Capitalism at Its Best and Worst

Morgan Stanley’s John J. Mack’s record annual compensation of $41 Million only took a week to break. Goldman Sachs paid Lloyd C. Blankfein, its chairman and chief executive, a bonus of $53.4 million in 2006, the highest ever for a Wall Street chief executive.  As a percentage, Mr. Blankfein was rewarded with a financial package that was about one-half of one percent of the firm’s profit this year; to the average American citizen the percentage was fine but the amount obscene.  Last year he pocketed $38 Million; the people are asking what enough is.

America has created institutions that are capable of paying astronomical sums to their executives. It is comforting that our capitalist system is working so well. Yet to so many, the American Dream is slipping farther and farther into the future. Many have given up on ever achieving it. There is a searing wound festering in many that the capitalist system is unfair and should be subject to modification only a Marxian could design.

This populist current runs through every leftist and some centrists. Our universities and even our undergrads are being taught this propaganda and we see its maturation in wealthy eastern elites who vote Democrats into office for that very reason. Whether by guilt or reason they see the unfairness and want someone to do something about it. In their shortsightedness they miss the point that Marxian redistribution has never worked and that is the sum total of the Democrats intellectual tax and spend capability..

Capitalism if it is to survive this pummeling from the left it has to devise a way to let the less fortunate participate in its riches without stealing from the rich to do it.  There is an easy way and it goes by the name “personal accounts”. Such accounts will never approach the Mack or Blankfein level but they will deliver millions to those who presently don’t have the tools to compete for the big bucks; those who have no hope of ever getting rich.

I have written a book to chart that course, “Make the Poor Rich and America Wealthier”. The nice thing about my plan is that we use the citizen’s own money (not the rich’s) to create his fortune but he doesn’t have to invest one dime. We merely take his payroll taxes presently withheld and sent to the government and redirect them to his own personal investment account where those funds compound into millions over his 40-50 year working life.

It is quite simple and America is rich enough to pull it off. Our asset to debt ratio is currently running at a conservative 60 to 1 and more likely at 200 to 1. We just have to convince ourselves that 24/7 news has made dummies of us all constantly directing the dialogue to insignificant fires and never explaining or complimenting our enormous successes. We are an exceptional country and there is no getting around the fact that “personal accounts” will improve that condition geometrically.