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Obama's Politics of Hate and Envy: Pitting Us Against Each Other --- Walter E. Williams

Ken 2011/10/19 23:35:37
Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
$290,000,000.00??? Didn't Obama say that at a certain point "you've made enough money?"  Protest Oprah!
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Pitting Us Against Each Other

By Walter E. Williams


10/19/2011






President Barack Obama and the Democratic
Party have led increasingly successful efforts to pit Americans against
one another through the politics of hate and envy.
Attacking CEO
salaries, the president -- last year during his Midwest tour -- said, "I
do think at a certain point you've made enough money."


Let's look at CEO salaries, but before doing so, let's look at
other salary disparities between those at the bottom and those at the
top. According to Forbes' Celebrity 100 list for 2010, Oprah Winfrey
earned $290 million.
Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned
$100,000, she earned thousands of times more than that. Is that fair?
Among other celebrities earning hundreds or thousands of times more than
the people who work with them are Tyler Perry ($130 million), Jerry
Bruckheimer ($113 million), Lady Gaga ($90 million) and Howard Stern
($76 million). According to Forbes, the top 10 celebrities, excluding
athletes, earned an average salary of a little more than $100 million in
2010.


According to The Wall Street Journal Survey of CEO Compensation
(November 2010), Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, earned $87
million, Oracle's Lawrence Ellison ($68 million) and rounding out the
top 10 CEOs was McKesson's John Hammergren, earning $24 million. It
turns out that the top 10 CEOs have an average salary of $43 million,
which pales in comparison with America's top 10 celebrities, who earn an
average salary of $100 million.


When you recognize that celebrities earn salaries that are some
multiples of CEO salaries, you have to ask: Why is it that rich CEOs are
demonized and not celebrities?
A clue might be found if you asked:
Who's doing the demonizing? It turns out that the demonizing is led by
politicians and leftists with the help of the news media, and like
sheep, the public often goes along. Why demonize CEOs? My colleague Dr.
Thomas Sowell explained it in his brand-new book, "The Thomas Sowell
Reader." One of his readings, titled "Ivan and Boris -- and Us," starts
off with a fable of two poor Russian peasants. Ivan finds a magic lamp
and rubs it, and the jinni grants him one wish. As it turns out, Boris
has a goat, but Ivan doesn't. Ivan's wish is for Boris' goat to die.
That vision reflects the feelings of too many Americans. If all CEOs
worked for nothing, it would mean absolutely little or nothing to the
average American's bottom line.


For politicians, it's another story: Demonize people whose power
you want to usurp. That's the typical way totalitarians gain power.

They give the masses someone to hate. In 18th-century France, it was
Maximilien Robespierre's promoting hatred of the aristocracy that was
the key to his acquiring more dictatorial power than the aristocracy had
ever had. In the 20th century, the communists gained power by promoting
public hatred of the czars and capitalists. In Germany, Adolf Hitler
gained power by promoting hatred of Jews and Bolsheviks. In each case,
the power gained led to greater misery and bloodshed than anything the
old regime could have done.

Let me be clear: I'm not equating America's liberals with
Robespierre, Josef Stalin and Hitler. I am saying that promoting
jealousy, fear and hate is an effective strategy for politicians and
their liberal followers to control and micromanage businesses. It's not
about the amount of money people earn. If it were, politicians and
leftists would be promoting jealousy, fear and hate toward
multimillionaire Hollywood and celebrities and sports stars, such as
LeBron James ($48 million), Tiger Woods ($75 million) and Peyton Manning
($38 million). But there is no way that politicians could take over the
roles of Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and LeBron James. That means
celebrities can make any amount of money they want and it matters not
one iota politically.

The Occupy Wall Street crowd shouldn't focus its anger at
wealthy CEOs. A far more appropriate target would be the U.S. Congress.




