HBO's Bill Maher probably didn't win any friends among his fellow wealthy Americans when he suggested that not only do we need an improvement in the minimum wage, but perhaps we should also have a "maximum wage" to keep these whining plutocrats from highjacking our democracy.
Here's more from Bruinkid over at KOS: Bill Maher's excellent commentary on income inequality:
Last night, Bill Maher delivered an excellent final New Rule on how some of the 1% are whining about feeling persecuted. [...]
And finally, New Rule: Someone must tell me what is with this new trend of people who have all the power acting like they're the oppressed ones? Heterosexual Christians under siege from gays. White people complaining that reverse racists are trying to strip them of their right to shoot unarmed black men. And most bizarre, the recent wave of billionaires sobbing that they're being demonized and under attack. And the thing is, it's not just having all the money in the world that's getting them down, it's that the rest of us don't often enough look at them and say, "You are the most brilliant industrious person on Earth. Can you teach us how to be more like you while we buff your cock with this fine Sham-Wow?"
You know, I used to think Hollywood egos were the neediest, but these Masters of the Universe? More like babies on a plane. Stock trader Steve Schwarzman — net worth $8 billion — once said that Obama raising his taxes 3% felt like when Hitler invaded Poland. Sounds like something Sarah Palin would tweet after huffing paint thinner. (audience laughter) But with the super-rich it's becoming a meme. Now we have Tom Perkins — net worth $8 billion — saying the richest 1% are so persecuted in America, they feel like Jews in Nazi Germany. Which is why just to be safe, last week Tom built a panic room inside his mansion that's a full-size replica of Anne Frank's house. (groaning audience laughter)
Is it really that hard out there for a pimp with $8 billion dollars? You know, even when your shady financial tricks tanked the economy, nothing happened to any of you. Nobody went to jail, nobody went broke, Justin Bieber didn't even egg your house. You just got richer while everybody else got poorer. The Oxfam committee released a report this year on global inequality, and the 85 richest people — 85 — owned more than the bottom 3 1/2 billion put together, which is half the planet. This is a real problem, and not just for when they go halfsies on a wedding present.
And not that that Nazi/Jew analogy deserves to be taken seriously, but the Jews didn't do anything to deserve the hate they got. But America's super-rich? In the last 30 years, even though worker productivity went up 90%, income only went up 8%. If I was working twice as hard, and someone else was reaping almost all the reward, I'd hate them. And I'd also want to know, how could that happen? [...]
Did you know that during World War II, FDR actually proposed a cap on income that in today's dollars would mean that no person could ever take home more than about $300,000? OK, that is a little low. (audience laughter) But wouldn't it be great if there were Democrats out there like that now, who would say to billionaires, "Oh, you're crying? We'll give you something to cry about. You don't want a minimum wage? How about we not only have a minimum wage, we have a maximum wage?" [...]
That is not a new idea. James Madison, who wrote our Constitution, said, "Government should prevent an immoderate accumulation of riches." Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, they all agreed that too much money in the hands of too few would destroy democracy.
When I was doing a bit of reading after Fox's Gary B. Smith was out there pretending that he in any way actually wants the United States to emulate the way they manage their economy over in Switzerland, this is one of the articles I came across. What We Can Learn From Switzerland’s CEO Pay Cap Vote.
I can't imagine us having any more luck here with getting something like that passed, but it's a dialog that is long overdue in this country as well. It's one I was very happy to see Maher open up on his show. Whether anyone working in the corporate media follows suit remains to be seen.