It's time to fix the system!

Last year, median CEO pay jumped to $10.5 million dollars – an increase of about 13 percent. However, most workers didn't see their paychecks go up by a single dime. According to an analysis by USA Today, corporate executives scored huge pay bumps thanks to big gains in the stock market. But, earnings for average workers stayed pretty much stagnant – only increasing 1.4 percent in all of 2012. According to the myth of Reaganomics, when those at the top make tons of money, some of that wealth should trickle down to the rest of us. But, for more than three decades, we've seen how that could not be farther from the truth.

Last year, degenerate gamblers on Wall Street made 20 billionaires $81 billion dollars richer, but that did nothing to boost our real economy, or provide more financial security for the average American. Our economy is so rigged that the very banksters who crashed our economy – and the CEOs who pay workers poverty wages – continue to be rewarded, while hard-working Americans can't even keep up with the cost of living. If we don't change this system, the billionaires will keep raking in hoards of cash, and we can kiss the American Dream goodbye forever.

As it stands, the middle class is shrinking day by day, and the super-rich control the very lawmakers who should be working to protect us. We need to get money out of politics. We need to ensure that workers share in our nation's prosperity. We need to stop rewarding the very folks who've rigged the system. That's why we need progressive policies that will strengthen the middle class, stand up to the banksters, and rebuild the American Dream.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 49 weeks ago

As Thom has pointed out too infrequently, buying/owning stock in a corporation does not benefit the corporation. Except for the IPO, sale of a stock benefits the seller only. Dividends are the equivalent of Count Dracula draining his victim's blood. The stock holder benefits but the company and it's employees do not. I suggest that the in perpetuity pay-out character of a stock be altered to a defined number of years or to a steadily decreasing percentage of the profits. Such a strategy could be used to systematically develop co-ops that distribute the wealth the corporation generates to the people who create it. This would be a way to support/redevelop a middle class and reduce our society's burgeoning inequality. It could also make a lot of people happy and cause the stock market to disappear in its current form. (And a few crooks with it?) C. Krob

shauskins's picture
shauskins 8 years 49 weeks ago

So the solutions or changes are what?

For me that is the billion dollar question?

What I would propose as one step is settng limits on stock purchases. That is, you can only buy some much of a particular stock at a given time. This would allow a more distributed investment landscape. It would stop someone who can buy a 100,000s shares at a time, as opposed to someone else who can only buy 50 shares or even less.

Another change would be to increase the federal tax on captial gains. 15% or less is stupid. It should be 30-40% since money making money has no real value in creating jobs or advancing the overall economy.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 49 weeks ago

I'd take any of the above! We've just GOT to get organized! (to quote from the comedy movie, "The Russians Are Coming...")

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 49 weeks ago

So this is what America has come to. Thom and his bloggers talking about how much of a private companies money its share holders (owners) can keep. Shouldn't a private company be able to pay it's employees anything it wants. CEO's get bonuses on profit and profit is what keeps a business in business. Profit is the only thing that keeps us with a job. Funny I don't remember Thom complaining that CEO's didn't get any bonuses when times where bad. besides unless you own stock in that company it's none of your business is it.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 49 weeks ago

Kend -- It is only your memory that is a problem. When times were bad, e.g. 2008, CEOs got bonuses and Thom complained about it.

shauskins's picture
shauskins 8 years 49 weeks ago

Your vision of America sounds sad.

You may want to look to places like South East Asia and Africa, they rich fertile places for the old ways... use people and dispose.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 49 weeks ago

Kend, if you mean that a corporation should be able to go anywhere and do absolutely anything it wants to do without any limits at all so long as they can make a buck, then I would venture to say, 'no.' There is no 'private company' if that means they do not use the commons in any way, do not rely on transactions with the public and are not chartered by the state to do business. If you do not mean to imply that a corporation should never be called into question for any of its behavior, perhaps you can help define a line beyond which we might legitimately call it to task? Thanks.

Worldchangeguy's picture
Worldchangeguy 8 years 49 weeks ago

"CEO's get bonuses on profit and profit is what keeps us with a job." - Kend

So, Kend, it's okay for CEO's and shareholders to make a profit but it's not okay for the employees to make a profit (earn higher wages or bounuses)? What would happen if your heart kept all your blood and refused to share it with all the other parts of your body? How long would your health last? How long would you last? Taking this analogy further, if every company paid no attention to the damage their business was doing to the environment or their customers so it could make the CEO and the owners or shareholders rich, how long will that business last. Can any business act as if it has no connection to anything around it without, at some point, crossing a line of no return?

