stuff and screaming about how stupid we all are.  Case in point: Algore’s framing of the debate:

In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason.  In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.

Algore, did you really need to capitalize “Science” and “Reason?”  Does that add to their legitimacy?  What Algore isn’t grasping is that he, and his global warming movement, completely lack credibility.  Americans are pretty good at sniffing out b.s., and Algore bathes in it daily.

Let’s begin with Algore himself.  He’s certainly been screaming the loudest about global warming…and the need to invest in “green technology” while implementing a cap and trade program.  Here’s the problem.  Believing what Algore says about global warming is akin to believing the salesman who tells you that you suffer from a rare disease, and only he has the cure…but it’ll cost you your vacation house in Barbados to get it.  What do I mean?  Algore has invested massive amounts of money in “green technology.”  His response to those questioning his obvious conflict?

Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?  I am proud of it.  I am proud of it.

No Algore, there’s nothing wrong with it.  It just causes anyone with a little bit of common sense to question your motivations, that’s all.

And his Science and Reason?  The R.S. article is chock full of it…except none of it cites to any authority or evidence, which as a lawyer, always makes me look around for the trash can.  Instead, it’s all Algore’s ramblings…much of which is unbelievably hypocritical and/or debatable and/or wrong with the help of Google.  Let’s take a look.

Polluters and Ideologues…are financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufactured doubt about what is true and what is false….

Let’s face some facts here Algore.  First, some of the “pseudoscientists,” as you call them, can be found here, thanks to Wikipedia (with links to sources).  Now, can I speak to the credentials of all of these people?  No.  But that’s true for your “very best” Scientists too.  Second, your Scientists have also been “financed,” except with government grants.  Incredibly, or predictably, after having just attacked the non-believers as “pseudoscientists,” Algore goes on to scold the “Polluters and Ideologues” for their efforts to “undermine the public’s respect for Science and Reason by attacking the integrity of the climate scientists.”  Wha?  Look Algore, the public doesn’t need any help in undermining their respect for Science and Reason.  The Scientists do that for them.

Remember the emails?  Oh yeah, that whole thing about the Scientists conspiring to keep alternative views out of the global warming discussion, which we only know about because someone hacked into some Scientist’s email account:

Yet even a partial review of the emails is highly illuminating. In them, scientists appear to urge each other to present a “unified” view on the theory of man-made climate change while discussing the importance of the “common cause”; to advise each other on how to smooth over data so as not to compromise the favored hypothesis; to discuss ways to keep opposing views out of leading journals; and to give tips on how to “hide the decline” of temperature in certain inconvenient data.

Algore’s treatment of these emails in his short story?  A three line paragraph essentially asking “what’s the big deal?”  And what about his purported evidence of man-made global warming?  Questionable, at best.

Heat:  He uses anecdotal evidence about nineteen countries setting all-time high temperatures in 2010.  I’m going to take your completely irrelevant fact and raise you one more: there are 195 countries in the world.  He also claims 2010 was the hottest year on record.  That could be, but a NASA Scientist, who Algore cites as being one of the “very best,” admitted to the following in 2007,

Moreover, NASA now also has to admit that three of the five warmest years on record occurred before 1940-it has up until now held that all five of them occurred after 1980.

And perhaps most devastating of all to the man-made global warming backers, it is now admitted that six of the 10 hottest years on record occurred when only 10% of the amount of greenhouse gases that have been emitted in the last century were in the atmosphere.

To be fair, the foregoing information only applies to the U.S., not the world.  Although when the “world temperatures” are determined by largely ignoring cold places like Siberia, while relying upon lots of temperature readings taken in hotter urban areas, I’m not persuaded.  Plus, according to another one of Algore’s Scientists, there’s been no “statistically significant” warming since 1995.  This other guy agrees (more precisely, the former NASA scientist he cites to agrees).  And then there’s Algore’s claim that half of the last decade was a “solar minimum,” despite its fictitious hot temperatures.  Disagreements are found, here and here.

Floods and Drought:  Algore claims, again with no cited authority, that “megafloods” in Pakistan and “historic drought” in Texas support his claims of man-made global warming/climate change.  Well, the pseudoscientists at the weather channel blame the jet stream.  So does this guy.

