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Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge

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  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Yep, try and change the subject to anything away from his ongoing disasters. Obama needs to learn to govern more and to speak less and to quit stuffing people behind him on camera. The more he talks at this point, the more damage he does to himself. Set the good example and talk less and stay home for Christmas .

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    The 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    THE EXPERIENCE OF MANKIND has shown that the people of communities and nations among whom wealth is the most equally distributed, enjoy the largest degree of liberty, are the least exposed to tyranny and oppression and suffer the least...

    ONE OF THE GREAT EVILS with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended so steadfastly and courageously... are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations. ...were it more equally distributed, would be impossible under our form of government. It threatens the entire country. If this evil should not be checked, and measures not taken to prevent the continued enormous growth of riches among the class already rich, and the painful increase of destitution and want among the poor, the nation is likely to be overtaken by disaster; for, according to history, such a tendency among nations once powerful was the sure precursor of ruin.

    ===========

    Looks like Obama is in harmony with the Brethren.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Google and watch:
    Wealth Inequality in America

    That your eyes might be opened, and never decieved...

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    Greed. America's most cherished "value".

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    The true aim is to encourage envy and hostility against success and champion the idea that those with higher incomes somehow owe a portion of their wealth to those with less. A focus on "income disparity" is nothing more than code for social justice. After all, social justice dictates that those with more are not entitled to what they have and must share simply because a "disparity" exists.

    Envy is a potent human emotion and is another form of greed...the demand that others give what is unearned. And it's easy to whip up hostility against those with more with a play on words such as "greed" and cloak class envy under the pretense of "fairness."

    Rather than focus on upward mobility and create opportunities for those with less to improve their condition, it's simply much easier to prescribe action for redistributing wealth at the top in order to fit the progressive model of equality. Of course, a powerful progressive tax structure is the supreme instrument for promoting social justice.

    Unfortunately, the President's progressive objective for equity always involves a "government" solution...and it doesn't have to be.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    @Weber State Graduate;

    The real question is: "Should the people at the very top take all the rewards for the labor of those at the bottom"?

    3.1 Timothy 5:18
    “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

    Ecclesiastes 5:11-13 (in Context) Ecclesiastes 5 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    10.Malachi 3:5

    “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against ..., against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    The real question is:

    Should the people at the bottom demand what those have at the top, even if their labor did not actually contribute to what those have at the top?

    It's simply a red herring to claim that most people at the top callously "took" what they have off the backs and labor of those who have less...this is simply not true and does nothing more than promote bitter jealousy and hatred. That's the problem with social justice and class envy...the idea that because someone has more, they must have obtained it unscrupulously. And those who have less are owed and entitled to something that is not theirs.

    James 4:2-3
    "You desire and do not have...You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly"

    James 3:14-15
    "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth."

    Exodus 20:17
    "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his...donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Is this the mind set of people?

    * A burger flipper should receive equal pay of a dentist.

    * Entitlement, and receiving! America's most cherished "value".

    * People at the top didn't build on their work, someone else did it for them.

    * It's a sin to work, and be successful, because others are struggling.

    * Political leaders give over half their wealth to equalize the poor.

    * If someone is poor, it's another persons fault.

    * The brethren take millions of tithing payers money for lavish vacations, and are in harmony with Obama.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    @Weber State Graduate
    Clearfield, UT

    The real question is:

    How many hamburgers did the CEO of McDonald's flip?

    The PRODUCT and Production comes from the LABORER,
    the PROFIT seems to only be going to the NON-Laborer.

    That runs diametrically opposed to God's Law of the Harvest.

    The Gadianton Robbers and Master Mahon economy 1010 is what we are witnessing in Corporate America.

    Read the Book of Mormon.
    It WILL be our ruin.

    Just like I quoted form our LDS Prophets!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    @Weber State Graduate & worf;

    Your position is that the laborer does not deserve a living wage for his daily labors, but the owner/CEO should get it all.

    How very "Christian" of you. I'm sure Christ would agree.

  • GmaxD Lehi, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    No--income inequality is not the gravest concern. The greatest challenge this country faces is proper education of the next generation and creating a business environment that encourages more wealth creation by more people.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    If we learn anything from history we should know that such inequality will not stand. So just get ready for the chaos.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    "The president cited the pope's question of how it isn't news when an elderly homeless person dies from exposure, but news when stock market loses two points."

    =======

    God bless our Prophets! [for the LDS Proclamation on the Economy saying the same thing.]
    God bless the Pope! [for bringing this to our attention.]
    God bless the President! [for agreeing and echoing his statements.]
    God bless Aemrica! [and pray we wake up to the Gadianton's on WallStreet who have over taken us].

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon

    Would you please give the reference to that quote you say is from the LDS Church leadership. Name of who said it, place where it was said, and date. Thank you.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Doesn't it strike any of you as an important fact that the times when the wealthiest one percent are getting the wealthiest is during the Obama administration? The wealth gap has grown the most in these recent years? In other words, the guy who was supposed to come along and "fix" these things, is the one who is not changing anything. How does that make you who voted for him for this reason feel. You can't be happy. And you can't blame it on anyone else now, not after 5 years. Frankly, this speech by Obama reminds me of Jimmy Carters "malaise" speech, which pretty much signaled the end of his Presidency.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon
    Everett, 00

    Great input. Please give reference.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Has anyone considered the possibility that it is government's policies which are creating and/or contributing to income inequality?

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Ironic how Obama and his policies have made the wealth gap worse. Maybe "ironic" isn't the right word. More like "predictable" for anyone who really understands Obama and his policies.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    I'm no rich person, just part of the working middle-class. I do not live off of others (ie, welfare or other social programs). I'd be far more concerned about income equality if those who choose to live off the government and have the ability to do for themselves would stop taking advantage of welfare programs. You know there are many who do it. Let those who are poor use opportunities available to get themselves out of poverty. I'd be all for helping those who want to work for it.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Oh, also the problem with income inequality isn't the rich getting richer, since most of them are earning it. The problem is that the poor and the middle class are hurting and are not keeping up with the growth in income that the rich are experiencing. This generally is the result of liberal policies that democrats and other liberals claim will do just the opposite. Liberal economic policies hurt the poor and the middle class.

