Quantcast
Opinion

Robert Bennett: Fair money — Wealth must be created before redistributed

Comments

Return To Article
  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2014 4:03 a.m.

    The four highest paid hedge fund managers earned as much last year as all of the nation's 160,000 kindergarten teachers combined. Four people make more than 160,000 people. And those 160,000 people tend to be well educated and productive.

    David Tepper, the nation's highest paid hedge fund manager, made 3.5 billion dollars last year. That comes out to $1,750,000 an hour. Mr. Tepper made more money in one hour than an average American worker will earn for a lifetime of work. If you have ever studied the business model of hedge funds you will find that they create nothing of value. They simply vacuum money out of the top of the economy leaving less for everyone else.

    This is what the inequality discussion needs to be about, not gas station attendants.

  • bobdc6 park city, UT
    May 19, 2014 5:46 a.m.

    I think Mr. Bennett is talking about the economy. US jobs have been off shored not due to taxes, but due to cheap overseas labor and US environmental laws. That will not change until the Congress figures this cost into import duties on cheap overseas goods. Mr. Bennett doesn't say how a 15% tax on hedge fund managers results in more jobs for the poor, but I doubt that it does. Even Mitt Romney talked about raising revenue by closing loopholes, but he never said which ones, his or mine? Fair taxes means closing those loopholes written into law by a Congress responding to those who give the biggest political donations. This group includes the big Wall Street banks who are responsible for crashing the world economy and other special interest loopholes sold by Congress, but Mr. Bennett didn't mention any of that.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 19, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    I think Mr. Bennett is missing the point of President Obama's ideas on income inequality.

    I think Obama is referring to tax policies which enable Billionaires, and people like Mitt Romney, to find ways to shelter large portions of their incomes from taxes altogether, and then magically convert the rest of their earnings into "capital gains" which are taxed at a measly 15%,

    Tax fairness is when the CEO of Fed Ex is taxed at the same rate as the people who deliver the packages.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 19, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    "the fundamental truth remains -wealth must be created before it can be redistributed."

    I think that is the argument. The wealthy keep getting wealthier, but the middle and lower classes seem to be left out of the economic boom they've enjoyed.

    While I'm not a fan of "redistribution" per se, I do believe it is in the best interest of society to create opportunities for the middle and lower classes to enjoy economic freedom and opportunities through education, job training, and government service (for training and job experience).

    I was reading that it may have been a anomaly in our history that post WWII, the GI Bill created a booming middle class to foster rapid economic gains for lower and middle classes in this country by offering low-cost/free education for the masses. As the wealthy have moved manufacturing off-shore and conservative legislatures across the country have cut higher ed funding, that engine for economic opportunity has evaporated, and so coming generations of Americans will be less well-off compared to their parents and grandparents.

    It's a free country, so the wealthy can work against the nation's interests...

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    Bennett focuses on taxes but ignores the fact the rich have made incredible gains regardless of tax structures. And, after accumulating more wealth, the rich have not raised the wages of their workers the way "trickle down" economics dictate. If Bennett is right saying we help the poor by making the rich richer - where are those improvements? Show us the stats that indicate supporting the rich is justified and good for our poor.

  • skooby SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    May 19, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Wise Words... Actually basic financial sense.

    This is exactly what Mitt Romney was trying to incorporate. His Big Bird moment as an example of how little America cares or understands its situation.

    SO...
    Fix something before adding to it. Ahem... Healthcare!
    Earn it before spending it. Ahem... Nearly everything the government tries to do.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 19, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    However, the fundamental truth remains -wealth must be created before it can be redistributed.

    =========

    Bob,
    Where have you been?

    The Wealth has indeed been created - in record amounts.
    Look at WallStreet.
    Look at Corporatate earnings.

    For crying out loud - YOU of all people - helped "bail" them out.

    The point you should be making is this

    -- Greed knows no bounds!

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 19, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    "There have been plenty of other factors involved in turning California’s business climate into the worst in the Union"

    Yes, the devastating reign of the Republican strongman, Arnold the Gubernator, almost terminated California's economy, didn't it?

    Now, under Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, California produced the first budget SURPLUS in many years.

