The Heritage Foundation debunks the “problem” of income inequality in a blog post this morning and puts it in political context.
Do a Google News search for “income inequality” and it will remove any doubt that this is already the political issue of 2014.
The left has been gearing up for months. The liberal Center for American Progress launched a new center devoted to the subject, and President Obama has been making it a centerpiece of his speeches.
Get ready to hear about “fairness”—because some people make more money than others, and this isn’t fair. How can you sit by and watch this happen? What is the government going to do about it?
It’s a fake issue, and the government shouldn’t do anything about it.
The income inequality outrage is based on the idea that the people at the bottom of the economic ladder are stuck there indefinitely. But America isn’t “Downton Abbey”—you’re not stuck in the place where you were born. The chauffeur’s son can become…whatever he wants to be in America.
This uniquely American advantage is called mobility. People can move up—and down—the income ladder. In fact, “the recent rise in income disparities has not caused a decline in upward mobility,” reported Heritage’s Rea Hederman and David Azerrad in an in-depth study of the issue. They debunked the foundation of the left’s assumptions:
Standards of living have increased for everyone—as have incomes—and mobility, however one measures it, remains robust. Simply put, how much the top 1 percent of the population earns has no bearing on whether the bottom 20 percent can move up.
The left’s favorite solution is raising the minimum wage. This makes such a great political issue! So many people love to think they’re worth more than they’re getting. They think higher pay can come out of nowhere, by government order. But what really happens is that raising the minimum wage is like cutting off the bottom rung of the ladder to success. Some jobs aren’t worth more than the minimum wage to the employer. And some people, especially young people on their first job, are not worth more than the minimum wage no matter what their job.
Here’s the point of raising this issue:
The New York Times notes, however, that the issue of the minimum wage could help liberal politicians looking for voter turnout in the upcoming midterm election. And that’s all it is: a political ploy that manipulates Americans in the name of power.
At Heritage, we’d rather fling open the gates of opportunity and let Americans run toward the jobs they want—and the future they want—with nothing holding them back. That’s what we’ll be working for in 2014. Happy New Year!
I have an additional point to make. Envy is a sin. It is forbidden by the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” Nor his income.
We see that sexual sin isn’t the only sin the left wants to get rid of. It wants all passions whipped up, for its own political power. In fact, here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia that is highly instructive when you consider the left’s agenda.
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of vices (part of Christian ethics) that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. In the currently recognized version, the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Some of these sins have become the basis of leftist policies — income redistribution, paying people not to work, encouraging pride in one’s ethnic group or sexual preference, modern-day sex education and free contraception for teenager, and more. Gluttony may be the only remaining sin for the left, useful for creating rules and social pressure about what we can and can’t eat and drink.