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Stark contrasts......starting with Rush Limbaugh

Can there be anything more obscene than what this piece "Learning from Limbaugh" - on CommonDreams - about the amounts of money being paid to various people, and how the "system" is so skewed that the contrast between income-earners is getting ever-wider?

"In 2008 Rush Limbaugh was paid $38 million. In 2014 Rush Limbaugh earned $66 million. For terrestrial navigation he drives, among other things, a Mayback 57S that costs $450,000 fully loaded. For celestial travel he flies in a Gulfstream G550 that cost $54 million.

April 2015 was noteworthy for reasons having nothing to do with the income tax. On April 19, 2015, Dan Price, the CEO of a company called Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company located in Seattle, Washington, announced that he was cutting his own salary and raising the minimum annual salaries for everyone in his company to $50,000 immediately and over the next three years, years, to $70,000. In doing so he was cutting his own annual salary from $1 million to $70,000. In making the announcement at a quarterly firm meeting he was, understandably greeted by a standing ovation from employees. He explained that he was doing it partly in response to a study conducted by Princeton that concluded that emotional well being rises when income reaches about $75,000 a year. Mr. Price said “I want to be a part of the solution to inequality in this country, and so if corporate America also wants to be a part of that solution, that would make me really happy.”

One week later there was a story in the New York Time with the enthusiastic headline: “Democrats are Rallying Around $12 Wage Floor.” The headline gives the impression of a gathering of politicians eager to do something similar to what Mr. Price did. That was a bit misleading. What Democrats wanted to do would happen only incrementally and the goals were more modest than those of Mr. Price. The Democrats hoped to see the minimum wage go from $7.25 an hour or $14,500 a year to $12 an hour or $24,000 a year by 2020. Of course no one thinks that will happen. It is simply aspirational. There is no reason for a minimum wage worker to expect anything to change with respect to his or her earnings if an increase depends on Congress.

One day before that story appeared, the Washington Post had a story about Charles Gladden, a homeless man who works in the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. According to the Post “For eight years, he has greeted senators, staffers and lobbyists in the hallways and the cafeteria, at exclusive banquets and special functions.” He earns about $18,270 a years serving the elected nobility, assuming he works 52 weeks a year. Of course he doesn’t. The senate takes lots of paid vacations and when they are on paid vacation he, too, is on vacation-unpaid. Part of the time he lives at the McPherson Square Metro Station which is about 2000 feet from the White House. He moves around quite a bit since he is homeless and hasn’t had a permanent residence for more than 20 years."



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