    “ . . . academic support for the call for hefty increases in . . . taxes on the rich.”

    HISTORY shows us that the country has done much better overall (everything else being more or less equal) when taxes for the highest earners were high.

    We won WWII when the taxes for the higest earners was 94%. We went to the moon, fought a war, AND had a budget surplus in 1969 when those taxes were 77% . At 91%, we built the interstate highway system, fought the cold war, had surpluses and low deficits when Eisenhower was Pres.

    But since the beginning of the GW Bush administration, with the highest tax rate at only 35%, everything good has gone downhill in this nation.

    So why not do what works for a change? . . . and RAISE taxes back where they should be for the highest earners?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    Of course capital will always seek the best tax deal, among the states and among the nations. Bennett says nothing about the accelerating maldistribution of wealth. One doesn't have to be a Marxian theoretician (though it helps) to appreciate that capitalism will choke itself if this continues.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 19, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    Excellent article! If you tax them too much, they will leave, because they are forced to leave! Is this the reason liberals are called the "left"? When the government takes too much, producers, job creators and innovators will leave and take their money and jobs with them and guess who is "left"? Detroit is an excellent example as is much of California. This is real world wealth re-distribution and it happens all the time. Mitt Romney was a prosperity creator and how we needed him instead of what we got; prosperity destroyers!

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    Mr. Bennett, real wages for middle-class Americans have stagnated in the last 30+ years while the income of the top 1% has skyrocketed. That's a straightforward fact.

    The US economy grows when wage earners spend their wages, not when billionaires create new tax havens in the Caymans and move their factories to China.

    If the minimum wage kept pace with inflation, it would be about $10.50 per hour today.

    States and municipalities that have raised their minimum wages have _not_ seen a decline in employment, in fact the opposite. Local economies become healthier.

    US Corporations are sitting on record-setting cash reserves, executive pay as a multiple of front-line employee pay is at all-time-high levels, the hyper-wealthy have never been hyper-wealthier, and Wall Street behaves as though they've learned absolutely nothing from the crash of 2008.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 19, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Agreed that wealth must be created. Distribution should not (other than a reasonable safety net) be the province of govt.

    But this leaves business. We used to have (in this country, not some foreign or socialist nation) am idea of community involvement and fairness that began with the business community. Not to say all were saints - but there was a prevailing standard that most adhered to. Now, not so much. That is where the change must be - in what business leaders do and say.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 19, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    Wall Street allows anyone to risk money. What too many people fail to understand is that there are a lot of people who have lost a lot of money on Wall Street. Stock prices do not always go up. Hedge fund managers also lose a lot of money. The headlines only tell us who the "winners" are, but there are a lot of losers.

    If you want to make money, you fill a need. It's that simple. Ask the kids who sell lemonade on a warm summer afternoon why they don't sell lemonade in December. If kids are able to recognize a need and then find a way to profit from satisfying that need, shouldn't adults be adult enough to watch and learn. Kids don't expect the government to force people to buy their lemonade. Kids don't expect the government to subsidize their lemonade stand or transfer income to them. Kids find a small table, a few chairs, some clean cups and some lemonade. They know the secret.

    Why do so many adults look to Washington when the wisest of the wise are the kids selling lemonade?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 19, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    Mr. Bennett ignores the fact that those "creating" the wealth are the people actually doing the work down in the trenches. Without these people, there would be nothing at all for those at the top to take. Fairness, imo, would be for those making the [insert product/service here] to receive the lions share of the proceeds from their efforts; those who skim at the top should skim quite a bit less.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    May 19, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    Senator Bennett clearly hasn't read Piketty's book, which most emphatically does not suggest income distribution in pursuit of 'fairness.' Piketty's evidence clearly demonstrates that we're approaching a point where the return on capital exceeds the return on industry. In other words, money accumulates at the top in such quantities that it chokes off investment and economic growth. And, as capital is concentrated in the hands of a few super-wealthy inheritors of wealth, debt accumulates among the poor and middle class. The richest people are, increasingly, not job creators at all, but are heirs to vast fortunes. Read the actual book. It's brilliant, convincing, and quite terrifying.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    May 19, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Mr. Bennett you make some great points in your article, in that there has to be some money or funding to squabble over, a pie in order to cut up the pieces and divy them out.

