Monday, January 30, 2012

Is income inequality really a problem?...w/ Update

no, it's not.

One thing I've noticed about people who complain most about the "greedy" rich is the way they have of wrapping it all up in their concern for the poor.  It's really no more than a clever way of masking their own envy.  My question is, "Where are all these "poor" people?  Oh sure, there are folks living under bridges, most of whom suffer from mental illness or substance abuse problems; none of which can really be remedied through laws.

In my dealings with the poor through different charitable organizations, one thing stands out for me; such people live way better than I do.  They have more and better electronics, are able to buy better food through the food stamp program, and receive free medical care.  While I'm reviewing my cell phone contract and trying to decide on switching to a lower cost pay-as-you-go phone, they receive free phones and airtime through several programs.  I'd like a free cell phone, but I'm not going to get one.  Clip coupons or shop sales?  Why bother when the government is going to electronically fill up your food stamp card each month, which incidentally, in many states can be used at a cash machine. 

In 2011, Health and Human Resources declared a family of four with a household income of $22,350.00 as "poor."  While 22k per year is not a huge amount of money, believe it or not, many families are living on that amount.  While it would be a stretch to live in downtown Manhattan on this amount, there are plenty of places in this country where they could live fairly well.  It would take some dedication to thrifty living, but it's doable.

It would never occur to these "champions of the poor", to suggest that people not have illegitimate children when they're 14 or 15 years old, or that finishing school would be a good idea; two of the leading indicators of future "poorness."  Instead, they cling to the notion that if we just give them more of whatever they want, someday they will magically be, if not rich, at least middle class.  It simply doesn't work that way.  Never has, and never will.

The uproar over Newt Gingrich suggesting that young people should have jobs at school was met with such a barrage of outrage it was stunning.  When did it enter our national consciences that doing janitorial work was somehow demeaning?  The last job my grandmother ever held before she died was doing janitorial work at night in a large office building, and she was a well-educated person.  She loved it.  But now, we think a 15 year old doing such things is tantamount to slave labor.

I'd take Newt's idea one step further.  From first grade on, the children should be responsible for cleaning their own classrooms.  When I taught at a private school, this was considered normal.  Every Friday, the last period of the day was spent with the kids washing down desks and blackboards, vacuuming, and straightening the book shelves.  Also, we had rotating teams every week that were responsible for cleaning up the lunch room after lunch.  These kids learned to take pride in their classrooms and their school. Why are we paying adults to clean up after children?  Is that not backwards?

Most of the people buying into this class warfare rhetoric are doing it so they can sit around with their five dollar coffees and feel good about themselves.  The facts are inconvenient, and they'll avoid them at all costs.

Bruce McQuain, at Questions and Observations, in an excellent article today, talks about income inequality:

Income inequality: why you shouldn’t care

James Q Wilson makes many of the same points that have been made here over the last few months concerning the argument about income inequality that the left has been trying to use as a reason to tax the rich even more than they’re taxed now.   In sum, most of the left’s arguments rest in the premise that the economy is a zero sum game and that the income the “rich” are taking had to come from someone else’s slice.
That argument, much like the climate change debate, depends on a measure of ignorance among those they’re trying to influence. 
In reality, income inequality is nothing to be concerned about when it meets certain conditions.   Or, in other words, it isn’t a zero sum game and everyone has an opportunity to do better.  read the rest of this excellent article

Silverfiddle, over at Westen Hero, has another wonderful article about this whole class warfare meme.

Socialism's Sad Propagandists

The entire Class Warfare agenda collapses under serious scrutiny
President Obama's demagoguery surrounding wealth, taxes and everybody paying their "fair share" (what ever the hell that is) has passed its freshness date, but still it sits there in the public square, rotting like a sack of bloody fish heads in the harsh noonday sun.  read the rest


  Feds: ‘Poor’ Consume Like The Rich  Be sure to read the comments 

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