Selective perception, it's amazing isn't it? It allows us to focus on one tiny factor and ignore everything else. It's like becoming a heart specialist or an oncologist (cancer specialist). When we spend so much time studying hearts or cancers, we tend to forget about all the other things associated with a human life. As a person, we depend on the health of our entire body. Then, there are the people who depend on us, people like our children, spouses, friends, employers or employees. Even our plant and animal friends need us as much as we need them. Somehow, our thinking has become so compartmentalized and yes, limited, we strip away whatever is seemingly unimportant to us, what doesn't directly benefit us and then we pretend it doesn't exist.

Why do we do that? Are we afraid that if we don't act to protect ourselves first, others like us will beat us to the punch? Do we really believe that we're all separate and that we live in a vacuum, that life is about "survival of the fittest, it's eat or be eaten, kill or be killed"? Or, are we victims of our own beliefs? "I THINK the world is dangerous, therefore, it is." If we have that kind of power, why can't we see ourselves as both one with, and separate from, All That Is. Why can't we see ourselves as not only products of creation, but creation itself? If we have so much power, why don't we collaborate for survival instead of compete for survival? Instead of running from the fear of suffering and death, why don't we live for the love of being and creation?

We've seen what we can create out of money, power and privilege when we use it as a measure of success. What can we create out of love, truth and joy when we use it to measure success? Are we approaching a time when the value of money is so corrupted and abused it becomes meaningless? Is the job of a CEO becoming more of a henchman than a visionary, organizer and inspirational leader? If we allow ourselves to become small, frightened, selfish people, can we love ourselves. If we lie and distort the truth so much, we no longer know what it is, can we respect ourselves? What do we want most for our children, ourselves and the world? What works and makes us happy?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 49 weeks ago

In support of ckrob we have plenty of solutions. What we need is organization. Examples of how badly we need it can be seen from what the dems have not even be able to bring up in the house. One example, they wanted to specify that a certain amout of the oil coming from the XL pipeline be used in the US. For any percentage above 0%, the repugs would not let them bring it to floor. The next example, they wanted to impose the regulation on wall st that every trade (sell or buy) had to remain open for 1 sec. The repugs would not let them bring that one to the floor.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 49 weeks ago

Chuckle, maybe a few in 2008 but most didn't. Besides my point is, it is none of my business what a company pays it's CEO unless I have shares in it. I don't think those CEO's are worth that kind of money but I don't care because it's not my money.

My kind of America. Shausk. A place that allows you all the opperatunity in the world. A place that you can come to with nothing and achieve everything. It is nothing like the countries you mentioned.

Ckrob, Companies pay dearly for the use of those "commons". Of course companies should have rules and regs. But they shouldn't be told what they have to pay there employees. America is a free Counrty still isn't it.

World guy, most corporations pay very well. They have the best benefits. Well except for government jobs. It the small private companies that are the low payers in most cases.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 49 weeks ago

By a free country, I assume you mean the 1% are still free to rape and pillage the 47%. Money was created for only one reason, and that reason was to collect taxes to pay for the commons. It is very much my business how much a company pays a CEO.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 49 weeks ago

"Shouldn't a private company be able to pay its employees anything it wants?" says Kend. Sure! How about ten cents a day? That'll fix our economy. Two weeks' pay to buy a loaf of bread! Brilliant. Step aside, Ravi Batra... - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 49 weeks ago

"Worldchangeguy"- Beautiful analogy. Thank you. In all my months of participation here, I've not read a lovelier post. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 49 weeks ago

Kend says "It's none of my business what a company pays its CEOs unless I have shares in it." Sorry Kend; wrong again. The hell it's not our business, when it's helping to wreck our economy while shoving more and more of us into the poor house. All the opportunity in the world, for what?! To work your butt off for ten cents a day?!!

Companies pay "dearly" for the use of those commons, you say. Really? Awhile back, Palindromedary posted a long list of corporations that pay zero taxes; some while receiving $$ from the IRS! As always, you don't know what you're talking about. If you're going to make such a claim, pal, you'd better be prepared to prove it.

Most corporations pay "very well"? By what measure? Ever heard of unpaid apprenticeships? That's a new trend here in the Land of Opportunity: working for nothing. Try living on that.

You are so out of touch, Kend, I feel sorry for you. - Aliceinwonderland

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 8 years 49 weeks ago

Never say forever (Sir!)