    One point this article touches on but did not really addresss is that the money made to this point and there has been alot of it is now residing not with those who earned it but with the upper 1%.

    This country and the workers can make more money but without some directional change the result will be the same.

    The tax breaks George W. Bush used to pay off the voters has cost the country in excess of 1 trillion dollars, that money would put a great beg dent on our deficit, or pay for healthcare for everyone in the country under 40 years of age.

    Of course we know had the tax break not been handed out that money would still have been spent and not on either of those two valuable ideas. However the money was given back and it migrated right into the hands of those elite who hold it now.

    Fix the system or repeat history.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 19, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    The government cannot give to one without taking from another. Only the most foolish and gullible cannot see that irrefutable truth.

  • Idahotransplant West Jordan, UT
    May 19, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    A simple fix to all of this is a flat tax. no if and's or Butt's. eliminate the loopholes, seriously simplify the tax code.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 19, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    In the past the nations financial sector was around ten percent of the nations economy, today it is near thirty percent and it is a sector that produces no product but over lapping services of skimming and scamming the working mans wages. For every hard working American earning ten bucks an hour there are three worthless financial types ripping off apiece of the pie. Today there are more (so called) money managers than there are accountants.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 19, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    @ Ranch. "Mr. Bennett ignores the fact that those "creating" the wealth are the people actually doing the work down in the trenches."
    Totally backwards! Who signs their paychecks? Who gives them a job in the first place? Those creating the wealth are the innovators, those who take the risks of actually producing products and services that are in demand so they are able to HIRE workers! People have to have a job before then can work in the trenches! Our problem is that too few jobs are available and too many people are unemployed, on food stamps and have given up looking for work therefore they are unproductive and only consume the fruits of other people's work! Mitt Romney is a prosperity and job creator! Obama never created a job in his life at least that some other worker didn't have to subsidize.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 19, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Instead of essentially arguing for his own personal interests, perhaps Bob should look at the plight - yes, plight - of the low income earners, many of whom never receive a pay raise ever because many employers will only pay minimum wage, period. Perhaps Bob should read the story on today's Huffington Post, entitled "Here's The Painful Truth About What It Means To Be 'Working Poor' In America" to get another perspective. I'm sure that he and other apologists for the wealthy, who are doing incredibly well overall, can come up with all sorts of reasons why they should be entitled to hoard their fortunes and not pay an honest wage for honest work. In the end, best management practices include taking good care of your most valuable asset, your people. This creates a happier and more productive workforce, and creates more economic activity, all of which is good for business. Some business people need a little help prying the money from their tight fists, but in the end, giving them that help is good for the whole of our society.

  • idazut Riverton, UT
    May 19, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    I agree with Idahotransplant. Since we have an income tax and it's not likely to go away any time soon it should be: A flat tax. No loopholes. No exemptions. No deductions. Everybody pays at the same rate. Remember Mr. Buffet's secretary? Her tax rate was higher than Mr. Buffet's. His tax bill was much higher than hers because he had a much higher income but she paid a larger percentage of her income than he did. This is not fairness. A flat tax paid by everyone is the only way to make an income tax fair.

    There are those who oppose a flat tax because they think that the poor should not be asked to pay taxes. Wrong. Everyone deserves the dignity and self respect that comes from paying their fair share. We have multiple programs designed to provide necessary asstance to those who need it. Asking them to pay taxes just like everyone else does them no harm.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 19, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Wealth is being created, and quickly redistributed to a very select few. There is no largesse in the system anymore, no desire for all to get ahead. Just a few.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 19, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    I don't get why we get into this "wealth redistribution" rhetorical circle... when what most want is just equal opportunity to wealth creation. Some come by the opportunity by class or place in society. Others have families that help foster a culture of wealth creation. Some have the desire, but don't have access to capital. For others, its education. But it is much more than just taking money from one person to put into anthers pocket.

    But we do the topic injustice when we dumb it down to the the sound bit mentality of "wealth redistribution".

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 19, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Piketty’s data driven tome looks interesting, not to mention a bit alarming, however we should be less concerned about income inequality per se than the rise of the super-rich (the 0.1%) and their disproportionate influence on society.