Melting Ice: Algore,

The acceleration of ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica has caused another upward revision of global sea-level rise and the numbers of refugees from low-lying coastal areas.

More faulty data here.  For crying out loud, even Time magazine felt compelled to cite to the failure of sea-level Scientists.

Algore’s article is long.  It weaves between calling Americans stupid couch-potatoes, advocating for what will almost certainly be efficient solar and wind production someday (considering two-thirds of all new solar projects and 85 percent of all new wind projects in the United States rely on government grants because they’re so inefficient, I’m not holding my breath), and complaining about the media.  It really is like a never-ending stream of consciousness…and this post has already become too long.  Lets end with the most dishonest assertion in an otherwise dishonest opinion piece,

The best available evidence demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that the reckless spewing of global-warming pollution in obscene quantities into the atmospheric commons is having exactly the consequence long predicted by scientists who have analyzed the known facts according to the laws of physics.

David Evans, a Ph.D. who pushed man-made climate change for the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999-2010, had this to say recently,

There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming.

But the alarmists say the exact opposite, that the climate system amplifies any warming due to extra carbon dioxide, and is potentially unstable. It is no surprise that their predictions of planetary temperature made in 1988 to the U.S. Congress, and again in 1990, 1995, and 2001, have all proved much higher than reality.

You should read Evans’s entire article because it provides an inside look into the politics of man-made global warming, provided by a guy who was once a Scientist, but has since become a pseudoscientist.  What’s his point?  The theory of man-made global warming is wrong because the Scientists pushing the theory as fact are constantly wrong.  And they’re wrong on purpose.

What’s the overarching point of all of this?  Algore has a significant financial stake in a potential political power play that he needs to succeed.  Because of this, he will continue asserting the existence of a consensus that doesn’t exist. And he still hasn’t put solar cells on the roof of his L.A. mansion.

Closing tax loopholes and lowering tax rates: Finally

June 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Hopefully the next subsidy to die.

The Republicans signaled last week that they were serious about the deficit.  By voting to get rid of ethanol subsidies, which were nothing a gift to corn growers in the heartland, the GOP seems to be stepping up to the plate.  Now, as Paul Ryan promised, they’re moving to reform the tax code, by moving to close tax loopholes that have allowed corporations like GE to pay no taxes.  At the same time, they’re talking about lowering tax rates across the board.  The end result: increasing revenue without raising taxes.  It’s not some genius concept; it’s common sense that was lost long ago with the advent of our increasingly absurd tax code.

The combination of our stupid tax code and subsidies, has created a corporate welfare state that results in market manipulation.  Subsidies of every conceivable kind should be done away with…from oil to solar to agriculture.  No more favors.  If nobody wants to buy a $43,000 Chevy Volt because of its price tag, so be it.

And the tax code?  Burn it.  Give us simple, low rates with no deductions.  All deductions are is a way for the government to play social engineer anyway.  And no, I don’t advocate for a flat tax.  It hurts those who are at the bottom of the pay scale far more than those at the top.  Two or three low, graduated rates would do just fine…but everybody has to pay in.  No more of this “47% of Americans don’t pay any income tax.”

All of this begs the question though: will the Dems go along with it?  They signed onto the ethanol vote because it was strictly a regional issue that few on the left cared about (they don’t care about “fly-over country” after all).  What about ending subsidies for solar, wind, or electric car battery manufacturers though?  I’m guessing we’ll see a much stronger push-back on those.

Of course, none of this makes any real difference if we don’t do something about the entitlements.  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid continue to absorb every dime of revenue coming into the federal government.  All three of them are essentially ponzi schemes…requiring this generation to pay for the last.  And in the end, ponzi schemes always collapse.

In any event, I’m feeling somewhat optimistic about all of this.  These are the sorts of things we voted for in 2010; and the sorts of things that the GOP failed miserably to accomplish under Bush Jr.  By ending subsidies, we’re automatically decreasing government spending, while at the same time, putting an end to market manipulation.  The government shouldn’t have any involvement in picking winners and losers.  By streamlining the tax code and getting rid of loop holes and unnecessary tax breaks, we will decrease the small businessman’s tax burden, while making GE pay its fair share.  Wow, that almost sounded liberal.  Don’t worry though.  I’m sure we’ll still disagree on what constitutes “fair.”

Enough with the “economic inequality” nonsense.