  • Hank Jr Draper, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    People who work for a living are being overwhelmed by people who vote for a living.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    And guess what his (Obama's) solution is? SOCIALISM. Socialism (government)bridges and narrows the gap and income inequality. This is a president that has and will undermine - if not kill - the American spirit of hard work, innovation, entrepreneurship, social mobility, etc., No wonder why the recent polls say that he cannot manage government. He's a community organizer. And he was voted for two terms? C'mon America!!! Let this president be the greatest lesson in voting for the better candidate - voting with your heart and BRAIN!

  • David Centerville, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    If Obama is opening his mouth, hold onto your wallets.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    The "First Presidency quote" from Everett 00 was dated in 1875. I prefer to read the scriptures and listen to the living prophets.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    If liberal democratic policies are so incredible, then why did Charles Barkley say "The biggest misconception is that the Democratic Party does so much to help poor people. In a whole lot of cases, the Democratic Party keeps people poor." He goes on to say that nearly every person in his hometown is a Democrat, and their lives are no better than they were 20 years ago.

    Obama is a failure and there is not one thing he has done that has been successful as President!
    Economy worse
    Unemployment worse
    Jobs worse
    foreign Policy worse
    healthcare worse
    spending worse
    dollar worse
    welfare worse (more people are now on welfare than ever before)

    rich are richer
    poor are now poorer and all this from the Obama who in five years has said he wants to spread the wealth

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    It isn’t necessary to do away with private enterprise capitalism to regain the proper balance of income distribution in our economic system. But it is necessary that we bring the rules of the game up to date that have given process by which people can transform their energy into life sustaining wealth.

    The notion that “I did it all by myself” is wrong. Yet many profess that it is as true today as it was in the Middle Ages. In America, more so than the rest of the world, the success or failure of a business operation is more dependent on society where it operates than just the efforts of the investor.

    Technological has caused an imbalance in the distribution of income that if uncorrected will bring the entire system to a halt. Or at least put us back into the Middle Ages.

    Income must be available to the whole of society previously obtained by mere physical and mental labor which is not longer needed. Their share must now use the last thing in their arsenal. That being their existence in America and a part of the American society.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    SCfan...
    How can you make such a statement?
    The Republican leaders in our government and big money(Koch brothers, Romney and others) have said "NO" and fought EVERYTHING President Obama has been trying to do to make the changes necessary to improve life for the citizens of our country. He has especially tried to help those less fortunate individuals amongst us.
    Do you seriously believe that America was without problems and evil before President Obama ever beat John McCain in 2008?
    Do you feel the same anger towards the Catholic Pope and others both here in America and throughout the world who are trying to help our world become a more kind, generous, and loving place?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    The times with the worst income inequality were 1928 and 2007 in this nation. What happened the following year? Economy tanked. Nobody's asking to make burger flipping wages the same as being a doctor, we're saying that the economy works best with a strong middle class and that increasing income inequality is THE sign that the middle class is weak.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Billy Bob:

    Do you even bother to try to keep up on what is going on? It would not take much research for you to see that your statement about the rich earning what they take is completely false. In a cursory search you will see in fact that all the profits have been flowing to the top one percent for decades now while productivity has increased substantially and labor's wages has in fact been stagnant and even declining in the last decade. In other words redistribution of income has been occurring, but just the opposite of what you think -- all the money has been flowing to the top 1% (money the masses on the bottom in fact earned through greater productivity). I wish some dolts would inform themselves on obvious facts before they spout off to clearly expose their blatant ignorance of contemporary society -- do a little reading before forming your opinions, and especially before publicizing them.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    Since Open Minded Mormon is out of responses, I looked up the Proclamation on the Economy by the Church. It goes back to the days of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. That was a little (purposeful in my opinion) bit of knowledge left out by OMM. One can hardly compare what was going on in the days back then to what is happening in todays world wide economy. Open Minded Mormons point was a terrific example of comparing "apples and oranges". I'd like to see just what the LDS Church leadership would say today if they put out a current Proclamation on the Economy. Somehow I think it would emphasize staying out of debt (17 trillion for instance) And not voting for politicians who add to a debt that big. 7 trillion for Obama alone. Plus, it would talk about working if you can and not depend upon the public resources as a reason to not get a job. In other words I think it would be based upon "conservative individule responsibility" first.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    I for one am thankful that our President, The Pope and our LDS Church Leaders have reminded us that we have an obligation to look out for those less fortunate than ourselves. It is not a sin to reap the rewards of the harvest, but those rewards need not be way out of line with the wages of the average working man or woman. I don't think people like the President and The Pope for one minute are suggesting that the poor shouldn't work for a living if they are able to. They are just saying that there should be reasonable income for working people - such as a reasonable minimum wage. The income disparity in American is rapidly becoming a disgrace and an offense to fair minded people everywhere!

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" that is a great quote, but you and your ilk often miss the source of the problem. Income inequality is proportional to the size and power of the central government.

    As an extreme example, look at North Korea. Their income distribution is largely 2 groups now. The super rich, and the super poor. There is little inbetween.

    Another example, closer to home is the US itself. Since 2009, when the recession ended, the government has been scooping up more power, and the incomes for the middleclass and poor have dropped. See "US Household Income Down 4.4 Percent in 4 Years" in the LA Times.

    If you want to make the income distribution more equal, you need less government and regulation and more capitalism.

    Who says that the CEO doesn't labor too? The CEO has to make decisions that can destroy or boost the company. Why should he be paid the same as the guy who's biggest decision is to decide if they are working the window or the register. This does not run against the "law of the harvest". Look at the parable of the talents.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    Californian:

    Read D&C 49:20; I am sure you will find it in perfect accord with prophets and apostles of previous ears, including the quote from 1875 (from Everett) which you were trying to discredit.

