Workin’ For The Money

I always find it so interesting to see people making well in excess of $100,000/year. I really have to stretch to find ways to spend it all in my imagination. Feels a bit like Brewster’s Millions.

There are some jobs where I think it’s acceptable to make well more than average wages, and some professions where it’s really not. The problem is our economy doesn’t do a very great job of rewarding all of the people doing work that can keep civilization viable a very long time. It tends to reward hockey players, CEOs of shell companies, and movie stars far beyond what is reasonable. It’s gone on so long though, most people think it’s both reasonable, and acceptable, even though the inequality is striking when someone has more disposable income than a hard working janitor could hope to make after two years of full time work at two jobs.

It’s unfair for society to shame individuals making piles of cash that is rightfully theirs according to the economic rules we’ve all agreed to. It’s not easy to turn down offered money that you’re told is yours to accept. If we didn’t have such a negative view of taxation, and intentionally fail to see how it can be used to provide for public goods, there’d be an easier solution available for individuals and society. That’s one reason why you’re told to be leery of taxes and why there are well funded advocates for lowering tax rates for the wealthy in particular.

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11 responses to “Workin’ For The Money

  1. Be careful when you think about wages like this, the effects of inflation, hitch is compounded year to year, really have any upward pressure on wages. If in 82 you were working for 35k, you’d need 85k to have the same buying power at a 3% per year wage increase. But the inflation rate averages 3.2 or so over the long term according to stat can. Look insead for the shap divide in take home pay, if in the last 30 years you pay doubled, you’re on track for inflation. If it is 1000% more then there is a problem.

    As some who works in a union, my wage is very respectable but a lot of people who do not value what they are worth tell me that “no one” should earn 80k. Why don’t those people figure out why they ARE worth that much? I’ve lived on 20k a year in the 90s, why should wondering where your next meal is coming from be mandatory?

    In the end, I am happy to pay taxes to support welfare, health Canada, statscan, and most of the other services that taxes provide for. This is not like many of the people I work with, where paying someone to avoid taxes makes sense. It almost seems if I were to tell them that for each dollar they burn the government would get a dollar less, they’d literally burn a third of there gross pay just to prove a point.

    They want us divided, just because some makes more than you, doesn’t make them an enemy. It is when the money itself becomes the goal that they need a tune up.

    PeterC

  2. Economics is a human created game and we can change the rules if the game is biased and if we want it to be more fair. Excessive wealth and excessive poverty both contribute to a society without compassion. Often too much economic power (personal wealth) blinds us to the global problem of too little to survive on. Once we have ours, who cares about where it came from and the harm done? Is it moral and ethical to accept the rewards of a system that is being manipulated to downsize the income of the majority of workers in favour of those that already have an supersized share of the wealth?

  3. Rather than be distracted by “hockey players, CEOs of shell companies, and movie stars” people should be focused on the financial basket case we call government spending.

    Here in Ontario we have a $16 BILLION deficit this year (note this is NOT debt). Wages account for 55% of all provincial government spending. We also have the “Sunshine List” of public provincial employees making over (coincidently) $100,000 per year…

    This year there are 78,901 provincial public-sector employees making over $100,000 per year. For these folk ALONE that means a minimum of $7.9 BILLION or to put it realistically that accounts for half of our deficit.

    If we confiscate 100% of Ontario hockey player earnings, at an average salary of $1.8 million each, thats roughly $80 million, so we are now short… about… $7.82 billion. Hmmmmm, not enough. Lets confiscate ALL the Canadian NHLers monies!! That’ll do it!!! So 7 Canadian teams X 22 man roster X $1.8million= $277 million!!! We’re only short $7.6 BILLION.

    For Ontario ALONE…!

    Confiscation is not the problem ludicrous government spending at EVERY level is.

    PS… this is ONLY for Ontario. For the 375,000 employees of the federal civil service, wages average $114,000 per year http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/11/public-service-salaries-canada_n_2275037.html

    • Government spending on taxpayers isn’t a big problem. Government paying for billionaires to have free R&D, that is. If we ended government spending on oil companies, we could possibly agree on something for once.

      I also never said anything about hypothetical 100% tax rates on anyone you listed. However, someone making $2M a year could survive and thrive on a 75% tax rate, and still retire after less than a decade of earning at that level. Average people doing average work would still have to work 30 years to come close to that sort of retirement level.

      • “Government spending on taxpayers isn’t a big problem”… for once you’re right. The governments at EVERY level spend more than they take in and have for decades. See? They can do it even if they don’t have it!!!!

        Have you ever heard of that little thing called the European Union? They thought, and still do, the same way as you. Look at the basket case they are. Earlier you decried our leasing of resources to China. Would you like it better if we went hat in hand to borrow? Where do you think the money comes from? The most mobile capital is the wealthy themselves… look at Gerard Depardieu!

        You would need over 5,000 people earning $2 million/yr to pay off Ontario’s wages portion of this years deficit. Another 5,000 to pay off the services portion. How does it help when these people move to tax friendlier jurisdictions?

        As for R&D, ALL business’s can take advantage of this tax CREDIT if they invest their OWN money in their OWN future. Note that this is a credit, a reduction of taxes that would be paid ANYWAY to the oh so efficient government. Be it oil, gas, coal, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro tidal, what ever power generation you choose, all are under the same tax rules. All take advantage of the same system.

        Perhaps in Saskatchewan things are different, but here in Ontario it’s the law to show fuel taxation at the pump. We pay a minimum of 38 cents per liter in taxes. Are you trying to tell me that the government returning monies previously taken accounts for ‘spending’? If so I can understand the public’s culpability in deficit spending.

        Your future lies an ocean away, in my old stompin’ ground. It ain’t pretty.

  4. Redjeff is not interested in reasonable discussion. A search of his web activity shows a continuing pattern of personal offensiveness and denigration. Just a limp dick with an inflated ego and nothing useful to contribute.

    • Hi Al. By reasonable discussion how about for starters giving me a realistic plan to pay off any of our public deficit or debt.

      Secondly, could you respond with any proof to your previous claims…

      1) Al claim “Maybe you’re confused by the math”. RJ “can you tell me what is wrong with the NOAA math?”
      2) Al claim “are (you) too young to have directly experienced the environmental changes?”. RJ “can you tell me the direct environmental changes you yourself have experienced? I have yet to see any.”

      I know this has nothing to do with penis’s but it would be a ‘reasonable’ start.

    • You’re right Al. I’ve banned him a couple times, but he comes back anyway. He’s the most verbose troll I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something because Klem used to comment here too much also.

      • Saskie, perhaps you can correct the math or share your personal experiences with climate change!

        Oh, I forgot to mention there are 407 doctors in Ontario who made over $1 million in 2010. Five made over $3 million. How many $2 millionaires do you think there are in Ontario!!??!!?!??? Considering the intensity of American recruiting, where do you think they’re moving to?

      • I still visit this site John, I was never banned but I don’t comment much anymore. The subject matter is not so interesting to me as it once was.

        cheers

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