[an A3 Skywarrior was painted black, fired a Raytheon Thiokol-fueled bunkerbuster missile at that wall of the pentagon, creating the 16' entrance wound, and then exploded against the newly reinforced wall & blast-proof windows. A photograph exists of several paunchy white-shirted men (with ties, no coats) carrying an object about the size of an end-wing segment (wrapped in blue tarps) of the fold-up wing of the 76' wingspan A3 Skywarrior, carrying it away from the scene. Raytheon was using a small fleet of the A3s for testing new missile systems. They also had developed a remote control system for the A3. As you might imagine. ]

Just sayin'

Worldchangeguy's picture
Worldchangeguy 8 years 49 weeks ago

Great comments yourself, AIW! Nice to make your acquaintance.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 8 years 49 weeks ago


I think you are under the illusion that just because a man has an idea and starts a business that he can do what ever he wants to become successful and rake in as much as possible at the expense of others. He can avoid paying taxes, He can disregard laws and regulations. He's "special" and deserves "special treatment." He can treat his workers however; he can pay his workers whatever, which seem countintuative since his workers, or someone else's workers, are most likely also his consumers, you know the people on whom he depends for profit and without them THERE IS NO PROFIT!

I can tell you that a CEO is no more a human than any other human. They are NO BETTER. They do not deserve the millions/billions they get. They are doing a job for which they receive a salary. They sure don't deserve millions when they fail at their job--the golden parachute--the rest of us get the boot and a good riddence.

I've been a business textbook editor for many years. I've edited books for Wharton and Fischer school's of business. I have read the crap that goes into the brains of today's business students--and it's not pretty; it's become standard for business here in the US.

The mentality is the "salesman mentality." Most CEOs were former salesmen, with no better educations from no better schools than the ones I attended and graduated from. (You can read their bios online or in annual corporate reports.) They want a salary, then they want an extra pat on the back and some fat for their wallet JUST FOR DOING THE JOB THEY WERE PAID FOR.

I worked at publishing houses where the rest of the staff worked demanding and long hours for very little pay and appreciation, but the sales team were payed a salary plus commision. Paid extra TO DO THEIR JOB. The most strenuous work I saw from the sales staff was feet on the desk reading the sports page followed by a 3 hour lunch. Then harrass the "working people" all afternoon for a project that wasn't due for a week.

Yes, CEOs are special all right--special mean, cruel, greedy, lazy, thoughtless,...

Stop defending them. They don't need your sympathy because they are "special" and you are NOT. How's that working for you? Any billionaires jumped out of the bushes to reward you?

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 49 weeks ago

Kend, many of the largest, most profitable corporations in the U.S. pay no federal taxes at all. So they do not 'pay dearly' for their use of the commons. Walmart even bases its corporate strategy on its employees' access to food stamps and other federal supports for the poor. Do you think that is within your conception of corporate rights regarding adequate pay? Next, you ask whether the U.S. is still a free country. I guess if we recognize a virtually unlimited reign of corporate power, one could say that that inevitably restricts the freedom of the less powerful. Then maybe we're not so free anymore.

DrRichard 8 years 49 weeks ago

Late Roman Republic...first century BCE. Massive corruption in government, military control of various other countries, rigged elections, but still technically a nation largely controlled by voters. When the generals began to vie for power one (Caesar) finally took over. He didn't last long but when Augustus, his nephew, established the empire he kept the fiction going that it was still a republic and he was just the "first man" in it. History doesn't exactly repeat itself, but we seem to be going down the same path.

RichardBMaselow's picture
RichardBMaselow 8 years 49 weeks ago

A legal entity such as a corporation or a sole proprietorship can pay their executives whatever they want.

Our country has more expenses than cash coming in. So we need to reduce expenses or increase revenues. A good portion of our expenses is paying for 11 years of war and our national defense/security. It would be absolutely amoral to reduce our expenses on the elderly, poor, disabled and working poor--there really are no cash expenses to reduce except for program(s) waste. Therefore the country needs to increase its revenue. It's doubtful that USA will invent or come up with a product or service or industry and produce something a lot of people would want to buy, that would bring in a lot of extra cash, but it would have to be a material dollar amount or a very large proportion of our GDP and that just doesn't seem possible, especially for the short term. I think the probability that we'll invent something that fantastic or happening is very small.