  • LoveLife Riverton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    Open-minded,

    Why would you think Obama is in harmony with the Brethren?

    "Income Inequality Worse Under Obama Than George W. Bush" Huffington Post, 4/11/12.

    It is humorous that you keep referring to the "Proclamation on the Economy" (1875). You didn't mention the purpose was to get the Saints to invest in Z.C.MI. The History of Salt Lake City says, "It was a statement by the Church relative to Z.C.M.I. as an established success of the Mormon people in co-operation, and to stimulate the community to perpetuate its existence." It's never been published as official Church doctrine, nor is it ever mentioned by the Church.

    However, there is great financial advice in an official Church publication, "One for the Money": "Complete as much formal, full-time education as possible, including trade schools, and apprentice programs...Acquire some special skill or ability that could be used to avoid long term unemployment...We should not allow ourselves, when out of work, to sit back and wait for our 'type of job' if other honorable interim employment becomes available." (#8)

    In other words, don't plan on flipping burgers or count on welfare your whole life.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Without poor people the Democratic party would cease to exist.

    Democrats like to pretend that they represent the underprivilaged, but, at the same time, they want to make certain that they STAY poor.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Folks, I'm not an economist, but I do understand the law of supply and demand. The reason that wages are low and getting lower is because of the supply of workers available to any employer. If our unemployment rate was reduced to around 3 to 4 percent, then the worker would be in the position to demand more for his services. Right now, with the 7 to 8 percent territory, the workers value is less and an employer can pay less to get workers. That's what happens in our type of economy. Now, if you think that the government should do something, (besides minimum wage laws) then what is it? Force employers to pay more? That is essentially upping the minimum wage law. Be like San Francisco and make the living wage law something like 12 or 15 dollars an hour? You think the seller of product and service would not increase their costs accordingly? To stop that you would have to pass a wage/price freeze law, (like Nixon did). Welcome to socialism. If that's what you want. I'll bet that's what Obama wants.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    "Obama did not propose any new policy initiatives in the speech, sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the White House."

    Another empty speech from an empty suit. He can't propose anything because he is clueless -

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Let see where have I heard message line before .... Oh I remember!

    "Income Inequality a challenge for modern day Russia (1917)" - Lenin.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    @Ranch

    Thanks for willingly misrepresenting my position...how very Christian of you.

    My position is that those with less are not "entitled" to that of another. It is immoral to argue that one has a "right" to another's possessions simply because that person has more. Any assumed "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of rights at the expense of another, is the antipathy to authentic social justice.

    This position is independent of your labor argument.

    Regarding labor, in a free society, the laborer is only "entitled" to that which he earns according to the voluntary employment agreement in which he freely enters and based upon the contractual obligation of the employer who is willing to pay for that effort in return.

    There are countless ways available to elevate the economic condition of the poor without perpetuating ignorant hostility against the affluent or proposing silly governmental action to redistribute wealth.

  • Tad TOOELE, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    When we create regulations (EPA, FDA, OSHA), licensing requirements (doctor, lawyer, remodeling contractor, plumber), impose facility requirements (impact fees, zoning requirements, building permits & codes), provide tax incentives (energy development, specific technology investments), or allow collective groups to set prices (labor unions, guilds), we create economic bars to entry into markets that are easily overcome by the rich and difficult to impossible for the less affluent. Each of these bars serves a purpose in ensuring the security of some group or "the public," but at a cost. The principal differences between the two political policies lies in which bars they favor and which they would do away with. Who knows how many burger flippers are budding Andrew Carnegies with their paths blocked because we've decided some group's security is more important that his opportunity.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    For those that prefer to live by the scriptures:

    For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things. D&C 78:6

    But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. D&C 49:20

  • Dave D Spring Creek, NV
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    Those wanting the reference for the quote by Open-minded Mormon (my kind of Mormon, by the way), here it is:

    "Excerpts from the Apostolic Circular on the Economy 1875," authored and signed by Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young Jr., George A. Smith, John taylor, Orson Hyde, Charles C,. Rich, Erastus Snow, George Q. Cannon, Albert Carrington.

    The historical context of the document shows a resurgence in emphasis of the United Order. Brigham Young and other church leaders of the time emphasized the ideals of a Zion community, hence the formation of cooperatives such as ZCMI.

    Church leaders today still speak out against inequality and our fundamental responsibility as disciples of Christ to do something about it. Recent examples include: D. Todd Christofferson, "Come to Zion"; H. David Burton "The Sanctifying Work of Welfare"; and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Providing in the Lord’s Way."

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    @Ranch---the laborer has the same opportunities as anyone else.

    Some people take the risks, and investments to build success. What do you think it takes to become a dentist? The schooling, dental equipment, assistants, etc, are expensive. Takes more effort than being a laborer, or burger flipper.

    Is it a sin for a dentist to earn more than a laborer?

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    I too would like to see the reference to Open Minded Mormon's quote.

    We live in a global economy. The higher we push up wages for flipping hamburgers and digging ditches, we then will see a ripple effect in manufacturing asking for high rates. During the 70's increased wages drove manufacturing costs up. That along with the failure to modernize drove manufacturing out of the US to other countries. If we had closed borders, then perhaps raising wages wouldn't drive business to find cheaper locations to manufacture or establish call centers.

    India is experiencing this issue now. From 2000 to 2010, in companies I worked for, where offshore IT work was sent to India, we experienced 10 - 15% rate increases annually from India. Now Romania, Lebannon, and other countries are under cutting India's prices.

    The real answer lies in people willing to get an education in marketable areas including the trades. A HS diploma doesn't work anymore. This means sacrifice, which too many people are not willing to do. Look at how many immigrants start with 2 and 3 generations in one home so that they can scrimp to build.

    Sacrificing short term desires for long term results is the answer.

