08 January 2014
Some thoughts on the latest political bogeyman:
Leftists crafted the term "income inequality" to sound scandalous, but it means only that some of us make more money than others do. I won't defend the fact that many persons such as celebrities of popular "culture" (most of whom are themselves leftists) get paid far more than they deserve, while others who make a more positive contribution to civilization live in poverty; but it is one thing to deplore injustice in how wealth is currently distributed, and it is quite another to attack the very idea of unevenness in that distribution. In a perfect world (i.e., one subsequent to the advent of the Millenium; see the last paragraph), there would be no need for money and possessions; in our imperfectible fallen world, it makes perfect sense that someone with a higher level of education and a higher position in any given field of endeavor should receive higher pay than someone with less education and responsibility. Is President Obombast trying to argue that, for example, he, as a law-school graduate and the holder of the most important office in the USA, ought to earn no more than a high-school dropout who handles refuse for a living?
Let's suppose that one man earns a million dollars annually, and another makes $20,000. Let us further suppose that, after some period of time, the wealthier man has parlayed his investments into a $1.1 million income, whereas the other has gotten a new job that pays him $25,000 per year. The "gap between rich and poor" has thus widened between these two, from $980,000 to $1,075,000; both men, however, have more money than they did before (and the one who previously earned $20,000 has boosted his income by 25 percent, whereas that of the wealthier man has risen by just one percent). Should this be a scandal? Not to me. In my opinion, "income inequality" (or, since this is being spoken of as if it were a disease, "I.I.") is a problem only if two men get paid substantially different amounts because of a factor such as ethnic discrimination, or if the penurious have no opportunity to improve their lot.
It ought to be noted also that, even should the economic and social environment be wholly conducive to the self-elevation of a person from the status of "have-not" to that of "have", there will still be I.I. (This inequality exists even among the rich; some are worth only one or two million dollars apiece, whereas others are worth hundreds of millions, or even billions. In fact, the lone circumstance in which there could be no I.I. would be a total lack of income.) Plenty of talented and intelligent persons (including myself) lack the mindset of an entrepeneur, and therefore would not benefit from a rectification of the misgovernance that makes the USA (contrary to the left-wing conception of this country as a capitalists' paradise) one of the worst places in the world in which to own and operate a business, especially a small one.
Anyone who sincerely considers disparity in earnings to be a "crisis", which can be resolved (by government, of course) prior to the thousand-year reign of Christ and the saints, ought to mind Christ's words "You will always have the poor with you". For anyone who merely raises the issue in order to wage partisan class-warfare, there are many other Scripture verses that apply.