Bill Gates, currently the second-wealthiest individual in the world, says that his extreme wealth is hard proof that the economy is not fair.
Gates’s net worth is estimated to be just short of $109 billion.
In a blog post, Gates wrote, “The distance between top and bottom incomes in the United States is much greater than it was 50 years ago.”
“A few people end up with a great deal — I’ve been disproportionately rewarded for the work I’ve done — while many others who work just as hard struggle to get by.”
Gates is especially disappointed by how the government taxes wealth made through labor versus wealth created through capital.
“I don’t see any reason to favor wealth over work the way we do today,” said Gates. Our tax system, he says, is “the clearest evidence I’ve seen that the system isn’t fair.”
Gates believes the solution to this problem is a higher capital gains tax, the taxes investors pay when they sell a stock at a profit.
The government, “should shift more of the tax burden onto capital,” Gates wrote.
Mark Cuban’s solution
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a “shark” on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” also has highlighted the growing gap between those who grow their wealth through capital versus those that try to increase their wealth through labor.
“The biggest issue for entrepreneurs, for capitalists, for those of us who are successful is, if someone is only going to be paid by the hour … they’re always going to fall behind,” said Cuban.
“And income distribution is … [the] disparity is going to get wider and wider.”
Cuban believes the solution to income inequality is that employers should be required to extend equity in their company to all their employees.
“We, as entrepreneurs, have got to make a point to give stock to everybody that works for us. Period. End of story. No exceptions, because that’s the only way people are going to get any type of equity appreciation.”