  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    I believe that there is a significant concern expressed here. Severe income inequality is sign that there is a problem with our society! But, it was created by our society, not the government! And no policy or law can ever fix it, because the root of it is selfish motivations. The greed of the rich AND the envy of the poor. Government can never force changes in motivation. They can only sometimes influence it (usually with the risk of unintended consequences).

    The only solution is if we as a society change. Argue less. Help each other more. Give willingly. Buy with motivations other than the absolute lowest price or national trends. Only when WE choose to close the gap will it work. I think that is what all of those quoted scriptures and apostles are trying to say. They are not government policy suggestions.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    Obama, Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are all wealthy people.

    How will this inequality going to be fixed?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    The sad commentary here is not that there is an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, no one disagrees with that or the fact it has been widely exacerbated by our current president, it is the delusion that more government monopoly over the economy will solve it! IT WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE. The real delusion is that the rich and the band of gadiantons know exactly how to manipulate those who believe in foolishness. The collusion by government and corporations and the evil intentions of both insure their survival. The basics rudiments of free markets are just that; they are free and will produce more wealth for everybody, but if you empower the Kingmen with collusion in their places of power,they will enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. Free markets help the poor, but Democrats and Republicans don't want free markets; they want power. President Obama's words and actions have made it much worse for the one group that he probably wanted to help the most, the black Americans. Figure it out, people!

  • Tad TOOELE, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    @Weber: It is not "immoral to argue that one has a 'right' to another's possessions simply because that person has more." Your position is based on Locke's view that possession of property is a right, but this premise is not universally accepted. One might as easily argue (and some do) that it is immoral to argue that one has a right to his possessions when another has insufficient for his needs. It comes down to a question of values: which do we value more? Property or elimination of human suffering? Locke's view, properly stated, is that property in the natural state is held in common until someone improves upon it, at which point he accrues a right to it through his improvements. The extreme of your position is Feudalism, the extreme of the other is Socialism. Fist century Christianity and 19th Century Mormonism both espoused holding of property in common for the community.

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    @ open minded mormon

    To say that a CEO is a non-Laborer is false. His Labor is simply different from a burger flipper. Not only are the labors different but responsibilities vary too. While a burger flipper may only be responsible for the burgers at that restaurant for a particular time frame, the CEO is responsible for the success of the company as a whole which may cover hundreds of restaurants. Plus you must also take into account the prior experience. The CEO has gone to more schooling and may have had previous positions that show he is capable of running the company. What has the burger flipper done to show he is worth the same pay as a CEO, nothing.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Come on people, quit masquarading your greed as charity. If you want to help the poor, break up the Kingmen that run Washington and allow the free market to dictate the future, rather than the collusion that exists between the rich, the government, and the corporations. Until you understand basic human nature, as well liberty, the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, and the middle class will carry the load!

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    IF Obama and the RINO's in congress are successful in passing amnesty, the results will be MUCH LOWER wages. Especially in the lower-paid non-skilled jobs. We can't add 20 million "new" workers to the workforce without depressing wages, especially on the lower-end of the pay scale.

    How will the amnesty that Obama desires HELP the problem of income disparity?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Dave D and others: I am almost certain that you and all the other progressives out there advocating for redistribution of wealth don't even know the difference between the United Order and Communism. The United order had property rights and was based most of all on choice. Anything the government does now or in the future, whether it be minimum wage laws or otherwise, is based on compulsion. If you want to help the poor remove greed from your own life and do what will truly help the poor, a free market and enforcement of Constitutional laws and God-given rights. As long as you support the kingmen in Washington, as well as the collusion between the rich, the corporations, and government, it will only get worse, much worse. There would be nothing that the rich, the government, and the corporations would like better than to have the Democrats and Republicans come to some agreement to "help" the poor by making minimum wage laws higher! Come on people, figure it out!

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    As I recall Adam Smith in "Wealth of Nations" spent the last third of the book warning that if unchecked capitalists would behave anti-competitively, run roughshod over everyone else and that government needs to regulate business carefully. I remember forward looking business management experts like Peter Drucker describing the relationship between management and labor as a partnership. In today's corporate capitalism labor is simply another commodity, like iron ore or fuel the cost of which needs to be ground down as much as possible. This, combined with rampant corporate welfare, reduced marginal tax rates and taxing dividends as capital gains have resulted in increasing wealth and income inequality. Beware when it gets too bad. Remember the French, Russian, Mexican and Chinese revolutions. But when the poor cry for bread we can always just let them eat cake.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Would someone tell me where in the world this utopia of redistribution works?

  • Try My Best South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    Mr. Obama wants to give Socialism one more try. Reward for hard work will be removed and there will be no wealth to redistribute. Obamacare (socialized medicine) is just the first giant step.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    He’s the one who has given us trickle-up poverty – he’s NOT the one to try and fix the problem.

    The GOP house voted to keep the government open, harry reid and the dem-senate voted to shut it down.

    Open minded, Ranch
    NOTHING BO has proposed would address the problems mentioned in the old LDS statement or scriptures you quote. His policies encourage the evil of the dole and those who are idle eating the bread and wearing the garment of the laborer (one of a few, you forgot that one). They encourage covetousness.

    Funny you should mention gadianton considering the absolute lack of transparency from the BO misadministration and his stonewalling on fast and furious and Benghazi, etc ad naseum

    If the burger flipper wants the same wage as the CEO, he should improve his qualifications. I’m truly sorry for you if you cannot discern the difference between the skillsets required for the two very disparate jobs.

    Riverofsun
    Please tell us how Romney has thwarted BO since he has not held office in years. BO had two years with carte blanche from congress and things got worse.

  • Dave D Spring Creek, NV
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    A couple of things:

    VST writes concerning the 1875 Proclamation on the Enonomy, "This Proclamation is not even referenced today on LDS.org because it no longer applies."

    I disagree. If there were ever a need for cooperative economies that emphasize a "no poor among them" approach, it is now.

