Are you opposed to the idea of the unequal distribution of wealth?
Do you think that the rich are rich by exploiting people or by providing services?
Do you think that we can have civilization without inequality?
Do rich people have the right to be rich?
Basically you want to know if we should have the right to free enterprise and the ability to earn based on what the public is willing to pay for a good or service.
I think the rich, if properly seasoned and prepared, accompanied by a a good wine, probably taste better than dog.
That's it! Use the Republicans for fast-food!
I adore the idea of unequal distribution of wealth and if it looked like Halle Berry, before the concrete face plant, I would do bad, bad, bad things to it.
I think the rich got rich by taking the bread out of 3rd world children's dictator's mouths
No, not only no, but hell no.(oops that was a straight answer - just couldn't hit the sarcasm button fast enough)
Rich people, people for that matter only have the right to what everyone else decides in a giant game of freeze tag - the loser to make the rules of course, after all we must be liberal about this(unless the loser is Republican) If all the losers decide rich people(whatever that means) should be stripped naked, flogged with wet weasels, be pelted with chicken kidneys and tossed into a volcano - so be it - THE GREAT OZ HAS SPOKEN
I'm opposed to unequality among competition in the marketplace.
The rich are rich because the understand the power of money and how to create wealth.
Inequality already exists. What you need is a civilization that understand equality.
#1, Yes but not within the system we have. In a capitalist system the rich are necessary (which is a major issue). Having said that the wealth gap should be minimized as much as possible.
#2 It's a bit of both which again is fine in a capitalist system, I own a business and I profit off the labor of my employees, what this effectively means is I get to sit in my office on hub pages and writing economic studies all day while I make money while the people on the shipping floor have to work and sweat for much less, I don't like that but I can't really fix it, I give my employees an excellent wage but if I raise it more people just leave after a while having gained a lot of savings and the turn over becomes an issue. I donate most of the profits but it's still a fundamental flaw.
In a socialist system for example this would not be an issue and I think it is far superior.
#3 No not absolutely anyway but I think we can do a hell of a lot better, we are a rich country with 15% of our population below the international poverty line, I am not a supporter of many Cuban policies but despite their comparative poverty as a nation only 1.5% of Cubans live below the poverty line. Fundamentally inequality is fine within reasonable levels, I have no problem with the guy who has a hard or undesirable job getting paid more than another man etc. but when some are starving and some have too much money to know what to do with it has gone way too far.
#4 Absolutely yes so long as they have not broken the law/been too immoral, the immoral issue is a lot more common and complex than people understand, where I grew up American companies murdered union organizers to maximize profit my uncle was one of these shot in front of his kids, I also have an issue with people who inherited their wealth, if you don't work for your money are you entitled to it? Hard question, privilege on birth is something we should seek to eliminate whether it be receiving better treatment because you are white when you are born or living a life of luxury because of the people you are born to without effort.
I don't expect anyone to agree
Wow I was not expecting you to be a small business owner.
I support a moderate estate tax.
A lot of the political issue comes from seeing people as two dimensional characters, (I am the socialist evil guy with the horns out the top of his head) conservatives are usually surprised to find I agree with them on a hell of a lot. But yes I got to see things from both sides, as a miner and later as a business owner, I think it gives me a nice perspective.
As the myth goes conservatives are heartless and socialists want to give to those who have not earned, of course neither could be farther from the truth.
Okay, this is something I can actually believe.
"socialist evil guy" was enough. The horns out the top of the head? Not so believable.
Why are you apologizing for something you did to yourself?
There is nothing wrong with being socioeconomically wealthy. Wealthy people are that way because they know and value the energy of money. They furthermore have different mindsets from the poor and middle class. Wealthy people view money as a good while the poorer among us view money as inherently evil.
Many of us have inculcated as children that money is the root of all evil. Another inane premise that many of us were taught is that money does not buy happiness. Cough a million times! There are also pejorative words for the rich such as filthy rich. Even though we were taught to strive and achieve, we should never strive too much-just enough. Those who overachieve. especially sioeconomically, are derided as materialistic and greedy. The underyling premise is just strive enough to be comfortable and affluent but not too much.
