Salary capping is Evil

I was reading a sport-related article on MSN before, and there was a vote asking readers whether they thought footballer’s salaries should be capped. Over 70% of people had voted yes. I wondered why. Before I venture a guess, let’s answer the question of “should footballer’s wages be capped?”, by extending it to the overriding theme: “should anyone’s wages be capped?”

The question comes down to this: should anyone decide how much money you deserve to earn? If you are employed you’ve reached an acceptable wage that you are prepared to work for and your employer is prepared to pay. To “deserve” a wage is to reach an agreeable figure that your boss is prepared to pay you – that is all that “deserve” can mean, and it is no one else’s business. Now some businesses, such as the entertainment industry, are so huge that the demand for top-quality entertainers forces up the price for the services of such individuals. Demand must be met with supply. Sport is massive business and generates huge amounts of wealth – why shouldn’t the key architects of this business that creates vast profit for millions of people – the players, be remunerated accordingly?

It is the success of private companies that allows them to reward their employees with greater pay. It is the moral right of bigger and better companies, such as more successful football clubs, to attract better players to their team and reward them accordingly. Money talks, and it allows companies to fight fairly over a wanted player. If one club can afford to pay more than another, tough – that is the beauty of money: it allows an objective worth to be placed on items of value. Has the bigger club earned the right to sign a player? Yes! By sheer nature of the fact that they can.

Who has the right to dictate to a private business how it uses its money? There are only two institutions that have the power to do so: any club or association that a company has voluntarily subscribed to, and government. Only the first of these institutions has the right to do so – this is because a company that is voluntarily a member of a business association agrees to abide by the decision of that association. The government however has no right to tell an individual (and by extension a private company) how to manage its own property. The only proper moral role of government is to protect the Rights of its citizens. How much any company chooses to pay any employee is a private matter, and no business of anyone else’s. If the wages of any person were to be capped by an act of government, this would be a gross violation of rights, and monstrously evil.

What about those who have more important jobs in society, like doctors, teachers, fire-fighters etc? What about them? Do I think it’s “right” that someone who kicks a ball around a pitch gets paid the same wage in a week as a doctor might get in a year? In a word, yes. Consider this: by what objective criteria can you decide how much someone deserves to get paid? And how would you enforce such a criteria, without violating individual rights? If you decide that being a doctor is morally worthy of more money than being a footballer, how do you go about reimbursing the doctor according to your standard? You cannot create money out of thin air – all you can do is artificially inflate the price of healthcare at the cost of the consumer so that the doctor gets the money he is worth, in your opinion. But where does this money come from? Or do you take the “surplus” money that footballer’s earn and give it to the doctor? In other words, do you redistribute wealth according to some egalitarian philosophy of equality or perceived “social merit”? In further words, do you ask the footballer to earn the doctor’s money for him; do you ask the doctor to live off the effort of the footballer? No? Madness? Unfair? Evil? Such is the nature and mentality of socialism.

I think I now know why many people think wages should be capped. I think it’s a result of a socialistic mentality (especially common in the UK): those on “too much” money somehow owe their excess to others. Those on “too little” money are owed more from others. What the socialistic mindset really breeds is this kind of thinking: “your extra money should be mine!” And of course, someone lower down the pay scale is thinking the same of you. Do these people think money grows on trees? The reason some professions pay so much and others pay so little is this: demand. Demand is met with production, and production is the source of all wealth. If, some day, sport massively declined in popularity, so would wages. If people feel there is something immoral about how much sportsmen are paid, there is only one solution: use your individual power as consumer to not finance that industry. How many people who complain about huge wages will give up their Sky TV, their season tickets, their replica shirts?? Not many. They want world class footballers but without the wages that go with them. They want hundred-thousand capacity stadiums, but without the industry that will pay for them. They want some of ‘their’ money back from the superstars who earn it, yet keep paying over money every week. How will their wishes be met?? Somehow. In other words: at someone else’s expense.

If we are going to complain about mediocrities being paid inflated sums of money, let’s start with politicians. Only politicians can vote themselves payrises that aren’t connected to any production or merit. If the government decides that you should pay an extra 10% of your wages to them, because they say so, that is all that’s required to make it law. And unlike sport, you have no choice in the matter. But that’s a subject for another article.

If the mentality of capitalism was more abundant, people would admire those more successful, not be envious. People would respect production. People would understand that wealth is not a finite resource to be scavenged and shared by a non-objective mob vote based on immoral notions of “merit” – they would appreciate that wealth can be created, and demand is met with supply, and the only thing anyone can claim to deserve is what they’ve earned by the mutual agreement of other people. That is why nobody has the right to tell any two people how much they may pay each other. Anyone who claims otherwise is immoral and invoking an evil philosophy.

