Income disparity has been a whipping boy of the progressive left for untold years, and we on the right have simply come to accept the fact that such is life. It makes sense to disparage the wealth gap between the richest and the poorest as something that is at the very least, unseemly.
Income disparity is an easy target because it allows a person to attack the wealthy (and similarly align oneself with the non-wealthy) without actually naming any particular targets. But is it income disparity a fair target for the left’s derision? I don’t think so.
President Obama disagrees with me. He seems to think that the income disparity is a great evil to be battled and conquered, and he has a stirring speech to prove it.
Ah, the mighty wind of righteous indignation.
The reason income disparity seems so important to the President is because it offers a great opportunity for him to make himself into a class “warrior.” Income disparity is a liberal code word that immediately prompts leftists to argue for “income redistribution.”
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” – Karl Marx
If you remember back about five years ago, income redistribution made a small town plumber quite famous (or infamous if you work at MSNBC). Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher asked a simple question about how small businesses would be affected by Obama’s economic reforms and he got this retort: “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” The most basic desire in every socialist heart is to redistribute wealth from the bourgeoisie to the hoi polloi in an effort to “level” society.
Sadly, their efforts are in vain.
Over the last five years, Americans have borne witness to the most progressive political society since the FDR administration. Yet somehow, in this same time frame, the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us has only expanded. The Democrat Party and the Obama administration have partnered with weak-kneed moderate Republicans to deliver policies that the liberals have been begging for, for years. We have seen several bailouts, totaling in billions of dollars, to save failing industries. We have had one of the largest engagements with socialism (Obamacare) foisted upon us. Across the board, our taxes have climbed, spending has increased, and the welfare society has grown. And Yet…
What the Obama administration and the left fail to realize is that the only way to ensure a prosperous middle class is to enable free market policies. In the free market, the income disparity may grow, but the middle and lower classes will also grow wealthier. This is the true measure of a society that values all income levels… not that they make the same amount (or even a relatively similar amount), but that all levels are prospering! Maybe the rich are getting richer, faster… but if we are all getting rich – who cares if the wealthiest are doing it faster?
President Obama can bluster and bloviate about how much he cares about the poor and the middle class – but for all his rhetoric, the basic truth is that things have gotten worse under his watch. I know what his supporters will say… “But – it’s Bush’s fault!” Yeah, I get it, Bush was bad too — he acted like a democrat, spending too much money when he should have been reining it in. At some point though, President Obama is going to have to answer for himself.
There will always be disparity, because we are all different people. Disparity must exist simply because of the nature of our diverse population. Disparity, even income disparity, is not necessarily a bad thing. Disparity only becomes bad when it is used as a crutch for our failures.
President Obama (and Karl Marx) is wrong – income disparity is not evil.
If we are all prospering, income disparity is meaningless.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt [↩]
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