    The new study by Princeton and Northwestern (US is an Oligarchy) is far more alarming.

    Sadly, the Tea Party folks recognize this yet their solution is simply to “drown government in a bathtub” failing to realize that oligarchies can thrive in the absence of government power (that can effectively check an oligarch’s power) as much as they can by controlling a too powerful government.

    Our centuries long experiment in democracy and the values of the Enlightenment may be coming to an end… let’s hope not.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Or, as Sir Winston Churchill noted, "The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

  • azreader1 tucson, AZ
    May 19, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    This debate will never be resolved so long as folks continue looking at the problem through the lens of their own narrow self interest. Sure, everyone wants to make more money, but getting there is the trick. And focusing on the top 1% (or .01% as is even more fun apparently) only compounds the problem by taking our collective eye off the ball.

    The entire discussion of what the top earners make is a red herring because it fails to address the root causes of wealth dissipation: lack of education or poor educational choices, living beyond one's means (i.e., going into debt for luxuries and not necessities), frittering away one's time in front of the television, computer or video game console, failing to understand the nature of risk in starting and maintaining a successful small business, being unable or unwilling to devote the incredible amount of time and attention required to run a successful business, and so forth. One truth remains absolutely inviolate: envying the wealth and success of others never did and never will produce wealth for the person doing the envying and complaining.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    "I don’t argue with the concept of a minimum wage. However, if it is set too high it can re-distribute poverty instead of wealth."

    No, Republicans don't argue with the concept of a minimum wage. They just want to keep it below the level it reached in 1950, which is where it is today. In 1950, six years before I was born, the minimum wage in today's dollars was $7.29.

    And how on earth could we possibly set it too high? We're not Switzerland. We're talking about giving workers the gains they should have earned just through cost-of-living increases. Instead, those gains went to the owners and executives who refuse to pay people fairly. It isn't setting the wage too high that redistributes poverty; it is setting it too low, which is where it's at today. This is just more conservative excuse making.

    And all the talk about moving jobs offshore is largely irrelevant. Most minimum wage jobs are not exportable. (I'm not going to drive to Bangladesh to buy a Big Mac.)

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 19, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Calls for greater equity in society are not always sour grapes, or class envy, I think that some of you would be surprised to find that some of the progressives who comment on this subject in the DNews are doing quite well, financially.

    What amazes me is that people who lack economic opportunities often times vote against their own self interests!

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    The average middle income wage earner has not seen an increase in real wages in over 30 years. The gap between the haves and the have nots is the largest it has ever been in our counties history. There is generation of income in our country it's just not going to the workers. Talking about gas attendants and equating it to today is a weak argument at best. It's the greed of some who exploit labors to work for less and less while they protect their money in offshore bank accounts who are driving this argument against a strong minimum wage. The fact is when we invest in our workers and allow them to share in the increased wealth this nation has seen (which the very wealthy have realized) we will have a stronger country. The greed of the few prevent the real realization of the American Dream or even the ability to participate in it in some small way. The arguments against a better minimum wage ring hollow.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    The oligarchs (of BOTH parties)like to keep the American public arguing about WHO should pay more, not only in taxes, but also in salary distribution on the open market. Using the "argue till you drop" logic, - nothing will ever happen. Of course wealthy (and stingy)people understand that.

    How's this: What if we tied the salary of the highest pd. executives to the lowest pd. in a company - by law?
    For instance; if the top 10% of a company earns (as an aggregate)10 million for instance, the LOWEST 10% wage-earners MUST earn (again as an aggregate)at least 1 million?

    Legislatively, the percentages could be tied to any formula politically feasible. But WHATEVER formula was implemented, it would act to bring up the wages of the "bottom" tier of the earning spectrum to somewhat of a relevancy in relation to exorbitant out of control executive salaries.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Thid:

    Mitt Romney is a prosperity and job creator? Please. I'd say Mitt is more of a prosperity bandit and a job taker. Have you looked at his record at Bain? Do you understand what "private equity" firms do? Just because we've renamed these corporate raiders doesn't mean they do anything different than they did in the 1980s. I'd suggest reading David Stockman's "Mitt Romney: The Great Deformer." Stockman is a fellow Republican and fellow private equity investor. He knows whereof he speaks.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    @RanchHand

    In other words, if I create a business, use my own ideas, techniques and strategies to make it profitable; if I put in 14 hours a day, six to seven days a week looking at ways I can improve my business. If I beg, borrow and risk all I have because I truly believe in my business, and by means of my hard work I am able to make a fabulous profit, hire employees and in the process expand my business even further; even after I do all that, in your eyes I'm still nothing by someone skims off the top? Someone whose profits should be taken away?