In addition to wealthy people having a more positivie attitude towards money, they also have a similarly positive attitude toward work. They view work not as slavery and/or just a livelihood but something that should be enjoyed. Many wealthy people enjoy their careers and view work as a game. They also are quite savvy in terms of public need. Wealthy people are on top of their game regarding the concept of work. They are PROACTIVE while the poor and middle class are for the most part, PASSIVE regarding the concept of work.
An equal distribution of income is totally baseless and will defeat the purpose of capitalism. I staunchly portend that if one is strategic, work smart, and achieve wealth, he/she should not be penaliized for this. Those who are more indolent should receive exactly what they deserve. Many people are poor and middle class because they are somewhat lazy. Yes, I SAID it! Many people proclaim that they want to succeed but they refuse to implement the necessary steps to success and wealth in their lives. Many people aimlessly work. They actually do not care about their jobs but the key moments of break, paycheck, lunch time, quitting time, weekend, and ultimately retirement. If they are asked to extend themselves either assignment wise or otherwise, they doth protest and complain to their union regarding these "injustices." They have the unmitigated nerve to wonder why they have only a modicum of success. Wealthy and/or successful people often go beyond the parameters of job descriptions. They are highly assertive and will go beyond the extra mile so to speak. In essence, one cannot be successful without implementing the prerequisite steps. Many people want the easy road to success-sorry, it does not work that way!
While only a minority of wealthy people exploit others, most are extremely smart working people who go the extra mile regarding their careers and/or enterprises. Of course, wealthy people have a right to be thus. To think otherwise is totally anti-achievement and poverty consciousness thinking!
Color me shocked - for the most part it sounds like someone gets it. With minor tweaks - like if you set out to be rich it is more than likely you will fail. Most people who get rich love what they are doing and what they are doing has the potential to make them rich. Not everyone who does that thing gets rich. Some suck at it, hate it and quit doing it. Passion for what you do is essential - it doesn't hurt to be at the front of a trend - even one you create. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, heck, the hated and vilified Rush Limbaugh have all been at the head of a trend that they have created.
I believe gmwilliams paints a good picture here. For those who think that legislating the redistribution of wealth will improve anyone's lot for any significant length of time....you are fooling yourself. There is an inequitable distribution of wealth for many reasons and one is far too much of the population is not focused, driven, determined, or motivated to continually do the things needed to acquire wealth...some of which includes depriving one's self of things to accumulate equity. The government's arena for wealth should only extend to the limits of criminal activity...which includes tax evasion. Beyond that point, wealth is simply an earned state of living for those who can achieve it. At present, we seem to be a society built around "producers" and "non-producers" and the conclusion appears to be that the "producers" should give a significant portion of what they achieve to those unwilling to do anything....where is the merit in that thinking and where does it take us as a people. Eventually we eradicate the "producers" and the "non-producers" have nowhere to turn but to themselves...never mind the government, it will be totally bankrupt by then just attempting to hang on to the welfare state. WB
Who will distribute it, gov't? Is that the same as "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" in a communist state
Depends, you can become rich in a capitalist setting by status - family wealth, achievements that are conducive to the econ system like educational attainment or by exploitation of the market - business
Inequality will never be eradicated.
If they deserve it and their wealth is not due to acts which are against the law or morality
"If they deserve it and their wealth is not due to acts which are against the law or morality."
There seems to be a whole lotta immorality goin on these days among the banksters and elsewhere in the business community, not to mention many city and country governments.
"Are you opposed to the idea of the unequal distribution of wealth?"
Very few people are opposed to the unequal distribution of wealth. The issue is how unequal wealth distribution should be or can be without destroying the public's faith in our democratic market system leading to revolution or a billionaire's oligarchy or plutocracy. We may have already passed that point. Americans' faith in Congress is at an historical low. And distrust of bankers and corporations isn't far behind.
In 1932 after the stock market crashed and car sales tanked and thousands of auto workers laid off the John Schmies, the communist candidate for mayor of Detroit organized a hunger march to Dearborn. The Depression led to many of the social insurance programs which the GOP is now trying to erase.
Bankers weren't popular then either. This is perhaps the most famous picture of J.P. Morgan, taken by Edward Steichen. Is that a knife in JP's hand or merely a reflection from the the light on the arm of his chair?
