Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Be thankful for all the wealthy provide

Patrick Kelso’s letter in Sunday’s Sun, “Wealthy benefit at expense of others” is wrong. It’s just the opposite. Where does he think all the jobs come from?

The government? The government doesn’t generate money. It spends money taken via taxes from the public. Only private industry generates income.

Regarding income inequality, he finds the U.S. No. 93 in the world and more unequal than Iran, Russia, China, India, Egypt and all Western European countries except Switzerland. You don’t see people trying to sneak into those countries to take advantage of their wonderful economies. What does he think has made the U.S. the greatest, most advanced and progressive country in the world — until recently?

He mentioned the Wal-Mart family’s wealth. They had an idea, risked capital by investing in it, and succeeded. If it had failed, they lose. No bailout. This is what makes America great and unique. If he thinks those other countries are better, try asking their citizens if they want to trade places with him.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen dropped out of college and started Microsoft. These men were entrepreneurs with an idea and were willing to risk everything to get it. Don’t covet what others have. Be grateful they gave you a job.

Kelso ends his letter with “Can you afford to vote Republican?” Can you afford not to?

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  1. The Government creates millions of jobs and good ones. Contrary to popular ignorance the rich predators are for the destruction of good jobs . They need the poor to exploit. I'm greatful for many things but not the wealthy overseers who keep us in a state of destitution. Lets put an end to trickle down economics.

  2. The Republican spin line is to avoid using adjectives like "wealthy" or "rich" and instead refer to "job creators". Apparently we don't dare do anything like raising their taxes that might disturb these "job creators".

    Our "job creators" are now in the tenth tax year of enjoying reductions in income taxes. When they started the unemployment rate was 6%. Now it's closer to 8%. And, by the way, the job creators laid off about 8 million of us in 2008-9 while still collecting their tax cuts.

    "Can you afford to vote Republican?" It's already cost us half the value of our homes and hundreds of billions of borrowed Chinese dollars to support the "job creators" in the style to which they've become accustomed.

  3. "You don't see people trying to sneak into those countries to take advantage of their wonderful economies."

    That is incorrect. A little easy research could help.

    And don't think it isn't a problem for other countries in the current global economic crisis.

    There is a segment of the wealthy who create no jobs directly or indirectly. They simply live off the capital gains and dividends of investments. Think of it as risking their money in investment poker or roulette. But hey! What's several million here or there?

    Oh yes! Let's not forget all the money in tax havens. Or, investments in outsourcing work to people in foreign countries, instead of in the US.

    I wouldn't want to discount some of the wealthy that do incredible work with their wealth, like the Bill and Melinda Gates or Oprah Winfrey. Some have a true humanitarian commitment.

    Imagine if there were no employees or consumers!

    While being grateful for the wealthy who provide jobs and humanitarian aid, the wealthy job creators should also be grateful for the employee and consumers who provide profits, success and wealth.

  4. Jim,

    Some of the wealthy non-job creators "like to fire people" and "Big Bird".

  5. Malcolm, the rich does not give a horse's foul air about anyone. They do what they do to add to what they have. More, more, more.

    They certainly have the resources and the power to reverse the downtrend of the economy, but their fanatical political ideologies cloud their logic. What is unbelievable is the fact that many believe as they do even if those beliefs are to their detriment.

    They do not blink an eye giving millions to PACs to advance their interests, yet they bristle at increasing minimum wage, or insuring those who cannot get medical help. Yes. It's their money and yes they can spend it any way they choose, but for people who are poor like the rest of us to actually support their greed is beyond me.

    They give you this song and dance about 'loving this country' but can you honestly believe it? While young brave men fight wars, where were the rich men's sons? Their daddies got them free pass from service for reasons logical only to them.

    Yes. I despise them because they treat people like fools and fools as we are believe them.

  6. PBS is well off. Think private contributions from the rich and famous. Big Bird and Jim Lehrer will do fine without their government hand outs.


  7. Peacelily,

    And one of the "Job Creators" claims he is the only Presidential candidate that that believes in "American Exceptionalism", yet invests his money in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Switzerland, etc. Talk about not putting money where your mouth is!