    I know many people think all CEOs and business owners are simply robber barons who inherited the business from Daddy and do nothing but sit in their office all day counting the cash.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 19, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    Why is saying that employers should pay a reasonable wage when they are profitable is redistribution of wealth? Why is saying that the country was better when taxes were higher on the wealthy called envy? Why do so many come on this discussion board and bash the poor but get offended when someone suggests that the wealthy have been given an advantage by government policy?

    The facts are the distribution of wealth in this country is tipping rapidly and dramatically toward the wealthy. The "trickle down" economic policy we embarked on under Reagan has led to an increase in the money in the pockets of the wealthy and has not trickled down to the middle and lower classes. The current trend of wealth distribution if it continues will eventually lead to the destruction of the America that we know and love. We can make all the excuses for creating policy that advantages the wealthy we want, but in the end it will not be good for America.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    Is it greed, greed, greed, or envy, envy, envy! I'm sure there is a lot of greed going on in Capitalism, but the biggest emotion is envy. Just look at the number of responses here! None will admit it, of course, because it is much too easy to vilify the wealthy and their greed then to overcome your own envy!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    "Republicans like the minimum wage, the more minimum the better."----Harry Truman

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    May 19, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Funny how people love to ridicule CEOs and business owners who become wealthy but no one directs the same attacks toward pro athletes, singers, or movie stars.

    I would truly love to see President Obama one day give a speech before his Hollywood and pro athlete pals with people like Michael Moore, Oprah, Bill Maher, George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Michael Jordan and LeBron James in the audience and say something like:

    "You people are all greedy. You don't need all those millions of dollars, I'm going bury you people up to your ears in taxes and give that money to those who truly earned it and truly deserve it."

    If you've had the same wish, I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 19, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    Roland,
    OK, specifically adjust how hedge fund managers are taxed, do not place a blanket “INCREASE TAXES ON THE RICH” demand across our economy, when MOST of the wealthy ARE creating wealth, and not just vacuuming money off the top.

    bobdc6
    ever hear of the Smoot Hawley tarrifs and what they led to?

    GaryO,
    Arnold? That’s the best you’ve got? Thanks for the laugh. But everything you’ve said just points out the CA government has more; it does not address the flight of jobs, families, and wealth from the golden state.

    Esquire,
    Bob should read the Huffington Post? Why? No truth there.

    BlueDevil,
    We DO want equal opportunity. What too many of your liberal co-horts want is equal outcome, which means we all are equally poor.

    Want to make more than the minimum wage? Make your labor more valuable than minimum wage.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 19, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    @banderson... what makes you think you know how much any of us make, or how big of a house we have, or what any of our own personal wealth is? I am blown away by people who say the only reason someone would want equality is envy. Im am not sure if it is because you are speaking from your own point of reference, or if the marketing machine has just worked hat well.

    But I assure you, many of us who post here are not in "need" nor are they envious of anything you or anyone else has. I am amazed at how many people think they have something I or others would want.

    I have been deeply blessed in this life, and envy has nothing to do with my wanting others to be able to achieve those blessings as well. Envy, nor greed has anything to do with it.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 19, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @ClarkHippo – “even after I do all that, in your eyes I'm still nothing by someone skims off the top?”

    You make an excellent point and I know very few people (except perhaps far-lefties) who would argue for exorbitant taxes of most businesses.

    Where it get interesting though is when a business owner begins to make huge sums of money for no other reason than economies of scale (i.e., is the founder of McDonalds working any harder than he did when he had 100 stores as when he has 10,000?) Same logic applies to a hedge fund manager vs. a small investment advisor or any other Fortune 500 size business.