Our country needs to increase its federal income tax rates. It's as easy as that. For the past 30+ years the distribution of wealth has gone from the middle-class and the working poor to very, very wealthy. And when I say very wealthy, I mean people making over $50+ million annually. And yes, the poor little guy that makes only $1 to $10 million per year will have to "cough-up" a few more $10K's per year to help their country's economy.

I don't understand why the very wealthy feel like they're victims if their income taxes need go up to help get their country's finances in order, when over the past 30+ years they've been taking more than they should because of our 'bought' Congress. Governments were devised to manage very, very large masses of people, to promote a civilized society, to ensure that the powerful and wealthy do not take advantage of the poor and the weak and less fortunate, to promote liberty, justice and good Public Policy for all of its citizens and the Commons. Our Congress over the past 30+ years has basically shunned every one of those above principals, including our middle-class and the working poor in order to transfer our country's income/wealth to just a few individuals and corporations, the top 1-2% of American's.

For us older American's, we remember living in times when the USA prospered and when we did not prosper. We remember/know about the last 100 years of our country's economic and financial history. The below schedule shows the top individual federal income tax rates by year beginning in 1913. Remember the 1929-1932 stock market crash that mirrors the Sep 2008 crash? Look at the income tax rate for the years prior to 1932, they were pretty low. Supply-side economic philosophy (trickle-down economics or Reaganomics) didn't work in the 1920's and has not worked starting in 1982 in the Reagan Administration. That was the beginning, again, of the decline of our middle-class and working poor and the beginning, again, of transferring our county's income/wealth to the very wealthy.

Historical US Federal Income Tax Rates
Highest Individual Marginal Income Tax Rates
For the Years 1913 - 2012

Top Top Top
Year Rate Year Rate Year Rate
1913 7.00% 1947 86.45% 1981 69.13%
1914 7.00% 1948 82.13% 1982 50.00%
1915 7.00% 1949 82.13% 1983 50.00%
1916 15.00% 1950 91.00% 1984 54.00%
1917 67.00% 1951 91.00% 1985 50.00%
1918 77.00% 1952 92.00% 1986 50.00%
1919 73.00% 1953 92.00% 1987 38.50%
1920 73.00% 1954 91.00% 1988 28.00%
1921 73.00% 1955 91.00% 1989 28.00%
1922 56.00% 1956 91.00% 1990 31.00%
1923 56.00% 1957 91.00% 1991 31.00%
1924 46.00% 1958 91.00% 1992 31.00%
1925 25.00% 1959 91.00% 1993 39.60%
1926 25.00% 1960 91.00% 1994 39.60%
1927 25.00% 1961 91.00% 1995 39.60%
1928 25.00% 1962 91.00% 1996 39.60%
1929 24.00% 1963 91.00% 1997 39.60%
1930 25.00% 1964 77.00% 1998 39.60%
1931 25.00% 1965 70.00% 1999 39.60%
1932 63.00% 1966 70.00% 2000 39.60%
1933 63.00% 1967 70.00% 2001 38.60%
1934 63.00% 1968 75.25% 2002 38.60%
1935 63.00% 1969 77.00% 2003 35.00%
1936 79.00% 1970 71.75% 2004 35.00%
1937 79.00% 1971 70.00% 2005 35.00%
1938 79.00% 1972 70.00% 2006 35.00%
1939 79.00% 1973 70.00% 2007 35.00%
1940 81.01% 1974 70.00% 2008 35.00%
1941 81.00% 1975 70.00% 2009 35.00%
1942 88.00% 1976 70.00% 2010 35.00%
1943 88.00% 1977 70.00% 2011 35.00%
1944 94.00% 1978 70.00% 2012 35.00%
1945 94.00% 1979 70.00% 2013 39.60%<--This is too low.
1946 86.45% 1980 70.00%

The Urban Institute, Federal Tax Policy, Joint Committee on Taxation, Summary of Conference Agreement on the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, JCX-54-03, May 22, 2003;IRS Revised Tax Rate Schedule

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Blast Dorrough's picture
Blast Dorrough 8 years 49 weeks ago

