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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Blame the 1% For America's Pay Gap - A Great Read

May Day has come and gone, and the OWS movement will continue to march and protest the "atrocities" of the "1% against the 99%"........ for whatever that means. Now that this day has passed, and the protests have subsided, in the spirit of civil debate, I wanted to put this article front and center:

It is by Fortune Magazine senior editor Nina Easton, and to me, it preaches to the choir. This blog is about expressing views and engaging in civil, respectful, and insightful debate. That's why I'm posting this article. I think an open dialogue is a good thing, and the sharing of personal beliefs and opinions should be beneficial to all involved.

Let it be known, I pretty much agree with everything this article says. I'm glad Mrs. Easton wrote it. Some key things I took away:

"That's deeply troubling. Socially and politically, there are plenty of reasons to worry about the growing income gap. But rage against the 1% is misplaced. Income is not a zero-sum game: The rich aren't getting wealthier at the expense of the poor. Harvard's Lawrence Katz has calculated that even if all the gains of the top 1% were redistributed to the 99%, household incomes would go up by less than half of what they would if everyone had a college degree."

Yes! The rich are not getting wealthier at the expense of the poor. Some people argue they are, but, since there are no laws that mandate the poor stay poor, and everyone has the opportunity to become "rich," how could the rich possibly get wealthier at the expense of the poor? I think this paragraph starts a great conversation about the notion of wealth and wealth distribution in general. 

Larry Ellison grew up in a poor to middle-class family. He didn't have a "silver spoon" in his mouth. He did, however, work hard and took personal responsibility for his actions, and became extremely wealthy. Did he do this by taking the wealth of someone else? No. In fact, his actions and his desires to become wealthy himself made many other people wealthy, too. In order to become wealthy he had to grow his business. To do this, he hired people who were given the opportunity to earn an income for themselves. Ellison got wealthier, but so did  many people who worked for him. This is just one example of many, and I believe if he can do it, anyone can do it. As the author states, we shouldn't vilify Larry Ellison; we should try to emulate him. 

Sure, there are those who make their millions unethically (cough, Bernie Madoff), but that's why we trust the courts and our legal system. But for those who truly do make it on their own, why should we promote the work-hard, do it yourself "American Dream," only to assail those who achieve it?

On top of the alleged "the 1% get richer of the 99%," many people will say that luck plays a huge roll in someone's success. I respectfully disagree with this position as well. I believe people make their luck, and I have often said the phrase, "there are no accidental doctors, CEOs, and lawyers out there, just as there are no accidental janitors." It's not a coincidence that hard work does pay off. Luck, to me, balances out for all. Of course, there are some statistical anomalies that exist. Some people have won the lottery multiple times, and some are inherently unlucky no matter what. But for the 99.9999% of us, We all have good luck, and we all have bad luck, too. Some people make better decisions when it comes to handling "luck," whether through preparation, mitigation, or management, and, as with success, to the victor should go the spoils and poor management and poor decisions should bring the consequences they normally do. 

Some favor taxing the rich more to "level the playing field." In my opinion, with regards to tax rates, I don't believe we should be taxing the wealthy more to cover the bad luck of the non-wealthy. How would you measure the percentage of luck that exists for each individual? How would you regulate the amount of tax needed to cover bad luck? According to the IRS (see this chart), those making more than $200,000 per year already pay more than 100% more of their income to taxes (26.8% versus 13.3%) than those making less than $200,000. Are we implying these earners are 100% more lucky? To all the OWS supporters that believe the wealthy obtained their wealth not off the backs of the 99%, but off luck, how would you handle this? Would you put more power into the government's hands to regulate this? What if the average wealthy persons luck was at a level only 20% greater than the average middle-class American's luck? Should we tax the wealthy person 20% more?

Later in her article, Nina Easton then explains the possible reasons for the wealthy's growth. Her reasons are new to me, but her explanations are well documented. Her mention of the Yo-Yo Ma Effect is interesting, and has made me want to look into it more. 

All in all, I do agree with her view that we shouldn't be angry at the 1%, but instead, we should try to achieve and match their successes. Instead of protesting, we should be producing. The 1% aren't holding us down. If one can succeed, we all can succeed. It starts with personal responsibility, not blame. In my opinion, whether you think that somehow the 1% truly exploit the 99%, or the wealthy are merely lucky, I don't believe it's the job of the government to become more powerful to even this out. We can all handle our own lives and, as I like to say: keep your eyes on the finish line, not on the field around you.

What are your opinions of Mrs. Easton's article? Do you agree? Disagree? Were her points on point, or way off the target? Additionally, how would YOU handle the income gap? What do you believe should  (or shouldn't) be done? By whom? Please share your thoughts below. 


  1. Rarely have I read something so completely out of touch with reality in my life. Bottom line; FACT; World financial system crashes due to abusing and predatory practices of "Wall Street". FACT: These Banks and corporations are bailed out with TRILLIONS of dollars. FACT: Those trillions basically disappear and the problem is in no way solved. (Thieves are given more money after spending the money they stole). FACT: The wealthy pay a ridiculously low percentage of taxes. FACT: Historically, The higher the taxes those "wealthy" contribute, the better off the economy. FACT: If they DO pay higher taxes... THEY'RE STILL ASTRONOMICALLY WEALTHY!!!!! "Bad luck of the non-wealthy??? This has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with theft from our national pyramid scheme...

    1. Danny Burr - thank you for stopping by.

      It's interesting. Nina Easton takes a position, and backs it up. Now you stop by, as it is your right, to take a counter position, but where is your backup? You claim FACT? But in order to get your disagreers to understand, could you provide these "facts?" Could you give the evidence behind your thesis?

      I'm looking for answers to your assertions of:

      "FACT; World financial system crashes due to abusing and predatory practices of "Wall Street"
      - Proof? Evidence? What predatory practices are you referring to? How did they cause the "world financial system to crash?" Without proof, these seem like oft-chanted, rarely understood talking points.

      FACT: These Banks and corporations are bailed out with TRILLIONS of dollars.
      - If this was the case, shouldn't you be mad at the government for bailout out the companies?

      FACT: Those trillions basically disappear and the problem is in no way solved.
      - Proof of this? Who stole it? Where did it go?

      FACT: The wealthy pay a ridiculously low percentage of taxes.
      - This is 100% false. Do YOU know what the average FINAL (after deductions, loopholes, etc) tax rate for the wealthy is? Do you know what it is for the middle class? I'll give you a hint... the wealthy pay a MUCH greater rate than the middle class. See the IRS data to prove this:
      So, upon seeing REAL, CITED, and LINKED proof that the claim "the wealthy pay a ridiculously low percentage of taxes" is a 100% lie, what do you say?