    And banderson assumes, "Dave D and others: I am almost certain that you and all the other progressives out there advocating for redistribution of wealth don't even know the difference between the United Order and Communism."

    I should state I feel fairly comfortable on this issue as it was largely the subject of my masters thesis. I recognize that the Law of Consecration is not communism. I also recognize that whatever we as Latter-day Saints are collectively living now does not come close to resembling Zion. There are LDS kids in the world who literally starve to death because of the unjust system of which they are a part (I speak of the global economic system and the church welfare system).

    I do think we have more in common than you might think, banderson. So let's not go creating a straw man when we agree on the problem.

  • holy moly Herrmian, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    This is a subject which troubles me.

    Suppression of the poor is a recipe for disaster, but giving handouts is not the solution either.

    I think Dave Ramsey has the right idea. Step 7 of his baby steps is to build wealth and give.

    Another topic related to this is how much money influences politics today.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    @VST
    Bountiful, UT

    While your ilk quotes "dead" Ezra T. Benson out of context daily?

    ======

    Say No to BO
    Mapleton, UT
    Would someone tell me where in the world this utopia of redistribution works?

    2:41 p.m. Dec. 4, 2013

    OK --
    Enoch and the City of Enoch,
    The City of Zion,
    The Celestial Kingdom.

    In our individual Families [if we are living it correctly.]

    It's in the scriptures,
    It's in the Gospel.

    Do it!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    All through history, bad people have made good people look like villains. It happens in societies, and our personal lives.

    Problem is, a high percentage of people believe the lies, and just a few are wise enough to see through it. This is why, most societies through history, have lived in bondage, and poverty. They believe in bad people.

    Our country was founded by good, and wise leaders&people. America is great, because the people are good.

    We must not cease to be good, or our country will not not be great.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    Say No to BO
    Mapleton, UT
    Would someone tell me where in the world this utopia of redistribution works?

    2:41 p.m. Dec. 4, 2013

    The City of Enoch
    Heaven

    ==========

    Dave D
    Spring Creek, NV

    Agreed!
    and "Families" are Socialists.

    [BTW - I'm a veteran as well, another good example of Socialism.
    same pay, same food, same housing, same 'uniforms' -- just like in the Temple :-) ]

  • LoveLife Riverton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    @Dave D~

    Those talks you reference are within the aspect of the church, not the government. When the "Proclamation of the Economy" was written, church leaders were the government leaders. Communal living and cooperation was necessary for survival. The Church welfare system today helps the poor and teaches people how to be self-reliant, but it doesn't just give a free hand-out. That "proclamation" is never used now and is not church doctrine.

    If you want to see higher wages, then you want smaller government. The company my husband works for will start paying the "Medical Device Tax" come January. Do I expect he will see a raise anytime soon? Nope. The money is going to the government instead. Equal outcome for everyone takes away the incentive to work hard and enables people to become lazy. This leads to a bigger, more powerful government, which inevitably becomes corrupt.

    There are good talks about this from:
    Howard W. Hunter: The Law of the Harvest
    Ezra Taft Benson: "The Proper Role of Government" and "Freedom and Free Enterprise"
    Marion G. Romney: Is Socialism the United Order?
    David O. McKay: Two Contending Forces

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    That was helpful.
    Your suggestions are out of this world.

  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    Dec. 4, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    You are absolutely right. It does work in all of those places (although I'm not sure how things work in the Celestial Kingdom). The difference is that they were all voluntary!

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Dec. 4, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Dear LDS lIberal:

    There are important differences between what the US government is doing and the scriptural examples you cite. Can you tell me what they are?

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 4, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Can someone tell me how the shifting of 50% of middle class wealth to the top 20% since 1980 as a result of republican tax policies isn't government redistribution of wealth? Or how is the requirement that insurance companies provide honest value policies and freeloaders purchase medical insurance from private companies considered socialized medicine? And lastly, why on earth do ordinary hardworking people whose real incomes haven't increased in 30 years support tax policies that have resulted in the top 20%'s incomes rising 300% in the same time frame?
    Maybe someone can explain it to me, I'm baffled.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Trust Logic

    Brigham City, UT, 00

    @LDS Liberal

    You are absolutely right. It does work in all of those places (although I'm not sure how things work in the Celestial Kingdom). The difference is that they were all voluntary!
    4:14 p.m. Dec. 4, 2013

    =======

    So is living in America.

    I'll sight the Utah motto:
    If you don't like it, leave.

    It's a free country,
    you can leave and there is nothing to stop you.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    One misconception is that the "rich" are the Republicans.

    Where do we find the biggest gaps of income inequality? In places like Boston, New York, Chicago, LA, and Washington, DC? Or in places like Ephraim, UT?

    And are the residents of Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. more likely to vote Democrat or Republican?

    When you hear "super rich" do you think of places like Draper and Alpine, or places like Beverly Hills? I bet if you were to look up the richest zip codes in the nation that most of them voted for Obama. I invite everyone to look at a map of election results by county and think "does this place have a high or low income disparity?"

    @ Open Minded Mormon

    A huge difference between the brethren and Obama is that the brethren are not causing the income inequality. Obama speaks of helping the poor, but he is not helping them.

    As somebody once commented on a DN article: "Obama so loved the poor that he created millions more".

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    Say No to BO.

    “Would someone tell me where in the world this utopia of redistribution works?”

    When you step outside for a breath of fresh air, do you ever wonder if that air was ever the disgusting noise that a dinosaur made?

    When you drink that pure clean water, do you ever wonder where it’s been?

    If water didn’t redistribute by evaporation, how long would the dry spell with no rain last?
    Closer to home, if your blood wasn’t used over and over, how long would you live?

    Is there any thing in the world that is not redistributed and used over and over and over…

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    Ultra Bob,

    You are talking about recycling. Money does recycle as well: you earn a dollar, you spend it at a store, that store spends it, it might even eventually make its way back to your employer and your paycheck.

