The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.
The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@echochamberlain

Nick, there are a lot of different views on this subject, 99% of these views will be biased by each persons financial situation. It took me a long time to look at all the factors associated with this topic and for my own opinion.

Firstly, I earn between 30 – 50 thousand a year depending on the number of outages I get. I work outages at nuclear power plants. Am I among the wealthy? No. Do I strive to be among the wealthy? NO.

I believe that most people who think there is an inequality in wealth do not understand what it takes to become wealthy. Except for those that inherit wealth, everyone else works a tremendous amount of hours, typically 16 to 18 hours a day for years until their business is established. Not only do they sacrifice just the time it’s self, they sacrifice being with family, they put their marriages at risk, they often times have 2 or 3 mortgages on their home. Not only do they have to spend what money they get reinvesting in the company they are trying to build, but they also have their personal bills, mortgages, utilities, and all the rest it takes to keep a family going.

If the business fails, he stands a good chance of losing everything. All the hours he has spent, all the money he has invested, everything he put into it was all for nothing, it all just gone.

Most businesses take 5 years to become established and to start turning any kind of real profit, so that’s 5 years out of a person’s life, his family’s life, and 5 years of not knowing if you will lose everything you have.

As to the other side of this coin you have the people like me. I am perfectly content to go to the job, do my 8, 10, or 12 hours a day, for which I get paid for, and go home at the end of the day to my wife and kids.(My kids are now grown) I have zero to lose. If the company goes bust, I simply find a different company to work for, which I understand is not easy in this economy, but I don’t lose my home, the time and money I invested into the business, which is typically huge on both parts.

If, and it’s a big “IF”, the business succeeds, more times than not it’s still another 5 years until the business will make the owner wealthy. So a person can look at around 10 years of long hours, hard work, and a large investment physically, emotionally, and monetarily until they make the kind of money it takes to say he is wealthy.

Do these numbers vary? Of course. Some will get there faster and some will struggle for many more years before they can count themselves wealthy.

Anyone who wants to complain about income inequality or whatever they want to call it, needs to take a step back and ask themselves if they are willing to make the sacrifices to become wealthy. Are they willing to invest all the things it takes to become wealthy.

Me, I am happy with what I make and if I’m not then “I” need to do something about it. “I” need to look for a better paying job. “I” need to show more initiative, “I” need to work harder, “I” to do whatever I have to do to further my education, etc.

I don’t want part of someone else’s wealth just because they have more than me. It’s up to me to make more, if that’s what I want.

I found out a long, long time ago that it’s not how much money you have, it’s how much you invest in God, and your family, we get older, our health starts to fail, we could die of a multitude of ways, car accident, house fire, etc. Why would I want to spend so much time and effort into building wealth when at best it is fleeting.

I’m sure you will get a lot of different opinions on this discussion and mine is just one of them.

Good topic.

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Coffee Addict @coffeeaddict

@echochamberlain I feel like you will like this video from comedian John Oliver on HBO

Although I think the video is comical, I disagree with some of its contents.

For example, I think the wealth gap is due to so many factors that I think this video is too simplistic and doesn’t target any of the real problems. I also think the problem with this video is it does not look for solutions, its just another way to tug at people’s emotions. Specifically fear and anger through humor.

I think this article does a great job of describing the problem and looking for solutions. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21586578-americas-income-inequality-growing-again-time-cut-subsidies-rich-and-invest

One of my favorite lines from this article: “Plenty of American politicians worry about inequality, but few offer constructive ways of dealing with it. Democrats tend to turn to bromide leftist solutions, whether a higher minimum wage or another rise in tax rates on the rich. Too many Republicans, meanwhile, simply deny that there is a problem.”

Isn’t that statement true? We need our politicians to work together and realize a strong middle class is good for our economy.

@jlriggs57aol-com

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jlriggs57aol-com
@coffeeaddict

Coffee, the idea behind making income more equal is to take away from those that have more and give it to those who have less, a truly socialist ideal.

It does not benefit anyone. I know this sounds odd but it truly doesn’t. When you tell someone that they can make the same money flipping burgers as say a pipefitter who spends years learning his trade and even after he does, the job is very physically demanding. So you have our youth growing up and instead of going into a trade, if college is not for them, they simply go to work at Micky D’s and drone out the rest of their lives flipping burgers. Socialism is the anti-incentive, it turns those who would strive and achieve into zombies. Where is the incentive to strive, to do better, to work hard, to be more creative, more inventive, all the things that built this country and made it great.