      FACT: Historically, The higher the taxes those "wealthy" contribute, the better off the economy.
      - Proof? Additionally, you think it's okay for the government to be a large, powerful body of discrimination? See this:

      FACT: If they DO pay higher taxes... THEY'RE STILL ASTRONOMICALLY WEALTHY!!!!!
      - And? You want them to be non-wealthy? What stops you from being wealthy, too? Give me the thing that stops YOU from doing it? Why bemoan them? Why not become wealthy yourself?

      This has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with theft from our national pyramid scheme...
      -What in the world are you talking about? Can you elaborate on this "pyramid scheme."

      It appears to me you don't have many facts. If you do, please share them. The point that you argue on the wealthy's tax rates alone makes me believe you're spouting misinformation (intentionally or unintentionally, I don't know). If you back what you say, it might help me understand where you're coming from. Regardless of liberal or conservative, I hope everyone speaks with truth and fact. To claim the rich pay lower tax rates is just a simple lie.

      I hope to hear back from you. Thanks!

    2. The Elephant Pooped in the room again. Nice way to alienate people who coul dteach you a thing or two.

  2. "If everyone had a college degree" How exactly do you become "rich" when you have to spend twenty years paying off student loans????
    BTW, are YOU wealthy or are you just buying the lie that "You too can win the lottery"?

    1. Are you talking about this: 'The rich aren't getting wealthier at the expense of the poor. Harvard's Lawrence Katz has calculated that even if all the gains of the top 1% were redistributed to the 99%, household incomes would go up by less than half of what they would if everyone had a college degree."

      I think you're misinterpreting the point. She is merely pointing out that redistributing the wealthy's wealth wouldn't do much for the citizens of this country. Going out and achieving something would. Whether it's through an education or not, taking from one group to give to another does virtually nothing.

      And no, I'm not wealthy. In fact, with all the "Mitt Romney should release his tax returns" I released my tax information:

      So yah, I'm not wealthy. I just believe we should stop blaming the rich or the system... I think we should work hard, and not take from the wealthy to help the non wealthy. This, in my opinion, ultimately kills the non-wealthy's incentive to work for themselves. I also don't want the government to have the power to simply point it's gun at one group of people (which is the worst form of discrimination) and not everyone when it demands people pay taxes. How can you be okay with this kind of government sponsored discrimination? Read this:

  3. This article is a joke the same old right wing rhetoric:

    There were alot of good comments on this article this is one that i liked:

    Ciaobella23, 04/25/2012 07:04 PM
    I think a whole bunch of people have jumped on the "wealth redistribution" bandwagon --- thinking that everyone will make the same pay.. or the 1% against the 99% I believe it is not so much about "wealth redistribution" as curbing Excessive CEO pay....

    Effects of Excessive CEO Pay on U.S. Society
    Russell S. Whelton

    Research supports the assertion that excessive CEO
    compensation has a negative influence on society. David
    Callahan is not alone in declaring this era as a time
    where the cheating culture is growing like never before.
    Research suggests excessive CEO compensation
    contributes to the cheating culture in every aspect of
    society. Each stakeholder--from coworker to the
    international community--may be negatively influenced
    by the U.S. system of CEO pay packages. The mentality
    that earning potential has no limit in a capitalistic society
    fosters a cheating culture. CEOs have enormous
    responsibility and should be compensated accordingly;
    however, 531-to-one wage ratios are not justified. This
    ratio continues to create an environment where ethics are
    easily compromised.
    There has been a recent uprising in concern and
    anger by the public regarding excessive CEO pay
    packages. With the recent legislative enactment of the
    Sarbanes-Oxley Act and increased Securities and
    Exchange Commission activity, it is apparent that the
    U.S. government is taking action to curb this trend. It is
    possible that the thirty-year period from the 1980’s
    through 2010 will be considered the golden age of CEO
    wages. It is certain that future boards of directors will
    have new guidelines and a focus on corporate
    responsibility for all stakeholders.
    The impact of today’s excessive CEO
    compensation on the emerging class of CEOs remains to
    be seen. The trend of abuse and corruption could
    continue, or a movement toward higher moral and
    ethical standards could take place. It is hoped that ethics
    will prevail.

    To obtain these high/excessive -- the CEO's have put 25Million out of work, reduced and stagnated wages to the tune of 15Trillion....This is what I think America is upset about....that it is the Private Sector trying to maintain these Excessive CEO pay structure that has caused the deficit..."

    1. Your article claims, "CEOs have enormous responsibility and should be compensated accordingly; however, 531-to-one wage ratios are not justified. This ratio continues to create an environment where ethics are easily compromised."

      My question to you is... WHAT is the correct ratio? WHO determines that?

      In my opinion, the "correct" ratio is whatever is agreed upon by the employer and the employee (in this case, the CEO). Wages are, again, this is econ 101, a product of the demand for labor and the supply of that labor.

      Alan Mulally makes about $18 million per year at Ford. Does he not deserve it? He took a company that was on the brink of failure to a profitable, growing company. He led the company in a new direction, and for is experience, work ethic, direction, responsibility, etc, he should be paid a great amount for it. There are few Alan Mulallys out there, and because of that, he is worth a lot of money. Because of his work and his dedication, 340,000 people have jobs, health care, returns on their investments, etc.

      So I ask you; is $18,000,000 too much? Who decides? How do you think it's right to be involved in the decision making of a private employee's life and a private employers hiring habits?

      If I had a large company, and it needed a leader, and there were few Mulallys out there, I would have to pay him MORE to get him to come to my company. This is simple economics. And it doesn't involve the kind of power you want to give to an external body such as the government.

    2. Also, what in the world are you talking about with this: "To obtain these high/excessive -- the CEO's have put 25Million out of work, reduced and stagnated wages to the tune of 15Trillion....This is what I think America is upset about....that it is the Private Sector trying to maintain these Excessive CEO pay structure that has caused the deficit..."

      NO! CEOs do not do this. Can you possibly prove that they do? Reduced and stagnated wages to the tune of 15 trillion? Where did you come up with that number? Link, please?

      Wages have stagnated because the average American has become less skilled, less educated, more "gimme" and less "I want to get it myself." Skilled, experienced, educated workers are becoming rare. We have more menial, untrained workers. The supply is huge, therefore, their wages are getting lower.

    3. you act as if there is this huge supply of jobs for college grads , there are tons of college grads who can't find jobs

      were is this imaginary market of jobs you speak of.

      even if we all went out and got ourselves in debt for 60- 200k in college loans and then looks for a jobs there would not be enough

      Its absurd to imply if everyone had a degree there would be a job for everyone. That is not reality

    4. Lets all get degrees... oh wait

      "mployment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. What’s more, only half of the jobs landed by these new graduates even require a college degree, reviving debates about whether higher education is “worth it” after all."

