Liberal Radio Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann wants to outlaw billionaires and put a cap on income at $300K!
OMG they get worse every day!!!! Get them fools the hell out of here if they so Hate this country so much. Go live in 3rd world countries and live like them. Lets see how long that will last. SHUT THE HELL UP YOU MORON
Just when you think a liberal has said the stupidest thing ever, another one opens his/ her piehole and proves you wrong. This loser KNOWS he’ll never earn over 300k, so it’s no skin off his back if someone who does has to pay all his bills.
So no more Hollywood and sports star big salaries. will they go for this?
who is this guy to tell me how much i can make with my successful long time capital and work investment.
PLEASE pursue this thought. You have 400+ billionaires in the US, while we in Canada have but a couple of dozen. Immediately upon legislation outlawing billionaires being passed, ALL 400+ will leave the US for more friendly jurisdictions, Canada being one of them. So if you want to truly cripple your country, go ahead! I can guarantee you that any and all of those 400 would be most welcome here.
I really have a hard time understanding how anyone can be so STUPID.
THE CASE FOR FORCED REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH — A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE
In 1904, Max Weber’s essay, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, presented the a concept stating that the accumulation of wealth was the means by which Protestant Calvinists, especially of the Puritan New England colonies, could assure themselves that the favor of God was upon them and thus they were of the “elect” and assured of eternal life. While few in the marketplace of Capitalism today would actually understand this correlation between money and the spiritual realm, they have nonetheless enthusiastically embraced the making of money and all the earthly pleasures that wealth can provide. Unfortunately, as history has shown, this drive for wealth has and continues to extract an inordinately steep price from the common working man. This is no doubt why our Lord gave warning against the inordinate love of money to all who would hear His words. He knew that in our fallen natures, it would be all to easy to replace the search for God and holiness – that purpose for which our lives really exist – with an unending quest to acquire things and riches.
Therefore, let me now get to the heart of my presentation – the insistence that it is proper for some structure of authority to limit the earnings of corporate CEO’s and moreover, to force the rich, if necessary, to give large portions of their income to the maintenance and care of the less fortunate.
I have no doubt that such a program would be met with loud howls of outrage. Yet I am pressed to wonder why. Do we not expect our government to act against individuals or companies who engage in actions that are injurious to the good of the human community? We consider certain actions such as pollution of natural resources, overpricing of goods, unsafe working conditions, and the sale of unsafe products to be crimes against the common good, and we expect action to be taken to right the unjust situation. It is expected that the appropriate authority will take the situation in hand, using whatever means necessary to bring about justice, compliance, and the safety of the community. No one protests when the government steps into such a situation and, by force if necessary, makes the offending company to do that which is just and right for the community, regardless of how it affects their bottom line. It is understood by all rational people that an appeal to profits does not override the good of the community and the individuals in it.
“It is no less a crime to take from him that has, than to refuse to succor the needy when you can and are well off.” (The Decretals (Dist. XLVII, cited in ST II-II, q.66, a.3, obj 2)
Wow. That’s pretty plain and to the point. Just as it is a crime to steal, it is equally a crime to withhold needed charity.
Let us then make application to one of many current economic issues of our day – obscenely large corporate pay for executives. The average salary of workers in this country is around $23K/year. Yet the average pay of corporate executives is two hundred thirty one times as much! How does this affect the community as a whole?
Firstly, the cost of employment is considered part of the cost of the finished product. Thus, if a CEO is paid 100 million dollars (Yes, Virginia, there are CEOs that make that much a year!) for his services, this affects the final price of the commodity which his corporation makes. In turn, the price of the commodity must be set in such a manner that its sales will generate enough profit to cover the CEO’s enormous salary. Such pricing adversely affects entire communities when it involves items that are staples such as food, toiletries, utilities, automobiles, and other necessities of life. For these reasons, to pay one or several individuals a sum of money which would keep ten families alive for a lifetime is an unmitigated evil. It has a negative effect upon the community as a whole by making needed goods and services unaffordable, especially to those in the lower economic classes.
Secondly, with the average pay of workers in this company at $23K/year, the salary and perks given to such executives could instead be used to create a more just and liveable wage for workers in the factory or business. If a man being paid $50 million a year would have his income slashed by 90%, half of that money could go into lowering the price of the commodity being produced and the other half could be used to give raises to employees. He would still be making $5 million a year, which would put him in the highest pay strata in the country. With greater earnings, these employees would either spend more money, thus quickening the economy, or would save or invest it wisely for future use, helping them to self-sufficiency in their old age. It would also allow for employees to work fewer hours and spend more time with their families, seeing that they would have to work fewer hours to make the money necessary for familial support, education, and vacations.
