Patterico's Pontifications


Matt Lewis on Why Income Inequality Is Awful

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

And envy is awesome. But free markets are what help the poor. “[T]he poor not only earned the highest average income in the countries with the most economic freedom but also earned a slightly larger share of the income pie.” The only problematic income inequality is that caused by the government. Free the markets and poor people benefit, Matt Lewis. Here’s a bonus: Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution.

10 Responses to “Matt Lewis on Why Income Inequality Is Awful”

  1. This morning was a tab-clearing exercise; hence the short posts.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. My (no so) good friends at the Delaware Liberal have bemoaned that their home state is number one for the top producers getting the largest share of income gains, but somehow failed to notice that that is a blue state trend in general.

    The Dana pimping his own blog (f6a568)

  3. Actually, Mr Lewis is sort-of onto something, but Republicans have to understand how to seize the issue. The problem isn’t that income is unequal — harder working people should make more money — but that Democratic policies are stifling the opportunity to advance, the ability to transform your harder work into greater returns.

    The Democrats are trying the impossible, trying to be the party of the working man, which they once could sort of claim they were, and the party of the non-working man, which they definitely are today, and that’s why they have lost the white working class as a voting demographic. Republicans need to keep pushing the notion that the opportunity to succeed is what people need, not the subsidization of those who won’t try to succeed.

    The Republican Dana (f6a568)

  4. Finally, one must recognize that, notwithstanding what some regard as the institutionalization of compassion, the transfer society quashes genuine virtue. Redistribution of income by government coercion is a form of theft. Its supporters attempt to disguise its essential character by claiming that democratic procedures give it legitimacy, but this justification is specious. Theft is theft whether it be carried out by one thief or by 100 million thieves acting in concert. And it is impossible to found a good society on the institutionalization of theft.

    Absolutely the finest paragraph I’ve ever read on the subject. Leftists are nothing but thieves disguising themselves as some sort of virtuous benefactors of the poor. They create poverty, and have institutionalized it.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  5. Hoagie, agreed. But the number of thieves is closer to 70 million than 100 million. So things aren’t nearly as bad as they might be. And that number may have shrunk to 63 million as the reality of progressive compassion intrudes upon the fiction of utopia. And more and more of these parasites will find that their waiver from EbolaCare expires this year, and that will educate another tranche. The real problem the R’s have in attracting these potential converts is the long-time association of the Republican Party with the fat cats in the Chamber of Commerce. Alas, our latest crop of reformist Republicans seems to have fallen under the CC sway to the extent that we are now going to see the spectacle of our representatives welcoming illegal immigrants at the expense of working citizens. This won’t play well with the blue collar workers who otherwise might consider voting R. The seen and the unseen.

    bobathome (f208b6)

  6. Well, bobathome, I’m not quibbling about the numbers. The point is no matter how many or how few, theft is theft. But you got it on the national Chamber of Commerce. I’m a member (officer) of my local C of C and let me tell you, we’re not in sync with the National. We’re not for “SBA” loans. We’re not for immigration carte blanc. We actually have very little in common with the National C of C. They are what amounts to a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business. We on the other hand try and represent the small and medium businesses and the future entrepreneurs and inventors who need open, free markets with as few regulations can be done safely for society at large. And you are right, the C of C is turning off a lot of working guys as well as small businessmen. It would be better for the R party to distance themselves from them.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  7. Also, bobathome, I don’t think either Scott Walker or Sen. Cruz is beholden to the National C of C. I could be wrong but neither seems the type.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  8. It does not matter to the people who oppose free markets. The people that favor higher taxes, higher benefits paid for by higher taxes, green energy subsidized by everyone else, and punitive wage and hour laws, do not care that it drives away manufactures and other productive persons. The Jacobins howling for the heads of rich people did not care that it crippled France by driving capital away. The USSR did not care that its collective farms were less efficient than private plots. Argue about Castro, and they’ll say that the Cubans prefer their dictatorship and some modest educational equality to the “abuses” that preceded it. Anyone thinking that the socialists will be converted by results is not paying attention: they don’t care. They want what they see as “fair.” To them that that means an equal sharing of miseries, not an unequal sharing of gains. Freedom is the issue, not results.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  9. Well, hold on: there is nothing “awesome” about envy, which is still one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I certainly don’t read Lewis’s piece to be a defense of envy. It’s ambition which is awesome. When you look at what your successful neighbor has acquired you shouldn’t find yourself saying, “He isn’t worthy; I want to take some of what he has,” you should be saying, “I want to be every bit as successful as he is; I wonder how I can do better in life.” That right there is the different between the left and the right all over the world.

    JVW (aa050c)

  10. JVW #9 – it is one of the best ways out of victim status – to look around and see how others escaped it …

    The other characteristic of the left, and especially for current Democrats/Progressives, is their wish to feel good at the expense of others …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

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