The American Revolution was an uprising to cut "Political Bands" with usurping King George wed to Corporatecrafters and demonic Christiancrafters to take their "equal Station" in life entitled by the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." U.S. First Vets gave their lives for the Dream of true Egalitarian and Economic Justice for all citizens. By definition and in letter and spirit the U.S. Declaration of Independence affirms Deism as true theology in denial of all man-contrived religioncraft in its many evil forms as false theology. True theology must be based on the study of the Creation via astronomy and science and realized through scientific discovery free from dogma of man-contrived religioncraft. After Common Sense created a revolution in the minds of free-thinkers Thomas Paine turned the political tide for Revolution via Four Letters On Interesting Subjects. Written between May 22 and July 2, 1776 just days prior to the Declaration on July 4, the Great Paine to noted Usurpers passionately wrote at the close of Letter III: "As to Corporations themselves, they are without exception so many badges of kingly tyranny, and tend, like every other species of useless pomp [King wed to Christian Church], to the oppression and impoverishment of the place, without one single advantage arising from them. They keep up a perpetual spirit of distinction and faction, engross emoluments and advantages to themselves, which ought to be employed to better purposes, and generally get into quarrels and lawsuits with the other part of the inhabitants. They diminish the freedom of every place where they exist....But of all Corporations that of Philadelphia is the most obnoxious, its power resembling that of an hermaphrodite, or is at least a kind of aristocratical Corporation made hereditary by adoption." The pennyless Paine's influence is seen in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution safeguarding Egalitarian and Economic Justice for all citizens under Article III "Law and Equity." The Founders had the wisdom to safeguard our constitutionally mandated Republic bound in Article III "Law and Equity." "'Equity' has said to be the name of the principles under which substantial justice may be attained in particular cases where the prescribed or customary forms of ordinary law seem to be inadquate [such as legislative and judicial legal fiction]. The word describes a system of jurisprudence and it is employed to designate the principles or standards of that system. Such a use of the word is illustrated by the maxim, 'Equity' regards as done that which ought to be done.'" Jur (1996), p. 520-21. Bear in mind that Paine raised Egalitarian hell for the imagined nobility upon arrival in Philadelphia as he began to champion the rights of slaves, Native Americans and women. Paine, the most influential Founder on all others from all walks of life, especially those dying in the trenches for their "equal Station" in life, knew that the natural laws of equity would eventually trump the creation of legislative and judicial legal fiction making mockery of Egalitarian and Economic Justice for not only citizens of the United States but humankind in general. Our Egalitarian Republic safeguards equality for all: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness---That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Got it?! U.S. is an Egalitarian Republic. Period. Case closed.

John Steinsvold's picture
John Steinsvold 8 years 49 weeks ago

An Alternative to Capitalism (since we cannot legislate morality)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to my essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

John Steinsvold

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”Pogo quotation by Walt Kelly.

doc wilmot's picture
doc wilmot 8 years 49 weeks ago


Happy Easter!

Do you know where colored Easter eggs came from? It's a miracle from the time of the last supper. Jesus didn't trust humans to lead the Church and so he took a Rabbit and raised him up to be the founder of the church and he provided him with a miracle as a sign of legitimacy... and that miracle is the Easter Egg.

Rabbits do not lay eggs accept on Easter and then they are colored. If you go out in the woods hoping to shoot a bunny rabbit on Easter Sunday for rabbit stew, U R sure to find these remarkable eggs. U should remember it is miraculous as the first Pope of the church was Peter the Rabbit!

RACadmin 8 years 49 weeks ago

Click here for a list of The Senators Who Voted "Not" To Extend Unemployment Benefits to contact them by email, facebook or twitter.NOTE: You will see that ALL on the list were REPUBLICANS.

Happy Easter unemployed... from your GOP Republicans...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 49 weeks ago

Thank you BD! Thomas Paine sounds like quite a visionary, more than I ever realized. - AIW

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 49 weeks ago

Alice yes some companies don't pay taxes because of the way income tax is structured. I never said there should be tax breaks I don't believe in them For any one. we all have to pay. I must be out of touch. I am in Scottsdale right now and all of my freinds down here don't agree with you either the majority of people in the US are payed fairly. Who is it exactly that you are talking about. What percentage are payed unfairly?

Ckrob, you listen to to much leftist crap. Walmart bases it's corporate strategy on profit. That's what companies do. People are payed to make the share holders as much as they can. The companies don't make the rules government does. Government already tells us what min wage we have to pay, how much holidays we have to give, how much notice we have to give to lay someone off, etc etc etc. all I am saying is I don't think anyone has the right to tell us how much bonus money we can give out. We have unions to negotiate with the larger companies to protect the workers.

