WHICH IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM: INEQUALITY OR THE VALUE SYSTEM?

The uber left continues to pound the drum about inequality and wealth.  Unfortunately, raising the minimum wage and/or increasing taxes on millionaires by 4% or 5% maybe worthwhile, but it will do nothing, zero, to ameliorate the disparity of income and wealth.

At the same time, it’s very interesting that these pundits do nothing to address the enormous compensation paid to athletes and entertainment folks.

All of which says to me that, yes, there is inequality but the basic problem is we have a distortion and an imbalance in our “value system.”  I believe this distortion will have far more harmful effects on our way of life then the disparity imbedded in “inequality.”

Let’s explore some of what I mean:

Highest paid Hollywood actors in 2013

  • Matt Damon = $18 million for his movies
  • Brad Pitt = $20 million
  • Tom Cruise = $22 million
  • Liam Neesen = $32 million
  • Ben Stiller = $34 million
  • Tom Hanks = $35 million
  • Will Smith = $36 million
  • Adam Sandler = $40 million
  • Johnny Depp = $50 million
  • Robert Downey, Jr. = $75 million
  • Leonardo DiCaprio = $77 million

And that’s all in just one year!  Interesting – no women in the top earners!

Highest paid sports stars

  • Floyd Mayweather, boxing = $105 million
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer = $80 million
  • LeBron James, basketball = $72.3 million
  • Lionel Messi, soccer = $64.7 million
  • Kobe Bryant, basketball = $61.5 million
  • Tiger Woods, golf = $61.2 million
  • Roger Federer, tennis = $56.2 million
  • Phil Mickelson, golf = $53.2 million
  • Rafael Nadal, tennis = $44.5 million
  • Matt Ryan, football = $43.8 million
  • Manny Pacquiao, boxing = $41.8 million
  • Mahendra Singh Dboni, cricket = $30 million
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr., racing = $25.9 million
  • Usain Bolt, track = $23.2 million
  • Derek Jeter, baseball = $24.3 million
  • Serena Williams, tennis = $22 million

Not bad for playing games.  When you look a bit further at baseball, for example, bench players are making $3 to $5 million hoping to get chance to play.

And retired athletes don’t do too bad either.  Michael Jordan made $90 million in 2013 and Arnold Palmer had to settle for only $40 million.

I would venture to guess that there are a lot more sports and entertainment celebrities making multi-million more than corporate CEO’s.  The disparity advocates like to show the ratios of CEO’s to workers.  How about comparing the enormous compensation of golf stars to the groundskeepers, the chauffeurs and the entourage hangers on?  Look at these actors we’ve cited and compare their pay to the camera operators, the script readers and all the gophers who wait on them hand and foot.

I’d wager none of these people work as hard or have any more skills than corporate CEO’s.

The distortion of the value system was a major cause of the decline of the Roman Empire.  You think we’re headed in the same direction?

I think the major piece of inequality has occurred and the most telling, in the lower end of our middle class citizenry.  This is the inequality I’m most concerned about:

Nearly 40% of Americans eligible to work are not—the highest percentage of non-workers since 1977.

Median income in America, which means half of us make more and half make less, now stands at about $54,000 a year.  That is 3% lower than it was when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

On the president’s watch, median household income has declined by about $1,600.  White households make just over $60,000 a year, Hispanics $42,500 and Blacks $35,400.

That to me is the most significant part of the inequality dilemma we should be most concerned about.

Try to keep this all in perspective as we hear more and more rhetoric about inequality on the political campaign trail.

ArtSchwartzSig

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “WHICH IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM: INEQUALITY OR THE VALUE SYSTEM?

  1. Gary W.

    All that anyone needs to do is read “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinski to better understand what’s going on. Better yet, here’s an overview (check out item #2).

    Subject:Saul David Alinsky

    8 Levels of Control
    Saul Alinsky died about 43 years ago, but his writings influenced
    those in political control of our nation today.
    Wikipedia: Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was a Jewish American
    community organizer and writer.
    He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often
    noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky

    Recall that Hillary Clinton did her
    college thesis on his writings and President Obama writes about him in his
    books.
    Died: June 12, 1972, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
    Education: University of Chicago
    Spouse: Irene Alinsky
    Books: Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals
    All eight rules are currently in play.
    How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:
    There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you
    are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

    1) Healthcare –
    Control healthcare and you control the people.

    2) Poverty –
    Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to
    control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to
    live.

    3) Debt – Increase
    the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase
    taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

    4) Gun Control –
    Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

    5) Welfare – Take
    control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

    6) Education – Take
    control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

    7) Religion –
    Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

    8) Class Warfare –
    Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more
    discontent and it will be easier to take Taxes from the wealthy with the
    support of the poor.

    Does any of this sound like it is happening in the United States?
    Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for
    world conquest by communism, under Russian rule.

    Stalin described his converts as “Useful Idiots.”
    The “Useful Idiots” have destroyed every nation in which they have
    seized power and control. It is presently happening at an alarming rate
    in the U.S.
    If people can read this and still say everything is just
    fine, then they are “useful idiots.” It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

    Anyone out there think that this stuff isn’t happening today in
    the U.S.?
    You have to be living under a rock not to see all this happening
    today.

  2. Art Schwartz

    Gary has written another great blog – important stuff

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