Walter E. Williams


Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason
University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is
the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on
Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'


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Top Opinion

  • Rodney 2011/10/20 00:05:02
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Rodney
    +13
    Dr. Williams is my favorite economist and has this NAILED! The CEO's do the job they are hired for, to make money and pay dividends to investors like my self. Sure, I would love higher returns, but would robbing them of their compensation amount to anything and would doing that bring me the same hard work and success that they are providing? I doubt it. The old adage is correct, you get what you pay for...unless you are a union worker.

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  • Ken pizzaman7 2011/10/20 23:17:22
    Ken
    +1
    Spending is most of the problem. Federal spending as a percentage of GDP has increased from 20% under Bush to 26% under Obama, in only 21/2 years! That's 30%, and we are now borrowing 42 cents of every dollar the federal government spends!!!
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2011/10/20 03:35:53 (edited)
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +5
    Walter E. Williams is such a brilliant guy. Thomas Sowell is another intellectual giant and I'll have to get his new book because I read all of his.



    This reminds me that I heard that when the liberals Ben & Jerry started their company they had a policy that the top employee would not make more than five times of the lowest employee. Well, after they almost had to file for bankruptcy they hired a real CEO and that policy had to go by the wayside.
  • Ken Gracie ... 2011/10/20 04:10:49
    Ken
    +3
    I remember that about Ben & Jerry being so liberal - I never liked their ice cream anyway.
  • Gracie ... Ken 2011/10/20 23:52:12
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +2
    I won't eat liberal ice cream!

    ben and jerry kooks
  • wtw 2011/10/20 03:31:48
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    wtw
    +5
    I have always liked Dr. Williams!!
  • Marie/M2M2K™-#1Conservative... 2011/10/20 03:30:13
  • Marty9957 2011/10/20 02:58:21
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Marty9957
    +2
    Is there an article that goes with this by Dr Williams? If so, I'd sure like to read it.
  • Ken Marty9957 2011/10/20 04:11:47 (edited)
    Ken
    +1
    It's at the top of the post, right below the questions and answers, from Townhall.com.
  • Marty9957 Ken 2011/10/20 11:14:15
    Marty9957
    +2
    Thank you.
  • paul 2011/10/20 02:54:12
    $290,000,000.00??? Didn't Obama say that at a certain point "you've made enou...
    paul
    +3
    Obama would not of made it to the White House if it wasn't for the big Wall Street money that helped put him there. It didn't take long for Wall Street executives to realize that they bet on the wrong horse.
    There was a reason the George Soros publicly questioned if the (progressive) movement should consider another candidate due to the results of the midterm election.
    Barack Obama and George Soros thought they could "transform" America into a complete Socialist state in four years. Their plan didn't pan out.
    I find it interesting to see that team Obama is supporting the OWS protesters now that he knows he can't go back and ask for more campaign funding from Wall Street.
    What Obama is saying to Wall Street is, "you turn your back on me? this is what you get"
    I don't want to equate Wall Street with the Mafia but what Barack Obama did to wall street is what Robert F Kennedy did to the Mob. They both asked for their support to get the Presidency and when took office turned on them.
  • Ken paul 2011/10/20 04:13:19
    Ken
    +1
    Good points!
  • Red Branch 2011/10/20 02:35:13 (edited)
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Red Branch
    +4
    I would like to see him in the race for President. If not that, I would like to see him in a cabinet position or the head of an agency. Secretary of Treasury is my 2d choice for a job for him.

    He could bring Dr Thomas Sowell with him for another top level job.
  • Ken Red Branch 2011/10/20 04:14:22
    Ken
    +3
    They both should definitely be on the new pesident's Council of Economic Advisers, whomever he/she is!
  • Mark P. 2011/10/20 02:02:42
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Mark P.
    +3
    Top 10 Richest US Lawmakers
    July 7, 2010 Politics
    By Eric


    Share
    229

    Congressmen are always talking about representing the everyman. Whenever they go on the campaign trail, you see them patronizing small, locally-owned businesses, holding meetings with locals to discuss issues that are important to them, and pledging to give the little guy a voice while they serve in Congress.