  8. Does clipping stock dividend coupons, much like Mitt Romney does to keep his tax rate below 15%, really create jobs? Maybe a job for his broker. The one thing I never see Obama speak to on taxes is just how wealthy are the wealthy. He talks about high incomes and being able to afford paying a little more in taxes. A 200 page government report that's issued every quarter shows that the individual net worth of the top 5% of all Americans is approximately 60 trillion, yes trillion, dollars or 70% of all individual net worth in America. Our national debt is $16 trillion. I'm not suggesting that they pay off the debt. But Romney wants the estate tax, AKA the "death tax," to be zero. Wow! After a couple of generations perhaps fewer than one million families will own and control nearly everything in the country. There is nothing wrong with leaving an estate to your children but how much should be free from taxation? How about five or ten million? In Romney's case $250 million? Today the rich use generation skipping and charitable trusts they control to elude both estate and income taxes. If only the 47% could do this too. I forgot, they don't have an estate they just cook, clean and wash the clothes of the 5% with estates who have better things to do like clipping dividend coupons.

  9. What is most disturbing is people think just because your rich, your a job creator. You here it all the time, don't tax the one percent, your taxing job creators.

    Business men and woman are job creators, not rich people. Don't let code words confuse you!

  10. My, my, what a bunch of green-eyed monsters we have here. Jealous of others success and their obvious lack thereof, they show their true inner selves by denigrating hard work and a willingness to take risks. They are pure examples of why we are becoming an "entitlement" society and just how far those who ride in the wagon instead of help pull it will go to maintain their greedy self-centered life styles. They are like union goons who rant, "We want it and we want it now," even if it means destroying the company they earn their paychecks from. Look to GM & Chrysler as prime examples. Union demands destroyed them and Osama Obama moved in with taxpayer funds to prop up the unions that backed him. Unions won; investors and taxpayers lost - big time! I don't recall Nissan, Toyota, Honda or other foreign manufacturers with plants in the USA going hat-in-hand to Washington begging for bailouts. Hm, I wonder why? Could it be they are non-union?

  11. "What is most disturbing is people think just because your rich, your a job creator. "

    Because you're rich, you're a wealth creator. Wealth creates jobs. Therefore the rich create jobs. If A=B, And B=C, then A=C.


  12. If you who don't know and/or believe in the fundamental truth of geometric logic, then look at India and China. Wealth and the rich in those two countries create jobs with expanding and powerful middle classes for those jobs.


  13. @CarmineD, Yes, your equation has some truth, but not the whole truth.

    You have a "narrow view of widening" what a rich person is and does. As a whole, rich people, the one percent, do not work. The majority of their money is generated from investments.

    The majority of business man and women work, the majority of rich people do not.

    Just because your a rich person does not make you a business man or women. Or just because your rich does not make your a job creator.

    For sure, a business man or women is a job creator. Absolutely!

  14. "The government doesn't generate money. It spends money taken via taxes from the public. Only private industry generates income."

    Telloian -- you almost got it right. A few years ago at a meeting with my state legislator he revealed the budget the legislature had passed was only part of it. During the same budget period the state expected to bring in 3x the budget amount in fees, fines and levies.

    A good example would be the $57.4 million pot our AG is sitting on as Nevada's share of the settlement against 5 big banks for fraudulent foreclosures. The offers mailed to foreclosed homeowners is about $800 and change. Nothing about getting their homes back for them, or anything about real justice for their losses. The lion's share goes to 4 Nevada entities, two deserving (Legal Aid), and two non-profits, including the one our own Senator Horsford founded and still sits on its Board. So homeowners get royally screwed again by piggies with their snouts already in the trough and the status quo gets maintained -- justice = "just us."

    Make no mistake, People -- government at every level has become predatory on the very body it was Constituted to serve.

    "Business men and woman are job creators, not rich people."

    Longtimevegan -- excellent post

    "C'mon baby and eat the rich!" -- Motorhead

  15. People waste a lot of time talking about the rich. There are only about 10 million millionaire families in the entire world. They get a lot of press time.

    America is a very expensive place to live and very few make the money that is needed to pay the bills. According to a medical industry report the only group of people that are saving and investing substantial amounts of money in this country our families making over $200,000 a year. That's a sad situation and the reason we are in entitlement society. A person needs to make at least 100K just to get off first base.

  16. It all comes down to our balance of trade. Common sense should show anyone that if you continually spend more than you earn you will eventually go broke.

  17. Longtimevegan said:

    What is most disturbing is people think just because your rich, your a job creator. You here it all the time, don't tax the one percent, your taxing job creators.

    Business men and woman are job creators, not rich people. Don't let code words confuse you!

    You may not think about it but even Linsey Lohan and Paris Hilton are job creators. That is unless they put their wealth in a bag in the back of their closet. By virtue of having money in the bank (assuming that they make zero investments and just "sit" on their money) the bank in turn does not keep it in a bag in the back of the vault for them. It invests that money. Those investments are job creators.

