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.
Ms. McArdle is right. We should focus on improving the absolute condition of the poor, not on reducing the gap between rich and poor.
- Some Truth About Income Inequality
- Closing the Income Equality Gap By Any Means Necessary
- Egalitarianism, Or Pulling Everyone Down
- Inequality, Upward Mobility and Rules for Radicals
- All You Need to Know About the Equality Movement
- Income Inequality is Code Speak for Wealth Redistribution
- Kurt Vonnegut and the Dangers of Equality