    It all sounds good, but can Congressmen who are millionaires really be in touch with the needs of the average person? When a senator can’t even remember how many houses he owns, can we really trust him to represent us accurately and make laws that are in our best interest? Is all hope lost when the President and leader of our country owns a multimillion dollar mansion?

    Critics say this is a fundamental flaw of the American political system. The ultra wealthy simply spend however much money it takes to beat their opponent and basically buy the election. Then, they continue to get reelected at alarming rates once they’re in.


    Facts about Rich Congressmen

    Before we reveal the 10 richest members of Congress, here are a few statistics you might find interesting.

    8 of the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress are Democrats
    28 of the top 50 richest members of Congress are Democrats
    11 of the top 50 riche...












    Top 10 Richest US Lawmakers
    July 7, 2010 Politics
    By Eric


    Share
    229

    Congressmen are always talking about representing the everyman. Whenever they go on the campaign trail, you see them patronizing small, locally-owned businesses, holding meetings with locals to discuss issues that are important to them, and pledging to give the little guy a voice while they serve in Congress.

    It all sounds good, but can Congressmen who are millionaires really be in touch with the needs of the average person? When a senator can’t even remember how many houses he owns, can we really trust him to represent us accurately and make laws that are in our best interest? Is all hope lost when the President and leader of our country owns a multimillion dollar mansion?

    Critics say this is a fundamental flaw of the American political system. The ultra wealthy simply spend however much money it takes to beat their opponent and basically buy the election. Then, they continue to get reelected at alarming rates once they’re in.


    Facts about Rich Congressmen

    Before we reveal the 10 richest members of Congress, here are a few statistics you might find interesting.

    8 of the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress are Democrats
    28 of the top 50 richest members of Congress are Democrats
    11 of the top 50 richest members of Congress are freshman members
    About two-thirds of US senators are millionaires
    Who’s the Richest?

    Sen. John Kerry (D)—The former Presidential candidate leads all members of Congress with a net worth of $167.55 million. He has dozens of million dollar assets, and the bulk of his wealth actually comes from his wife’s money.
    Rep. Darrell Issa (R)—Despite the recession, the California lawmaker has continued to increase his net worth to $164.70 million. He founded Directed Electronics, a car alarm manufacturer, and he has other valuable investments.
    Rep. Jane Harman (D)—This California Democrat has holdings in Harmon International Industries, an audio products company. In 2008, she reported a more than 50% decline in her minimum net worth, but she’s still worth $112.13 million.
    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D)—When you hear the Rockefeller name, you immediately associate it with wealth. This West Virginia Senator is currently worth at least $80.45 million.
    Sen. Mark Warner (D)—Warner is the richest of the 11 freshman lawmakers. He was the co-founder of Nextel telecommunications, making him incredibly rich. His minimum net worth is estimated at $72.37 million.
    Rep. Jarred Polis (D)—Polis is a serial entrepreneur. He first founded American Information Systems, and later sold it for more than $20 million. He then grew his family’s greeting card business, and that sold for $780 million. After that, he founded ProFlowers.com and sold it for $477 million. His net worth is estimated currently at $71 million.
    Rep. Vern Buchanan (R)—Buchanan has many assets, including real estate, car dealerships, and investment accounts, making his net worth $49.79 million. The Florida Congressman has reported a sharp decline in net worth during the recession.
    Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D)—Lautenberg became rich from a payroll processing company he founded back in 1952. He maintains three blind trusts, and his total minimum net worth is $48.38 million.
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)—The California Senator has an impressive portfolio that includes multiple trusts, real estate, and various partnerships. Her minimum net worth is estimated to be $42.94 million.
    Rep. Harry Teague (D)—Another rookie lawmaker, Teague earned his wealth by founding an oil services firm, Teaco Energy Services. His net worth is $40.63 million.
    (more)
  • Red Branch Mark P. 2011/10/20 02:39:23
    Red Branch
    +4
    Are Feinstein's assets linked with her husband or is that Her wealth.

