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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

THE MYTH OF EQUAL PAY

BRYCE ON CAPITALISM

- In capitalism, there is no such thing; it's what the market bears.

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The president has seized upon the concept of "equal pay," not so much from a gender equality perspective, but taking umbrage with CEO's of big businesses making millions, while others struggle with minimum wage. Translation: the distribution of wealth. There is no doubt we are witnessing some rather obnoxious economics today, particularly by athletes, entertainers, the media, CEO's and politicians. For example, I never understood how a backup catcher in baseball, who does nothing more than warm-up relief pitchers, can earn a million dollars. Nor do I understand why people pay exorbitant ticket prices for sporting events, particularly at the Super Bowl where it costs as much as $2,400 for the worst seat in the house. Then there is the matter of paying over $4M for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl.

Although I find it disturbing people willfully pay for such obnoxious economics, I am fully aware of the concept involved, which is "capitalism" representing what the market will bear.

On a recent Fox News segment, I heard liberal commentator Bob Beckel champion the concept of "equal pay," that CEOs should not be paid bloated salaries while the workers are paid much less. Beckle balked at suggesting a salary cap for executives, probably because he is reported to have a personal net worth of $10M. Naturally, this would preclude him from asking for more money for his media appearances and columns (see "hypocrisy"). In other words, he has no means for setting the bar as to what would be fair and equitable.

We may be born equal, but what we do with our lives is ultimately up to the individual. Some may become inventors, pioneers, writers, craftsmen, and captains of industry; others will become thugs and wards of the state, blaming their woes on others as opposed to assuming responsibility. Some people will succeed, some will fail, all of which is referred to as "natural selection" a la Charles Darwin. For example:

* If the minimum wage is raised, and jobs disappear, it is "natural selection" within the free market.

* If athletes and entertainers keep raising their salaries, and ticket sales fall off, it is "natural selection" within the free market.

* If the price of a product is raised to the point where people stop buying it, it too is "natural selection."
"Natural selection" is capitalism in action.

Socialism is "unnatural selection" and the antithesis of capitalism. For example:

* If money is taxed from the rich and given to the poor, the rich will be less likely to invest in undertakings that will produce jobs and stimulate the economy.

* Likewise, if government bureaucracy inhibits companies with stifling rules and regulations, it too will have adverse effects on jobs and the economy.

* If prices are defined by the government and not the market, it is "unnatural selection."

The concept of a "free market" is a capitalist concept, not socialist. It means the market can behave unfettered from artificial restraints as imposed by government. To make it work though, you must assume responsibility for your actions and understand the prospect of risk. The same people who endorse equal pay, are the same who refuse to assume responsibility and risk. They want it all without having to earn it which, of course, is socialism.

If you are concerned about obnoxious economics, as I am, please be mindful that every time you order expensive tickets or merchandise, or purchase $10 hot dogs and beers, you are endorsing capitalism. If the market fails to bear idiotic prices, they will inevitably go down, naturally.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BRYCE'S LAWS ON LIFE - We've done management, systems, and project management, now how about Life?

  - Do they truly support project management or are they glorified punch clocks?

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