What I think about the rich depends on how rich they are, how they made their money and what they are doing with it. Warren Buffett has lived in the same modest house in Omaha for the past 40 years or so. And he supports tax reform because he thinks his secretary shouldn't be in a higher tax bracket than he is. And he's leaving nearly all of his billions to a foundation which he's turning over to his friend Bill Gates. So far as I know Gates has only one home, a nice one across from Seattle, to be sure but not a McMansion. I don't know what kind of car he drives, but I'd bet it's not a Land Rover or a Cadillac Escalade or a Bentley. Gates made his money and created many jobs by dint of his own brains and computer ability. He's now retired and with his wife running a charity with noble goals for making the world a better place for the poor.
On the other hand, Romney has several McMansions and a wife with two Cadillacs and a $100k dressage horse headed for the Olympics. He made his money buying companies, raiding them, overloading them with debt, outsourcing the jobs, slashing wages and benefits, often putting them into bankruptcy and walking away with millions. True, he gives generously lot to the Mormon Church which presumably uses his money on worthy causes. Romney said recently that he doesn't worry about the poor.
Sheldon Adleson is another billionaire that I admire much less than Romney. He made his billions with a casino in Macau where they lure Chinese men to the gaming tables with prostitutes, and he's under investigation for bribing a Chinese government official in order to get the concession on the ferry from the mainland to Macau. He gave $10 million to Gingrich and now is supporting a Romney superpac. The thought of him influencing the presidential election is completely repugnant.
So, I guess the answer to the topic question is "It depends." As St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Never deny. Seldom affirm. Always distinguish."
Your benevolent billionaire Bill Gates lives in a 66,000 square foot home on Lake Washington, while I am not certain I have a feeling that it is most likely worth more than all of the Romneys' homes combined.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/06/estate … ide_2.html
In 2009, Bill Gates' home was estimate to be worth $147.5 million; yes a nice one but nothing of the sort owned by that evil Romney family.
Come on Ralph, you're better than this. I have repeatedly posted facts about the companies Bain got involved with. The dialogue that they raided/fired/slashed companies simply isn't true. It would be just as false to say that Obama raided/fired/slashed the auto industry, so do you criticize Obama for that?
[b]On the other hand, Romney has several McMansions and a wife with two Cadillacs and a $100k dressage horse headed for the Olympics.[b]
Don't most Americans have lottery dreams of more than one home - sometimes large, sometimes tacky - invarious beautiful places, like the Maine Coast, the U.P., Hawaii, Florida, etc.... Two Cadillacs for a millionaire sounds pretty modest - 10 Ferraris does not. does not. His wife has invested in $100,000 in anAmerican Olympic athlete - what a jerk.
[b]He made his money buying companies, raiding them, overloading them with debt, outsourcing the jobs, slashing wages and benefits, often putting them into bankruptcy and walking away with millions.[b]
Bain invested in 77 companies and 5 went bankruptcy- only 3 while Bain controlled them
That is a 93.5% - 96% success at avoiding bankruptcy - most of the companies Bain ran were already failing
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 … 93694.html
Hardly the picture of the exploitive "Robber Baron"
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/company-s … 57732.html
Company managers cut jobs and benefits almost immediately. [b] WHAT YEAR IS CONVENIENTLY LEFT OUT - 1993[b] Bain and other investors received management fees from GSI and a $65-million dividend in the first years after the acquisition, according to interviews with company employees.
In 1999, as economic challenges mounted, GSI sought a federal loan guarantee intended to help steel companies compete internationally. The loan deal was approved, but in 2001, before it could be used, the company went bankrupt, two years after Romney left Bain.[b] who ran Bain at the time of GSI's bankruptcy is an Obama bundler, the article also makes management bonuses sound evil in a bankruptcy - that is a matter of contracts, equity stakes, etc and is determined by the bankruptcy court adn trustee[b]
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/03 … n-20111204
[b]True, he gives generously lot to the Mormon Church which presumably uses his money on worthy causes. [b]
What he has he made with his own toil. What he inherited from his father was given to BYU.
[b]Romney said recently that he doesn't worry about the poor. [b]
I know all that hand wringing, fretting and distress over the poor by liberals usually means they will be taking the property of someone else to ease their discomfort. Perhaps if liberals stopped fretting and taking and worked to remind the poor that they are in charge of their lives and the choices they make are the chief cause of their plight, they would stop worrying, too.
First off, you need to define what you mean by unequal distribution of wealth. And the definition really isn't as straight forward as you think.
