Sunday, April 10, 2011

The rich didn't steal from anybody

First, a quick check for the defenition of steal:
According to the Wiktionary (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/steal):

To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away.
According to a legal dictionary (http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/S/Steal.aspx):
The taking of something from another without any legal right to do so.
Now that that is out of the way, let us look at how someone gets hired. An employer hires someone because they believe that their business would have an net benefit should this person be hired. There is no other reason, although there are several reasons why a candidate might improve the business. For example, my local hockey arena would not hire a secretary, full time IT professional, or CEO. That is because, despite the valuable services that these members might bring, the cost is too high (remember, probably the only full time staff are the kitchen people and the Zamboni driver).
But some people have more (desirable) skills than others, and most professions have few people who excel at their jobs. This is why certain people make more than others, even if the work seems easier, less, or both. Because of this, certain people make a lot of money for their jobs. For example, a cardiologist can make 250,000 dollars a year or more because the profession requires extensive preparations and extreme skill. Likewise, managers are paid more than workers (managing people is not easy), directors more than managers (imagine managing managers), and presidents and VPs get paid even more than them (for the same reason). And the CEO, the head of it all, is elected by the shareholders (the ultimate in democracy: only those who contribute can vote, and those who contribute more get more clout).
This is, in short, how rich people get money. They get paid for it. (The vast majority of millionaires, approximately 60%, got their money from working hard or starting a business. The common reasons, like stock market, chance events, and inheritance, account for less than 14%. I got these statistics from The Millionaire Next Door, but I may have them wrong as I read it a while back, and will try to re-check them.)
But you think that hard work (remember, it is not always the most qualified candidate who gets chosen; there are many other factors at play, including the will to advance and take that extra
responsibility. I had a friend who was a welder, and he liked that you showed up for work, did your job, and left, and there was no responsibility beyond that.) doesn't deserve such a high salary, and that they could take a pay cut and give the employees more. Remember: the point is to get the job done with the least expenditure of capital. If you are as qualified, as willing, as charismatic, and have the same connections, and are willing to do it for less, I'm sure they will hire you over the expensive guy.
And therein lies one of the reason for such a high salary: the connections. They are not built overnight, and take many, many years and much effort to form and maintain. Not many people would say that decades of their life maneuvering into a high-paying position does not deserve a high salary; or else what would the point be?
I still haven't seen any illegal taking of goods from anybody. On top of that, you gave them the right and power to do so. Not you, silly, but you as a market. Remember: you are the citizen of the market. It is your job, as a consumer, to reward good business practices and to punish bad Your dollar is the ultimate in voting strength. It is democracy on paper. In a fair and open campaign for your dollar, the companies all make decisions about their platform. You, with your dollar, voted for the company that you like best. This was probably based on the product, but can also be based on other reasons (see the attempted boycott of the Alberta Bituminous Sands: it is not avoidance because the oil itself, as a product, is inferior). Even if you still aren't swayed, please don't tax something into oblivion because there are a few bad apples (I will admit it, there are a couple scum-bags out there). Just as you won't ban cars because there are automotive fatalities, don't put punitive taxes on the successful because of the bad apples.

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