14 May, 2013

Wealth Inequity In America

A fellow netizen turned me on to the following "digimentary" (digital documentary) and I thought I would share a few thoughts on its relevance to my personal situation, perhaps as therapy, perhaps to get the rest of you thinking about what is really going on in this country.

Financially-speaking, the disparity between just the middle and upper class(es) is astounding.  In most other first- and second-world and emergent economies the comparison of CEO (chief executive officer) pay to that of the AVERAGE employee is roughly 25:1.

Even taken as an sum-total, the next highest rates of compensation in the chart at left of the other nine (9) countries is less than HALF that of the united state.

 Are "our" CEOs that much more valuable or is it that we have an inherently flawed system which rewards these individuals with obscene salaries and benefits, salaries and benefits made possible by lobbying, legislation and corporate welfarism?

To suggest that company owners should not be paid commensurate to the amount of capital, enterprise, effort, energy and, above all, RISK which they have invested into their companies is, of course absurd.  To try and set a self-correcting or even arbitrary value on their worth comparative to that of their employees is asinine.  To pay them 475 times as much as their average employee is ludicrous.

Is there a middle ground?  Surely the risks must meet with appreciable reward, otherwise enterprise and the "American Dream" would sputter and implode.  But is there a particular reason why, over the past 30 years or so that the disparity between the "haves", the "have mores" and the "have nots" has become so exaggerated?

It is not because companies are making better products.  It is not because people are working harder for less money.  It is because government has chosen to prop up industry and corporate America with its fiat money scheme, borrowing from the producers to finance the profits of the elite.

 And now, on to my own story...

I make today a little more than my father made 30 years ago.  30 years ago the money my father made as an executive VP at a prominent local engineering design firm did not make us "rich" but we were comfortable.  We had a nice house and nice clothes (not always designer clothes, but "nice" clothes).  We got to take a ski vacation mostly every winter thanks to a fraternity brother of my dad's whose family lived in Salt Lake City, letting us stay with them in the valley.

My mother did not work.  My mother did not have to work.  My brother and I went to public school.  She went to the local community college while we were in junior high and high school and got an Associates Degree in Medical Transcriptioning and Bookkeeping to pass the time.

We never wanted for ANYTHING.

Fast forward 30 years.  Both my wife and I work.  Between us, with two children and grossing TWICE what my dad made by himself 30 years ago we are just getting by.

My parents built their house in 1978.  We just built a brand new "forever" house.  Even back then a 9, 10 or 11% mortgage wasn't unheard of, nor was it unaffordable.  Today we were terrified we wouldn't be able to cover ours if rates rose above 4½.  Fortunately we were spared and locked in a 3.75% rate.

Our children do not wear designer clothes.  Many of their clothes are from consignment sales and hand-me-downs.

Both of our vehicles are paid for.  We have one investment property (our former residence) which we leveraged for the capital to build our new permanent home and were only able to accomplish that because we have been savvy enough to have that property nearly paid off (note matures in 2015).

We consider ourselves "middle" class, but we are among a dwindling, disappearing group.  We have enough forthrightness and wherewithal to be preparing for the inevitable collapse, but no real ability to divine WHEN this may occur.  So we plan as best accordingly as we can.  We are raising our children to be self-sufficient.  We are farming (gardening) and are hopeful to include a vineyard and orchard in the coming year(s).

I wish I could make it so my wife did not have to work, so she could raise our children good and proper, teach them the way they deserve to be taught - privately, independently, dedicated and tailored - without all of the negative trappings of the public school system.

But government does not want it that way.  Government thrives on dominion over others and the best way to maintain that monopoly is to keep both parents working so that the children are FORCED to spend 8 hours (or more) per day in the compulsory Prussian school system, taught obedience, groupthink and a homogenized, watered-down version of their own history, divested of any association with the great thinkers and doers of generations gone by who fought to prevent this very thing from occurring.

I hope you will wake up and join the fight.  Compare YOUR LIFE to that of your parents.  Are YOU doing as good or better than they were at your age?  Do you feel hopeful about your future, or are you starting to see through the lie coming apart at the seams?

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