How to get way rich…..!
11 June 2009 Leave a comment
All right. I’m sitting in a staff development that we are having because it was decided that we would be better off with more (unspecified) staff development. Oh, I know. I tell kids, “More is better,” but I think it usually means that fluency in writing is a good thing and will be rewarded.
So I spend time scanning the Times. I was reading this article earlier this morning, “Treasury to Set Executives’ Pay at 7 Ailing Firms“, and it made me think.
I heard not long ago that Americans largely disapprove of the mega-bonuses paid to big bank and insurance exec’s who are using Federal money to keep the companies afloat. Americans think that’s wrong, BUT. Americans largely do not want weighty taxes put on big salaries. Generally, we don’t disapprove of huge incomes. Why? Because one day it will be our turn and we want it all. You know. When we win the lottery.
So …wait. We didn’t used to have lotteries all over the country and we didn’t have people earning 7 or 8 or 9 digit salaries. Look at the chart that’s attached to this article. Chart of salaries. What do you notice? That they’re almost all old White guys? No, that’s not what I mean. I mean Steve Jobs made about $100,000, and he’s doing okay. And Sanjay K. Jha had to struggle along on $104,400,000, probably because Apple switched over to Intel for processors. Jha made 1,044 times as much as Jobs!? Hm.
Okay. I get it. It’s about making the lottery legal.
You start with a going corporation…Sell lots of stocks. Make a big name. Start making a lot of profit. Try to figure out how not to pay taxes on the profit and how not to distribute the profits among the stock holders. If the stocks look too good, the price goes up and your stock options aren’t getting you the controlling shares you want. Skip the stock options, go for the cash. That’s better because you don’t have to share.
So how do you avoid taxes and keep looking “good”? Find another way to pay for the things taxes pay for. Hey. Lottery! Start paying your lobbyists and well, your legislator. [Come on. I chair a political action committee. Wheels need oil.]
Get two things through – tax breaks for corporate profits – no corporate income tax. It would drive out companies, kill capital investment lead to layoffs, etc. Oh, and it would take money away from billion dollar giants. And a lottery.
How to pay for all those other things, the human services? Lottery surpluses. It sounds really good. Use the money from the lottery for schools. (Yeah, right.) No taxation. Let the poorest, most desperate believe that they can spend grocery money buying a lottery ticket or ten because her/his number is bound to come up, and now everyone can be rich. There’s money to pay for schools, health care, elderly, roads, bridges, parks, libraries, all paid for by the grocery money of the poor, nearly poor, and certainly deluded.
Meanwhile the middle class sinks toward poverty as its money goes into the impoverished cycle of poor, supporting the poor on the one hand. Meanwhile, the middle class is paying interest into the pockets of the financial system that can be swimming in cash, even when it goes sour. Whose houses are being foreclosed? Who are ever the victims of greed? But that’s another story. Poor people lose their home, and the middle class lose their retirement investments, and the small businesses fold up, but the moguls of finance walk away with the chips.
And it’s okay with Americans, because one day…one day…it’ll be my turn.