The income gap between America’s “rich” and America’s “poor” has been growing for more than three decades. Is that a problem? No. Absolutely not.
President Obama says it is. Even Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine, Andy Serwer says it is. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) after-tax household income grew over the twenty-eight years leading to 2007 62%. Is that bad?
Breaking that down, the top one-percent of earners’ income grew 275%. Is that bad? The bottom twenty-percent’s grew only 18%. Is that bad? Adjusted for inflation, according to the CBO, the lowest-earning fifth (quintile) of earners in 2007 were earning 18% more than the lowest-earning quintile of twenty-eight years before did.
In Sesame Street terms should we call that good? Better? Best? Bad? Worse? Worst? If one lives in the idea that “fair” means equal outcomes rather than equal opportunity, that happiness should be delivered rather than having to be pursued, the answer is somewhere among bad, worse, and worst. If one lives in the world of reality, rationality, logic, and what can and cannot makes sense of the observable world in which we live, then the answer is better.
Above the term “quintile” was used. For decades the Bureau of Labor Statistics has tracked incomes by households across five quintiles from lowest-to-highest. What it found was that from decade-to-decade those populating, say, the lowest quintile at the beginning of a given decade were much more likely a decade later to be in the third or fourth quintile than still in the lowest. For most, the BLS found, “poverty” was a temporary condition for the new to adulthood and those who’d suffered a setback along the way. A significant percentage of those in the top quintile, even the top 1%, at the beginning of a decade could be found in one of the three lowest quintiles a decade later.
Three truths must, then, be established. The first is that America has a very-small segment of its population that is and remains “poor” over time. Beyond that, however, America has no classes, ala lower middle and upper. That classes fraud is used to pit groups against each other, and to get people to see themselves as victims and demand that government do something about it. The second truth is that the majority – whether it’s simply more-then-half or 75% or 90% — of America’s super-rich earned it rather than inheriting it or even inheriting any significant amount of it. The third is that since 2008 and its presidential campaign, the U.S. Government has been intentionally and aggressively seeking to make all of America’s people poorer, except for union bosses and a few corporate quid-pro-quo colluders in the short-term and the government both short- and long-term.
President Obama calls for reducing the “wealth gap”, and when pressed, makes clear that he’d reduce the gap by plundering the rich . . . even if doing so made “the poor” poorer in the process. One has to have a serious mental disorder to find that a good idea. Wealth envy and achievement envy are serious mental disorders, and not pretty.
So you say, how about we raise up the poor rather than attack the rich. Let’s raise the federal minimum wage. That’ll raise up those at the bottom. Realville. The laws of economics. The laws of human nature. When the price of gas goes up, you try to figure how to use less of it.
Every time progressives/liberals/Democrats get the federal minimum wage increase, thus looking like they care for the “little guy”, jobs disappear. Teens that walked around restaurants handing out fresh hot bread and rolls. Teens that helped people at resorts in the summertime carry their luggage. Service station attendants who pumped your gas and cleaned your windshield and checked your oil. All gone. The latest in 2009 was followed by unemployment among young black males doubling.
That a rising tide raises all boats doesn’t apply here to all Americans . . . only about 98% of them. Well, unless we consider that charitable giving rises when the 98% do. Okay then, a rising tide raises all boats.