    5. This statement shows your fundamental understanding of economics is a little off...

      "you act as if there is this huge supply of jobs" - you have this fundamentally incorrect.

      It's really the DEMAND for labor (employers that would want to hire grads for job), and no, there really isn't one. It's really low.

      Why? Well, many reasons - a big one is that the demand for labor will increase when a company needs to hire more people. Why would it need to hire more people? Because it needs those people to make whatever it is the company produces. But if people aren't buying the goods or services, there is no need to make more, and there is no need to hire more people. To say there is no "supply" of jobs is incorrect in how this all works. So? How do we get more people to buy things, and get companies to want to hire more workers? Well, cutting taxes for everyone would probably help. Without getting into the deep empirical proof behind it: the more money people have (rich and poor), the more they will spend. The more they spend, the more they buy. The more they buy, the more companies would produce. The more they produce, the more they would need to hire to keep up with this production. This is why a flat, reduced tax rate for EVERYONE (including the rich, if you give the rich more income, they would have more incentive to hire more workers, and yes, this is true: the rich job creators make more money by hiring, producing and selling that pocketing more money) is a great way to stimulate the economy.

      I'm not sure how your response relates to what I said in any way.

      Also, neither I nor the author of this article imply that everyone should have a college degree. To quote what I said to a previous poster: "I think you're misinterpreting the point. She is merely pointing out that redistributing the wealthy's wealth wouldn't do much for the citizens of this country. Going out and achieving something would. Whether it's through an education or not, taking from one group to give to another does virtually nothing."

      But please keep in mind: labor, wages, employment all meet in the labor market. This market is made up of the demand for labor (employers) and the supply of labor (available workers), not the "supply of jobs."

    6. Loyal Watcher

      Anna is right. You need to just take a deep breath, calm down, realize you're entering a world you don't know much about, and learn something. You are talking about stuff you don't know. Learn from people who do. I don't know what Anna's background is, but LME is an economist. Maybe if you listen to the wise, you will get an education. You keep talking about things (this ny times article is an example) that have no relationship or connection to any rational economic thought. Just like LME isn't going to know much about pharmacy, and I'm not going to know much about golf, you shouldn't be trying to tell people about economics. You should be a net listener, not a net teacher. Educate people on stuff you know, learn stuff you don't. Take this advise from an old man who has had to learn a lot over the years.

    7. " Harvard's Lawrence Katz has calculated that even if all the gains of the top 1% were redistributed to the 99%, household incomes would go up by less than half of what they would if everyone had a college degree."

      That is from the article you posted.

      Does that not imply that if everyone got degrees they would be better off than if we just redistributed wealth?

      That is a false statement.

      We know hard work does not equal wealth. There are millions of poor people working harder every day and they are still poor.

      We know college degrees dont guarantee you a job or guarantee you wealth.

      So what is the magic formula?

    8. This is my favorite line LME

      "Well, cutting taxes for everyone would probably help."

      that did a lot of help during bush's term! the economy is rockin!!

    9. Fact: 95% of the Bush era tax cuts went to the non wealthy

      Fact: Government revenues grew steadily in the four years following the tax cuts

      Fact: The unemployment rate steadily declined in the four years following the tax cuts (at a faster pace than the Obama admin)

      Fact: The current recession is a result of things not related to the tax cuts.

      Learn something. Honestly, and I hate to sound mean, but you really shouldn't talk econ. You really know nothing about it. You really should take the approach of "ok, ill learn" instead of trying to explain incorrect economic things to people who know a lot more than you.

    10. mn 4 rick,

      I dont have to be a weather man to tell my kids to run in the basement when i see a tornato.

      I dont have to be a mechanic to know when my car is smoking it needs worked on

      I dont have to be a math major to know the policy's of the bush administration did not work and resulted in an economical collapse

    11. Your car might be smoking, and you might know that is bad, but can you diagnose the problem precisely? No. Just like yes, you don't have to be an economist to know it's bad, but no, you DON'T know the specifics. You don't know anything about economics. You should take our advise and learn it before talking about it.

    12. You self admit you don't know econ. Take advise: listen three times talk once

    13. i don't think i ever claimed to know the specifics let me know if i said otherwise please

      all I said was that cutting taxes during bush did not result in a thriving economy

      And I love all your stats about how you think it helped without talking about the deficits they created

      And as LME loves to say with me were is the proof? were is the proof that

      95% of the Bush era tax cuts went to the non wealthy

      Government revenues grew steadily in the four years following the tax cuts

      The current recession is a result of things not related to the tax cuts.

      as LME says so well please back up these statements

    14. Okay, now that I'm back from lunch (pretty much noon to 1:00pm every day), I can maybe help. Yes! Backing what people say is where it's at!

      First, if you don't know the specifics about what happened, how can you make this kind of conclusion: "I dont have to be a math major to know the policy's of the bush administration did not work and resulted in an economical collapse?"

      What MN 4 Rick said is absolutely true. In fact, I even wrote about this. He said:

      "Fact: Government revenues grew steadily in the four years following the tax cuts"
      - Proof: Cited and linked analysis here:

      "Fact: The unemployment rate steadily declined in the four years following the tax cuts (at a faster pace than the Obama admin) and Fact: The current recession is a result of things not related to the tax cuts."
      - Proof: Cited and linked analysis here:

      Don't have time for much else. Meeting from 1:30-2:00, 2:00-3:00. Hope to get back to it, but yes, I do agree, backing opinions with facts helps, and Loyal, I do wish you would be more open to hearing things you don't seem quite firm in. You have a lot of opinions, but many of them, in my opinion, have fundamental flaws. You can disagree, and that's fine, but it's just my opinion/observation.

  4. I agree with the overall thought that we shouldn't hate on the rich but try to copy them instead. I wish she would have gone more into the details about how OWS hates the rich. I lso wish she would have described more success stories or things people do to become rich to show it's not about exploiting the 99%. Overall, it's good. I like the analysis of the article. Danny burr is a standard occupy nut and just bitches and cries and shouts random shit but has no clue. You shouldn't waste your time with him.

  5. another one i thought was interesting

    "Ciaobella23, 04/25/2012 02:04 PM
    You have to wonder if Romney is able to write this article off as part of his campaign....Nina Easton husband is one of his advisors....."

    1. Nina Easton's husband is a FORMER Romney adviser. You quote this without checking behind it.

      Let this be a lesson learned: you should know shit before talking about it. The more you cite unchecked things, the more you spout these anti-rich talking points, the less credible you become.

      My advice: LEARN SOMETHING. Close your mouth and open your ears before you rail on shit as "right wing" propaganda. You might actually learn that you don't have a clue, and it will help you overall.

