After hearing the news that the American middle class is no longer the most affluent in the world, Glenn began to question the policies and ideology that got us to this place. In December, Glenn reacted to a segment on MSNBC’s The Cycle in which co-host Krystal Ball declared the United States could “eliminate poverty” by implementing a minimum guaranteed income for every “non-incarcerated adult citizen.” In keeping with the theme, progressives are now tossing around the idea of “maximum wage” in hopes of eliminating income inequality.
“Now they're coming out and saying we need not only a min wage but we need a max wage too, so everybody can be miserable together,” Glenn said. “Can I ask you a question? Who's going to work for a maximum wage?”
Damon Linker, a senior correspondent at TheWeek.com, published an article this week entitled “Why we need a maximum wage.” Linker argues that the fight to eliminate income inequality should “start at the top.” He cites a number new books and articles from progressive icons that advocate higher taxes on wealth and inheritance “to restrain the growth of inequality.”
But Linker’s piece takes a slightly different approach. “Increases in wealth, inheritance, and incomes taxes certainly might do some good,” he writes. “But not as much as imposing a maximum wage.”
Last fall, 66% of Swiss voters rejected the "1:12 initiative" that sought to cap the earnings of executives at 12 times the wage of its lowest paid workers. Linker admits the “draconian” cap rejected in Switzerland would fare far worse in the United States, so he proposes a “less severe and more thoughtfully crafted” alternative.
He references a plan put forth by CNN Opinion columnist John D. Sutter, who, in a column published last November, argues for a maximum wage set at 100 times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (or $15,080 a year based on a 40-hour work week). That sets the ‘maximum wage’ at $1.5 million a year.
“So there would be no more billionaires,” Pat noted.
“They would just be billionaires spending their money in another country,” Stu countered. “Because all those people would just leave. [They’re] not going to turn over 97% of their income to the United States income.”
Linker goes on to say that if Sutter’s plan is “too harsh,” he would be open to capping wages at 200 times the minimum or more. “We could even peg the maximum to 1,000 times the minimum wage — $15 million a year — and still allow CEOs to be filthy rich while reining in the most obscene excesses at the very top,” he writes.
Read the full article HERE.
The maximum wage argument assumes these evil executives are living some lavish lifestyle at the expense of the company’s employees. But Glenn spoke from his own personal experience as he explained why that is simply not the case.
“I've put every dime I have in this company. Every dime I have is in this company,” Glenn said. “If you're running a construction company or, you know, Dairy Queen, it doesn't matter what. All of your money is tied up in your business so all of your employees, their money, is not being tied up in your business. They get their salary, and they get to save it and everything else. You've put your life savings – you've put everything you have into your company.”
Ultimately, as entrepreneurs know all too well, you pour your blood sweat and tears into something you believe in and you take responsibility for your failures, your successes, and anything else that comes your way.
“Barack, you want to build these studios for me? You want to pay for the lighting bills? You want to pay for everybody's insurance? I mean, actually give them insurance? You want to pay for all of these things? You want to pay for the brand-new cameras and everything else… I'm doing those things. So what right do you have to my profit because I'm not holding you responsible for my loss,” Glenn asked. “[The government is] saying, ‘Well, we're going to pick and choose winners, and we're going to pick and choose losers’… The government has never picked a winner. Never. [They] always pick the losers… I don't want you responsible for my debt. I don't want you responsible for my failures. But you're certainly not responsible for my successes either.”