At the turn of the 20th century, the world witnessed the conflict that ensued between rapacious business owners, and employees whose lives were constantly on the brink of financial ruin, even though they were working 70 hours a week. This was not an isolated condition either, relegated to a certain area of industry. From coal mines, to automobile factories, to steel mills and many, many other industries, working conditions and pay were horrible, benefitting only those who owned the company at the expense of those who worked for them. To alleviate these conditions, men turned to the formation of unions and when their grievances were not answered, went out on strike. The response of multi-millionaire business owners, rather than to address their suffering fellow men and their conditions, was to call out armies of thugs and employ violence to break the unions and send the men back to work for the miserable pittances they were being paid. The irony of this all is that if the owners had released in funding to their workers the same amount they paid the strikebreakers, the violence most likely could have been avoided. If the owners had turned their wealth into charity instead of multi-million dollar houses, extravagantly fine clothing, and sumptuous meals, much suffering and violence could have been avoided. Their response once again showed the historically callous disregard of the rich towards humanity in their avarice.
If we expect those in authority to protect our community from toxins, why is it wrong to expect them to protect us from the ill effects of personal greed? No man has the right to say “This is my property and I will do whatever I damn well please with it.” and therefore no man has the right to say “I will take as much money as I want out of this company in salary and benefits and I don’t care how it affects the buying public or the people who work for me.” Yet we find certain conservative talk show hosts to be horrified that anyone would suggest limiting the income of corporate executives, despite the negative effect their earnings have, not only on the community, but on their souls as well.
Another great detriment to us as community has been the establishment of gigantic mega-corporations, with their box stores and prices slashed to bare minimums. Such stores have destroyed an untold number of small and medium family owned businesses. The right to personal property, such as the ownership of one’s own business, is essential for the good of communities. A man who owns his own property owns that which produces a living for his family. If a man’s property produces his family’s livelihood, then that man is free. His property produces life for him. Yet stores such as Wal-Mart have destroyed the ownership of personal property and reduced a vast number of men from property owners to servile wage seekers who put candy on display racks. To save ten cents on our dishwashing soap we have put our neighbors out of business and participated in the destruction of the American society. It is my opinion that a well ordered society, with economic thinkers who would have seen this coming, should have implored the government to disallow the creation of such a monster. In like manner, a well ordered government, with the concerns of the community and individual at heart, would have responded positively to these calls. No one is stating that Mr. Walton did not have the right to start his store and become successful – but not at the expense of vast numbers of families whom he cast into penury by his rapacious desire to rule the retail world. The damage done to my neighbor is the limit of my rights.
In order to deflect the accusation of being a Communist, let me now turn to the Early Fathers of the Church and record their opinions on the use of wealth. I believe I can prove that the Church is on my side in this matter.
Basil the Great was bishop of the church at Caesarea and archbishop of all Cappadocia. He personally ministered to lepers even after he became a bishop. Basil was probably the first in Christian history to found a hospital.
From a commentary on Luke 12:18:
“Whom do I injure,” [the rich person] says, “when I retain and conserve my own?” Which things, tell me, are yours? Whence have you brought them into being? You are like one occupying a place in a theatre, who should prohibit others from entering, treating that as one’s own which was designed for the common use of all.
Such are the rich. Because they were first to occupy common goods, they take these goods as their own. If each one would take that which is sufficient for one’s needs, leaving what is in excess to those in distress, no one would be rich, no one poor.
Did you not come naked from the womb? Will you not return naked into the earth?(Job 1:21). Whence then did you have your present possessions? If you say, “ By chance,” you are godless, because you do not acknowledge the Creator, nor give thanks to the Giver. If you admit they are from God, tell us why you have received them.
Is God unjust to distribute the necessaries of life to us unequally? Why are you rich, why is that one poor? Is it not that you may receive the reward of beneficence and faithful distribution…?”
What a remarkable idea, and that which is at the heart of what I am proposing – the right of some qualified authority to see that no man hoards to himself more than that which is rightfully his in order that all might have the bare essentials of living!
Let me clearly state, however, because of the inherit greed and dishonesty of mankind due to the Fall, combined with the overriding general incompetence of centralized government, I am absolutely unwilling for that authority to be a centralized, monolithic government such as our federal government. It was reported years ago that for every dollar collected for welfare by the government, only twenty four cents of that dollar actually got to the need. Between graft, corruption, and outright waste, our government’s “charity” never reaches the intended target. It instead became an opportunity of sin for those who should have been administering the programs, but instead wound up helping themselves to the public poor box.
In any suggested program which remediates poverty, the Catholic principle of subsidiary must be foremost in the redistribution of excess wealth. That is, “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good” (Catechism, 1883).
The work of collection of excess funds from those blessed with abundant wealth above and beyond what they need should be the function of the lowest level possible – the local parish. Governmental structures should provide only the needed force of arms to enact the law, and that only as a desperate last resort when all other appeals to conscience have failed.
A parish should set up diaconate committees in which those in need could present their cause, be thoroughly screened as to the need, and receive 100% of the money which is allocated for that need, thus eliminating fraud and waste. Furthermore, giving heed to St. Paul’s admonition “if any man would not work, neither should he eat,” a local council would more easily be able to discern who is in true need and who is attempting to scam the system. This would eliminate much of the abuse we find in the welfare state today, wherein it has been discovered recently that welfare recipients were using their welfare debit cards to go on trips to Las Vegas and Hawaii.
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