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David Mansueto

Industrial Designer, Marc Newson Ltd.

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Some countries have a low "safety net". Do you think a "ceiling height" should also be established?

Many countries have established a safety net in which to prevent a certain population of people within a society to fall below a certain poverty line. Things like cash transfers, subsidies and public services are set up to support these people.

With the increased divide between low, middle and high income people, in real terms perhaps this safety net has not been lifted high enough to keep up. Often in tougher economic times certain programs and schemes that make up this safety net are reduced or given up completely in response to budgetary measures and debt.

There are many measures to try and maintain a certain equality amongst income distribution in a society such as a progressive tax system, however perhaps more is needed?

Perhaps a higher limit should also be established to try and close that gap in an aim to try to distribute money more evenly and direct excess money (if any) to re-invest in businesses and the economy.

In some sports a salary cap has been implemented for the aim to try and create a more even playing field amongst teams so that a single wealthy club cannot entrench dominance over players.

Could a similar idea be used to control income distribution within an economy? Opinions, ideas, suggestions and alternative examples of this idea would be very interesting to hear.

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  • Dec 31 2013: Let's just prohibit ANYONE doing better than anyone else in ANYTHING AT ALL!

    We can execute anyone with any talent or ability.
    • Dec 31 2013: Bryan, are you arguing that society justly rewards those who have given the greatest innovation?

      The long list of folks who have died paupers in need of the social support system described above, yet contributed immensely to society includes Henrietta Lacks, Edwin Armstrong, Nicola Tesla and goes on from there.

      Or do you argue that the wealthy do not require a support system to maintain their wealth?

      Perhaps you are claiming that wealth redistribution goes one direction, from the wealthy to the masses and never ever siphons from the masses to the wealthy.

      Whatever your case, state it without hyperbole and lets get to it.
      • Dec 31 2013: No, I'm arguing that there are jealous do-nothings who think that things will be better if only those who have more are injured. That's my case. A "ceiling" helps nobody. It is just a way to hurt people. This is different from a "floor", which keeps people from sinking into the mud. However, there are tiny-minded little whiners who can't stand the idea of anybody being prosperous, and these tinyminds demand that the "high" be chopped to pieces.
        • Jan 1 2014: Are you saying that folks do not have the right to complain against the wrong dealt them?
          How about a slight detour in history to why” tinyminds” are upset.

          S&L scandal … 338 billion lost
          Madoff …. 65 B
          London Whale 9 B
          Abacus Paulson & Co 2 B
          Joseph Nacchio 3 B
          Kenneth Lay Enron 34 B
          The tally from above, 471 Billion lost and that incomplete list only goes back to the 90’s Imagine how many hungry children that would feed, schools that would build.

          Now throw in the Eminent domain issues, ground water pilfering and poisoning, pay discrimination and many more. How dare they complain against the money mongers!!!
      • Jan 1 2014: People have the right to COMPLAIN. But complaint is not the same thing as using the violence inherent in government action to FORCE some silly "cap" onto anyone who DARES not be as mediocre as your average Jersey Shore fan.

        Of course, there will be those too dogmatic, lunatic, or just plain stupid to understand there is a difference between complaining and demanding that government use the monopoly of violence owned by a state to impose and enforce a "ceiling height".
        • Jan 2 2014: So far I have only heard unsubstantiated claims, in the vein of Unicorns and orbiting teapots. Give me concrete events which have happened in the USA to back your theories.

          Show me where the “monopoly of violence” inherent in the government, has kicked down the Tiffany Gates of Marthas Vineyard, and left with even so much as a wedgie being administered for their dreams.

          The low ceiling was a fire hose in Alabama
          A torch to the tents of Veterans outside of Washington DC
          The low ceiling has even been turned into bullets in Ludlow Co.

          Till I see the reciprocal treatment of the wealthy, I will continue to drive a schooner through your arguments without fear of scraping a fact!
      • Jan 1 2014: You and Bryan were really talking about different things. Some one like Maddox or Jon Corzine are really crooks who got their billions by plain cheating/scam. Then of course they they became the targets of complaint. And even the law enforcement wasafter them too. But Bryan was talking about the riches gained by legitimate talent or luck (but of course, if the person failed, he wouldn't get sympathy from those complainers, would he?)
        As someone already said that the progressive tax system has been already doing the income redistribution anyway, so this suggestion of a ceiling in income/wealth is really just so full of inefficiency and uncertainty about its practicability. Actually this kind of approach has been practiced by Stalin and Mao in their Communism "Great Leap Forward" campaign. Both of them, in fact, set the ceiling so low that nearly all so-called capitalists were given the life of forced labor camp or kept in the jail until they die. But THERE WERE STILL RICH PEOPLE THERE WHO WERE THE RULING CLASS OF THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT. AT THE SAME TIME, THE "FLOOR" FOR THE NO-ASSETS-PROLETARIAT'S NEW LIVING STANDARD FELL IN TO NO BETTER THAN STARVATION LEVEL.
        It is easy to say the noble idea of absolute equality, but who is going to lead us to this Utopia State? Remember, when Stalin and Mao were fighting "for the poor", very few poor people at that time believe what would happen next to them like it had. Even nowadays, there are still people, in North Korea, or some years before, in Cuba and Venezuela, who believed, and called, their rulers as their "great saviors", but still they are EQUAL but also POOR.
        • Jan 2 2014: Sorry, but rational discourse is not permitted by leftists. They're too busy creating demons to hate.
        • Jan 2 2014: Paulson & Co dealings were legal and could very easily be argued as the tipping point of the 2007 recession. The redistribution of wealth from numerous pensions and retirement accounts to the banks of a few is rarely mentioned. Why?

          If we accept the fact that no country can stand alone, no matter their political persuasion, then you must take into account that the collapse or rise of a society must be, in part, tied to outside influences. Whether they are punitive or constructive. We could even state that the hostile stance taken by Mao or Stalin was influenced by our equal reaction.

          A universal dismissal of a Utopian structure is not a valid argument. Only when Money is realized as a man-made structure that can be changed for the greater good instead of pursuit of wealth, then we can debate the Utopian life.

          Equally poor is a relative term, do you count dollars in the bank as wealth, if so then the divide will always be present.

          How does our embargo effect the Cuban's ? Is your valuation of their system still valid?
      • Jan 2 2014: Wow, now you like to blame all other countries in the world for being responsible for the failure of Stalin, Mao and F. Castro! Of course your kind of argument could win all the time, even though not many people would agree with you. Actually, I have already seen this kind of blaming the society for all the personal failures by the anti-social cultists or militants, and they used it as the justification for irrational doctrine or act.
        Wish you good luck, sir. Maybe, you would have the same luck to persuade enough people to agree with, and follow, you. Who knows.
        • Jan 2 2014: The human rights violation of Cuba are inexcusable. But since you claim
          they are alone in their troubles.

          Please enlighten me as to how a 51 year, total embargo, has no effect on
          an islands economy?

          Talk about imposed ceilings.

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