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21 Responses to “Salary capping is Evil”

  1. The Vicar Says:

    Funny you should write this. The part about “how would you like it if your salary was capped”, I mean. I have long thought that a universal salary cap, or better yet an earnings cap, would be a very good thing. Naturally I include myself. It would have several positive effects, among them:

    1. It would remove much of the current incentive for already-profitable companies to cut corners on quality.

    2. It would remove much of the current incentive for already-profitable companies to cut benefits. (Since you live in the U.K., not the U.S., you don’t realize how much it sucks to have practically no social safety net. The more the Republican party pushes for a libertarian fantasy, the more the U.S. resembles a banana republic.)

    3. It would cause people to start thinking of money in terms of value: there is nobody in the world, with the possible exception of Stanislav Petrov, who has ever done work worth $100 000 000 in one year, yet there are plenty of people who make that much. These people are not value for money to the human race. At the same time, there are many people whose labors allow civilization to exist yet who are severely underpaid — garbage collectors, sewage workers, farm laborers, civil engineers. If we began to think in terms of value, we would raise the reimbursement for these jobs.

    4. It would remove the incentive for large companies to search for tax loopholes. In the U.S., the postwar years are generally considered to be the years of greatest prosperity. During those years, corporations paid taxes at rates around three times what they pay today. (For that matter, so did the very rich.) Most of the money saved is not, shall we say, going into pension funds.

  2. Ergo Says:

    Actually,

    1) A salary cap would remove all the incentive to compete for better and higher-quality employees. Since excellent workers are the ones who generate high quality work, the quality of products and services will necessarily stagnate or depreciate.

    2) The same logic could be applied to employee benefits. If salaries are capped, then companies would have to resort to other means of competing for high-quality employees and retaining them. Therefore, they might offer very lucrative benefits: competition will shift to benefit-packages. High demand for lucrative benefit packages will increase the costs of providing benefits and retaining employees. Soon, companies will start purging average employees, cost-cutting, laying off expendable workers, and extracting more efforts from the few employees they wish to retain. Before long, you will find some of these few employees enjoying–what you may want to deem–inordinately high and fanciful benefit packages, while other relatively average employees will be stagnating at the capped level of their salary. Meanwhile, other companies that cannot afford expensive benefit and health packages will be forced to only offer a salary that is capped and non-competitive in the market; such companies will either attract no employees or mostly mediocre, entry-level workers. It wouldn’t take long for these companies to go out of business.

    Soon, government legislation (and people like you) will demand that benefit packages also be capped at some arbitrary level. Once that occurs, all incentive for competing to attract highly-qualified employees will disappear. Basically, it is the trend of one legislation requiring more legislation to tweak the effects of previous legislation, ad infinitum.

    3) Garbage collectors, sewage workers, and basically all manual brute laborers would have no livelihood and jobs unless there were inventors who invented sewage systems for modern civilization, invented automated garbage trucks, devised systems of roads, pipes, and drainage systems; and company exceutives who administer the waste management operations efficiently by devising flowcharts, planning routes, etc. In other words, the pyramid of intellectual ability (read Ayn Rand) illustrates that the greatest productive values offered to a civilization come from its more intellectual producers, which then get passed down to the less intellectually abled, manual laborers, who simply have to replicate or repeat a process over and over to make their earnings. It takes an intellectual to devise a procedure, method, or invent a machine before a manual laborer can replicate it or use the machine in mundane repetitive tasks over and over again. Without the invention of the truck, for example, there would have been no need for hard-working truck drivers who tireless deliver goods across the country. The value of the invention of a truck supercedes the hard-work of the truck drivers because the invention not only provides the livelihood for the drivers but also enhances the transportation of goods, the quality of life of consumers, the prices of products, the production time of manufacturers who use the trucks, etc, etc, etc.

    4) Your information is factually incorrect, and misleading.

  3. plonkee @ the religious atheist Says:

    A salary cap would be a good idea if and only if it applied to everybody. In practice it would be extremely hard to do, because it’s hard for one person or group of people to plan things, and it’s easier for the market to find a good solution.

    The fact that fans (who indirectly pay the bills) believe that footballers are overpaid is something that undoubtedly influences the wages of footballers, it’s just that it’s outweighed by other influences. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion as to whether someone else gets paid too much or too little – if it’s really your opinion you should act on it, and the collective mind will take that into account. I don’t think that’s either evil or immoral.

