Be Thankful for Income Inequality

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Image by Ffrade on Flickr

It’s one of the latest democratic talking points. Obama and the democrats are hoping to benefit in the 2014 elections, by bringing to the public’s awareness, the gap that exists between the income of the wealthy and that of the poor and middle class.

But why is “income inequality” even a problem? Is their ideal society one of income¬†equality?¬†I hope not. Income inequality is a feature of a free society, not a drawback. The fact that any man in the United States, even those born poor, have the opportunity to become richer than others, is what incentivizes them to take risks, and start businesses that provide the rest of us with the products and jobs that we need. It’s this promise that you can become rich if you can find a way to provide enough people with something that they need or want, that sparks innovation. It’s what provided the incentive for people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many others that have changed the world for the better.

Do you really want to live in a society where no one would receive any rewards for working harder or smarter than everyone else? Why would a man risk his savings and work day and night to create a business if the possibility did not exist, to become wealthier than those who don’t do so?

The fundamental problem with the way the Left views this issue is that they see society’s wealth as a pie. They assume that if a man has become richer he did so at the expense of others who, in turn, became poorer. But this isn’t right, is it? Do you feel you were made poorer by the creator of the computer or cell phone that you are using to view this web page? What about the creator of the company that makes the clothes you have on?

It’s quite the opposite. These entrepreneurs improve the lives of many, and not at the expense of anyone else. We should be glad that we have a system that allows for them to be rewarded for their effort. What’s great about a free society is that their reward comes directly and voluntarily from us consumers who get to decide who becomes rich from their idea. When you bought your cell phone, you voluntarily contributed to the wealth of its creators, and that’s a good thing.

Now of course, there are those who do get rich at the expense of others via theft, but this is obviously not the people that liberals are talking about when they hope to rile up the voters. They instead, are inciting hatred against the job creators who have worked hard to get to where they are.

It is ironic though, that democrats speak of the rich as if they took wealth away from the poor and middle class, since they supported the bailout of GM, which did in fact, take taxpayer money, and gave it to the big corporation. That is the difference between government and the free market. In the free market, you voluntarily give others your money in return for a product or service. Government takes your money, and you have no say what it does with it.

The real problem here is not that the rich are becoming richer, but perhaps that despite the $1 trillion dollars that we spend per year to “fight” poverty, many are still unable to rise out of it. It seems to me that maybe our approach should be re-evaluated.

The vast majority of the rich should be admired and applauded, not attacked. If we aren’t rich and want to be more equal to those who are, we should be figuring out what the rich did right, and then do that ourselves, rather than try to take their wealth away from them.

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