    2. anna once again u talk shit... i love when u comment u make arguing so easy lol

      be a big girl and click this link ->

    3. I did, and look what I found:

      "In November 2004, Easton married Russell Schriefer, a political strategist, media consultant, and a former advisor to Mitt Romney."

      Are you going to apologize?

      To repeat what I said: My advice: LEARN SOMETHING. Close your mouth and open your ears before you rail on shit

    4. anna thats exactly what i said lol,

      I quoted:
      "You have to wonder if Romney is able to write this article off as part of his campaign....Nina Easton husband is one of his advisors.....""

      u quoted:
      "In November 2004, Easton married Russell Schriefer, a political strategist, media consultant, and a former advisor to Mitt Romney."

      lol am i missing something ......

    5. He is NOT an adviser like you claim.

      He is a FORMER adviser. Can you not read?

      That's like saying "GWB is the president of the US"


      Are you going to apologize?


      "Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, Mr. Romney’s senior strategists, also know Florida well as onetime advisers to former Gov. Charlie Crist, former Senator Mel Martinez and George W. Bush. They unleashed their first negative advertisement early last week. It links Mr. Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac to the housing crisis here."

      "The spending data and interviews with campaign officials suggest that a Romney-Obama race would be a clash between distinct political philosophies, one that would test the power of an aerial bombardment through television ads against an in-person voter mobilization months in the making.

      Both campaigns will employ commercials and ground organizers to make their cases, of course. But media use is the specialty of top Romney campaign officials Matt Rhoades, Eric Fehrnstrom, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, who have backgrounds in communications and ad production. And Romney is poised to benefit from intense air cover provided by Restore Our Future, a "super PAC" that has already spent $37 million, largely on TV ads attacking his GOP rivals."

    7. There are alot more articles aswell if you would like me to post them, or mabee i should just shut my mouth since u obviously know what your talking about........

    8. Both articles are out of date. He is a FORMER adviser. As in not an adviser any more. Learn something? Apology?

    9. out of date , 1/29/2012 and 3/25/2012 is out of date lol, do i have to find a article from today?

    10. Um, yes. If your facts are now incorrect. He might have been an adviser, but he is no longer one.

      I'm still waiting on an apology.

    11. So you are implying that he stopped being an adviser after 3/25/2012? If so please provide proof. I found an article stating he was working for Romney on 03/25/2012 there is not other evidence to prove he has stopped working for him. If so please provide that. And i accept your apology.

    12. Link? And no, you need to apologize.

      Still FORMER adviser.

    13. did u not read the links i posted, they were from this primary, are u in denial or did u just nor realize they are from THIS PRIMARY and there is no evidence what so ever that he has left the position since the Florida race which is what the article spoke about....

      lol, u are somethin else

  6. Discussions on this topic are always fun!

    "Wages have stagnated because the average American has become less skilled, less educated, more "gimme" and less "I want to get it myself." Skilled, experienced, educated workers are becoming rare. We have more menial, untrained workers. The supply is huge, therefore, their wages are getting lower."

    This isn't true.

    Those are very bold statements to make without any sources.

    We have more skilled, experienced, and educated workers than ever before. Productivity is at its highest point ever and America still leads the world in productivity.

    All of the above confirmed and sourced through the Census bureau. And productivity is up, which is easily confirmed with a google search without me listing a bunch of other sources.

    1. As a fan of this blog, allow me to share what I think. RKen, and LME, on this specific point, I think you are both actually correct (and both partially incorrect). Allow me to explain (I don't say much here, but this is an area of expertise of mine - school psychologist).

      Let me preface my argument by saying first that this is kind of a "quantity versus quality" argument. I will get to all of it.

      LME is "technically" correct in these assessments (and I love how this blog demands proof) (you will have to scroll to page 1 - this seems to load at page 42):

      This is a major study that shows we are graduating more "dummys."

      Additional reading:

      My point that LME is "technically" right is that the overall intelligence of the average high schooler and going on up "educated" individual is decreasing and has decreased significantly. A bachelor's now is like a HS diploma in 1950 - is the trend in my "industry." More graduates of all level are "dumbed" down. So many workers now have a HS degree, that that's the new low. In the 50s, so many people didn't have a HS degree, so when seeking employees, less HS grads versus more non grads made the HS grads earn more income. Now, since there are less non HS grads, the HS-only grads' income is much lower compared to the bachelor's grads. So yes, we see a decline in income in spite of the more "educated."

      Where RKen is "technically" right is yes, his charts are 100% true: we graduate more people at all levels. That is not a lie. The question is the quality and the why. Many educators point to the push for just blast graduating students in HS to gain federal funds (via NCLB and now race to the top). Again, what do people know. In the 50s, a bachelor's was gold. Now it's not.

      The biggest points:

      Both are right. Both arguments need a sense of relativity to them.

      For production, the argument is actually the same (though both LME and RKen never gave links behind it), but, the question is "what is production?" If we have 95 production from a dumber, lower "relatively" educated core, isn't that lower than 75 production from a slightly higher "relatively" educated core. On this one. I'm in the middle, but I slightly agree with LME (again, quantity versus quality).

      Thank you for the opportunity, and I hope I contributed to this debate.

    2. Does anyone else think that a college degree is worth less now then thirty years ago? Here is my point - When I graduated from high school I could go enter into a decent career and make a decent living. Now if I wanted to advance myself into a high paying job I would have to continue my education or start my own business and have it become a success. Not everyone went to college when I graduated from high school and I am sure the percentage of people who do now is higher then it was when I graduated.

      When I graduated I could write well, read, do math, had the basic skills to live life. My teachers did not have to teach to a federal Department of Education mandate and they were not busy with trying to be a parent. There were no free breakfast and lunches and the teachers were concerned with, wait for it, teaching. There were many people I knew or met who were successful and had money that never went to college.

      Now, when the average high school graduate goes to college they have to learn how to write better and other basic things that they should have learned in high school.

      Finally, since I have lived it, the main change that I have seen over the past thirty years is that people take less responsibility for their actions and the situation that they find themselves in. People feel they are victims or they are entitled.


    3. Hi Taylor,

      I appreciate your contributions to the discussion. Very well formulated points.

      My point would revolve around, true it may be that we are graduating more 'dumber' people than ever before, the idea holds that we're still graduating more 'smarter' people. Difficult to prove or assign a number to, but I think it’s a more than fair assumption.

      IE: In 1950, 5% of the population had a Bachelors. In 2005, 25% had one.

      To imply that in that 500% increase of degrees, 100% of them were all ‘dumber graduates’… would be a bit silly. Even if half of the degrees issued now were to ‘dumber graduates’, it would still be a 250% increase in intelligent degree holders from 1950.