  4. evanescent Says:

    Plonkee, I suggest you see Ergo’s comment just above – the very notion of salary capping discourages creative genius and innovation. There is no way to enforce such a criminal philosophy without violating individual rights either.

    You’re right – we can have an opinion on anything, but we can also most certainly say whether it’s evil or not. There is no “collective mind” – there is only an individual mind. 2 people or 2 million people reaching a common decision that you or I get paid too much is irrelevant. They have no objective rational basis for claiming so. In fact, the principle of salary capping is irrational and defies reality because, like all collectivist and socialist ideals, it ignores and penalises the real source of wealth: production and creative thought.

  5. mark1985 Says:

    This argument is valid not only for capping wages but also minimum wages also. In America we are seeing our jobs moving to countries where companies can a fraction of what workers are paid here. The government has hurt our economy by the minimum wage law because the American worker can no longer be competitive in wages. I say working for $2.00/hr or whatever low amount these companies pay to their workers is better than not working and relying on the welfare state that we have become.

  6. Markus_B Says:

    Mark,
    I hate to disagree on this point but I must. First, It is not our minimum wage that is the problem. It is the cost of living in our country versus that of the countries that our corporations have chosen to trade with in order to lower the cost of production and therby increase profits. By intruducing the most economically powerful country in the world into a “world economy” you effectively weaken the stronger country and strengthen those that are weaker as they are collecting all of the the production/technology type jobs. This is what we are seeing in India and China. Until we see a “great leveling” in the world economy where all things are equal. The US will most likely continue on a decline until either everything is equal worldwide or we actually become weaker than others economically and a shift will take place. Either production jobs will come to us because we are cheaper or local jobs will go nowhere because it is no savings to corporations to ship overseas.
    With our current cost of living it would be imposibble for any family to live on 2.00 per hour or an estimatied 80.00 per week before taxes. I will estimate 63.00 after taxes. I defy anyone in America to raise a family on that sort of wage. You can’t even find an efficiency apartment in the US for so little let alone heat,fuel(I spend more than that in gas going to and from work),clothing, food and any other basic need of life. To remove the minimum wage would serve nearly no purpose. Truly, how many people do you know that even work for that wage other than school kids or part time workers. The average family income in the US is closer to $42K a year. Thats a far cry from 2.00 an hour. The only way our cost of living will go down is our economy gradually weaken and demand for product is reduced. That is the only way. To allow 2.00 an hour work in our current climate would actually encourage a welfare state by placing wages for some well below that of what is required for the basic needs of life forcing people to seek assistance from the government.

  7. evanescent Says:

    Hi Markus_B, bear in mind however, the artificial inflation of wages by setting a minimum wages forces companies to pay more than they might choose to, which decreases the wages for other people and forces manufacturers to raise their prices, which raises the standard of living, so people demand more money etc. It has always been the case that government interference in any industry creates more unnatural problems, not less.

    In a completely free market, producers would not and could not price themselves out of a market – they would be able to pass on the actual costs to the consumer – consumers would have more power to negotiate acceptable prices. And the ridiculously inflated taxes that everyone pays would be non-existent, thereby reducing the cost of living even more.

    Remember the philosophical concept of rights – freedom of action. The right to a minimum wage is a contradiction in terms.

    I think that if companies can source employees outside their own country they have every right to do so. Just as companies can compete for better staff by offering more money, so staff can compete for jobs by working harder for less. The way to compete for a better job with better pay is to increase your skill level so that you have more to offer a prospective employer. Salary capping however is the antithesis of this principle, and a minimum wage corrupts the natural chain of production and consumption.

    The only way our cost of living will go down is our economy gradually weaken and demand for product is reduced.

    Actually I think the opposite is true: by increasing demand for product, supply can be increased, which increases wealth. Greater wealth means more money for employees and more jobs – demand for skilled workers means people can ask for higher wages; greater production means greater innovation, better technology, higher quality of life, which actually reduces the cost of living. As always, production is the solution. Anything that inhibits this process simply cannot be good for anyone in the long run.

  8. mark1985 Says:

    Marcus, you can disagree, but you are wrong. Inflating the dollar and artificially low interest rates is what is causing the cost of living to rise. Assistance from the government is what is allowing them to choose not to work for 2.00/hr and to mooch off of tax payers. The moochers are recieving money from the tax payers which could have been invested in business which in turn could create more jobs. The better the production of an economy the higher standard of living it will have.