Do you mean:
a) a society where wealth is distributed according to one's talents/education/ motivation to work and thus prosper. Assuming that everyone has equal opportunity to attain the education/skills/talents etc.
b) A society where wealth is unequally distributed to those who, according to status/connections/ a wealth of opportunities which do not exist for others, can amass more wealth at the expense of others.
"unequal" wealth can be distributed in many ways. Unequal wealth distribution is not necessarily an unhealthy situation when equity and equal opportunity exist. After all, think about it this way; while there are some that would like to earn the same salary as say, a top surgeon in his field. There are many more that would not want to spend years and years in education to do so. Therefore, unequal wealth will always remain. Equality of opportunity is the important factor here. I don't believe, unless you are describing the uber rich, that you can put all rich people into one bracket. Some people are wealthy because they have worked hard and provided a good service. Some, have amassed their wealth by exploitation and other unethical/immoral practices.
This is a good question! This question could be interpreted in different ways, but if I understand what you are saying, here is my response:
I am NOT opposed to the unequal distribution of wealth, for the simple reason that some people work harder than others. We are not rich by any means, but do I believe we should be? No. We are a hard working family who are working our way up the old fashioned way...by working, not inheriting millions.
Sometimes people do get rich by exploiting people, but also some get rich by providing services. Personally, I think it is a shame in our country that celebrities make so much money, while many awesome teachers I know work summer jobs. This is when the rich factor bothers me. However, someone who has earned a lot of money (even millions) by working hard and providing a needed service deserves to reap the rewards of their efforts.
A civilization where everyone is equal? Sounds like communism or socialism. Some people work harder than others. Those people SHOULD be rewarded for their efforts. If my husband works 60 hours a week to make ends meet, I don't want to hear someone whining about their lack of money when they only work 30.
If a rich person has worked hard and not harmed people in the process, they deserve their money. That being said, it is always nice to see rich people involved in charities and trying to help the less fortunate.
So I'm pretty new to Hubpages and I was surprised by the number of socialists on here, people like JOSAK, and RHAMSON.
I just want to here what you plan to do to the evil capitalists, how will you redistribute the wealth.
And NO I'm not rich, the last person in my family to be rich was my grandma.
You had a rich person in your family - bourgious pig. My grandfather stepped off a boat with nothing. Things haven't changed much but I'll be damned if I will let the government hand me someone's money and tell me it is owed me.
And they were landowners too, meaning the worst of the worst.
Thankfully the proletariat took all their land.
Since she was the only grandparent I got to know, I think that for my own good I should be sent to a reeducation camp in Alaska or the Appalachians.
Liberal re-education camps are in urban areas where people are most dependent on the ever present government not the wilds of Alaska where a S&W 500 Magnum is far more welcomed than a United States Senator.
As a person in the US and of the middle class (albeit not a home or car owner or anything like that) I think i am one of the rich. I have shelter, food and healthcare. On a global scale that is great prosperity and I am very grateful.
If wealth was distributed evenly across all living people I would probably lose, not gain.
I used to be wealthy - I married into a rich family. How did they get rich? They inherited some land, and they worked tooth and nail to buy more acreage and to make it productive. They also made some savvy investments. I'm serious about their working. It was every day, usually for 14-16 hours. On Sundays, they worked about 5 or 6 hours. They worked on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving, too. They grew most of their own food, hunted, and fished. They scrimped and saved to buy something, including their home. They NEVER bought anything on credit. My ex-father-in-law worked up until the day he died, taking his IV bottle of antibiotics and his oxygen around with him in a basket. Was I happy being married to my ex? No, but I do have a lot of respect for the family's work ethic.
THANK YOU! habee, you have succinctly elucidated my premise on the difference between the work concept and ethic between the wealthy and the poor and middle class I need not say more!
The apparent belief, on this thread, that people of one income group or another "all think/are alike" is pretty mind-boggling. The blanket generalizations that don't even make any room for things like the character and/or intelligence of people (individuals) from one income group or another are just amazing (and not in good way, either). What's worse.... if what people say about themselves on this site is at all true, these remarks aren't coming from people who haven't been exposed to education.
As I pointed out in another comment on this topic--there's quite a bit of diversity in the way they made their money an what they do with it among the super-rich, from Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to the Mittster and Sheldon Adelman and the Koch bros.
