by Warren Beatty
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) views income inequality as a moral issue that governments should address. Warren also says that a minimum wage increase is needed to stop income inequality. She equated the minimum wage to income inequality. Warren said that concentrated wealth as the result of a rigged system that funnels the gains from workers’ productivity to their bosses, who suppress minimum wages.
Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, says about a minimum wage increase: “It will reduce inequality.”
Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama loves the idea of income inequality. Obama said “I take this personally.” In his State of the Union speech, Obama called for an across-the-board increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25.
Those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead. So our job is to reverse these trends.
About the minimum wage, Ben Carson of The Washington Times says:
“Many hope that through a simple declaration, the poor can be elevated to a higher social status. Such people fail to realize that pay is associated with value – otherwise, we could just pay everybody $1 million a year and let everybody be rich. In a capitalistic society, those individuals who produce the wherewithal to obtain income tend to be paid quite handsomely, while individuals who don’t generate significant income are paid accordingly.” [emphasis mine]
So, it all comes down to value. That inescapable truism applies to both the minimum wage and to income inequality. All the harping by Progressives/Liberals/Democrats (P/L/Ds) will never change that fact.
As reinforcement, consider this statement by W. James McNerney, chairman of Boeing, and chair of Obama’s Export Council:
“In many cases, if the workers are not productive commensurate with increased labor costs, we’d move to places where cost is commensurate.”
How plainly can the value concept be presented? Still, P/L/Ds argue that legislating an increase in the minimum wage will have no effect on employment.
Carson hit upon another issue that Obama abhors: “a capitalistic society.” Obama cannot overturn the laws of economics, so he is trying to overturn our capitalistic society and replace it with socialism. And, so far, with the help of Democrats, a majority of voters who cannot/will not function in our capitalistic society, and the MSM, he is succeeding.
The minimum wage and income inequality have become inextricably linked. And they have become political tools. “The Obama administration [will push for] … a minimum wage increase and a campaign against what Democrats call ‘income inequality’.”
What, then, is income inequality? It is “The unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy. It is often associated with the idea of income ‘fairness’. It is generally considered ‘unfair’ if the rich have a disproportionally larger portion of a country’s income compared to their population.” So, income inequality, like fairness, can be anything P/L/Ds define it to be. And a relief for income inequality can be achieved only, according to P/L/Ds, through social justice. This five minute video about social justice by Jonah Goldberg is well worth your time.
What causes income inequality? From Warren L. Dean Jr., an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, we get these reasons:
• Previous presidents (of both parties) have known that improving middle class economic prospects is the only way to reduce income inequality. Obama, without the benefit of any private-sector experience, does not know this.
• Obama has done more to promote income inequality than any other president. His economic policies have injected $1 trillion a year into the economy, but it has done nothing for the middle class.
• Obama’s failure to consider even modest reforms to entitlements has aggravated income inequality. Federal Reserve data shows that the vast majority of wealth recovery since 2009 has been by older Americans. And older Americans receive generous benefits that the country simply cannot afford. The income inequality between the rich and poor in America today is more of a generation gap than a class conflict.
• The primary beneficiaries of ObamaCare are, again, older Americans. Young, middle-class taxpayers, struggling to get ahead, are the ones who can least afford the added costs of ObamaCare.
• The national debt will double under Obama. His spending on older Americans will have to be paid by future generations. He furthers income inequality by making young taxpayers pay for his vote buying.
I’ll bet we don’t hear about any of these reasons from the MSM.
We now examine a religious reason. In her research report “Why Does Income Inequality Exist? An Economic and Biblical Explanation,” Dr. Dr. Anne Bradley offers this: “People are born with different gifts, they choose to pursue them differently, and they value those gifts differently. As such, our gifts carry unequal earthly rewards, one of which is in the form of income.”
Dr. Bradley continues, we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). Every person has a unique genetic code, making us all unique. Comparative advantage is the economic name for this uniqueness, and leads to specialization, which permits us to utilize our gifts most productively. She then says:
All of this comes down to the fact that each individual is born with unique skills and abilities.
The uniqueness and purpose in our creation is quite evident in scripture. … income inequality is an economic reality woven into the very fabric of our creation, and some of us will earn higher incomes than others.
Dr. Bradley concludes with a very powerful statement, one that succinctly answers why income inequality exists, one that transcends politics, religion, and human nature: “It’s not just what we are endowed with, it’s how we use what we have been given.” [emphasis mine]
But this Biblical explanation is an anathema to P/L/Ds, so let’s examine income inequality from a “what is actually happening on earth” perspective.
Consider the Bush economic expansion period (2002-2008), the Obama recovery period (2009-2010), and these facts. “Bottom 99% Incomes Real Growth” was 6.8 percent under Bush, and 0.2 percent and Obama. So, real income growth for the bottom 99% was slower under Obama, thus increasing income inequality. But what is most damning is that under Bush, “Fraction of total growth captured by top 1%” was 65 percent, while under Obama it was 93 percent. Got that? The top 1 percent’s income grew faster under Obama.
Income inequality expanded during Obama’s first two years. But what about since then? The next four “considerations” address that.
1. Consider that the median household income in June 2009 was $54,478, and it was in June 2013 $52,098, a 4.4 percent drop.
2. Consider the ten reasons why income inequality continues, written about by Jennifer Rubin in her article “10 problems with Obama’s income inequality speech.” I particularly like Rubin’s reason #4: “Obama is pushing around scraps of relief (unemployment benefits) as substitutes for dealing with the underlying drivers of income inequality…[.]”
3. Consider what Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said about the continuing cause of income inequality – ObamaCare:
24% [of employers] say they reduced hiring to under 50 workers. The President has been talking about income inequality. This exacerbates income inequality,…[.]
Income inequality is increasing and, Mr. President, what have the Senate Majority Leader and Senate Democrats done to protect Americans from Obamacare? The answer is simple. Nothing.
4. Consider what Clinton operative Dick Morris had to say:
“The fact is that while income inequality has been getting worse, it is the policies of the Obama Administration that are causing the trend.”
“During the Clinton years, 45% of all personal income gains went to the top 1% of the population. Under Bush it was 65%. Under Obama it is upwards of 85%.”
So, Obama certainly has his nerve. He preaches about income inequality, says it’s “the defining challenge of our time.” Yet he continues, in the face of mounting evidence of being incorrect, to pursue policies that cause and exacerbate income inequality. But there are three facts that let him (continue to) get away with this:
• The MSM will never report these facts.
• The public education system has been so dumbed-down that a majority of voters cannot understand what is actually happening.
• Saying he’s going to equalize income is good politics.
You will be prepared with facts the next time you hear “income inequality.”
But that’s just my opinion.
Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.
I can be reached at “firstname.lastname@example.org”. I would like to read what you think. And, yes, I’m a big Richard Petty fan!