  9. evanescent Says:

    Well said Mark.

    Everyone, Ergo has just posted a brief new article which is worth checking out: http://ergosum.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/free-market-defense/

  10. Markus_B Says:

    Mark,
    The cost of living in this country was higher in this country in 1985, before the housing fiasco, than the 2.00 that you suggest. Min. wage at that time was 3.35 (just for nostalia). But I perhaps poorly stated my point. I am not opposed to a removal of minimum wage and after the world economy levels itself there shouldn’t be a need for it anyway. I stated that the minimum was not the problem. However, where we are today, by removing it and putting 2.00 an hour production jobs into place would put people into poverty, unable to pay for the basic needs of life. Can you live on 2.00 an hour? Artificial inflation? I could use the same arguement on the Chinese and their ‘manipulation’ of thier currency.
    What we are talking about is the here and now and a reasonable path to arrive at a free market. To walk in today and say all UAW workers, for example, will now get 2.00 an hour is not a possibility and would cause an increase in the welfare state and cripple the working class. Just because you or I don’t like ‘moochers’ is not the point. The point is, in our current system, there is no point in working if you can’t pay for food. Thus inducing a welfare state. The solution will take time to reach and thats when it all levels out. Perhaps we will be able to unify all forms of currency into one. Perhaps the ‘world buck’
    .

  11. evanescent Says:

    Hi Markus, forgive me: I never claimed for one minute that we should revert to the free market tomorrow. Such a change would take many years and careful planning, but it could be done.

  12. Markus_B Says:

    evanescent,
    Nothing to forgive. We are simply exchanging ideals on issues that we are passionate about. Agreed, it could be done and I believe we are heading in that direction.

  13. Spanish Inquisitor Says:

    Hi, E. I haven’t forgotten you. 😉 You’ve just been posting lately on matters I have no opinion on, or maybe not enough of an opinion to want to jump into the fray. Besides, I miss Gino. He was fun.

    Seriously, I agreed with everything you said here, until the last sentence. Salary caps are evil and immoral? I don’t know. Somewhat illogical, restrictive, and counter-productive, yes. But evil and immoral? I can’t go that far. Maybe because I reserve those designations for things like child rape, suicide bombs and teaching Intelligent Design in science class. As a matter of degree, I can’t say it’s immoral. Mainly because, as others have noted, as long as it rises only to the level of opinion, then it’s protected as free speech. I have immoral thoughts about the girl next door, but that doesn’t make me immoral. Only if the government came out and forced us to accept salaries at a certain level, would I get up in arms about it. We have salary caps in the NFL (if I’ve paid proper attention to sports, not something I have a keen interest in), but they are self-regulated, and the caps are imposed by the organization.

    No need to respond or counter. I’m just thinking out loud.

  14. Mark1985 Says:

    Markus, if they accept a job for 2.00/hr to earn their way I agree that they will be in poverty. But you are at a misunderstanding, accepting to actually earn an income of 2.00/hr by working isn’t PUTTING them in poverty, they were already there. And to say that there is no point in actually working to earn a value is pointless is… well i dont even know what to say to that… it is that type of thinking that is what makes the welfare state and mooching possible in the first place.

  15. The Vicar Says:

    @Ergo:

    In response to your response (#2):

    1) Huh? How do you conclude that an upper limit to earnings means that everyone earns almost the same amount? That’s an incredibly obtuse stance. Suppose that the salary cap were $1 000 000 (which is actually lower than I would put it). Do you really think there’s no difference between being paid $1 000 000 and being paid, say, $40 000, which is a living wage in most of the U.S.?

    2) In other words, you think that compensation would find other means of expression, and that somehow this would magically cause disaster. How is it that a lack of earnings caps avoids this disaster? And if we’re already suffering this disaster, why would changing the system be evil? For that matter, why couldn’t one track the benefits as well in some way? (It should be pretty easy — for most things, just divide the spending on an item by the number of employees who use it.) Companies already have to do much more than that when producing an annual report.

    3) Bah. Ayn Rand’s theories are as unworkable in the real world as those of any starry-eyed left-wing idealist. Most of these ideas (roads and sewers) are ancient, and the incremental changes to them in the modern era are not worth a perpetual unlimited salary. The same goes for gas-powered cars — the improvements made to cars recently are miniscule.