    He or They have made billions with trade deals with Communist China.
  • johnc 2011/10/20 01:41:56
    All of the above
    johnc
    +5
    He reminds me of something I read many years ago. called the hangman, At first he hung, only indians, then only the blacks, then only the jews, It ends with the hangman is looking for you. Obama has always created demons. some he will run out of people and things to blame. Seems to have an excuse for anything and everything. my favorite was the Tsunami.
  • MAMMY51... johnc 2011/10/20 02:21:32
  • Ken MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 04:17:14
  • Brendakp MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 16:54:18
    Brendakp
    +2
    PERFECT! And a lot of the idiots that are protesting most certainly voted for Obama and he's the one who bailed them out!
  • MAMMY51... Brendakp 2011/10/20 16:59:32
    MAMMY51♥POTL~PWCM~JLA♥
    +2
    Yes they did and will more than likely vote for him again.

    vote
  • Red Branch johnc 2011/10/20 02:41:41
    Red Branch
    +4
    No, he will never run out of people to blame.

    He threw his white grandmother under the bus, he threw his pastor of 20 years under the bus. This is the same pastor that married him and baptized his daughters.

    If you will throw your grandmother, who raised you, under the bus; no one is safe.
  • MAMMY51... Red Branch 2011/10/20 17:16:53
  • Red Branch MAMMY51... 2011/10/25 20:28:09
    Red Branch
    +2
    That's about what I had in mind.
  • Dave POTL-PWCM-JLA 2011/10/20 01:12:37
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Dave POTL-PWCM-JLA
    +8
    So the mendacious leftist politicians have their reasons for dividing the people, and while it's knaving, deceitful and greedy, why do the liberal sheep follow without the ability to think critically and are willing to leave the fate of the nation in the hands of these poltroons?
  • MAMMY51... Dave PO... 2011/10/20 02:24:03
  • LisaSmith MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 02:27:04
    LisaSmith
    +2
    LOL...That is funny.
  • Ken Dave PO... 2011/10/20 04:19:10
    Ken
    +3
    That's the $64 question. (are you old enough to remember that show?) Why do liberals cling to their socialist beliefs when it has failed everywhere and every time it has been tried?
  • Dave PO... Ken 2011/10/20 12:45:07
    Dave POTL-PWCM-JLA
    +3
    It's arrogance. It's a belief that "were Americans, and we can do it right this time".
    $64 question....?? Before my time I guess. I would call it the $1,000,000.00 question.
  • Ken Dave PO... 2011/10/20 23:25:46
    Ken
    +2
    I didn't remember it right - it was the $64,000 dollar question! Still not much by today's standards.

  • sglmom 2011/10/20 00:54:32
    All of the above
    sglmom
    +7
    NOT Only has Dr Williams nailed it ..

    But yes, these OWS Protestors .. should be rightly PROTESTING .. down in Hollyweird (get a celeb spotting map .. go on the tours .. just PROTEST There .. after all .. that is where the TRULY maddening displays of greed, wealth, hypocrisy lie) .. and anywhere these "celebs" are at ...
  • MAMMY51... sglmom 2011/10/20 02:20:39
  • seadog6608PWCM 2011/10/20 00:45:46
  • MAMMY51... seadog6... 2011/10/20 01:05:24
  • Ken MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 01:09:46
  • seadog6... MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 01:48:34
  • Icono1 2011/10/20 00:28:29
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Icono1
    +7
    Yep, good ol class warfare.
  • MAMMY51... Icono1 2011/10/20 01:07:21
  • Rodney 2011/10/20 00:05:02
    Dr. Williams has nailed it again!
    Rodney
    +13
    Dr. Williams is my favorite economist and has this NAILED! The CEO's do the job they are hired for, to make money and pay dividends to investors like my self. Sure, I would love higher returns, but would robbing them of their compensation amount to anything and would doing that bring me the same hard work and success that they are providing? I doubt it. The old adage is correct, you get what you pay for...unless you are a union worker.
  • MAMMY51... Rodney 2011/10/20 02:39:30
  • Rodney MAMMY51... 2011/10/20 03:54:04

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