Skip to comments.Walter Williams: Is Income Inequality Fair?
Posted on 03/13/2019 9:48:42 AM PDT by jazusamo
Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called "Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure" tweeted, "My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask 'Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?'" Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, "The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else."
These people would have an argument if there were piles of money on the ground called income, with billionaires and millionaires surreptitiously getting to those piles first and taking their unfair shares. In that case, corrective public policy would require a redistribution of the income, wherein the ill-gotten gains of the few would be taken and returned to their rightful owners. The same could be said if there were a dealer of dollars who because of his being a racist, sexist, multinationalist and maybe a Republican didn't deal the dollars fairly. If he dealt millions to some and mere crumbs to others, decent public policy would demand a re-dealing of the dollars, or what some call income redistribution.
You say, "Williams, that's lunacy." You're right. In a free society, people earn income by serving their fellow man. Here's an example: I mow your lawn, and you pay me $40. Then I go to my grocer and demand two six-packs of beer and 3 pounds of steak. In effect, the grocer says, "Williams, you are asking your fellow man to serve you by giving you beer and steak. What did you do to serve your fellow man?" My response is, "I mowed his lawn." The grocer says, "Prove it." That's when I produce the $40. We can think of the, say, two $20 bills as certificates of performance proof that I served my fellow man.
A system that requires that one serve his fellow man to have a claim on what he produces is far more moral than a system without such a requirement. For example, Congress can tell me, "Williams, you don't have to get out in that hot sun to mow a lawn to have a claim on what your fellow man produces. Just vote for me, and through the tax code, I will take some of what your fellow man produces and give it to you."
Let's look at a few multibillionaires to see whether they have served their fellow man well. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth over $90 billion, is the second-richest person in the world. He didn't acquire that wealth through violence. Millions of people around the world voluntarily plunked down money to buy Microsoft products. That explains the great wealth of people such as Gates. They discovered what their fellow man wanted and didn't have, and they found out ways to effectively produce it. Their fellow man voluntarily gave them dollars. If Gates and others had followed President Obama's advice that "at a certain point" they'd "made enough money" and shut down their companies when they had earned their first billion or two, mankind wouldn't have most of the technological development we enjoy today.
Take a look at t he website Billionaire Mailing List's list of current billionaires. On it, you will find people who have made great contributions to society. Way down on the list is Gordon Earle Moore co-founder of Intel. He has a net worth of $6 billion. In 1968, Moore developed and marketed the integrated circuit, or microchip, which is responsible for thousands of today's innovations, such as MRIs, advances in satellite technology and your desktop computer. Though Moore has benefited immensely from his development and marketing of the microchip, his benefit pales in comparison with how our nation and the world have benefited in terms of lives improved and saved by the host of technological innovations made possible by the microchip.
The only people who benefit from class warfare are politicians and the elite; they get our money and control our lives. Plus, we just might ask ourselves: Where is a society headed that holds its most productive members up to ridicule and scorn and makes mascots out of its least productive and most parasitic members?
Equal pay is ridiculous.
You can either seek Freedom or else you can seek Equal Outcomes. The two are incompatible.
The Democrats are the party of Slavery. They always have been. They oppose Freedom. They want to rule over people and control our lives for us.
Slaves generally receive the same outcome.
I worked my way through school and climbed the company ladder through hard work. Meanwhile, Billy works at a fast food restaurant and goes home and drinks beer & smokes weed.
Why in HELL should he be entitled to equal pay? Bull F'n Sh!t.
[[Walter Williams: Is Income Inequality Fair?]]
Proverbs 13:4 ESV / 24 helpful votes
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied
2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV / 88 helpful votes
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Proverbs 12:11 ESV / 55 helpful votes
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
Proverbs 21:5 ESV / 33 helpful votes
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23 ESV / 33 helpful votes
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty
Psalm 37:21 ESV / 31 helpful votes
The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
Colossians 3:23 ESV / 24 helpful votes
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Leviticus 19:13 ESV / 22 helpful votes
You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him.