    I agree with you that it is the businessmen and women that are the ACTUAL job creators but they need those investments to create those jobs. I could go into much more detail but I think you can see my point.

  18. Carmine: PBS also receives money from local governments. In Nevada they run to the Legislature with great regularity--to make it through the year(s).

  19. It should be obvious that President Obama believes that those who make their money from investments are job creators. Ben Bernke has confirmed this as the justification for QE-3.

    The goal of QE-3 is to buy commercial bonds at the rate of $40B (that's Billion) per month for an indefinite time in an effort to make more money available to various industries until the job market improves.

    Can anyone say this is not trickle-down economics (or government, if you prefer) on a truly massive scale?

  20. El_Lobo,

    It's more like 40 years. We transitioned from a favorable balance of trade to a permanent unfavorable balance in the 70's. There were a couple of years in there where it waffled back and forth but it eventually went south and has stayed there ever since, getting worse in almost every year since then.

    The data shows a steady decline ever since WWII.

    The bottom line is that by importing foreign goods we are basical exporting our jobs, thereby reducing demand for US labor.

    I know that you are going to counter that have a protectionist policy is bad and will point to what happened when it was tried in the late 20s of last century. Keep in mind that at that time we were the single largest exporter in the world.

    Today, we are the single largest *importer*, to the tune that our balance of trade deficit is about the same as the rest of the world *combined*. Right now, the world needs our purchasing power a lot more than they did then.

  21. Trickle down economics is the conservative idealogy of Reagan,Friedman and the wealthy. It extolls limited governmental regulation and no taxes. Supply side theories and attacks on government are the root cause of the present great recession. Only a fool would vote for a Republican. Romney offers only desembling and obfuscation.

  22. El_Lobo,

    Yes, I am aware of the original Whig approach, and we are working on an updated version of that.

    I already brought up the fact that there is a significant difference in our position today compared to when Hoover tried protective tariffs. I don't think it made much sense when Hoover tried it since our trade position was vastly different than it is now.

    At the very least we must "level the playing field" between foreign and domestic manufacturing. Trade agreements such as NAFTA that allow manufacturers to bring in cheap sub-assemblies from offshore through favored trade partners such as Mexico are destroying our domestic manufacturing base. Regulations, such as those agreed to as part of the WTO that prevent us from imposing realistic tariffs and import duties place our domestic companies at a severe disadvantage.

    At the very least we need to impose a tariff or fee on imports that equates roughly to the payroll taxes that a domestic company would have to pay on the labor component of imported goods. If other nations want us to buy their cheap goods, then they can help fund our programs that are affected by the loss of jobs to those nations.

  23. El_Lobo,

    I specifically pointed out that our trade position is vastly different in nature today than it was then. We are the single largest consuming nation in the world. We would bankrupt most nations overnight if we were to stop importing.

    We can put reasonable tariffs in place. It is only fair that if other nations are going to weaken our job markets that we get some economic leverage back.

    Keep in mind that the WTO is not in place to promote "free" trade, but what they define as "fair" trade. We have been subsidizing the world for decades as a result of that. We can not afford to do so and be "fair" to our own people.

    I fully support free trade, but I submit it can only exist in a homogenous environment, such as within a single nation. Once trade crosses national boundaries a completely different set of rules apply.

  24. a million or so poorly paid government workers saved the world 1941-5.

  25. El-Lobo,

    First, take a look at this article. Those who favor Keynes might find it surprising:

    (I do not know what, if any, bias or agenda that organization might have.)

    I should add that although I am not a huge fan of Keynes, I have often said that many people today forget that he said in good times to pay off the debts incurred by government spending in bad times.

    Education is simple, how many times have I said that public education is the foundation of our society and government and must be supported? I believe that it is legitimate for government to set minimum standards for what is taught. I also think that various theories of effective education must be proven or discarded. I do not think that money by itself is the determining factor for quality of education.

    Energy: we must eventually move away from fossil fuels, we have no choice. But to do so in a fashion that ensures increasing energy costs due to government endeavors is not the correct approach. But we could spend several pages on that one. (I personally favor nuclear power until solar and geo-thermal can come fully online.)

  26. Considering the problem we have with outsourcing jobs, would you like to explain why Fair Trade would be disadvantageous to the US and trade partners?

  27. El_Lobo,

    Glad you liked it. I generally try to post links from sites that are proven to be non-partisan or objective (and from the original source whenever possible) but I am not familiar with that organization. I suspected they might be somewhat right wing, but the observations made about Keynes seemed legit and agreed with what I have heard before.

    I still prefer Hayek to Keynes, mainly because of his opposition to central planning.

