Focus on Income Inequality is Misguided

Focus on Income Inequality is Misguided

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Here’s Megan McArdle of The Atlantic on income inequality:

I don’t care about income inequality. I care about the absolute condition of the poor–whether they are hungry, cold, and sick. But I do not care about the gap between their incomes, and those of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Nor the ratio of Gates and Buffett’s incomes to mine. And I’m not sure why anyone should. Other than pure envy, it’s hard to see how I could somehow be made worse off if Bill Gates’ income suddenly doubled, but everything else remained the same.

Right on, Megan.

All this left-wing talk about relative wealth is designed to get one class of Americans to scapegoat another class of Americans. It is envy-based and as such should be dismissed outright.

As I have said before, we can decrease the income inequality gap simply by reducing the income of the rich by a greater amount than we reduce the income of the poor. Even though the condition of the poor would have been degraded in absolute terms, progressives, by focusing only on improving the condition of the poor relative to the rich, could pat themselves on the back and declare victory.

Pure wackiness.

Ms. McArdle is right. We should focus on improving the absolute condition of the poor, not on reducing the gap between rich and poor.

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About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida

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  1. I completely agree. The whole class inequality and class warfare discussion has been completely overblown by the left wing media.

  2. John,

    The term “inequality” is code-speak for wealth-redistribution.