Originally posted on April 17, 2018.
Is income inequality in the U.S. a “staggering problem” and, as President Obama called it in 2014, the “defining challenge of our time,” asks Francis Menton in the Manhattan Contrarian.
For me, I say it all depends on how you look at the world. If you want to look at the world as providing the occasion for anger, resentment, and victimhood, then by all means declare income inequality to be a crisis. Are you not one of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States? Well boo-hoo! Let’s all sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and plot our revenge!
The other way of looking at the world is that it is a cornucopia of opportunity for those willing to go out and strive a little. Capitalism has just created a few hundred new billionaires! What are they going to do with all of that money — put it in a big pile and count it over and over again? If you want to be prosperous, and maybe extremely prosperous (if not a billionaire yourself), then get out there and find something to sell to these people! Believe me, this is the entire business model of the major law firms, and the lawyers at those places are definitely in the “extremely prosperous” category. Same goes for the people who run hedge funds, or who build and sell mansions, or yachts, or private jets, or luxury goods of every sort. With all that wealth waiting to be spent, there is no reason for anyone to be poor or idle. This is an economic engine ready to be ignited!
On April 6 the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein posted: “How 12 experts would end inequality if they ran America.” Mr. Menton lists some of the respondents’ ideas:
- Universal access to childcare by funding with a new tax on capital.
- Start a universal social wealth fund to boost unions’ rights.
- Create a trust for every American baby, race-based reparations, which wold amount to a $3-4 trillion hand out for openers.
- Dramatically strengthen Social Security, never mind that it is already going broke,
One of the 12 experts tapped by Stein is David Azerrad, a conservative guy from the Heritage Foundation. His “solution,” would actually work, if you buy into the idea that income inequality is a staggering problem, writes FM.
Azerrad’s idea is to ship the people in the top 1% of the income distribution to Venezuela. If you think about how the income inequality statistics work, you quickly realize that this step would immediately flatten the income distribution dramatically.
But dare we ask: Would anybody actually benefit from this step? Not if benefit is measured by economic success. If “benefit” is instead measured by the exquisite satisfaction that comes from revenge, I guess you will find some of that, maybe more than you want to know about. Go for it, progressives!
Read more here.