    Besides, do you think actual inventors and engineers are the ones making vast sums off of inventions? A survey of the most important inventions of the past few centuries disproves that idea, at least (once again) here in the U.S. The man who made all the money off the basic automobile patent had nothing to do with actually inventing a car, for example. He was just a lawyer who knew that real inventors were working on the idea, and filed a patent for the idea of a car without having any proof of concept. Or there’s Edison, who liked to hire naive young engineers and legally bind them so that he owned their output. (We’re lucky he couldn’t get all his own ideas pushed through — a DC electrical grid would have been a national nightmare because of the power loss involved.)

    The fact of the matter is that an overwhelming majority of people whose salaries would be altered by a wage cap are not doing much of anything to keep civilization going. They are instead parasites on civilization. Bill Gates, for example, didn’t make the world a noticeably better place while he was earning (go ask a computer geek whether they would rather have had Windows or OS/2 succeed, for example), and it is definitely questionable whether the good effects of the Gates Foundation (which he only founded reluctantly) offset the things he did, such as driving small businesses under via legally objectionable means. (Remember Stac Electronics?)

    4) My information on tax rates is definitely true in the U.S. The very rich have seen reductions in official tax rates repeatedly, and that’s leaving out loopholes. For example, for most of the 1950s and a few years into the 1960s, the marginal tax rate on earnings over $400 000 was 95%. In 2000, the tax rate on earnings over $288 350 was 35%. (And it’s dropped again since then, while the base of the rate has risen to over $300 000.) For the very rich — the group I was talking about — that’s an enormous savings.

    The fact of the matter is that a salary cap of $1 000 000 would leave over 99% of Americans completely untouched. A salary cap of $5 000 000 would leave over 99.5% of Americans untouched. And yet it would still free up billions of dollars, because the few people who are given that sort of money make that much money. (For a slightly flawed graphical representation, see .)

  16. The Vicar Says:

    Oh, and one more thing: Ayn Rand fans would benefit from thinking about Atlas Shrugged pt. 2.

  17. Shaun Says:

    To rob what a man has honestly earned through consent is robbery of the worst kind. To use government to enforce it is a slap in the face of all who have attempted to keep corruption out of the state.

    As usual, fantastic post.

  18. Markus_B Says:

    Vicar,
    I think your argument is a valid one as it pertains to a salary cap. The issues I see in America today are similar (although not as drastic yet) to what happened in the industrial revolution in Europe. We are seeing a seperation of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The ‘haves’ are either Corporate heads or in Sports and Entertainment. The ‘haves’ income has increased to ridiculous levels, some might even say perverted levels. The middle class(actual producers and majority) are becoming the ‘have nots’. You see in a capitalistic society there must be production, a means of production and a demand for that which is produced. With the rampant outsorcing of jobs by the ‘haves'(big corporations) to countrys where the cost of production is significantly lower than the US. The production/technology jobs are going away erroding the middle class to “have nots” We have essentially become a country that consumes much and produces little as a result of the ‘world economy’ and corporate greed. This will continue until everything ‘levels’ as I stated before. Unless we figure out a way to correct the situation. I see the US on the economic decline for quite some time and that will come at the expense of the working or middle class which will further seperate the minority of ‘haves’ to the majority of ‘have nots’.

    These ‘haves’ do have a place in society and do provide an important function. However, not at a ratio of 10 to 1, 100 to 1, or 1000 to 1. This is especially the case in the Sport and Entertainment world. The other problem with this situation is that as the middle class becomes poorer as a result of jobs being outsourced to China let’s say, and can no longer afford the products that are imported to our country from China who took the jobs, it makes no difference to the big corporations because they will just ship them to another country that has benefitted from our demise.
    No, I do not feel that a sports figure should make more for one game than most people make in one year. Nor do I feel that an Actor should make 1 million dollars per episode while our Armed Forces and Police the put their lives at risk everyday probably won’t make that much in twenty years. Yes, I do think that people should be paid based upon thier value to society and I do not think that is immoral or evil at all. Can I as a person place an agreed value on what each type of job is worth? No, but we as a democratic people can.

  19. evanescent Says:

    Markus said:

    No, I do not feel that a sports figure should make more for one game than most people make in one year. Nor do I feel that an Actor should make 1 million dollars per episode while our Armed Forces and Police the put their lives at risk everyday probably won’t make that much in twenty years.

    I sense in you Markus this idea that money is a limited resource to be spread around, and if someone is making more (or “too much” in your words) then someone else must be making less. This isn’t the philosophy of Capitalism however. Wealth is created by greater production. The fantastic wages that sportsmen acquire is not coming at anyone else’s expense! They are in an industry that generates great wealth because it meets a demand, and that entire sporting industry provides millions of jobs and generates money – the very people propping it up are the sports men and women.

