Is the income gap growing?

Well you could say I have a profound conflict of interest here, because I’m in the . . . I’m the fat cat by every conceivable standard – physical and financial, and literally. It’s clear, I think, that the incomes are less equal than they’ve been in some period of time. And I’m not one that gets terribly exercised at discussions of raising revenues. While I think the big, big, big action that’s required is reduce the spending and reduce some of these benefits, particularly for people like me that don’t need them, it’s quite possible that there’s gonna be some increases in taxes – quite possibly. And then the discussion would be what’s the fair way to increase taxes. It certainly isn’t on the poor. And you know, let’s figure out whether the best way is to tax the Pete Petersons more on their marginal rates, or to try to affect private equity firms, which is the big debate going on now, or what. But I would be very surprised, because politically what’s going on is the Democrats quite understandably are looking at these huge incomes that some of us at the top make, and the fact that the middle-income classes have enjoyed relatively small increases in real income. And their healthcare costs are very high, and college education costs a lot of money. And it would be hard for me not to be sympathetic and empathetic to their condition. However, longer term, the way to fix that . . . the best way to fix it is for this country to save and invest more, and not to depend on the rest of the world and borrow our money from it. So I think there is a high correlation long term between what we can do to increase the incomes of the average person, and how we attack some of these public issues like Social Security; like Medicare; like healthcare costs out of control; like our energy gluttony at the present time; like the fact that half of our kids in the major cities only graduate from high school and we’re trying to compete with China and India that not only have much lower labor costs, but have much higher graduation of mathematical and physical scientists and so forth. We’re living in a very much more competitive world economy whether we like it or not. And the best way, in my view, of increasing the welfare of the average worker is to make this economy stronger.

 

 

 

Recorded On: 7/26/07

Even a fat cat says it is.

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less