Friday, April 29, 2016

The Irony Of Income Inequality Rhetoric

If you pay any attention to the political scene, one theme comes up over and over again from the political left, namely the specter of the "income inequality" boogeyman. Never mind that there has always been and will always be income inequality and also never mind worrying over whether or not income inequality is actually bad or if the government should "do something" about it. This is the cause that is central to both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns and will be repeated over and over again in the general election regardless of who gets the nomination. It is the entire sum of the Democrat economic agenda, "curing" income inequality (and of course letting deviants use women's bathrooms because nothing matters more than the whims of a tiny percentage of mentally ill people). What makes this entire argument so dumb is not that it is a meaningless platitude but that it actually harms the poor and traps them in the cycle of poverty.

The alleged method of solving income inequality is for the government to take money away from those who have too much money, to be determined by a government panel, and give it to someone else who doesn't have enough money. Now it doesn't really matter how hard a person worked or how long they saved to become rich. Nor does it matter if the poor person has done nothing to change their circumstances. Whether you earned and deserve the wealth you have is irrelevant, all that matters is that person has too much money and that person has too little. The promise is to take all that money controlled by a tiny minority and spread it around. Except that is not what is really going to happen. Here is why...

So we are going to take all of this wealth out of the control of a tiny percentage of private citizens and turn it over to a tiny percentage of government bureaucrats. The end result is the same, a tiny fraction of the population controls most of the wealth. This is supposed to be better because of course because while rich people are evil and eat puppies, government bureaucrats are all pure as the driven snow and there isn't a hint of corruption to be found in the boundaries of the District of Columbia. What hasn't changed is the reality that a small percent of the population controls most of the wealth, just the people who control and the means by which they obtained it.

Let me clue you in to a little secret. All of this talk about income inequality has nothing to do with leveling the playing field or other such nonsense. It is all about concentrating even more money and therefore power into the hands of the self-anointed cultural elite, oddly enough the very same people who are clamoring the loudest about income inequality. Here is how it works. The government takes $100 from an evil rich person. The government keeps $22 of that money to pay bureaucrats to sullenly push paper around and be rude to taxpayers. The government gives $75 of that money back to the rich person in the form of some sort of complex tax haven or other scheme that the lobbyists have arranged. That leaves $3 to go to the "poor" in the form of "free" health care, food stamps, welfare payments and Obama phones. The poor stay poor. The rich stay rich. The government gets bigger. Everyone wins except the poor people who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of all this whole charade. 

I know that few people bother to think about this issue. All they hear is "That is unfair! I will make it more fairererer!!!" I still feel the need to rant about it. 2016 is going to be equal parts ugly and fascinating so expect the rants to keep coming.

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