Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism, The United States
The Left, as is usual, smells opportunity in statistics that they can use to win votes and attack the other side. Yahoo chimed in today: “THE ISSUE: The rich keep getting richer while more Americans are getting left behind financially. The average income for the top 1 percent of households climbed 7.7 percent last year to $1.36 million, according to tax data tracked by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. That privileged sliver of the population saw pay climb at almost twice the rate of income growth for the other 99 percent, whose pay averaged a humble $48,768.
“The ‘Income Inequality’ critic’s faculty salary puts him in the top 1%. Decrying the iniquities of the American capitalist system pays off. Emmanuel Saez’ total wages in 2014, came to $549,350,” in case you were wondering why tuition at major universities is so high.
Yahoo accompanied the headline “WHY IT MATTERS: Income Inequality” with a picture of a gentleman driving a golf cart from his house to his golf club as a group of landscape workers take a break in Vista, California. “Calif. income inequality has surged near levels last seen before the Great Depression.” Sounds like it was written by the Occupy Wall Street bunch. “California Income Inequality” and where is Silicon Valley located?
You might notice that economic growth is the rising tide that floats all boats; except that for 7 years and 7 months, there hasn’t been any growth because the president is trying to regulate growth into existence.
The vague idea of what to do about income inequality seems to involve taking enough money from the 1% so they are not rich enough any more, or at least not richer than anyone else. Because the rich are bad people and there are poor people. Being very rich is sometimes a result of creating a new thing that everyone wants and growing the economy and providing thousands of jobs.
On the other hand, there are rich people who are truly bad people. George Soros funded the protesters in Ferguson. He has funded #Black Lives Matter and urged them on, and #Black Lives Matter in turn has been responsible for attacks on the police who are trying to protect crime-ridden neighborhoods where blacks are shooting other blacks. Over 60 officers have been killed in line of duty this year.
If everyone has an income equal to everyone else —where is the incentive to create something, work on an idea, or start a business? You cannot take enough money away from the very rich to make the rest of the people equal. Doesn’t work. You have probably noticed that the dictators and rulers and presidents-for-life of the socialist countries of the world don’t exactly live in the same circumstances as the people with whom they share a country.
Economist Tom Sowell in his book Basic Economics wrote:
Although people in the top income brackets and the bottom income brackets – ‘the rich’ and ‘the poor,’ as they are often called – may be discussed as if they were different classes of people, often they are in fact the very same people at different stages of their lives.
Sowell points out that many of those who quote statistics as proof of income inequality falsely “proceed as if they are talking about income differences between classes rather than differences in age brackets.
Drudge reported today that the Burning Man festival out in the desert, where Silicon Valley denizens and aging hippies gather to smoke pot, is having trouble now with those who have brought $10K tents and their own chefs to provide meals. Income inequality indeed.
Here’s an article from the Hoover Institution’s Richard A. Epstein on “The Hidden Virtues of Income Inequality.” Worth your time.
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