Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

the rich get richer

I myself am prepared to argue that investment bankers and traders make more money than they deserve to, and let's not even start on the lawyers.  But I cannot think of any way to reverse this trend without doing enormous violence to America's admirably efficient financial markets, and thence its economy.


http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2007/04/cui_bono_2.cfm
Permalink wannabee richie 
April 12th, 2007 6:23pm
That's why we have taxes.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 12th, 2007 6:28pm
Bono makes more money than he deserves to as well. Cui Bono? Cui?
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 12th, 2007 6:31pm
Taxes?  do we have a tax on overpaid investment bankers?
Permalink STH is a simpleton 
April 12th, 2007 6:37pm
> Taxes?  do we have a tax on overpaid investment bankers?

Yes. It's called having to buy obscenely expensive jewelry.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 12th, 2007 6:39pm
You can make as much money as the system will let you earn.  Just make sure you send 30% of it or so to the IRS, so they can use it to maintain your roads, schools, performing centers, military, Supreme Court, Congress, etc.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 12th, 2007 6:39pm
30 per cent?

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha (gasp).
Permalink The CEO's club 
April 12th, 2007 6:44pm
So that's the system we have now, which has left us with overpaid investment bankers.

Try to follow.

We have overpaid investment bankers.

How to get rid over overpaid bankers without damaging the system as a whole.
Permalink STH is a simpleton 
April 12th, 2007 6:47pm
Just bankers? Bankers, executives, and lawyers? Just those professions you think "make too much"?

To be honest, progressive taxation and inheritance taxes are, I think, the most stable, sustainable method of dealing with "people who make too much."

(Are investment bankers really that big a problem? I thought Charlie Sheen lost his shirt at the end of that movie...)
Permalink Send private email Philo 
April 12th, 2007 7:03pm
bankers, traders, and lawyers by my reading of the OP.

Are you suggesting raising those taxes?
Permalink bob 
April 12th, 2007 7:05pm
"overpaid"?  Who decides, you?  Us?

We're not communists, you know.  Just because somebody makes an obscene amount of money (and we might be a little bitter about that) doesn't mean they should be killed or anything.

Haven't you heard, "a rising tide raises all boats"?

Nope, as long as the IRS gets their fair share of that income, I'm satisfied.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 12th, 2007 7:29pm
> Haven't you heard, "a rising tide raises all boats"?

It's a phrase not an economic reality.  Labor's share of income is declining.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2005/07/labors_falling_1.html

Billionaire hedge fund managers aren't raising all boats.
Permalink where are the customer's yachts? 
April 12th, 2007 8:39pm
Here's the deal folks. With the ascent of stable labor forces in developing countries (outside Africa, ME) and technological advances (yes, including the shipping container), Western companies have outsourced the labor that was being done in-house, in-country two generations ago. The term outsourcing is fairly new, but it's been happening for decades ... given any product made by a Western company, a smaller and smaller percentage of it being made by the company itself. Western companies have concentrated at the end of the value chain.

What does this mean? It means that while 50 years ago the management of GE (CEO and lower rungs) may have overseen a larger workforce at GE than today, today's GE CEO is effectively taking a cut from the work done by millions of people outside GE itself. And since all these workers, domestic, within the company, outside the company, etc, are more productive (around 4 times more) than workers were 50 years ago, there's a larger pie for the CEO of GE to take a cut from.

The top management at Western firms (there are quite a few in Europe and Japan as well) is becoming more and more the tip of the working iceberg. And a big, ever-more efficient iceberg at that.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 12th, 2007 10:58pm
Read up on what (not) to do:

http://www.careerjournal.com/myc/killers/20040709-palmer.html

Hardly paragons of anything worth admiration now or in the obituary columns.
Permalink trollop 
April 12th, 2007 11:40pm
One of the things that has cut into jobs in Western countries is computerization.

The manufacturing jobs that have gone East are in general those such as garment manufacturing that depend on a large labour pool. Not vast profits to be made there. The big blue collar industrial employers, such as cars, shipbuilding and steel, have lost jobs to automation -- cheap labor is not a factor there when the average capital for each worker in a steel plant is around $5 million.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
April 13th, 2007 6:15am
>Taxes?  do we have a tax on overpaid investment bankers?

No, they get hired as independent consultants, get their money paid to their own personal offshore shell companies and end up paying about 10%.
Permalink Colm 
April 13th, 2007 12:45pm
>But I cannot think of any way to reverse this trend without
>doing enormous violence to America's admirably efficient
>financial markets, and thence its economy.

Investment bankers typically capitalize on inefficiencies in the market, and take a cut while, for instance, increasing overall liquidity (and arguably doing more good than harm).

They are still way overpaid, but this is because they are in an industry where there exists not enough competition and there are plenty of people whose stupidity can be capitalized on. Better math education (and education in general) would probably help reduce their obscenely high payouts.

Also taxing them half to death would help. There ought to be a way for the tax system to distinguish who actually created value and who merely accumulated money.
Permalink Colm 
April 13th, 2007 12:51pm
" There ought to be a way for the tax system to distinguish who actually created value and who merely accumulated money."

Any idea how? a poll? most blood sucking profession?
Permalink it's a nice idea... 
April 13th, 2007 10:30pm
No, unfortunately not.
Permalink Colm 
April 15th, 2007 8:40am

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