Fair Inequality

I often see politicians and writers reference gini co-efficiency to prove that income inequality in the US is too high and “unfair”.  The gini co-efficient is a good rule of thumb when comparing countries that have a relative amount of wealth.  However, the US holds roughly a 25% share of the world’s wealth.  The next country in line is Japan at 9%.  This poses as a problem when trying to use the gini-coefficient to truly prove that other countries have a better spread of wealth.  For example, if two countries have an identical spread of income but one has more billionaires than another, the fact that those billionaires reside in that country will make the gini co-efficienct higher.  The presence of wealth is not at all a bad aspect of an economy, even when there is a divide between the rich and the poor.  In fact, it is a common trait of flourishing economies.

Progressives have compared our gini-coefficient with other countries in an attempt to show inequality without considering other factors.  The US tops the list for the average disposable wage per person at $40,560 a year, ranks 4th in the Human Development Index, and ranks third in total population (behind China and India who have deplorable HLI numbers).  All it takes is a quick look at other numbers to realize that the term “income equality” is being used as a method to justify raising taxes on the wealthy.  The progressives hate the term “class envy,” but concentrating on income inequality is just a sneaky way of instilling just that in a voter’s mind.

Another common view that is being stressed is the national income captured by the 1% is too much.  The national share of after-tax household income of the 1% has nearly doubled from 1979 to 2007.  These numbers are correct, but they don’t prove that the income of the rest of the population fell as a result.  Nearly all incomes have risen, just at different rates. Maybe it has been lucrative for the 1% in our country.  Why should we assume that their success has somehow had a negative impact on the income of the 99%?  This is where the real monster shows its head in the progressive movement.

These numbers are just another way to justify their belief that our nation’s economic rewards belong to everyone.  Progressives assert that the nation’s economy is something that belongs to all citizens based an arbitrary social contract that no one has ever laid eyes on or signed.  They feel that it is completely within the rights of the majority to decide when wealth should be redistributed through a democratic process.  These are not a new concepts, they are merely intelligent ways of justifying the redistribution of wealth for “the common good.”   The idea of a “common good” was used by Marx, Lenin, Mao, Hitler, and now has become the backbone of the progressive movement.  They call it “fair share,” but it holds the exact same meaning.  Collective rights in a democracy without a foundation of individual rights is extremely dangerous.  Throughout history, we have seen the pursuit of common good lead to totalitarianism even under a democratically elected government.

The argument between Individualism and Collectivism runs to the core principles of the redistribution debate.  The amount of wealth an individual has does not change his right to protect it. If the majority of the population feel that taking a portion of a minority’s wealth would be beneficial for the common good, they should not have the right to do so.  If they do have that right, then private property is just an illusion and the state has total control of all property.  Progressives make the assumption that the economic rewards of this country belong to all, regardless of whether any citizen has done anything to earn that reward.  In this way they show no respect for the protection of private property at all.  The terms “common good” or “fair share” are subjective.  Who decides what is the common good? If the decision is made in a democratic process, there is no doubt that there will be a minority that will have their rights infringed.  Without individual rights holding precedence over collective rights, the accumulation of wealth is at the mercy of what the majority decides is a “Fair Share.”

Yet all of this is nothing more than a carrot dangled in front of the majority to further the growth of government power.  That is why the people are never guaranteed the Fair Share will end up in their pocket.

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