CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2014
SOCIETY
Income Inequality is No Problem



Congress should
  • not worry about the rising incomes of the most wealthy in America
  • not worry about the increasing gap between rich and poor in America

Occupy Wall Street?

Some people, claiming to represent 99% of Americans, are critical of the richest 1%. They want money taken from the richest 1% and given to themselves to pay off their college loans. If it was stupid of them to go into debt to attend a left-leaning college (and it was), then it is even more stupid to confiscate wealth from some rich people and give it to other rich people (university administrators and the people who loaned out the money for college).
       The "Occupy Wall Street" crowd is incomparably wealthier than millions of people around the world, but instead of equalizing the gap between themselves and the poor of the world, they only want to increase the inequality between themselves and the world's poor by becoming closer to America's richest 1%.

Here are

10 Basic Blessings The "Occupiers" Should Be Thankful For
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
J. Lee Grady

Americans today face economic challenges, but we have nothing to complain about.

     We Americans are a blessed people, but we are also spoiled. I know I am. I can get flustered over the stupidest things—like when my cellphone doesn’t get a good signal, when a flight is delayed or when my computer takes too long to load a website. Most people in the world don’t have iPhones, can’t afford air travel and don’t have computers. My impatience reveals my ungrateful spirit.
     So how can we avoid this virus of selfish immaturity? Thankfulness is the antidote. It melts our pride and crushes our sense of entitlement. It reminds us that everything we have comes from God, and that His mercy is the only reason we are blessed.

"Be thankful instead! God calls us to live above negativity. When we give thanks in all things, God gives us a supernatural attitude adjustment.

     As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I pray you will invite the Holy Spirit to convict you of any whining. Here’s a list of 10 blessings that many people in the world don’t have. Go over this list and then see if you still have anything to gripe about.
     1. Got clean water? The next time you uncap a bottle of water or grab a drink from the tap, remember that one in eight people in the world (that’s 884 million people) lack access to clean water supplies. Millions of women around the world spend several hours a day collecting water. When you take a five-minute shower, you use more water than a typical person in a developing country uses in a whole day.
     2. Do you have a bathroom? About 40 percent of the world's population (2.6 billion people) do not have toilets. Lack of sanitation facilities spreads disease and is a major reason why more than 2 million people die annually of diarrhea.
     3. How’s your electricity? The power in my house might be interrupted briefly three times a year because of Florida storms. But 1.6 billion people—a quarter of humanity—live without any electricity. And, because of unreliable infrastructure, at least 2 billion people on earth don’t have any light at night.
     4. Got a roof over your head? One billion people live in slums. That's almost one-sixth of the world’s population. Of this total, 640 million children live without adequate shelter; they live in cardboard boxes, tin-roofed shacks, one-room mud huts or filthy, crowded tenements. It’s been estimated that 1.4 billion people will live in slums by 2020. Meanwhile here in the United States, between 2.3 to 2.5 million people are classified as homeless.
     5. Is there food on your table? In the United States we are battling an obesity epidemic. Yet according to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are chronically undernourished, and almost 28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted.
     6. Got a stove? In developing countries, some 2.5 billion people use fuelwood, charcoal or animal dung to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 80 percent of the population depends on these crude, traditional means for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China. The really sad part: Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of 5.
     7. Got regular income? You may have had to take a pay cut during the recession. But keep in mind that at least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. The world's average income is about $7,000 a year. Still, only about 19 percent of the world's population lives in countries with per capita incomes at least this high.
     8. Did you go to school? Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Enrollment data shows that about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005 (and 57 percent of them were girls).
     9. Are you generally healthy? Americans face illness like people in other nations—and more than 12 million Americans are battling cancer in any given year. But many of us have access to health care. In the developing world, more than 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. An estimated 40 million people in developing countries are living with HIV/AIDS. Every year there are 350-500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities, mostly in Africa.
     10. Are you free to worship God? More than 400 Christians die for their faith every day around the world, and most of these believers suffer in Islamic countries—although the top hot spot for Christian persecution, according to Open Doors International, is the atheist regime of North Korea.
     What will you be grateful for this Thanksgiving? In these tough economic times you may feel the urge to complain. Be thankful instead! God calls us to live above this negativity. When we give thanks in all things, God gives us a supernatural attitude adjustment. When we thank God for all He has given us, acknowledging that we don’t deserve His goodness, our grumbling melts into gratitude and our impatience turns to praise.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

Christians alone could eliminate all these health and welfare problems for the world's poor:

If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog

But American Christians prefer comfortable entertainment in their mega-churches.

Some people complain that capitalism is an "unjust economic system." They say this because they don't have as much money as the rich. They want the government to take from the rich and give some to them. Or they say this even though they are richer than most folks, but they want the power to take from other rich people and decide who gets it.