      As far as productivity, it is typically measured through the comparison of labor hours worked to economic output. Also potentially as GDP per capita. Both of which have risen consistently over the years, and are highest in America.

      Thanks for the sources and additional info.

  7. Several problems I have with the article. I’ll go into a few.

    1. ‘If everyone had a college degree, they would all be successful!’
    - Not true. The entire population of the United States could hold a PhD, and you know what? Someone would still have to clean the toilets, flip burgers, and occupy other bottom-of-the-barrel jobs. This ideology is flawed.

    2. ‘If everyone worked hard, we’d all be successful/rich!
    - That’s called a true socialistic society. We can’t all be rich and/or equal, there will always be imbalance EVEN if the level of hard work was equal. The idea that working hard is the guaranteed recipe to a happy successful life is false; no matter how hard the population works, there will always be a lower, middle, and upper class (and extremes on both ends) in a capitalist society. It is not economically possible for every person to be a millionaire (without millionaires becoming the next min wage salary).

    Likewise, it would be impossible for every one of the ~100m people not working in the United States to find a job if they all suddenly decided to try to get one.

  8. 3. Luck is a minor/non-contributing factor to success.
    - More people are laid off, die, are diagnosed with a terminal illness, and/or are involved in life-changing accidents that they have little to no control over every year than there are people that hit the ‘jackpot’ in life (whether lottery, job success, or whatever). If you’re going to argue that those that fail do to true bad luck circumstances are a statistical anomaly, then I could just as easily argue that those that succeed due to good luck circumstances are a statistical anomaly. And I would be right to do so considering the odds of each.

    The assumption that ‘luck evens itself out’ is an incredibly basic assessment that doesn’t apply for the reality of the situation either. There is no ‘almost cancer’, ‘almost laid off’, etc, in-betweens for most major life-changing accidents. There is no balance of equivalence or middle ground between Person A getting pancreatic cancer and Person B not.


    There are about 200-300k new millionaires each year, or about a 0.1% part of the population. Only about a tenth of that number are actual, first-time millionaires (the remainder are bouncing between thresholds). But we’ll ignore that, greatly in favor of your argument.

    There are about 600k lay-offs a year (varies greatly of course), 2.5m deaths a year (120k accidental, 128k stroke, 567k cancer…etc), approximately half of the entire population (160m) has been diagnosed with a chronic condition (and growing), more than 100k people lose their homes every year to natural disasters… And I can go on.

    Even if I discount the chronic condition diagnosis and the non-accidental/health related deaths, and say that 75% of all of the remaining circumstances were preventable by the person’s own accountability and/or didn’t effect their livelihood (a HUUGE stretch)… That still leaves nearly twice as many more people experiencing new negative life-changing events than there are people that come into success. How can you call the former a statistical anomaly, but then base your argument against luck as a contributing factor to success on an even smaller statistic?

    The short of my point is (in case it got a bit clouded):
    In a discussion about the effects of luck and working hard as they apply across the success of the population... If you try to assert that the 1% of the population that fails in life due purely to bad luck is a statistical anomaly, you can’t also fairly argue that the 0.1% of the population that succeeds greatly in life is evidence of your argument.

    1. I totally got the luck argument, how did you not get it?

      Example: out of 100 people, there will be 3 really lucky ones, and 3 really unlucky ones. Your claim holds no water because 1. many of the bad luck circumstances you give are preventable. Many medical ailments are the product of the lives the people lead. 2. how do you define positively lucky? It's not simply monetary, and if it is, is it by Rken's definition? Are you lucky if you reach $750k in salary but not $500k? I think the point is actually a good one. Luck will balance out, and since it is very difficult to prove how much luck is involved, the government should try to stay out of it. I think you put way too much emphasis on luck, almost to the point of implying that we shouldn't try. The writer of this post, LME, not the girl who wrote it made a good point. We all chose to handle things how we handle things. I'm well educated, and I put myself in a position that I make about $180k a year for a machining company. If I got cancer (knock on wood), i have prepared properly by purchasing insurance (via my employer). So even if luck kicks in, I absolutely agree with the fact that it hits everyone, good and bad, and how people prepare and handle it is what determines what happens to them. Stop saying it's so much about luck. It might play a small part, but when we are all tested by luck, the winners should win and the losers should lose.

    2. Anon:

      My point is that in a rough statistical estimate, the reality is more close to this:

      Out of 100 people, there are 5 really unlucky ones, and 1-2 really lucky ones.

      And if that's true, you can't fairly call those 5 really unlucky people a statistical anomaly that doesn't hold relevance to this discussion, while also revolving the entire argument around those 1-2 people that fit your argument. It doesn't make sense to say "that 5% of people that are exceptions, don't matter because it's so statistically insignificant!"... and then say "now, that 1% of people, they matter!"

      Understand what I mean?

      Also, in my numbers, I already gave you the incredibly generous estimate that 75% of all the numbers I mentioned were somehow preventable through personal accountability (along with discounting a significant amount of the more ambiguous numbers).

      But that still left more than twice as many people going through a catastrophic event each year, than a lucky one.

      You mention your own steps taken to avoid the example of cancer, but you have to keep in mind that not everyone has a chance to plan for it. What if you were diagnosed 20 years ago? Would you have been as prepared? Would your family have? Would you have insurance?

      It's easy for me to say right now, that I'm prepared for 99% of the bad situations. I have full insurance coverage, benefits, and a hefty salary with perfect healthy; I'm pretty well protected. I'm also incredibly healthy and practice health habits. I've done a lot to ensure success and play it safe in my life. But if tragedy struck me 5-10 years ago? It would've torn my life apart; I would still be in college with min wage salaries and little to no resources. You can’t completely prepare for the unknown throughout 100% of your life.

      I may be over-emphasizing the effect of luck, but I feel that many people underestimate it too.

      The thing is, that when the average job opening has 100+ people applying to it, how isn’t lucky involved? Do people really feel that for every job opening, the hardest working person in that group of 100 ALWAYS gets the job? I’d even have trouble believing it happened more often than not.

      And that applies for many situations. Millions of college athletes, only hundreds of professional sports players. Is it always the hundred hardest workers? Not at all.

  9. I just love the way the liberals craft their statistics. Take for instance the AFL-CIO:

    Notice how they take the CEO Pay for CEO's from the S&P 500 Index. There are roughly 15,000 publicly traded companies yet they only take the average pay from the TOP 500 companies (the top three one hundredths of one percent 0.03). But let's just play along with them for a second.

    They mention that the Avg pay for CEO's (they want you to think ALL CEO's not just the top 500 CEO's average pay) is $12.935 Million. We'll call it $13 Million. So those top 500 CEO's make a combined $6.5 Billion.