    Say No to BO is talking about redistributing. Using your water cycle analogy, redistributing would be like saying that Seattle gets far too much rain and Las Vegas gets not nearly enough rain, so let's spread the rain clouds evenly over Washington and Nevada so that both get a more equalized amount of precipitation. The redistribution of wealth-- taking from the rich to give to the poor so that all have equal wealth-- is not a sustainable economic model in our world.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    The misunderstanding of the United Order here is astounding. The United Order has nothing in common with Socialism and or redistribution of wealth. It has nothing in common with Crony Capitalism nor compulsion, which is at the absolute core of our current laws and system. No where in the United Order is compulsion a part of it. How one can talk about the United Order and Democratic principles of minimum wage, etc. is appalling and an affront to God. I'm all for the United Order, but when any person applies any man made laws to solving our current problems, I cringe. Ignorance of the Lord's law of consecration is no excuse for replacing it with greed and envy! Free markets and living not supporting the Kingmen in Washington are what will change the course of this country. When people are ready to live the law of consecration, it will work. Until then don't equate government power and control over my life with God's method of charity. If you want to change this country, change yourself and don't delegate that responsibility to a government bureaucracy. It come from within. Liberty doesn't rely upon compulsion!

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 5, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    Pandering to the ultra liberal base. This philosophy won't work in a free society. People need a hand up not a handout. Obamas approach has bred malcontent, jealousy and misunderstanding. We can do better.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    We focus too much on the concept of redistribution (which is really confiscation) and not enough on the word "wealth."
    Even the most generous of the rich (like Jon Hunstman Sr.) have nice homes, grand pianos, swimming pools and luxury cars. Who are we to say they have an excessive lifestyle? How can government even pretend to claim what is excess?
    Once you dictate what someone must do with THEIR money, you take away the incentive to create wealth.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    @Tad

    It is not "immoral to argue that one has a 'right' to another's possessions simply because that person has more."

    Yes, it is. To hold the value that "what's yours is mine" is a parasitic position that is indeed, in my opinion, both immoral and offensive and will ultimately lead to the downfall of a society. You are correct...it depends on your idea of morality. And yes, it comes down to a question of values.

    People make the mistake, as you have, of equating the right to private property with an inability to "eliminate human suffering." They are independent of each other. As I said before, there are countless ways to eliminate human suffering and elevate the economic condition of the poor without infringing upon the property rights of another. This is what proponents of modern social justice theory simply don't understand. Or if they do, they are unwilling to consider such options.

    Also, using government as the sole arbitrator of what it considers "fair" is nothing more than feudalism with a different mask. The only difference is that government elites replace the role of the feudal lords.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    It is not income inequality that brings about tyranny, it is the concentration of power. Such was the case throughout the Book of Mormon, and such is the clearly observant reality in the white house today.

    I serve alongside a man who's grandparents fled here from a nation imposing "pay equality", because they sought the education and labor to succeed and exceed in life, and not to be "burdened by much taxes" that they would have little to no more than those who openly chose not to work at all.

    Seek the words spoken by the modern prophets of God of the matter; they've not but condemned socialism as a poor counterfeit of the adversary's. Outside the curch, we've spent almost the entire life span of the United States watching the free market burst with innovations and production, while communist nations have inevitably brought its people down, -equally- impoverished.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The hypocrisy of the left is breathtaking. The very thing that would motivate wealthy people to take more care for the poor, to limit their own wealth by providing better livings for their "hirelings", is the very thing that the left goes out of their way to limit and castigate, namely religious belief. The basic underlying factor behind the growth of greed, is that people, in general, no longer feel accountable to a Higher Power. If the left wants to have more equal distribution of wealth, they should embrace religious-based teaching of basic morality. Jesus Christ taught this stuff.

  • holy moly Herrmian, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Isn't the idea that the rich get richer a natural evolution. It is natural that someone who is able to invest a large amount of capital is going to make more money. Those with no capital will remain stagnant. I don't think labeling classes as lazy or greedy solves this. It's natural that money travels upward.

    In America, the rich appear to influence politics through lobbying more effectively than someone with no money, thus helping their cause. Everyone may have an equal vote, but only the rich appear to be able to control the person those votes elect.

    I think this may lead to a split in classes where we label each class (Ten Percenter). Once we are labeled we can take sides. I believe the french used the guillotine to solve economic class inequality.

    If the best way to make the rich richer were to have them invest in the working class, then we may see a better distribution of wealth. It seems like the biggest tax breaks come from deregulating Wall Street, thus the rich money goes there. Is that a benefit to the worker? Some say it causes job creation. I dunno...

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Perhaps someone can explain to me why return on capital(dividends) should be taxed at a maximum of 15% while return on labor(wages) is taxed at a minimum of 30%. Or why your burger flipper working on his feet all day still has the same real wage he had in Truman's administration or the average worker hasn't had a real wage increase in 30 years while the middle manager, sitting in his air conditioned office, has had a 300% increase. It seems to me that certain politicians who derive power from large corporate contributions maintain that power by touting social issues (like abortion, school prayer, and gay marriage) about which they don't really give a fig in order to dupe people who care about those issues to vote for them while in reality they cater to their corporate masters.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Holy moly said: "I believe the french used the guillotine to solve economic class inequality."

    This is correct. As I have listened to the every increasing babble about "income inequality," my thoughts hark back to the French Revolution. It didn't work out so well for the French -- their oppressive, noble elite were replaced with oppressive, degenerate plebeians.

    I know few think it can happen here, but I can see it clearly.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    The "income gap" only insures social programs like medicare, medicaid, social security, food stamps and Obamacare will continue. Make no mistake these are all transfers of wealth to ease the pain and soothe the masses. Without them, there would be civil unrest and the wealthy would have no where to flee.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    To "viejogeezer" the bigger question is why should capital gains be taxed at all? When I buy stock in a company, and that company makes a profit, they are taxed on their profits. Now, when that same company distributes the profits to all of their stock holders it is taxed again. Why should profits be taxed twice?