Kevin Craig does not believe income inequality is inherently unjust.

Imagine that you have fallen through a tear in the space-time continuum into the future: the 23rd century. You now work in a museum, doing what only you can do: keeping records and recreating the work you did when you lived in the 21st century, for the benefit and delight of historians and anthropologists who really appreciate the insights you bring from the past. (This scenario assumes that you loved the work you are doing now, and you're perfectly content doing that same work in the future.)

In fact, you're getting paid twice as much as you earned in 2014. And you're able to use the extra income to buy an extraordinary range of goods and services that were completely unavailable to you in the 21st century.
• You travel from place to place in a transporter beam like on Star Trek.
• The labor-saving devices in your kitchen boggle your imagination.
• 23rd century health-care will keep you alive an estimated 112 more years, in youthful vigor.

Here's the catch:

You and the others from the 21st century who slipped through the wrinkle in time are in something of a separate caste. Because human beings in the 23rd century are so much more highly educated, morally developed, and psychologically balanced than people of the 21st century, you are not allowed to vote.

Further, everyone else earns at least 100 times as much as you and others from the 21st century do. It's like earning $100,000 per year in a world where everyone else earns $10,000,000 per year.

Because everyone in the 23rd century has their act together, you are treated with respect, kindness, and genuine affection by everyone else. Every conversation you have with 23rd century human beings is rewarding and edifying. You are becoming wiser with each conversation, and you're building many good habits and admirable character traits the more you interact with people of the future. As a result, your very generous employers give you almost weekly raises. You still haven't figured out what 23rd-century inventions you want to buy with all the extra income you already receive.

But the "income gap" between the 21st century people like you and the 23rd century people is huge, and growing every day.

"The rich get richer, and the poor get relatively poorer."


Is this really a problem?

Many left-leaning economists say it is.

This blogger quotes the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, who say:

During the two decades before the early 2000's, the average income of this country's poorest families rose by 18.9%. During that same time the average income of our richest families rose . . . nay, exploded by 58.5%.

"Paul Krugman is very upset," writes George Reisman.

In his Monday New York Times Op-Ed column this week, he complains that while the real incomes of the great majority of Americans have essentially stagnated or declined over the last thirty-five years, "income at the 99th percentile rose 87 percent; income at the 99.9th percentile rose 181 percent; and income at the 99.99th percentile rose 497 percent."

Krugman calls it "a rising oligarchy." He also speaks of "a new Gilded Age," and says, "if the rich get more, that leaves less for everyone else."

But that just isn't true. Krugman admits that the rich of today are richer than the rich of the Gilded Age:

We are now living in a new Gilded Age, as extravagant as the original. Mansions have made a comeback. Back in 1999 this magazine profiled Thierry Despont, the ''eminence of excess,'' an architect who specializes in designing houses for the superrich. His creations typically range from 20,000 to 60,000 square feet; houses at the upper end of his range are not much smaller than the White House. Needless to say, the armies of servants are back, too. So are the yachts. Still, even J.P. Morgan didn't have a Gulfstream.

Yes, the rich are richer, but so are the middle class. And most dramatically, so are the poor. Only an intensely envious person would contend that the poor of 200 years ago were better off than the poor of today.

The poor are not getting poorer, they are only getting relatively poorer.

And the reason why the poor are living better lives today than 200 years ago is precisely because the rich are getting richer.

There are several reasons why the "income gap" is such a boogeyman among socialists:

Krugman claims that when the heads of corporations (that are creating all the wealth that is being enjoyed by the poor and middle classes) become richer, the political landscape becomes more conservative; there is "a general shift to the right" he says.

This may explain why the socialist revolution always kills off the rich, leaving only democrats to be herded by The Party. (I assume that Krugman assumes that he'll still be around after the revolution as a Party advisor.)

Liberalism is Aristocracy

The remedy is:

Libertarian Democracy

Laissez-faire capitalism is true democracy. Not the majority voting for the rulers who will initiate force against the minority, but the masses of consumers making their own voluntary choices in every area of life.

A truly laissez-faire capitalist society is one devoid of the initiation of force.

Under true laissez-faire capitalism, corporate CEO's do not use the government to extort multi-million dollar severence pay packages from taxpayers by force when their corporations go belly-up.

People are free to begin a business, hire the employees they want at the wages they want, sell the products they want at the prices they want, and consumers are free to reject the price or benefit from the product. If consumers choose to buy the product, it will be voluntarily, and it will signify an increase in their standard of living. The poor will get richer, and those who serve the poor by creating jobs for them and selling the goods and services that enrich their lives, will get even richer.


From Kevin Craig's Platform:

next: Capitalism