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Sean, All the King's Men Premiere

Nobody complains about my wealth

Is anyone else tired of the incessant whining about the “wealthy,” or the “top 1%?”  Or how the “rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer” nonsense (not true by the way)?  Being that they’ve failed in every conceivable way to improve the economy since taking control of, well, everything in 2008, the liberals have made the alleged “growing economic disparity between rich and poor” argument their primary focus for 2012.  Some guy named Peter Whoriskey did a nice job of distilling the left’s obsession with the wealthy down to its basic components in a Washington Post article this past Saturday (although I don’t think he intended my conclusion).

Whoriskey uses Dean Foods as an example of the alleged problem with skyrocketing executive salaries.  In the 1970’s, Dean Foods CEO Kenneth Douglas never earned more than $1 million (in today’s dollars).  Dean Foods current CEO, Gregg Engles, on the other hand, earns about 10 times that amount.  Of course, as the article rightfully points out, Dean Foods also currently earns more than 10 times it did in the 1970’s (from $9.8 million in 1979 to $228 million in 2009).  It also employs just shy of 26,000 workers.

The overarching point of Whoriskey’s article is a simple one: rich executives are greedy jerks, and they should be disliked because of it.  Simply put, the author uses six pages of space in a national newspaper to offer the suggestion that wealthy executives make too much money.

‘Do people bitch because Engles makes so much?  Yeah.  But there’s nothing you can do about it,’ said Bob Goad, 61, a burly former high school wrestler who is a pasteurizer at a Dean Foods plant in Harvard, Ill., and runs an auction business on the side to supplement his income.  ‘These companies have the idea that the only people that matter to the company are those at the top.’

Co-worker Ray Kavanaugh provides a different opinion:

‘You’re king of the hill, and you get paid for that’…’He’s worth it if he keeps the company making money.’

The differences in perspective are instructive.  Those that criticize Mr. Engles’s salary, like Mr. Goad, seem to believe that running a multi-billion dollar company like Dean Foods is easy.  To those like him I say, if you’re unhappy, why don’t you go start your own company?  Or acquire the skills necessary to be the CEO of your employer?  See, this is where the left has successfully deployed class warfare.  I don’t know anything about Mr. Goad, other than what’s set forth in the article.  If I had to guess though, he has a high school education, and is doing a job that any number of people could do.  Are any of these things bad?  Of course not.  I’m sure Mr. Engles would be the first to say that Dean Foods needs more pasteurizers than CEO’s.  Here’s the point though: the market dictates how much both Mr. Goad and Mr. Engles are worth to their company, and Mr. Goad has little legitimate reason to complain.  Mr. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, understands this simple point that is lost on so many.

The author moves closer to his ultimate point by harkening back to better days, when executives worked for the love of the their job and employees, and not the money.

‘[Mr. Douglas] believed the reward went to the shareholders, not to any one man,’ said John P. Frazee, another former board member.  ‘Today we get cults of personality around the CEO, but then there was not a cult of personality.’


‘People back then thought enough was enough,’ said Ron Smith, 63, who maintains the machines at the plant.’

Both Mr. Frazee and Mr. Smith have come to the arbitrary determination that their current CEO earns too much.  Neither offers any suggestions as to what constitutes “enough” or how one determines what is “too much,” however.  I was just a baby back then, but I’m willing to bet that the “I hate my boss and he earns too much” theory didn’t originate in the last couple of decades, though.

The point of this post is not to defend the salaries of the super-rich.  I don’t care how much Mr. Engles makes, anymore than I care how much Alex Rodriguez or Sean Penn make.  They all earn what people are willing to pay them.  My point is this: once you start complaining about a group earning “too much” or “too little,” you are implicitly advocating for some sort of mechanism that arbitrarily sets salaries.  Somewhere, someone will be deciding what’s “fair.”  One less direct suggestion that is making the rounds is taxing the crap out of the rich, and then re-distributing the money to the less affluent via government programs.

As you can probably tell, I find the demagoguing of the ultra-wealthy to be an important issue.  Simply put, Mr. Engles earns his salary, just like Mr. Goad presumably earns his.  No one is guaranteed economic equality, as if it’s some sort of right, and to take the stance that we all have the right to a good-paying job isn’t just juvenile, it’s dangerous.  Need examples?  See the Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea.

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