    How should we divide that to make it fair? Do we just re-distribute to the employed or to all of the 99%?

    If we give it in equal shares to the 99% we'd all be richer by $21.32 for the year. If we only re-distribute it to the employed we'd all stand to gain an extra $45.76 per year.

    So how many people would that extra $45.76 per year pull out of poverty?

    I wonder if I did a study on CEO pay of all 15,000 some odd publicly traded companies and decide to leave out the pay of the top 500 if people might think I was cherry picking my stats. Wouldn't only selecting the top 500 companies be cherry picking a bit?

    1. I believe the idea is more, that many of those companies could afford to not outsource workers and hire more Americans, if the CEO wages were less excessive.

      It's no doubt a bit silly to try to divide up a group of CEO's salaries among hundreds of millions of people, even when they're paid a lot.

      My feelings are a bit iffy on how I support and approach this subject, so don't get me wrong. I don't necessarily believe in forcing money from CEOs. But as I understand it, people see it like this:

      The CEOs could take a 90% pay cut, and still make a wealthy average living salary of $1.3m a year. The extra money the companies saves in total from this move, would allow room for up to 195,000 extra jobs at a moderate $30k/year.

      So it comes down to value of excessive salaries for 500 millionaires versus the potential unemployment of 195,000 less-fortunate. Which of these, from a purely numerical perspective, benefits the nation more? $5.8b in income spread across 500 people or 195k people?

      The answer to that should be obvious.

      The 'solution' or importance of it though, is not obvious and is where the disagreement comes in... and again, for clarity, I'm not sure how I feel on those points.

    2. slim id be interested to see how the numbers break down if instead of spreading that number across the whole population you just spread it across the company itself.

      What would the increase in pay be in the company itself if the some of the CEO's took less pay and distributed that pay throughout the company?

      Also factor in the companies profits that are distributed to shareholders. What if a percentage of those profits went back to the actual work force.

      Id like to see those numbers.

    3. so apple has around 47,000 employees

      Their CEO maked 378million in 2011

      They made $15.70 billion and net quarterly profit in 2011

      So decreasing the CEO pay to 78 million (THATS Still A LOT OF MONEY)
      would increase every workers pay by over 6k

      That's without even touching the 15billion the company made.

      Nobody is saying everyone should be rich , we are just saying employee people and pay people enough to get by so they dont qualify for government assistance.

      Apple is a perfect example. The money is there. they could do it. They choose not to.

    4. Loyal Watcher and RKen.....Shell Oil for example employs 90,000 people. If you were trim his salary back from $13 Million to $1 Million as per Rken those 90,000 people would see an annual earnings increase of over $133. So this extra $11 per month will help everyone out and motivate them and shut them up about all the inequality?

  10. I want everyone here to hit a stop real quick. I have a major question (especially to Loyal Watcher and 32slim32).


    There is all this bitching about income gaps (which I don't think is any problem at all), so for those like Loyal Watcher and Rken, what would you do about it? It sounds like Loyal Watcher would have someone put a knife to a CEO's throat and make them hand over their income. I'm not sure what Rken would do. Slim, what would you do? If anything?

    Should we have a government capped income? Should we keep the government out of it?

    My personal thoughts: 100% disagree with Loyal Watcher. This talk about making CEOs take 90% less pay, spreading it around, saying they make too much is ludicrous. Why are you pissed at the CEO? If you don't like it, be mad at the company. LME talked about Ford and Mulally. Be mad at FORD, not MULALLY.

    But in the end, the truth it the truth: reduce their pay 90% and we would see it escalate. If we dropped the average to $1.3 mil, a company that is in need of a good CEO will have to raise it's compensation slightly to get the best talent. And then they would get bested. And then another company would have to offer more, still. This is the free market. It works. Let it be. Stop worry about what everyone else makes and start getting at it yourself.

    Ron Paul 2012

    1. I wouldn't do anything Texas Tea as I don't see it as the problem. For those that are concerned about what a CEO makes; I would suggest you buy a lot of stock in that company and pay him whatever you feel like. That is how it works. Once you get up to 51% you can practically do whatever you want. Good luck.

  11. Sorry about the rant, but WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THIS? Solutions? If any are needed?

  12. Texas I dont know lets throw some stuff back and forth mabee we could come up with something together.

    What do you think about putting a cap on the ration from the lowest to highest paid person in a company.

    The post i re-posted earlier claimed a "531-to-one wage ratio"

    Lets drop it down to 200 to 1? That would mean if the lowest paid person made 40k the most the top could make would be 8mil.


    In 2011 apple made $15.70 billion
    Gross margin was 41.7 percent

    What if we said any company with a gross margin over 20% had to pay back 1% per every 5% back to its employees equally?

    Apple would have to pay back 600 mill to its employees, there are 47,000 people who work for them.

    In apples situation every employee would get a 12k bonus!

    MAJOR ammounts of money are still being made. There is still rich people and people being paid more. But profits are shared more.

    How u feel about that?

  13. Why is it, RKen and Loyal Watcher, that CEO's making $13 Million a year pisses you off to no end yet you are completely fine with Katie Couric making $15 Million a year for reading the propaganda 30 minutes per day or fine with actors making $20 Million per year and baseball players making $24 Million per year.

    Is it fair that they make so much? If so how is it fair for them but not the CEO's?

    1. I dont think i ever said "CEO's making $13 Million a year pisses me off"

      I have always made the argument on here that the wealth gap is the problem I dont care if a CEO makes that much but dont tell me a CEO of apple makes 300+ million but a sales rep makes 28k. If a company is great it is because of more than just one person or a couple people it is because of a whole team and yes I do have a problem with any company who has one employee making 600 times what another employee makes.

      I think a companies success is from all its work force and in my opinion most of the time its the lower paid people that are the major reason for success.

      If a customer service rep at a store is rude or mean or does not help me i will not go back. I dont care how good the CEO is.

      If the jiffy lube worker leaves my car dirty and peels out driving out of the garage I am not going to go back.

      I find time and time again some of the most valuable people are the ones making the products and interacting with customers.

      I think we have our views of who is valuable and what is valuable all jacked up.

    2. Loyal - Let me answer your question here and your answer to Texas Tea's question.

      First your question here. It seem like you have no concept of 2 things:

      1. The responsibilities of a CEO
      2. The amount or supply of CEO-qualified people versus sales people, since you mentioned them.

      The first point: For CEO responsibilities, this man or woman sits on top of a major company. Since you mentioned Apple, let's talk about Apple. He is responsible for EVERYTHING that company does. EVERYTHING. He has to be good. He has to be sharp. He has to be on his game. Every team of workers, supervisors, managers, directors, AVPs, VPs, Senior VPs branch up to him. He has to also make sure the company heads in the right direction, balances its books properly, maintains legal compliance, and so forth. If any of these millions of responsibilities go sour, thousands of people can be affected and billions of dollars can be lost.

