A recent YouTube video, “Wealth Inequality in America,” has been steadily circulating through various internet sites and social media outlets. The viral video seeks to educate the American populace on how unjust or “skewed” the American Economic system is because it creates horrible economic inequality. However, the video is rather vague for it seems to only emphasize the topic of the distribution of wealth, without actually explaining why they believe this inequality is ghastly and unfair. The video raised the question of whether or not CEOs are worth what they earn. According to the video, a CEO earns in one hour what the average employee earns in one month. The video also made the hypothetical query, “Does a CEO really work 380 times harder than his average worker?”; implying that this is immoral because Americans do not ideally think or even perceive the value placed on CEOs as being fair distribution of wealth. So then I pose this question, “Is this supposed unjust distribution caused by an inherently evil unjust system and do the rich like CEOs and athletes get paid an unjust amount?”. I have concluded that this is view is inaccurate as it is a misconception of how wealth is actually earned and dispersed. First, we must become aware of how wealth is actually distributed in the United States, with the exception of government contracting, bailouts, grants and loans, social security, welfare (both corporate and individual). Whereas the Federal government chooses the winners and losers, wealth distribution is based off the free market. The market is simply people - millions of people that make day to day decisions. In fact, every time you choose to shop at Wal-Mart, Target or any other store you are deciding where to distribute your wealth. There is no system or outside force that causes you to purchase goods and services at any particular store in the United States or even a particular brand. Instead, we the American people decide how to spread our wealth. Economist, Walter E. Williams clearly conveys the truth of this idea,
Look at how Wal-Mart Stores generated wealth for the Walton family of Christy ($25 billion), Jim ($21 billion), Alice ($21 billion) and Robson ($21 billion). The Walton family's wealth is not a result of ill-gotten gains, but the result of Wal-Mart's revenue, $422 billion in 2010. The blame for this unjust concentration of wealth rests with those hundreds of millions of shoppers worldwide who voluntarily enter Wal-Mart premises and leave dollars, pounds and pesos.
Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned. People paying each other for goods and services generate income…[M]ost wealth is not distributed at all. People create it, earn it, save it and spend it. (Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, 1995, pg 211)
I think some of the ignorance and much of the demagoguery stems from the usage of the phrase "income distribution." It might make some people think income is distributed; in other words, there's a dealer of dollars….An alternative vision might be that there's a pile of money intended for all of us. The reason why some are rich and some are poor is that the greedy rich got to the pile first and took their unfair share. Clearly, in either case, justice would require a re-dealing, or redistribution, of the dollars, where the government takes ill-gotten gains of the few and returns them to their rightful owners.
"He [Jeter] is the brand," said St. Louis Blues interim CEO Mike McCarthy, who ran MSG Network when it owned the rights to Yankees' games. From McCarthy's unique position as a top television executive and now as part of an ownership group in St. Louis, the 36-year-old Jeter adds premium value to the Yankees and YES -- both estimated to be worth more than a billion each, maybe much more -- as he likely becomes the first Yankee with 3,000 hits.
During his Yankees career Jeter has made $213 million in salary (with another $43 million still to come) and roughly $100 million in endorsements. Yet his value to the Yankees has been even greater. The value of the Yankees and its related enterprises has increased by nearly $5 billion during Jeter’s career. Yes other stars contributed greatly to the Yankees success, but no one quite like the Captain.
This post was originally posted on Café con Leche Republicans blog.