Some Agitators For Income Parity are the Super Rich
|February 27, 2014||Posted by Staff under Activism, Inequality / Concentration|
This 2014 excerpt of the AP, Feb 23, is by Hannah Dreier.
A handful of top U.S. business tycoons are pressuring fellow entrepreneurs to pay workers more proposing to give their money back to the government to redistribute.
Members of the 0.1 percent now make at least $1.7 million a year; the median annual household income has dropped to $51,017.
Income for the top 1 percent soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012, after adjusting for inflation. For everyone else, it inched up an average of 0.4 percent.
Ron Unz, whose fortune comes from founding Wall Street Analytics Inc, argues that by not paying a living wage, companies are forcing the government to subsidize them through massive welfare spending. An advocate for the free market, Unz opposes any kind of subsidy. Unz, 52, was trained as a theoretical physicist and has written scholarly papers on the Spartan naval empire.
Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer was one of the early investors in Amazon. He started aQuantive which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion. Hanauer said he doesn’t consider himself a “job creator.” In 2012, he advanced his ideas in a TED talk but TED organizers refused to post Hanauer’s lecture on the web, claiming it was too partisan.
Steve Silberstein made his fortune by co-founding a company that creates software for hundreds of college and university libraries. He opposes exorbitant executive salaries. He would tax companies with a large pay gap higher, and those with a narrower gap lower.
Leo Hindery Jr., raised a Jesuit and previously chief executive of AT&T Broadband and of the YES Network, the cable channel of the Yankees, is asking Congress to raise taxes on Patriotic Millionaires. Rich people like him don’t put their extra dollars back into the economy. They already own all they can use.
Ed. Notes: Wouldn’t it be cool if one of the super rich would propose to totally transform the system so that it no longer spewed forth unearned fortunes at one end and poverty at the other? Instead, people would earn their keep (add value), keep what they earn (zero taxes). And that’d go for both individuals and society as a whole.
The rich get rich not by working or investing so much as by corralling a portion of society’s surplus. They capture society’s spending for land and resources, or they enjoy patents and copyrights without paying full value for them, or they get other monopolies like broadcast licenses for free, or they pollute without paying an equivalent penalty, or they control the creation of new money, etc. Minus such privileges, fortunes would be much, much smaller.
Further, those now struggling would be much better off if government redirected the value of nature and privilege into the pockets of everyone and quit taxing goods and subsidizing bads. While it’s nice that the beneficiaries of today’s system want to give some unearned income back, it’d be even nicer if they’d lend their prominent voice to establishing a just system for everyone — a true geonomy in operation!