    Yes, I do think that people should be paid based upon thier value to society and I do not think that is immoral or evil at all.

    The problem is see here Markus is your collectivist mentality, which is exactly the mentality my article aims to refute. You see, only living beings can value, specifically, only individuals. Society is not a living entity in itself, it is a collection of individuals. When you say “value to society” you mean “value to a particular group of people who happen to agree”. No one and nothing has intrinsic value. For example, the best doctor in the world is no value to anyone unless he applies his knowledge. The best hockey player in the world is NO value to ME, because I don’t enjoy hockey or get anything out of it. In a wider sense, all the intellectual achievements of man are no value to an animal because they are irrelevant to that animal’s life. If I could live without food, food would be of no value to me.

    So, the flaw I see in your reasoning is that you’re attempting to divorce value from the valuer. And the only thing capable of value is an individual.

    An individual must have the freedom to produce and trade value for value. What is of value here is what each party involved is prepared to agree on. So, if a doctor is prepared to work for a certain wage and people are prepared to pay him, that value is agreed. To say that the doctor is somehow owed MORE than this by some arbitrary decree that he is “worth more” to society is totally removed from reality. The services of a doctor are worth no more and no less than what he is prepared to work for and what people are prepared to pay him. If you are not sick a doctor is of no value to you – if you get sick you can pay him and you’re of value to each other, but until that point he is valueless to you. If a sportsman demands a huge wage and a club is prepared to pay him, he has deserved it. Would you suggest that you pay your local doctor if you’re not sick? Would you suggest you pay the wages of the local football team even though you hate football? No? So why the double-standard with the redistribution of wealth?

    The problem with your thinking, which is based on a collectivist mentality, is that it wants to assign arbitrary non-valuer specific values (a contradiction in terms of course) to people – people whose actually monetary value is not reflected by these arbitrary values. This is irrational, because it seeks to impose intrinsic value on reality – but as we have seen, the only real value anything has is its value to a (in this context) person. It is also unfair, because it seeks to restrict the REAL valuation a person has to other people – it limits his wealth and production unfairly.

    Can I as a person place an agreed value on what each type of job is worth? No, but we as a democratic people can.

    This is moral subjectivism in the extreme. Tell me Markus, what power does a consensus have in reaching an objective moral decision that you as an individual do not? At what number of people does the ability to use logic and reason magically appear? You have identified here the fatal flaw with democracy: majoritarianism is totalitarianism based on the subjective whim of a majority. Of course you will have heard of the fallacy of Argument ad Populum – do you recognise it here?

    The majority vote of people does not make any decision they reach correct. If something is right and moral, it will be right and moral to one person or a million.

    Money does not grow on trees; it must be created. It is created by production. The best means of achieving production is Capitalism. Now, the opposite of this which seems to be the system you’re espousing is socialism – the idea that wealth should be shared and restricted. Now, this is evil because it steals the rightful property of people. It is immoral because it demands that those who can produce support the lives of those who can’t/won’t. It is irrational, because it requires people to sacrifice their values to lower values or non-values. It is unrealistic, because it completely rejects the facts of reality. This is the problem with democracy and socialism – the greatest sins any philosophy can commit: they contradict reality.

  20. Eric Cope Says:

    E – fantastic entry.
    Everyone else – I love the smell of greed. Greed so strong, some think they can sit on their duff and demand that those more creative/thoughtful/personable hand over their hard earned money because they earn too much? The idea is laughable, only because people actually think it is a good idea. I am an engineer, making $100k/yr for a large medical company. My CEO makes $1,000,000 plus stock grants a year. Do I think he should have his salary capped? No! If $1,000,000 is not an incentive for me to bust my ass to innovate my way to the top, which by the way is not only possible, but probably because I am an innovator and I am personable and I know the path to the summit, then I do not know what is…

  21. evanescent Says:

    Hi Eric – thanks!

    You’re damned right, it doesn’t matter how much money anybody earns. Who is to decide what is “too much” and by what criteria? Well, I think we all know what criteria the socialist has in mind: how much HE earns! Which basically means: if you earn more than me it’s too much and somehow that money belongs to me. It’s an evil political philosophy and it breeds laziness, envy, and stagnation.

    You seem like the sort of person, like myself, that is not jealous of other people’s wealth and success, but admires it and thinks highly of the person who’s achieved it (assuming they’ve earned it – and “earned” simply means: achieved by their own effort).


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