      The second point: Do you think the average sales guy can handle the CEOs responsibilities? Does the average 24 year old sales guy working in the Apple store in the mall have the background, the understanding of complex finance, equity finance, risk and capital management, and so forth to run the company? No. He has to sell phones and answer customer questions. If he sucks, you fire him, and bring on the next guy with minimal skills and experience who will do this job for $30k per year. If he messes up his job, the company won't be affected that much. How many people are qualified to be the CEO, and how many are qualified to be the sales guy. I would take a guess and say it's around, oh, about 530-1. Some how you really need to let this sink in.

      Now you brought up a good point about responsibilities v. pay/compensation. If someone was rude or messed up, or sucked, you would not come back, and Jiffy Lube would lose customers. With lower customers, they make less money. So, say they put out an ad for $10 per hour to be a Jiffy Lube guy, and the requirements are very, very slim to get a job there. There are many $10 per hour jobs out there, and a lot of low-qualified workers. If I manage a Jiffy Lube store, and I hire the needed 3 workers, and they all suck and I lose customers, I would replace them. If this happened over and over, guess what I would have to do? Raise my wage offer! To attract better workers, I might have to pay $12 per hour. That way, I can leave out the crappy guys and keep the good ones. THIS IS HOW THE FREE MARKET WORKS. With good work and responsibility, wages go up. This is true for the CEO, for the often-mentioned LME janitor, for everyone.

    3. Now let's talk about your insane answer to Texas Tea. First, I ask you a big question: what is the purpose of a company? Answer: TO MAKE MONEY. Whether it's a sole-proprietor or a corp, the goal is to make money.

      First, for your example with Apple. You're still okay with a 200-1 ratio? Isn't that still an insane amount of money for the CEO? Why are you okay with this? But as is often mentioned on this blog: who determines the ratio? Who sets it? Well, the only thing capable of setting that and enforcing it is the government? Why in the F*** would you want the government to become that powerful. You want them to force you to pay taxes that are different from everyone else's, and now you want them to come in and set salaries, too? Why do you want to give the government more power? And yes, it would be a government-sponsored salary setting program. Who else would make sure the ratio is stuck at 200-1?

      Let me tell you why else that is an absolutely terrible idea. Let's say there are two companies in town: MN and RICK. They are both in need of a CEO. I'm a CEO. I have an impeccable resume. I have 30 years experience, and have turned around 20 companies in my life. No one in the area is even close when it comes to being the right fit at the right time.

      Company MN says: we can only pay you $14,000,000 per year.
      Company RICK says: we can only pay you $14,000,000 per year.

      MN is about to go bankrupt and needs a new leader ( and no, it's not because of the CEO's salary).
      RICK is in bad financial shape, but not as close to bankrupt.

      Both companies can really use me. But I won't work for $14,000,000. I can retire if I want. Both companies cannot pay me more than that. So what happens?

      In the real world, both companies would put forth an offer of more than $14,000,000. Through complex financial analysis you don't seem to understand, they would analyze the cost versus the benefit of bringing me in (weighing my turn around and success potential versus my salary or the cost of hiring me, since Mulally was mentioned, Ford did this for him and determined he was worth $18 million per year). If MN comes back with an offer of $18,000,000 and RICK comes back with $17,000,000, I'd probably go with MN and save them. RICK would have realized I'm not worth that much and weigh out getting someone less good, but for less money.

      In your looney world, the government tells them what to do. Both might be lost. If not, both might agree to pay me $3,000,000 under the table. Either way, the ultra powerful, inefficient government would prevent businesses from working properly. Again, why do you want to give the government MORE power? Don't you like freedom? If you started a company, would you want the government or YOU telling you how you set salaries and bonuses?

      This is economics. This is a simple example, but it highlights what people like me, Texas Tea, and 32slim32 promote: freedom. How do you not like freedom?

    4. so your saying you dont have and answer for how to solve the problem with the wealth gap and also saying you dont care how high it goes there will never be a point in wich we should tell companies that they are 2 greedy and try to change the markets.

      Sounds like we are headed in a great direction!

      We will just cross our fingers and hope everything gets better!

      That worked great for the stock market, The "FREE MARKET" did such a great job in being able to control itself!

      wait... thats right the free market failed, and collapsed and cried HELP HELP HELP to the government.

      Or do we just forget about how it proved it could not control itself and that government was required to make sure the free market did not collapse.

    5. What a F***in retard you are Loyal. Rick labeled it out, gave examples, and says that your solution is terrible, and this is what you come back with? The free market did not fail. Government interference (it's interference into the housing market, the fed, and on and on and on) created this mess.

      Can you intelligently say how Rick's example is wrong? He showed you how yours doesn't work, you responded like you were 7.

      To go along with what Rick said, what is "too greedy?" Answer that question. Who determines what too greedy is? The government? I'll ask you the same question you ignored when Rick asked it: do you not like freedom? You want more government power?

      If you're so completely blind in your ways that you just chant your childish bullshit here, why even come here? You should learn something from people that know what they're talking about. You know shit about how the economy works, you know shit about salaries, you know shit about taxes, and when people try to help you understand, people that actually know things, you think you're smarter then them? Are you nuts?

      LEARN SOMETHING. These people know what they're talking about. You discount this stuff as "right wing" propaganda. News flash: Ron Paul, your candidate, just got named the MOST CONSERVATIVE (most right wing) member of government again. Are you telling me you're so f***ing retarded that you cry about "right wing" shit, and then love the most right wing guy out there? Are you a schizo?

      Shit, even Rken, who disagrees with the platforms of this blog most of the time is not a rock. He tends to see things from either side. You're truly lost if you're so rigid than when being given lessons by people that know way more than you you simply ignore it and act like you know more than them. Grow up.

    6. Anna - saw this come through on my phone (and I'm writing back on it, so bear with me if there are typos), but please refrain from ripping into someone on a personal level. As much as you disagree with Loyal's positions (I do, too), please don't make this personal. In our blog's best interest, we really want to keep things civil and peaceful, and we want to encourage debate in healthy, respectful settings. Thakn you.

    7. Sorry. Got upset at the ignorance. I totally understand, and I do like that this is an open, civil place.

    8. No biggie, Anna. Just want to make sure we maintain respect and don't turn off people who would want to join our discussions.

      Happy Friday!

    9. lol anna classic,

      What did i say that was so crazy? your mad at the oviouse... That the market failed and had to run to the government for help?