    Why shouldn’t those folks pay a higher marginal rate when their tremendous gain in wealth is based almost entirely on scale? Isn’t that a form of “hitting the lottery?”

    And what about the people who did inherit all their money from Daddy? Does it make any sense to pass along hundreds of millions of dollars to a few individuals who did nothing other than be fortunate enough to be born into a particularly family (e.g. Sam Walton’s kids)?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Piketty's book calls for careful reading. I understand Piketty to be saying that as the rate of return for capital exceeds the overall growth rate, capital concentration will accelerate and labor will be crushed. Though Piketty doesn't claim to be a Marxist, his thesis reminds me of Marx's laws of capital accumulation.

    There is a dynamic in capitalism which is the root of its own death according to Marx. Is Marx right? I'm not sure, but he needs to be examined by the economics profession who shun him. I am sure Marx needs to be critically examined, especially with the new light being shed by Piketty.

    I wonder if Senator Bennett has ever read Marx's "Capital." He should.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 19, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    @ClarkHippo

    What I heard RanchHand saying is what I see: Those at the owner end forget that it requires the entire team to make them profitable. They see their hard work and the jobs they create, but they dismiss their employees' contributions as 'what I paid for." This may technically be true, but it also objectifies the employee. It isn't a team. It's about the ones at the top. THEY'RE the important ones.

    It's also frequently implied that there's something wrong with those who aren't wealthy or running their own businesses. This completely ignores the fact that none of us choose our personality traits and gifts, much less the circumstances into which we're born.

    So, yeah, it rankles a bit when the most fortunate in the gene pool behave as if they're successful solely because they worked harder. This is hubris. And it's a small person that looks upon those born with less and blames them for it.

    I think of the nation as a team and a team is only as strong as its weakest player. It behooves us to spend more time developing the weaker players.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    The problem with Bob's editorial is that it doesn't tell us "how" wealth is created, and who contributed to it's creation. And why it was created in the first place.

    All wealth is the creation of human labor, either physical or mental. All the buying and selling of the wealth thus created does not create wealth itself but provides the mechanism for the distribution and redistribution there of. We generally call that mechanism Business.

    All wealth is for the satisfaction of human needs, wants and desires.

    Business is an absolute necessity of civilized society. A civilized society being defined as a society where the talents and labors of its members are shared by some sort of economic business system.

    Business systems, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism etc., are the remnants of human history where brute force was the distribution mechanism of business. Today's Capitalism is the current refinement of the brute force system in the distribution and redistribution of wealth. Today's brute force is called money. But it is not any more fair or better for people.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 19, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    What gets me is how so many commentators pick a few bad apples and assume that the whole barrel is that way.

    On the left, they find a few lottery winners or overpaid CEOs and assume that all rich people are corrupt and don't deserve the money they have. They want to tax all wealthy people with punitive taxes that target the successful small business owner the same as hedge fund managers.

    On the right, they find a few welfare dead-beats who game the system and spend food stamps on lobster and steak while they surf all day at the beach and assume that all poor people are a bunch of moochers.

    The solution to these kinds of problems is not to implement punishing rules and taxes aimed at the few bad apples that tend to miss the target and hit a bunch of innocent bystanders.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 19, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of Communism. Do we really want to go down that road...even an inch? America has always been about individual ambition but today with Obama the message is "ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can give you for free". This is a very slippery slope and once you create a society of dependent people it is nearly impossible to reverse that until it collapses your economy - ask Greece. I fear for the America my son is going inherit let alone my grandsons. If America does choose wealth redistribution and Communism then we can expect the predictable outcomes and they are ugly and final. I fear the American electorate isn't informed enough anymore to choose leaders who will bring back propsperity. We live in an historically dumbed down society today in this country and one need look no further than the past two presidential elections. Should we be scared - YES!!! Are we ? NO!! Like Alfred E Newman of Mad Magazine we instead stupidly say "what - me worry"? China is passing us by this year economically - should that scare us to death? Yes!!!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 19, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Only the most foolish and gullible cannot see that conservatives like to use everyday facts to demean our government. Is there anything in life that one can give to another that he did not receive from another.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 19, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Too many who post here are not understanding the differences between entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and capitalism. But, may I say: for those who feel because they have worked hard and created an enterprise that they feel they should have the right to succeed on the backs of slave labor, you are mistaken; and you shouldn't be in business. You should go work for a minimum wage and learn some humanity.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 19, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    "Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of Communism."