    To move this back to the topic of the letter, I, too, think Krugman needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    A couple of weeks ago he had a column that advocated borrowing even more money because interest rates are so low, even negative in some cases. Even though we already borrow about 40 cents of every dollar we spend, Krugman would be happy to see that at 50 cents or even higher!

    He seems to forget that at some point that money must be paid back, no matter how "cheap" it is. Even Keynes, I think, would have a problem with Krugman's position.

  28. peacelily,

    In order to have a reasonable discussion on "Fair Trade" vs. "Free Trade" it is necessary that we (or anyone else) are agreed on our terms. For my part, I was very surprised when I found out that the term "fair trade", as used by diplomats and the WTO, has a very different meaning than the one I had been giving it.

    Just for grins, without doing a Google first, what is your conception of "fair trade" as you use it above?

    Then do a Google on it and see what the WTO considers to be a "Fair Trade" policy.

  29. teamster,

    Assuming you are not a government employee, would you have a job unless some person or group of people put up the money to start the business you work for?

    Have you ever tried working for yourself?

    Do you think that your job just magically appeared because you wanted/needed it?

    Have you ever said "Thank you" to anyone who has hired you?

  30. "Wake-up & smell the roses....."Trickle down economics" doesn't work. The last 10 years are proof of that...."

    The last 4 of which were on President Obama's watch.


  31. "You have a "narrow view of widening" what a rich person is and does. As a whole, rich people, the one percent, do not work. The majority of their money is generated from investments."

    Rich people invest in companies through stock and bond ownership. These capital investments allow businesses and companies to exapnd and grow and employ more workers. Job creators.

    Plus, these same rich people spend their money on goods and services: Luxury goods and services. These expenditures allow businesses and companies to employ more workers. Job creators.

    If A=B and B=C, then A=C. It's not true just some of the time. It's true all of the time.


  32. "Rich" people don't work? Managing investments is more than a full time job. Active ownership and involvement in partnerships and businesses is more than full time. If there is nothing in it for them, how many will keep spending so much time generating wealth?

  33. @jrtsr (John Thompson) and @Carmine,Point well taken.

    In the larger picture of investments and investors in relationship to a businessman or businesswoman, the investment at some point begins earning more over time compared to the work being produced over time. In other words, at some point the vestment exceeds it's initial worth.

    More American business success stories are from individuals who have saved and then borrowed as some point from a bank or relatives or friends. You can call them investors, but not really investors in the Mitt Romney type, of hanging around until your no longer a profitable entity. Your friends, your family, your bank will lend you money when your at your lowest point when in business, even at the point of closing the doors.

    Investing, loaning, and borrowing are all different. Rich people invest money expecting a fix or escalating return on their money. Smart business people will establish a borrowing relationship with a well funded financial institution. A investor, or rich person is usually low on the list of established businesses.

    Still, the drivers of employment in America are businessman and woman not rich people. The vast majority of rich people do not work. Businessman and woman work, they work to keep their business' going strong.

    Just because your rich, or an investor, does not make you a job creator. However, a businessman or woman are job creators..absolutely!

  34. boftx,

    That is hard, in a way. I wasn't fair in my question because it has 2 different concepts.

    The WTO is more about "freer" trade than the usual meaning of "fair" trade. I support "Freer Trade" at the moment, as more realistic.

    For that reason, I go with the WTO definition. I don't think the world can do Fair Trade yet on the normal global trade level.

    However, I am not opposed to the normal "fair trade" definition for consumer buying, and have bought items classified as Fair Trade items. In this case, I go by the "Fair Trade" definition as a social movement.

    I think the WTO "freer trade" definitions are a good compromise between the two, if they are practiced and enforced.

    Some links:

    In another direction from international trade protectionism, I found this on Interstate Commerce.

    What drew my attention was a reminder of NV Energy's desire to build a transmission line to California for sale of excess power purchased or produced, can't remember.

    The NV rate payers were to pay for the transmission line.

    Somehow, it seemed a rotten deal and I wonder how it applies to Interstate Commerce, in light of the effect on ratepayers, the majority of whom are not wealthy?

  35. "Nothing like voting against one's own best interests... ...Right Carmine?"

    "I'm happy to see that my little buddy Carmine has finally admitted that "trickle down economics" doesn't work. "

    On the first: Wrong WRT me. I never do but you may. Be my guest and tell us the outcome.

    On the second: Neither does trcikle down government. Aka keynesian economics. Just ask Obama and Bernanke. 4 years to move the needle from 8.1 to 7.8 unemployment. And 3 rounds of QE, quantitative easing by the Fed. Prima facie evidence.