    As for wages, why should a worker who is doing the same job for 30 years be paid more than a new worker who adds the same value to the end product? The middle manager has had to improve and expand his knowledge base simply to remain up to date with government regulations and mandates. What has the average worker done? During Truman's time there were more people getting college degrees. Since the 1980's, fewer people have been getting college degrees. Don't you think it is possible that the statistics you are referring to are influenced by the fact that the percent of the US with college degrees is dropping because the number of people enrolling in college is not growing at the same rate as population?

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    To rephrase is Biblical terms,

    Envy and Covetousness are the defining challenges of our times.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    LDS lib,
    You mean privates wear the same uniforms and get the same pay as lieutenant generals? I don’t think so. Please be honest in you analogies, if you can.

    Metacoug,
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for lib.

    Viejogeezer,
    Sure, LBJ (D) instituted a failed war on poverty, installing the federal government into more and more aspects of our society. Since then, the wealth gap has increased and poverty has become a generational thing. LBJ and JFK before (who initiated tax cuts) were NOT members of the GOP.

    And where do you get that labor is taxed at a minimum of 30%? 47% pay NO federal income tax. Well, maybe in the people’s republic of CA, they get taxed that high.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Great, I agree. I just don't agree with Pres. Obama making the statement. He has turned his back on supporting traditional marriage for political points. Out of wedlock births are the main cause for poverty in the US. Talk is cheap.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Becoming financially secure is a combination of intelligence, timing (luck) and work ethic. In studying people of means I've found all three of these things in varying percentages. But rarely will you find a wealthy person who lacks one of the three, unless he/she simply inherited the money. That said, 90% of millionaires in America today are FIRST GENERATION millionaires. The notion that most rich people inherited their money is not validated by the data.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Consider a small example of government exacting a life time financial penalty.

    If one did not previously sign up for drug coverage because ones health did not need the insurance and what little medicine/drug needed, one could easily pay the cost. However, now that the new government mandated health insurance has, under a tax provision, become law, many if not all, must find a different insurance carrier that includes drug coverage. But because drug insurance had not been previously acquired, the person is penalized for the rest of their lives by a monthly penalty that increases health insurance costs.

    This one example, among many, of our government strangle hold on its people that lessens one income and freedom.

  • Tad TOOELE, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    @Weber, thank you for acknowledging that your view of the morality is "your opinion." I did not say that I thought the opposite view any more valid than yours, merely that the argument could be made. Nor did I ever say that I thought government redistribution of wealth was the solution. In an earlier post, I pointed out that our society redistributes opportunity as well as wealth as part of the process of providing security. it is much easier for the wealthy to overcome the bars to entry in their investments than it is for the less affluent to do so, and therefore the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I have come to believe that neither your view of "parasites seeking to take your 'hard-earned' wealth from you," nor the view that "the rich got their wealth by stepping on the backs of the poor" are valid, but are gross over-generalizations created by limited perspectives.

    I fully agree with you that more government isn't the solution. I tend toward the Libertarian generally.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Redshirt:
    Why shouldn't capital gains be taxed the same as other income(Ronald Reagan made it so in 1986), it is still income. Real corporate tax rates are only 13%( see USNews 4/4/12)and many large companies pay no tax at all through corporate tax dodges. Frankly, I would support a zero tax rate on worldwide income for corporations and pass all income through to shareholders to be taxed as ordinary income. Foreign tax credits mitigate double taxation.
    As to wages, in 1940 5% of Americans held BA degrees and 25% were high school graduates. In 2009 25% held BA and 80% were high school grads and yet real wages have been stagnant for 30 years since Reagan started reducing marginal tax rates. BTW Reagan's and Bush's tax rate cuts haven't resulted in economic growth.
    Lost:
    15% income tax plus 15.3% FICA equals 30%. How do you document the failure of anti poverty programs? Some might say without them things would be much worse. Some documentation please.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    Tad:

    I didn't see where Weber advanced the view of "parasites seeking to take your 'hard-earned' wealth from you" as you say. Rather, I thought he said that "To hold the value that "what's yours is mine" is a parasitic position." From what I read, that's a far cry from what you imply is his view and a gross over-generalization in and of itself. Go read his post again carefully.

    The fact is, there are many people who believe "what's yours is mine" and to call that out as a destructive view isn't based upon a limited perspective -- it's the truth.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    Thank you viejogeezer, your right and they will not answer those questions because it shows how the republican trickle down has nearly worked to pile the money into a few hands while they trickle less and less to the proletariat.

    1 in 3 Bank employees are on some kind of public assistance, while the banking industry is paying million dollar bonuses for failure?

    Worshiping the wealthy as a precious commodity isn't a virtue.
    The virtue of selfishness by Ayn Rand is not a religious doctrine.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Dec. 5, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    To "viejogeezer" I don't think you paid any attention to the 1980's. Reagan dropped tax rates, and we ended the stagflation. Reagan ended the failure that was Carter's policies.

    As for the Bush tax cuts, those expired 3 years ago. You should be asking why Obama's efforts at spending our way to prosperity haven't worked on a recession that ended in July 2009.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    There is an excellent TED video on Income Inequality and the horrific impact it has on economies, health, and other important social factors. Its 15 minutes long and well worth the watch. Google "richard wilkinson ted inequality". There are two ways to really reduce income inequality: Option 1- massive taxation and social welfare programs. Option 2- Limit total Executive pay to 10 times that of your lowest paid worker. Both options require government intervention and this because unrestrained capitalism - meaning no or little government intervention - grinds the worker under its heel while sending exorbitant profits to the upper echelons of society.

    Its fascinating to look at Mr. Wilkinson's data and see how Japan and Sweden are very low in income inequality, yet they are completely different societies. Sweden is a social welfare state and Japan is not.

