Friday, August 26, 2011

Income Inequality Is Bad Because ...

... because if we don't give money to the people who don't have it, they will burn everything down.

Der Spiegel has a front page editorial on why the rich need to be taxed more. We need to buy off the barbarians.
We know how the death of our society will look from the recent riots in London. We are threatened by social instability, which could lead to societal collapse and anarchy -- our own private Somalia. To avoid that will require a serious effort by the powerful. Our system needs a complete change of course. A politics of inequality got us into this crisis. If we keep going down that road, it will cause our downfall.
Nowhere in the article is any recognition that behavior has an impact on wealth and income. We're not trying to achieve any of the old goals of the War on Poverty back in the 60s and 70s, we're just keeping our cities from burning down.

Back in the day, we talked about the poor as people who just needed an opportunity, a chance to make something of themselves. Now they're unreasoning, feral animals that are so stupid that they will destroy everything if they don't get another $100 a week.

There's also no recognition of the improved lot of the poor over the past several decades. Bradley Wright's new book, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World, details this quite nicely. Data like his is ignored. The mere existence of inequality is the cause for rioting, no matter how much anyone already has.

Talk about intellectually bankrupt, these guys have totally thrown in the towel on trying to make a rational argument.

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