    It was also a key component to Adam Smith's writing - the guy who first defined the capitalist system. A strong capitalist system requires a motivated and engaged working class to survive. When the balance trips to far to the "rich", workers loose hope and stop participating in the system.

    Plainly said, we need people who are motivated to take low income jobs, because those jobs still have the potential to improve their lives. When those jobs stop helping people provide for themselves, people become disengaged.

    And this is where the welfare state can cause problems. If the delta between doing nothing, and being engaged is too small, there is no incentive. If moving forward is so incremental, it doesn't provide a carrot to join the system where your work is going to benefit someone else far disproportionately than to yourself.

    It's a tough balance... helping those in need... and providing them a path out.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 19, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    What you tea party types fail to realize is that most "liberals" do not envy the rich. They typically ARE the wealthier, more educated people who realize that it is not beneficial to society to have such a large gap between rich and poor. And they care about those in our society who are in need. And don't give me that baloney about how "liberals" don't donate their money. Take a look at most of the major philanthropists in our country. Giving 10% to your church is a good thing, but it doesn't help the poor and needy, and it skews the numbers to make church attendees (who for some reason that I cannot fathom are typically ultra conservative) look more generous.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 19, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    I have no problem with something thinking up something, working hard, and having a business.

    What I DO take issue with, is Vulture Capitalists --
    Those who buy up a businesses, smash it up into itty bitty pieces, liquided the assets, sell off the pentions of the employees, out source and off shore the jobs, and pop champange and pat themselves on the backs for making lots of money!

    They produce nothing,
    and just like the name implies -- are carcass feasting vultures, fattening themselve up on the others.

    Garbage birds, flies and maggots.

    Like the Money Changers in Jesus's time --
    They buy and sell,
    they PRODUCE nothing.

    Just leeching off of others.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 19, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    re:UtahBlueDevil

    Helping those in need is never ever been achieved by giving hand outs. Handouts (wealth redistribution) creates a de-insentive to work and to acheive and an attachment and dependence on government which essentially extingusihes freedom. The best way to help all classes of people (from the very poor to the very rich and everyone inbetween) is to create a STRONG economy where jobs are plentiful and pay is high. Today we have a weak economy and many have simply given up looking for work and instead have just resigned themselves to the next welfare check from Mr Obama. This is a recpipe for disaster.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 19, 2014 7:14 p.m.

    Patriot... if it were really all as simple as voting Obama out of office..... but it isn't. Our economy has been changing for over 3 decades away, and those who perform low skill jobs are seeing their jobs go away - and they aren't coming back - ever. No presidential change is going to change that fact.

    What is going on is the economy is poor for those unskilled workers. For those with skills... actually the economy is doing quit well. In the middle, there is a miss mash of opportunity and despair..... depending on your skills.

    I wish I agreed with you that the panacea to problems was Republican control... but alas I just don't see it. I don't see it with Democrat control either. We need someone, some group that is willing to invest in America. We can not win by the raw numbers. China, India will have bigger economies - that is inevitable. All we can control is the value our workers bring to the global economy.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 20, 2014 12:30 a.m.

    Bennett: "In the last 15 years, California's industrial employment base shrank by 600,000 jobs. In the last 20 years, roughly 4 million more people moved out than moved in, most of them young families. California’s unemployment rate is fourth highest in the nation."

    Pray, how does this square with Sen. Bennett's support for massive unskilled, Third World immigration, legal or illegal? California doesn't have enough jobs for Americans, but it has so many vacant jobs it needs illegals to fill them. Which is it, too many jobs, or not enough?

    Follow the logic: business is creating so many jobs it needs illegals to fill them. We're supposed to worry that increasing the minimum wage will reduce the number of jobs businesses create that they already claim they're unable to fill with American workers?

