Class Cooperation. Not Class Warfare.

January 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Super Earners

If you earn more then $325K in the US, you’re in the top 1% of all earners. You’re a super earner. Chances are you own a business, manage a business or have a great portfolio. You depend on your business. Your business depends on consumers. Consumers depend on earners.

When earning isn’t well distributed, consumers lean on credit. When credit runs out, consumers can’t buy what you’re selling. The economy stalls. This is where we are now. What’s the way back? Balance has to be restored. Goldman Sachs knows it. They’re looking for an alternative to increased taxation. That’s why they’re considering enforcing a requirement that all their executives donate 4% of their bonuses to charity. Here at Openyear, we’re asking you to consider donating 3% of your income to the bottom 99% to help reduce inequality. We call it Open Pay.  Open Pay distributes pay based on relative person to person influence. With respect to reducing inequality, Open Pay is 4X  more efficient than  taxation. Take a look at our 5 reasons to open your pay here, or read on to learn why we think Open Pay is, arguably, the best use of your charitable dollar.

You probably think in terms of drivers. If a ship is sinking, bailing is essential, but fixing the driver, the leak, is critical. Epidemeologists have recently identified inequality, itself, as a driver of many of society’s problems – from lack of trust to violence and imprisonment.


inequality is a driver

If you have an interest in any of these problems, you can address each issue one at a time. Or, more productively,  address then all in one action, by focusing squarely on inequality.

Super Earners have asked us the question, “I see how this can help the middle, but what about the poor?” Poverty can be understood as a system. Its 2 most important drivers are growth and inequality. The size of the pie, as measured by GDP, gets lots of attention. But what about it’s counterpart – how the pie gets sliced – as measured by the Gini Index - it gets far less attention. But, it’s the elephant in the room.



inequality is a driver

Your charitable contribution to Open Pay goes directly to earners in the bottom 99%. 90% of all earners in the US  make less than $100K. This $100K and under earner group gives, on average, 2.2% of their income to charity, as compared to 1.8% for super earners.  Since 10%+ of what they give goes towards the basic needs of the poorest, as compared to about 5% for super earners,



incomes and giving

Open Pay, enables you to strengthen the middle, and that helps cascade giving to the poor. Consider that people in the middle probably know more poor people than you do, and leverage their domain expertise. Class cooperation. Not class warfare.

You value your time. You value your effectiveness. We challenge you to consider what other single action you can take that helps to improve both society and markets at the same time.  Why wait for higher taxation, when you can demonstrate leadership now on an alternative approach to ameliorating inequality, that puts money directly into people’s pockets based on merit ? Please consider Open Pay today, your staff and the public will love you for it!

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