The unequal distribution of wealth is necessary for our lives. We work so that one day we might get as rich as our boss is. So that we can buy a bigger house or a bigger car. Which would maybe result in more happiness. If we were all equal in terms of wealth, like a communist state, there is no motivation to do anything.
Rich are richer because they know the art of making money .They are willing to take great risk , they have an insatiable urge to make more money . I accept that some become rich exploiting the poor but its not for all . Some have made huge money just by a creative idea , persistent hard work . Life would be beautiful if wealth is distributed equally and man is judged by his intellect and skills.
What do I think about the rich? Well, I think they are lucky people. They can buy everything they want. But are they all happy? I don´t think so. Most of the rich have huge family problems, problems about money and are not sure if they are really loved without their money.
The socioeconomically wealthy are just smarter than the rest of us. They make their own luck. They frequently see opportunities when the rest of us see none. They have no fear of failure and often take more intelligent risks than the rest of us who are often inculcated in the security consciousness of our respective families.
They view the prospect of work as an adventure, learning, and growth experience as opposed to many people who view work as only drudgery and a means to an end. They believe that they MAKE destiny, instead of being RULED by destiny. They also do not whine and/or complain about life. In essence, THEY make things HAPPEN while most people LET things HAPPEN to them! That is all for now!
Yours is a romantic and inaccurate view of the American Dream myth. Actual studies show that the U.S. is near the bottom of advanced countries for social mobility. While it's true that most Americans make more than their parents, it's also true that most end up in the same socio-economic group as their parents. This is particularly true of minorities who are born poor. They tend to end up poor. Just as those, like Romney, who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth tend to die rich.
http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/mag … divergence
"We may have less equality of economic outcomes, but we have a lot more equality of economic opportunity.
"The problem is, this isn’t true. Most of Western Europe today is both more equal in incomes and more economically mobile than the United States. And it isn’t just Western Europe. Countries as varied as Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and Pakistan all have higher degrees of income mobility than we do. A nation that prides itself on its lack of class rigidity has, in short, become significantly more economically rigid than many other developed countries. How did our perception of ourselves end up so far out of sync with reality?"
Yeah Paris hilton is an example of the aweinspiring intellectual capabilities of the wealthy.
As are the bankers who privatize gain and socialize losses.
If I were allowed to gamble, and when I won keep all the money, and when I lost made the government pay, I'd also be quite wealthy.
Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac and Congress in concert with lenders and greedy borrowers - not just banks.
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ … /index.htm
Would have offered a amore extensive citations but work calls.
The rich like the poor are a product of their being and less of their consciousness
"it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness".
When you are rich (same as when you are poor), your choices are based on a fact - your economic status, less by your choices.
I have yet to hear anyone saying that the rich don't deserve to be rich, that their money should be taken away from them so that they're as poor as everyone else, or any of the other fabricated strawmen you see circulated in right-wing circles.
The fact is that if you created your own wealth (i.e. didn't inherit it) in a developed country, the fact that the country is developed had a lot to do with your success. A country of law and order, roads and transportation systems that work, a populace with access to communication technology, and an order of economic stability where the government can and does step in to smooth out the valleys in the business cycle, are all essential to wealth creation in the 21st century. And all of these have costs. It stands to reason that if you benefit from a country where you can do what you want to do and not live under the constant threat of getting kidnapped or your home ransacked, then you should also pay into that system to keep it afloat. The vast majority of rich people understand this and don't take issue with having to pay taxes.
If you believe otherwise, why don't all those wealth creators simply move to Somalia or Pakistan, where they can keep *all* of their earnings and not "lose" a cent to taxes?
Haven't you completely overlooked the fact that effectively 'Taxes Paid' are for most corporate entities worldwide, an offset Tax Deductible Expense and relatively easily manipulated! I believe that generally, the tax due calculations tend to be established based on Gross Income less Expenses etc....
The right-wing theme does seem to heavily rely on strawman scare tactics, with a few oft-repeated refrains about undeserving, lazy poor people and deserving, hard-working wealthy people. As though that's the whole story? Plenty of poor people work hard and still get nowhere and plenty of wealthy people live on inherited wealth through no effort of their own. And you're right, no-one expects the wealthy to share the whole of their cherry pie but maybe a few more crumbs tossed onto the communal table would help. As someone said, conservatives tend to 'stew their thinkers like veal in think-tanks'. Maybe they should get out and get some oxygen.They're getting stale.
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