My second point is that socialism is an economy breaker. Businesses will not just take the hit on having to pay unrealistic wages to its employees. The loss will be made up by putting a higher price on their product and when the public will not pay the extra price for the product the business will fold.

You can not legislate what companies must pay their employee’s, they have a minimum wage to fend off slave labor, but as other countries have already found out, dictating what a company must pay their employees simply does not work.

Third and most importantly, is everything I said in my last post. I don’t think you or many other people understand the sacrifices that a business owner makes, some for decades, have it finally start paying off, then after everything they went through, have the government come in and say we are going to take it away from you by having you increase your employees wages to an unreasonable scale.

You said, “Too many Republicans, meanwhile, simply deny that there is a problem.” I assume when you say Republicans, you mean conservatives. I am a conservative, but most Republicans are not, even though they make that claim.

But as a conservative, I say there is definitely a problem. The problem is that we have millions of people who are lazy and un-driven to achieve and accomplish. They would rather simply take a level entry job that requires no skills and very little effort on their part, then complain that they aren’t making enough money. We have become a lazy, shiftless, mindless, people who whine and cry about how bad we have it and because we have created this country of entitlements they don’t do anything about it, they just whine louder until the liberal sector breaks down and panders to them by giving them what they want, more money, without having done one single, solitary thing to have earned it.

If we really want to create a strong middle class we have to stop making people feel entitled, allow business to thrive so there is a surplus of jobs, as more business’ grow, the pay will naturally rise as companies jockey to get the better employees.

Every socialist idea that we can think of has been tried and has failed, in countries all around the world. A good start at improving everything in this country begins with shrinking this monstrosity of a government and returning true freedom to business and the people of this nation.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@echochamberlain

My apologies to Nick, I accidentally posted my @ instead of his in my last post.

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jackson @jackson1962

Two interconnected points on this topic. When we start the discussion with the top earners vs. the bottom earners we must remember it’s not the same people. I’ll use Facebook as this example. Mark Zuckerberg was not a top earner in 1969, not even in 1979, 1989 or 1999. So we must remember that we do have “new” rich people. Of course some rich families remain on the list for years (think the Walton family).

This brings up point two. The real issue needs to be mobility to move from one quin-tile to another. I think we can all agree to move down the ladder is not an issue, think Ken Lay and Enron. There can be a long discussion on moving up. While studies will show it is hard, it is not impossible. Are the hurdles in place because the rich do not want more rich people in the country? I don’t think so. I believe the hurdles have been growing for decades, created by poorly thought out government programs (home ownership that make it more difficult for people to relocate) and social dynamics (people don’t want to relocate), poor education direction, lack of support (family) and unrecognized changes in our economy (Goods vs. Services jobs).

When we finally see the hurdles and begin lowering them, we will see more mobility to the higher earning levels. This discussion can not be from a “zero-sum” game standpoint.

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TKList @tklist

@coffeeaddict
@echochamberlain
@jlriggs57aol-com
@jackson1962

Cronyism, the Tax Code, excessive regulations, the national debt and the Federal Reserve are the major causes of the widening income inequality gap.

Solutions:

Abolish Tax Code and IRS.
Enact Fair Tax (national sales tax).
Minimize regulations to only what is absolutely necessary.
Balance the budget.
Start decreasing the national debt.
Abolish the Federal Reserve as we know it. Replace with automated system as Milton Friedman suggested until better solution is discovered.
Treat gold and silver as legal tender (not as an asset) for tax purposes.

The income inequality problem is counterintuitive. Big government equals more income inequality. Smaller government equals less income inequality.

The middle class is the byproduct of a free market economy; it is not manufactured by a politician’s tax gimmicks, minimum wage laws, or government redistribution of wealth.

There is no such thing as a living wage; there is only a wage that someone can afford to pay. You have to tailor your living around your wage, not have government tailor your wage around your living.

It is about supply and demand. If you have an easy time filling your employee needs, you offer lower wages, if you have a hard time filling your employee needs, you offer higher wages; because if you do not your competition will and you will be out of business.

It is not about what people deserve or what is fair or what is just; it is about what the market will bear. Blame the consumer for shopping for the lowest price and blame the voter for voting for government to fix their problems.

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Gary @grand-vizier

Jlriggs57@aol-com
I have never heard a more honest and clear description of what it takes,in most cases to become”wealthy”.
Then when success is finally achieved it get taxed away with income and inheritance taxes!
Then the lifetime efforts of the struggle to succeed is frittered away by government ant those who just came along for the ride.
Riggs is a genius!
He actually sees it like it is!
I’m still in the hamster cage called ambition .

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