      Your made because i pointed out that a majority of the posters on this blog refuse to realise the fact there is a wealth gap issue in this country.

      Your also mad you were wrong about the mitt romney advisor, I never did hear you appologize. Its ok I forgive you

  14. Oh come on, be fair here. I never said or even so much implied that "CEO's making $13m pissed me off."

    I never even said what I'd do, or how to approach it. Or even proposed a solution.

    I'm merely playing devil's advocate in what the counter arguments would logically be from the other side. Through this I try to promote some discussion/thought on how different people see and approach these issues.

    Just because I'm not in full agreement or listing counterpoints, doesn't mean I'm some godless heathen that thinks CEOs are the bane of America and eat babies.

  15. There is not a country or place in the world where there is not an income gap. Different countries have differing amounts of poor or rich people but every place has an income gap.So drop the talk of a level playing field. There has never been one and never will be (unless you talk about natives living in tents/huts back in the stone age). Utopia does not exist.


  16. @TaylorP1073 Thank-you.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. When I went to HS, students graduated with ALL of the minimal skills necessary to START their lives. We gained the proper knowledge IN SCHOOL to obtain and keep a j.o.b. (Many of us couldn't wait to get a job DURING HS) From this starting point we could a) begin a career (at the bottom) or b) WORK our way through College.

    I don't know if it was just our neighborhood or what... but NOBODY expected that our PARENTS or anyone ELSE would pay for our education should we choose to attend University.

    Additionally, Home Economics and or Shop were REQUIRED courses. And before I hear the screams from those who say we're 'cutting education' - when I went to school... there WAS NO GOVERNMENT Department of Education.

    I'll use my sister as an example: She worked hard in HS and earned a small scholarship. She worked part-time and attended the LOCAL university. Here's where she was MUCH smarter than MANY of the kids we see marching w/OWS

    Her MAJOR was in Dance... a field where the jobs are VERY limited.

    Her MINOR - early education. Forty years have gone by and she now has a Masters Degree in Education with a PHD in Dance. Although she tried, she NEVER made it as a ballerina... Finally, she came to the realization that (for whatever reason) she'd never dance at Carnegie Hall and she DID make it as a PROFESSOR of Dance, in an Ivy League College back east.

    @ Loyalty Watcher - *I NEVER finished HS like my 6 yrs. younger sister. I married young and started my career in the Food and Beverage Service industry - work that MANY in your age group feel is 'beneath you'.

    *To secure a job-related promotion, I obtained my GED at the age of 33.

    Note: Throughout my non-career, I've consistently earned MORE money each year - than my sis - who attended University, Grad School, and Continuing Education. As a plus - I can move from state to state if I choose to - have NO problem finding work and STILL earn pretty much the same money!

    To continue earning her current salary, my sis MUST remain where she is. She DOES have some perks, but in order to keep them, she must stay in Baltimore.

    My point: I see our 'leaders' (including the Pres.) on TV bashing certain types of work as 'lowly' and suggesting that EVERYONE must attend college or their lives will amount to nothing; that a degree is the ONLY way to succeed. Anything less and you'll be DOOMED to a life of poverty.

    To that I call a loud and hearty BULLCRAP! Neither I, nor my husband have a degree. We're not rich, but we've raised our kids and live quite comfortably. (And yes, I NOW have the experience, skills and finances to open/run my own bar/restaurant... In today's business UN-friendly environment, I DO NOT have the courage.)

    Not EVERY student CAN or even SHOULD go to college. There are MANY fields and trades out there - begging for help - with jobs they CANNOT fill, because these perfectly able-bodied kids have been brainwashed (by 'government schools') to see this work as beneath them.

    NONE seem to realize that in order to succeed... 'you gotta START somewhere' In my early days, I had some TERRIBLE jobs (graveyard shift in a doughnut shop *shudder*) which I KEPT while watching and waiting for a better one.

    A degree in Bohemian Basket Weaving or Albanian Ant Studies - just like my sis' degree in Dance - ALONE - will NOT land you one of those CEO jobs that you're Oh, So Envious of. NONE of those guys/gals took/stole ANYTHING from the '99%' - NONE of them GOT there w/o some VERY hard work.

    STOP coveting what others have EARNED, and START working to get there yourself.

    1. Best thing I've heard all day: "NONE of those guys/gals took/stole ANYTHING from the '99%' - NONE of them GOT there w/o some VERY hard work."

  17. This blog is a steaming pile of horse shit and lies.

    Only Loyal watcher tells the truth.

    "Uhhhh Uhhhh Brrr Rumm Rumm Bum Bum , can you prove that with sources, and index and pie chart with dates and little details ?"

    Why yes I can.....This pack of lies and propaganda you call a Blog ! ! ! !

    1. Do you refute out evidence with your own? Nope.
      Do you counter with your own analysis? Nope.
      Do you ever back what you say? Nope.
      You claim we lie but do you ever say what the lies are? Nope.
      Can you bring an intelligent argument to this discussion? Nope.

      Move along, child. When you want to step into the big boy world, let us know. When you can actually tell us where we lie instead of claiming it with backing it (which is a lie, in fact), let us know.

    2. Pachyderm Pride and LME - I'm surprised you guys even waste any time on this loser. You do know that this is what people do when they know they've been defeated right? Don't hurt the man while he is down.

      When down and out, with no intelligence left, this is what people do when they can't fight back. They insult and call you names. They claim you're lying. But have you noticed something? Just like Pachyderm said: there are no counter positions. None. This obviously mentally challenged six year old comes in here and says the same thing over and over. If I was liberal, or Ron Paul supporter like this guy is (I can't tell the difference sometimes), I would be absolutely embarrassed to have to be on the same side as him. I would want people on my side to be able to make counter arguments to help non-believers understand and believe what I believe. This worthless individual comes in here and says nothing useful. And you know what is funny? He doesn't like being an adult! Just like you say, in the adult world, grown ups tend to say, "here is what I believe, and if you don't think I'm telling the truth, here is my evidence." Even RKen, a guy I disagree with often, can formulate a position and give the relevant websites, and evidence behind it so I can check on the facts. RKen is intelligent, well-spoken, and can back what he says. This idiot can't. He derides your "pie charts and facts" but you ALWAYS provide links to the evidence you used to create these charts and graphs and such. THAT'S what gives this blog credibility over other blogs and that's why I come here. If this poster can't handle that, just let him cry and scream.

      So in short, stop wasting so much time on him (like I just did :) ) He is obviously unable to comprehend adult debate. Let him be. He will cry himself to sleep.

    3. Pachyderm Pride and LME

      I fully agree w/MN 4 Rick. Send the petulant, ill-mannered 'child' home, to his mom's basement, to throw his tantrums.

      Have a great weekend!