    Whatever your political persuasion, we must all support less income inequality or face a plethora of horrific social consequences.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    RedShirtMIT,

    Those tax cuts from the Reagan era are still in place today and what has happened to the distribution of wealth in this country for the last 30 years. They wealthy have done incredibly well and the middle and lower class have done incredibly poor. Trickle down economics maybe provided a short term bump in the economy, but Reagan tax policies have been a major contributor to the problems we have today unless of course you are in the upper 10% economically, then it has been a very good 30 years for you.

    The idea of Reagonomics was that the wealthy would take the money recieved in tax breaks and poor it back into their businesses, hiring more employees, paying better wages, producing more products. It was not meant to be a way to accumulate and sit on large sums of cash, and move business off shore to third world countries and creating sweatshops around the world.

    I would think if Reagan were alive today I would be the first to admit that his policies did not work as intended, and were actually counter productive to the people he wanted to help.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    @ RedShirtCalTech

    You said, "Income inequality is proportional to the size and power of the central government." That is not always true. I point out to you that Japan and Sweden are ranked extremely low compared to other Western Industrialized Nations. Japan does not have a huge and powerful central government, but Sweden does.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    "...we must all support less income inequality or face a plethora of horrific social consequences."

    I'm willing to accept the plethora of horrific social consequences of which you speak of here in America.

    In our capitalistic nation, the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is richer than 68 percent of the world's inhabitants, and they pay no Federal income taxes. Almost half the world, over three billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day. I bet many of these people wish they were poor Americans with our plethora of social consequences.

    Should we create more on massive social welfare programs for poor Americans? In 1960 we spent $445 per person in poverty programs. We now spend $7,741 per person, yet the poverty level has remained fairly constant.

    Perhaps there are better solutions than the same old tired arguments of punishing CEO's, raising taxes, or creating more massive social programs?

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:43 p.m.

    @ Cletus
    You are only willing to accept the consequences because its obvious they do not affect you personally or you do not realize the tremendous burden they are to society. Watch the TED video then lets talk.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    Perhaps the real issue here isn't what a rich man should do with his money but rather who is asking.
    The social contract with government is broken. Congress has single-digit approval ratings and a rather disturbing combined rap sheet of felonies and infidelities.
    Government scandals abound. Civil servants are overpaid and benefits are wasted.
    In short, government has no moral authority to confiscate and wisely use our money to relieve the suffering of the poor.
    The situation notwithstanding America's wealthy are generous.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Dec. 6, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    To "Commodore" the funny thing is that if you compare the income distribution of Japan to the US, they are roughly the same. Sweden is close to the US for distribution, but still is more top heavy than the US.

    Nice thoughts, but maybe you should look to economists that believe in capitalism rather than socialism.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    LeBron James has a nearly 200 million dollar contract for playing basketball. Joe the Plumber makes 40k per year. It's called the free market -- FREE --is the key word here. If you want more money then stop complaining and go to college and work toward a job that pays more instead of expecting the government to make it all better for you. Put your big boy pants on - get off the couch - put the beer down and use the God given abilities you have been blessed with. Will it be long and hard? Yup. Guaranteed. Is there a 100% chance of success? Nope. But just be thankful for the chance. In Communist countries you don't even get the chance. You are stuck on government cheese and housing for the rest of your sorry life and the high walls with barbed wire will make sure you never get the chance at the FREE MARKET.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    re:bungalow

    You are correct that the US is getting passed by China and India and other countries as far as skilled - educated - labor. There is no question about it. America is obsessed with entertainment and high school kids in most American schools don't even come close to the same in other countries as far as math - science scores. America must compete in the global market and we can't just isolate ourselves and expect to prosper. Obviously there needs to be a fundamental change starting in high school but what are the chances that is going to happen. What has Barack Obama done in 6 years to change that? Nothing!! Obama is not a deep thinker and he certainly is NOT innovative. Giving more hand outs does nothing ....it only worsens the deficit of ambition America currently has. America is looking to Obama for solutions but Barack is nothing but an empty suit. I have said this a hundred times - America has a LEADERSHIP vaccumm in the White House and until that changes our children's future will be dim.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    In the Obama world...

    every kid makes the basketball team and plays equal time even if he or she can't even dribble a ball

    every high school drop out makes at least $15 an hour and companies are forced to hire them

    every wealthy person - whether they sacrificed and earned their wealth or not - must surrender that wealth to the Federal Government up to 75%. The feds will then distribute that money to those who will take the money in exchange for their votes.

    I wish I was being sarcastic here but believe it or not this how "Barry" Obama thinks...inside the mind of a Marxist Socialist.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    @RedshirtMIT
    Oh sure, let Romney's tax rate fall to near 0 (almost all his income is from capital gains from investments he says he has little influence on what's done with them, so basically you want him taxed near 0 on income he did next to no work to get).

  • LifeIsIronic Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 8, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles under Brigham Young issued a statement read by local church leaders to the Latter-day Saints in 1875 that discussed the continuation and expansion of ZCMI. The brethren strongly condemned income inequality and focused on the Mormons becoming strong economically by being united and by cooperating for the good of all. Parts of that letter were quoted by Open Minded Mormon. In 1875 there were very few checks and balances on capitalism, a very small proportion of society was middle class, and the transcontinental railroad had reached Utah, bringing with it monopolistic influences. This statement was made before the start of The Progressive Era; when there were no anti-trust busting legislation or laws nor protections for workers; when children were made to work long hours and when many accidents occurred (and if they did the laborer was automatically fired and made destitute); when there were a few men who owned most of the wealth, capital, land and raw materials in such things as steel, oil, railroads, or in monopolies and trusts; and when society believed in Social Darwinism -- the false idea that "my hand hath gotten me this wealth."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 8, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    The most ironic --

    Those who condemn the redistrubution of wealth,
    and praising the very corporations for doing so.

    [sending good paying jobs to China, India, Brazil]

    It's building th eCommunist China, while killing America.