One can seek to have equality under the law. This must always be a goal. Seeking equality of income however is just stupid. Why should people make nearly the same income if they have widely varying skill levels and contribute to society, the marketplace, the world, to greater or lesser degrees?
I have never understood why some people envy those who have more than they do. I’ve never in my life looked at someone who was “rich” and felt somehow that that person owed me something. And I grew up on the upper end of poor, lower end of middle class. (Though my parents were both educated.) I figured it was on me to get what I wanted.
People want a reason to complain about people they envy. They want to dress their envy up in sociological regalia. See it’s not envy. I never had a chance. Its structural. We must now make the “rich” pay for the sin of being “rich.”
It’s dumb. That a rich person may generate wealth for others through investments (people don’t “hoard” they save and invest, it’s their money anyway) or employment means little. Some people just have TOO MUCH.
There is one very important addendum to the above. There is such a thing as the “illegitimately rich.” If one gained one’s wealth via fraud and/or cronyism then that wealth is ill gotten and as such deserves attention from critics. A good example of this would be the bankers who grew fat off of the bailouts of 2008-2009. The Clintons would be another good example. But generally speaking most people who complain about income inequality don’t care how one got rich. Just that there are rich people.
You see we should all be equally poor. (It doesn’t work the other way.) That would make the world better.
(From Trib Live)
Here are some questions for those who bemoan existing differences — “inequalities” — of incomes.
• You say current levels of income inequality are too high. How do you know? What level of inequality, if any, would you find acceptable?
• What is the appropriate group whose incomes are to be compared to determine how unequal is the current “distribution” of incomes? Does it include all people, even children and retirees? (Surely not. No one expects a toddler or nursing-home resident to earn income equal to a working adult’s.) All working adults? (Surely not. No one expects a teen at her first job to earn income equal to an experienced 55-year-old welder’s or surgeon’s.) All working adults of the same age? (Surely not. No one expects someone who chooses a low-stress job, such as college professor, to earn as much as someone of the same age who chooses a high-stress job, such as Fortune 500 CEO.)
• What’s so special about the income “distribution” of a nation? What about the income distribution of a state or city? If Latrobe’s income distribution is more equal than the nation’s, how much additional redistributive taxation should citizens of Latrobe willingly accept to help make the nation’s income distribution more equal?
• What about global income inequality?