Income Inequality

January/12/2014 5:18AM
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At what age did you discover inequality? When another kid had a better toy and wouldn’t share? When you noticed 10 kids at school were bigger, or smarter, or better looking, or had nicer clothes?

As you got older you noticed more and more inequities. Some people try to eliminate inequities. The short guy on the freshman basketball team who develops a jump shot and leads the team in scoring. The tall, talented kid on the same team gets kicked off the team for breaking team rules and never plays again.

The kid who studies harder than anyone and gets top grades. The brilliant kid who doesn’t study and gets the same grades. Both go to the same university. The first maintains his study habits, the second becomes a party animal and flunks out.

Life is not a zero sum game. Person A who does well at something is not achieving that success at the expense of Person B. But politicians always suggest that is the case. They talk about the income gap. It’s as if the Wall Street 2% is taking their success from the poor and thus owe the less successful for some unmentioned transgression.

Should the NBA tell Lebron James his talent level has created an inequality that the league can’t accept? Hence, he must  lower his performance to bring talent equity to the league. Lebron didn’t inherit his talent, he developed it with dedication and hard work. His will to win and his hatred for losing drive him to be the the best.

Sure there are those who inherit great wealth and add nothing to society. They are such a small group they barely merit mention.

Many inequities can be lessened or overcome Or, they can be expanded. Education, drive, commitment, pride, and an unwillingness to accept status quo can elevate one’s gaps in most areas of society.

Or, the government can eliminate the incentive to work harder to do better. A comfort level can be adjusted downward for a person’s lifetime early in that life. There is a big inequity between the government subsidized standard of living in this country and the average earnings level in a multitude of countries.  Politicians never discuss this inequality. We can extract enough from higher achievers to keep the poorer members of our society living at a level that would equate to higher income levels in most countries. The better we make life for those who do not work, the more non-workers we get and the more content they become with not working.

Does that eradicate incentives to motivate those who are subsidized to push upward.

Want proof? The Great Society is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. Billions have been poured into the effort and the needle hasn’t moved. The same percentage of Americans living below the poverty level exists today as is was when LBJ sold the deal.

Everyone one of you knows that in your lifetime you have made choices about inequities. Some you have conceded and others you have overcome. You can’t beat ’em all, but you can give it your best.

This country was built on this. Immigrants who came here with nothing but made a good life or even joined the Wall Streeters. No one told them 150 years ago that an inequity was a life sentence.

This is an idea from failed societies that in being introduced into America. Watch the new mayor of New York, he was elected on this platform. He plans to implement it in NYC. Watch carefully. It seems to work with elections, now watch it in practice.

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