If we want higher wages get the economy going. Low employment rates are the best thing for driving wages up. Your government has done nothing to boost the economy. they have scared the money right in the pockets of those who have it. No one is going to invest their hard earned money with a anti business president that you have. Six years, six trillion more in debt, and still one in six doesn't have A job And the only solution is tax the rich. Are you kidding me.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 49 weeks ago
Quote Kend:Besides my point is, it is none of my business what a company pays it's CEO unless I have shares in it.

Kend ~ None of your--and I must assume you mean the public's--business what a company pays it's CEO's versus the employees? Are you serious? The last time I looked you can't even open a lemonade stand without a public permit. Any real LEGAL business has to have licenses and permits for everything they do and be accountable to the public--the Government--for every cent that passes through them. (You see, I don't own a business; but, I did earn a minor in business management in college)

For example, some businesses have to obey laws concerning how they maintain their bathroom floors and are periodically inspected; yet, you suggest that moving huge amounts of cash flow anywhere they want is none of our business? Let me repeat that question. It is perfectly logical to have strict laws covering how I maintain my toilet, but how I move my cash around is none of their business? We regulate minimum wages, social security withholdings, workers comp withholdings, the hours they can work, the breaks they are entitled to, and lunch times, whether or not the workers environment is safe, whether they are discriminated against or denied their rights, whether they were injured on the job and entitled to just compensation; yet, for some reason regulating whether the company is paying them fairly is non of our business?

I have two more questions for you. #1 Do you really own a business? #2 Are you really from this planet?

RACadmin 8 years 48 weeks ago

Click here for a list of The Senators Who Voted "Not" To Extend Unemployment Benefits to contact them by email, facebook or twitter.NOTE: You will see that ALL on the list were REPUBLICANS.

Happy Easter unemployed... from your GOP Republicans...

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 48 weeks ago

DAnne all of this is about how much a CEO is payed. Not the employees. The market determines what the wages will be. Here in Alberta where we can't get enough workers we have to pay more. In Ft McMurray where the oil sands are McDonalds has to pay about $25 / hr.

Yes I own my own business that's why I get pissed off when you would even suggest that the government should decide how much I should get paid by my own company. If I want to give massive bonuses to my key employees thats my business and mine alone. I can't believe anyone would think different.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 48 weeks ago

RichardBMaselow: Very good information! Thanks! It looks like the only times the rich have to shell out more in taxes are during times of war..and during the cold war...maybe another world war would help make the rich pay more. Although, we were at war in the Middle East and it didn't seem to correlate with increased taxes for the rich. The rich made a killing off of the Middle East wars while having reduced taxes and while hiding their wealth in offshore accounts. They want to leach on to old people's retirement funds to pay for the deficit that the Middle East wars created.

BlastDorrough: Good information as well! By the creators were my parents ;-}

John Steinsvold: "(since we cannot legislate morality)" ...but they sure have done it a lot haven't they?

doc wilmott: Happy Easter to you too! Have you ever heard of a Jackalope? (cross between an extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit). I hear they lay pretty big eggs as well.

RACadmin: great shows how all the Democrat senators, except Reid (D-Nevada), voted for the bill and all of the Republicans, except Hiller (R-Nevada), voted against the bill. (This odd occurrence had something to do with procedural requirements) 55 votes yea and 45 votes nay. The majority was for passing the bill yet it failed to pass because they needed a 3/5ths majority (just 5 short of a 3/5 majority).

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 48 weeks ago

On the other hand, Kend, what does a dozen eggs cost in Ft. McMurray? Or a pound of apples? I would suspect that everything else costs more there as well. What does a McDonalds Big Mac, or whatever they sell now, cost? I would imagine it is a lot more than in the US. So a McDonalds worker in Ft McMurray may get an hourly wage of $25 but what is his or her cost of living... rent, utilities? I imagine, just to heat your home or flat most of the year would cost a fortune. I remember many, many years ago reading about how people who lived and worked in Alaska were making way more than workers in the contiguous US but what they had to pay for the cost of living there was outrageous.

By the way, have you experienced the hottest days in the Phoenix area yet? I was there more than a few times and it was so an oven...I could actually see pavement buckling and heat waves rising from the roadways. And everything appears to have a reddish tinge. I guess you probably just fly out when it gets too hot. Also, they have a lot of valley fever there as well. A Phoenix doctor once warned me about it when I was there many years ago.