    Increase the minimum wage, help poor American workers, and reduce the demand for illegal immigrant workers. The goal of having a strong economy is to help Americans become better off, not to maximize the number of employees, citizen and immigrant, legal and illegal, that businesses employ.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 20, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    "Those creating the wealth are the innovators, those who take the risks of actually producing products and services that are in demand so they are able to HIRE workers!"

    What risk? We bailed out the banks. We bailed out the home builders. These companies and their CEOs have become very good at minimizing their own risk, and never bother to return their massive paychecks when their formerly high-flying companies fail. The wealthy, thanks in large part to various tax loopholes, have become increasingly adept at protecting their wealth from the tax man.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 20, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    @Thid Barker;

    Without the checker at WalMart, the stock boy or the cart chaser, the Waltons would have no money to pay in the first place.

    @ClarkHippo;

    So you put in 14 hours per day, what about the people who work for you? Without whom, your business couldn't function at all (unless your a one-man band). Those people deserve a piece of the pie they're helping you to bake.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 20, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Resources have to be maldistributed first to enable the will to redistribute.

    The Bolshevik revolution would not have been possible without the starvation caused by the Czars policies. Neither the French revolution nor the Mexican revolution.

    The American revolution would not have happened if the English had not made policies that maldistributed the wealth from the people here to the few in England.

    Te Lord keeps having the same problem over and over: Whenever he leaves his children alone he comes back to find a few taking all the stuff and the others doing all the work.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 20, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Would ONE conservative please explain how at the peak of American prosperity [1950-1970's] --

    We had the highest taxes,
    The highest wages,
    and
    The stongest Unions,

    And today we have --
    The lowest taxes,
    The lowest wages,
    and
    the weakest Unions.

    Yet, Amerincan GDP and productivity has NEVER been higher?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 20, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Screwdriver,

    So are you predicting the next American revolution because of the current maldistribution of wealth?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    Fred44
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Screwdriver,

    So are you predicting the next American revolution because of the current maldistribution of wealth?

    12:45 p.m. May 20, 2014

    ===========

    Why not?

    The 1st American Revolution was over Wealth -- the nobles vs. the peasants?
    So was the French Revolution.
    As was the Bolshevik Revolution.

    The REAL takers are the Wealthy,
    The REAL makers are the Workers.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    patriot:

    "Wealth Redistribution is the foundation of Communism." Yes. Communism was marked by a whole truckload of people who made very little money and a few at the top who raked in boatloads. We are indeed headed for such an outcome. In this way, corporate capitalism and communism are similar. Now, if we had worker-owned businesses, then those who created the wealth might get to keep some of it.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 21, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    Fred 44, YEP.

    The irony is that most of the GOP thinks they are on the side of the wealthy which they are not. They are upset because their standard of living in declining, but they have been predictably and effectively propagandized to blame scapegoats other than the real rats. The reality is that red states have the majority of those that don't pay any federal income taxes and whose states benefit the most from federal spending. They also support the most spending through large military expenditures and farm subsidies.

    In that scenario of cognitive dissonance and the realization that armed revolutions only result in democracies a small percentage of the time, I think a armed rebellion and revolution from the right will almost certainly NOT result in a democracy or republic of any kind. It just doesn't have any of the elements of truth in it that would be necessary.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 23, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    Screwdriver -

    "The Bolshevik revolution would not have been possible without the starvation caused by the Czars policies. Neither the French revolution nor the Mexican revolution. '

    Good points, the common element that sparked those revolutions was a huge income disparity.

    Eventually the peasants, and the serfs, and the peons ALWAYS rise up after being trickled on for years by the great "generosity" of their Lords, and Masters, and Patrons, and the Plutocrats who, through Reagonomic-like policies, have succeeded in keeping the working class down and impotent.

    The founders gave us government for the purpose of solving problems and implementing sensible and workable SOLUTIONS. The huge income gap and the rise of plutocrats who can advance their agendas at the expense of the nation and it citizens is a PROBLEM that needs to be addressed.

    Plutocrats, like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, who don't want their power challenged, have found it effective to neutralize government. They have launched successful propaganda campaigns turning a substantial segment of American society into nodding automatons, who now regard our government (designed by the founders to promote the general welfare), as an evil entity that cannot be trusted.

    Come on "Conservatives," . . . Get Real.