HEY Gov- you’re robbing your neighbors!
Not only is income inequality fair, it is a GREAT thing. It is the engine that incentivizes people to innovate, to develop themselves, to start new businesses and industries. I am sick of people who claim it is a bad thing.
Exactly, very well said.
Income inequality is the most just system yet of rewarding incentive and subtly punishing sloth and feigned indifference. In America (what the heck, anywhere actual capitalism is practiced), you are about as well off as you choose to be. That means NOT choosing some dissipating habits, and selecting from a menu of personal life goals, then learning how to exercise the skills that lead to achievement of that goal.
Opportunity abounds, But you must go to the opportunity, because opportunity so rarely simply jumps in your lap, and if it does, is often brushed away as “annoying”.
Some 95% of all the personal woe in this world is self-induced
“I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
So from government worker to custodian workers all should be on the same pay scale ?.
Another angle of the socialist agenda.
As Williams implies, it depends on the cause of the income inequality.
If the socialists get their way and use the power of the state to enrich themselves while keeping the rest of us down, the income inequality would not be fair. Of course that might be what we deserve if we let the socialists get their way, but “deserve” and “fair” aren’t the same.
I’d like to know what 0bama has to say about about income inequality now that he and wifey are raking in millions a year for doing practically nothing.
A kid that I grew up next door to was always studying. He'd watch us play football in our back yard and we'd say to him "hey,Ritchie...come on down and play with us"."I can't",he'd say "my mother wants me to stay up here and read".
A few years later he was admitted to medical school and married an incredibly beautiful woman.
That's why he's been more prosperous than me.
Professor Williams is, as usual, concise and correct in his observations.
Dr. Kenneth Ryker, in his Freedom in a Nutshell, wrote:
"The fundamental economic question to be answered in any society is "Who is to get how much of what?" The competing answers to that question are embodied in the ideological struggles in which we find ourselves engaged today.
There really are only three ways to answer this fundamental question. Dr. F. A. Harper analyzed these in his book, Liberty: A Path To Its Recovery, as follows:
1. Each person may have whatever he can grab.
2. Some person other than the one who produces the goods and services may decide who shall have the right of possession or use.
3. Each person may be allowed to have whatever he produces.
These three methods cover all the possibilities; there are no others.
The first is readily recognized as the law of the jungle; the second is that utilized by all authoritarian systems, while the third is the only method consistent with individual freedom.
"Who is to have how much of what?" That is the question. Communism has an answer, as does National Socialism and Fascism. The Fabians and Democratic Socialists think they have the answer. But when all these systems are analyzed, they come out the same, differing only in degree: The State will determine who is to get how much of what! This obviously means the economic questions will be answered by force and coercion.
But there is a better way: let the free market, willing exchange, profit and loss system determine what will be produced and in what quantity; who will produce it for what compensation; and who will receive it at what price.
There are really only two choices: to answer the economic questions by free choice or by coercion!
(End of Quotation from "Freedom in a Nutshell," Kenneth Ryker.
The bedrock principal of Marxism is the immorality of income inequality. All else flows from that principal. (Of course, some animals are more equal than others.)
Agree but we are not supposed to know about that.
Socialism will be popular as long as some people believe you can get something for nothing.
When you want less of something you tax it as we are told
about cigarettes, alcohol, etc.
Democrats want to tax wealth...think about that.
The idea of wealth inequality is that someone is taking
money out of circulation.
This is what I call the McDuck syndrome, as though
Scrooge McDuck had a vault filled with treasure.
It’s moronic thinking at it’s best.
"If some people had wings and others didn't, and the government wanted to enforce "fairness," soon no one would have wings. Because wings cannot be redistributed, they can only be broken. Likewise, a government edict cannot make people smarter or more capable, but it can impede the growth of those with the potential. Wouldn't it be fair if, in the name of equality, we scar the beautiful, cripple the athletes, lobotomize the scientists, blind the artists, and sever the hands of the musicians? Why not?"
- Oleg Atbashian, Shakedown Socialism
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