There's a place you may or may not be interested in visiting one day..perhaps you've already been there. Arcosanti is located midway between Phoenix and Flagstaff off Highway 17. They make bronze bells in their foundry for sale to anyone who wants to buy them. They also have various entertainers perform at various times. I liked it because I have done some lost wax casting in bronze and aluminum. Just a hobby. But I haven't done any in quite a while. They have a cafeteria and some large open air buildings situated so the air flows through and keeps it cool. It's been a long time since I was there last but I still get occasional flyers from them announcing upcoming entertainer's performances.

Sedona, up closer to Flagstaff, is probably a pretty good place to visit, and maybe invest in real estate, as it is a top tourist attraction. I checked it out on Google Earth and was amazed at how it has expanded since I was there many, many years ago. Lots of very unusual landscape. Some people believe it has some mystical properties.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 48 weeks ago

Thom made the point, "the super rich control the lawmakers." We all know this to be true. So we can all also agree that the representative democracy enlightenment thinkers and eventually our founders had in mind no longer exists. So based on this truth all the Teapublican hatred for our so called government in reality, is hatred for the super rich who control the government and thus are the government.

Problem is, reality requires connecting the dots. So how do we rebuild the American Dream? The obvious first step would be to rebuild the brains of half of our voting citizens and give them the capability to connect just two god damn dots.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 48 weeks ago

In Kend's little world the market is God... The Golden Calf of Capitalism. All else be damned. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 48 weeks ago
Quote Kend:Yes I own my own business that's why I get pissed off when you would even suggest that the government should decide how much I should get paid by my own company. If I want to give massive bonuses to my key employees thats my business and mine alone. I can't believe anyone would think different.

Kend ~ Really? You can't believe anyone would think that they have the right to dictate to you how much you can pay your workers? Really?

Just who determines how much payroll taxes you pay? Just who determines if you discriminated in hiring someone? Just who determines if someone in your company was sexually harassed? Just who determines compensation if one of your workers is injured on the job? Just who determines how much time your employees have for lunch and breaks? Just who determines how much vacation time they are entitled to every year including "Federal" holidays? Just who determines when your employees are entitled to overtime, double time, and time and a half pay? Just who determines the age of retirement?

Just who and what do you think you are..? Some entity that is above the will of the people? You most certainly are not; and, you most certainly are answerable to the will of the people if you want to do business in the USA. Sorry to pop your your hyper inflated bubble of nonsense. If you want to play in the game you simply have to play by the rules!

I wish I could park anywhere I want. I wish I could take anything I want. I wish I could do anything I want to anyone I want. However, I want first and foremost to live in a orderly civilized society. Therefore, I have to compromise. If you don't want to compromise I suggest you book a first class seat on the next space shuttle to Mars. They might just love your concept of reality there. Here, it just ain't' gonna fly.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 48 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland, DAnne, The world Kend lives in is dictated by notion that government for and by the people means little more than regulation and is simply an obstacle to untold wealth. This all because a few Fascists have taken advantage and manipulated vulnerable minds like Kends. The super rich know if they keep enough guys like Kend complaining and crying about government blocking them on the road to riches, the distraction will buy them enough time to dismantle the laws of the land even more, and loot what little remains, as in items like our Social Security fund.

Many of my ancestors fought and died to break away from the kind of tyranny folks like Kend don't realize they support. The power of the Koch's is no different than the power King George III had.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 8 years 48 weeks ago

Oh, I see that I was wrong, Kend is "special." He requires "special consideration." He seeks to be a master over slaves. To be the new "market" god over us all. To wage continuing warfare on the people who make his fortune: his workers and his consumers.

Why don't you business people understand that a well-functioning economy is CIRCULAR not PYRAMIDIAL? A circular economy permits the easy flow of money (something you guys are always bitching about--but I guess you mean for the easy flow to be to you) to ALL segments of society and business still profits. A pyramid permits money to flow to the top and not back to the bottom. From where do you expect FUTURE profits to come? Think, Man, with your brain instead of your wallet.

When your buyer/customer/consumer, who is also a worker, cannot afford your product/service, YOU DON"T PROFIT.

According to the chart RichardBMaslow submitted, I don't feel you have much to complain about. The wealthy were still pretty wealthy when they were well-taxed and the rest of us were happy because we could work and provide decently for our children and our country grew into a super-power. Your ilk seeks to destroy it by your selfish greed. And, in the end, you will also go down with the sinking ship. Or push desparate people to drag you from your McMansions and part you from your wealth--it's your choice.


Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 48 weeks ago

Hey doc wilmot, check out my reply to your comment on the April 16 blog.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 48 weeks ago

Kend, you gotta stay sober at least two days in a row to be able to make any worthwhile comments on this forum. CEOs did get bonuses when times were(?) bad and Thom does - as he always did - complain about it. They always do well when the rest of us aren't, often because the rest of us aren't. A corporation lays off half of its employees while the CEO typically gets a bonus and a raise.

CEO gets a bonus on profit, eh? Well, why don't the rest of the employees? Of course Kend, you and your kind should be able to do whatever they feel like with no ethical considerations whatsoever but if someone wants a fair share of the profits you howl that you're being robbed.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 48 weeks ago

Kend, you don't decide what we're talking about. This is about what employees get paid (which is what a CEO is). The market is only one factor of many in determining wages. Negotiating power of employees through combination - or lack of it - is another, government regulation (e.g., minnimum wage law, equal pay law, anti-discrimination law) is still another. You want the market to be the only factor because you want to do whatever you feel like without consideration of ethics.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 48 weeks ago

Palin, Marc, Elioflight, 10-K, Mark... Y'all pickin' on poor widdle Kend!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 48 weeks ago

That right wing libertarianism is not about freedom but its counterfeit, (feudal) class privelege is clearly demonstrated by their designation of an ideal society, the police state of China, where they moved all their factories.

They moved them out of the United States, to Mexico, initially, in the '80s because workers and communities here were organized and able to force them to behave ethically. However, the Mexican people, workers and community, got organized, and so, got power to force many of those same behaviors and defeated the purpose of the factories being moved there.

So then the so called libertarians had the brilliant idea of moving everything to China. What happened in the United States and Mexico, it was reasoned, would never happen in China because China has a "highly developed security infrastructure" (police state). China was the "libertarians'"ideal because it lacked freedom.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 48 weeks ago

I can see I am fighting a losing battle here. Now I know how Custer felt, although I think the natives where more gentle then you guys are.

Palin, you are right about the cost of living in those places but of course that is a extreme example. It is just getting hot here. 98 degrees tomorrow. I am driving back this time 23 hours it takes. Of course Canada customs might not let me in then you all would be stuck with me.

yes of course the government has rules and regs and yes we need them. But at the end of the day it's the voters who make policy by putting pressure on the politictions and then they make policy. That's why a lot of cars are being made down south now as governments, have made it business friendly for the car companies. Too many rules and control can make a company un profitable which ultimately will put it under. There has to be a fair balance that protects both.

I still can't believe you guys think the government should control how much a CEO's bonous should be. I must be from a different planet this seems bizzare to me.

Happy Easter everyone

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 48 weeks ago

Palin thanks on our drive back if I have time I'll check those places out.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 48 weeks ago

Unfortunately, it's not possible to rebuild the middle class with the policies chosen by this generation. We looked at the policies and programs that were implemented from FDR until Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity, and decided to reverse course. The middle class has been shrinking for years.There is no chance of rebuilding the middle class without (A) getting corporate powers back under control (restore regulations that Reagan successfully wiped out); and (B) putting the rungs back on the ladder out of poverty. The middle class would rather drown than live with the anxiety that a some poor person is getting an undeserved crumb.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 48 weeks ago

You know, if we would all agree to cut our wages by at least 50%, and surrender whatever is left of workers' rights and protections, just think of how eagerly corporations would create jobs for us! Why, we could become a full-fledged third world country in no time.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 48 weeks ago

Well, Kend, you know what they say -- If you don't like the rules, get out of the game. Believe it or not, the US doesn't exist for the pleasure of the few.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 48 weeks ago

SHF, they are getting out of the game. They are moving all the jobs out of the country because they can't make a profit In the US. Why don't we tax the middle class less isn't that the same as a raise. That way jobs stay in the country and everyone wins.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 48 weeks ago

mm52 --- With photoshop, who knows what to believe?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 48 weeks ago

We need a simple law that states no employer, CEO, or Executive can make more than a certain multiple of what his lowest paid employee makes--lets say 3 times. That way in order for a boss to give himself a raise he has to raise the wages of everyone else first. It would also stimulate production because who would want to be that one guy who makes giving everyone a raise non profitable?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 48 weeks ago

Mr. Maselow -- Do you realize you are just singing Thom's tune. The problem is not as straigtforward as your numbers might imply. When Reagan lowered the top tax rate the top earners paid 2 to 3 times as much in federal income tax, and the economy suffered. When Johnson used Kennedy's plan and reduced the top tax rate the economy suffered. I could tell you why I think this happens, but Larry Beinhart does a much better job.

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