San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Examples Of Horrific Income Inequality

There has been an ongoing verbal joust taking place on the editorial page of the Denver Post in recent weeks on the topic of income inequality.  All of the usual platitudes have been spewed and nobody has come even close to changing the opinion of another person on the issue.  The latest salvo comes from Ed Johnson of Littleton.  I begin with Ed's comments today because they are typical of those who believe that government should be in the business of setting wage rates in the free market. Ed believes that when people freely establish their own pay scales via voluntary exchanges some envy-filled people should become angry that everyone does not earn exactly the same amount of money.  Ed is self righteous, angry and envy-filled.  Here is some of what he had to say:
"Roeder (a previous letter writer, MW) also believes that 'It is not the responsibility or the right of the government to even out the income of Americans.'  Actually, it is exactly that right which Americans, through their governmental representatives, gave the government when the progressive income tax was first enacted in 1913.  That progressive tax and inheritance taxes are meant to curtail the growth and power of an aristocracy that would take us back to the days of the robber barons or even to feudal times....We don't need 'even' income, just everyone paying their fair share."  Let's consider Ed's comments for a moment.
Ed loves democracy.  Ed rightly understands what democracy is.  Ed glories in the fact that democracy allows him, as a member of the majority, to do things to minority groups that make more money than he does.  He can steal from them, by majority vote.  He can force them to pay all his bills, by majority vote.  He can tax away their inheritances and give them to himself, by majority vote.  I don't know which "Americans" Ed is referring to when he writes that "Americans gave their government the right" to initiate a progressive income tax that now forces the top 49% of the population to pay the entire federal tax bill, but I can assure him that I am not one of them.  Does that mean I am not an Amerikan?  I certainly hope so.  Maybe I can escape the judgment that is to come.  Meanwhile Ed can vainly attempt to convince himself that his theft by majority vote doctrine is morally good because it is keeping the Socialist Democracy of Amerika from reverting to the economic conditions of feudal societies from the past but all he is really doing is justifying theft in his own mind.  No doubt Ed sees himself as a hero and a champion of the common man.  He is also magnanimous.  He grants that all incomes do not have to be "even," whatever that means.  All he wants if for the rich to pay their "fair share," whatever that means.
Ed conjures up the ghost of "robber barons" in his diatribe against freedom.  The standard, government school indoctrinated, teaching on the topic of the robber barons is that they were men who grew too big for their own economic britches and needed to be cut down to size by a beneficent, omniscient and omnipotent government armed with anti-trust laws in order to keep those evil seekers of profits from enslaving the citizens of this country.  The fact of the matter is precisely the opposite.  If you really want to discover the truth, and you probably don't, you need to read a book entitled "The Myth of the Robber Barons."  It is available here.  Author Burton Folsom conclusively proves that early industrialists who operated freely in the fledgling economy of the United States provided enormous economic growth and its associated benefits for all citizens in the land.  Conversely, industrialists who were more concerned with garnering government protection and privilege for their activities, thereby creating government approved monopolies, were the ones who were directly responsible for ripping off the people and giving big business a bad name.  The key ingredient here is not big business.  Business grows big only when it gives the consumers what they want for a price they are willing to pay.  The key ingredient is government intervention into the marketplace, which always ends badly as it grants privileges to one group, turns one politically connected group into winners and another group into losers and always ends up harming the consumer who inevitably pays more than he would under free market conditions.
I hate to admit it but as I consider his arguments I must confess that Ed has changed my mind.  I am now going to go on a crusade against income inequality.  In fact, please allow me to take the remaining space in today's blog post to give you a list of my most egregious examples of income inequality that I can think of off the top of my head.  All of these examples are screaming for government intervention.  I will vote for anyone who agrees to create new laws to fix these specific examples of income inequality.  Without further ado, here are my examples of horrific cases of income inequality:
  • Government school teachers make a lot of money.  Once these folks get into the government school system and put in a couple of decades of work, with the associated automatic cost of living raises, they can make upwards of six figure incomes for just nine months work each year.  In families where both husband and wife work as school teachers they can amass serious amounts of wealth.  Conversely, Christian school teachers beg for money all the time.  They are paid at levels approximately equal to 30% of what a government school teacher makes.  They teach the same subjects as government school teachers, with a few Bible classes and anti-evolution programs thrown in on the side.  They work just as hard.  They have the same level of education as their government school counterparts but they are paid significantly less for the same level and quality of work.  If we are going to solve the problem of income inequality I suggest we start by raising property taxes and making Christian school teachers salary and benefits packages equal to those teaching in the government schools.
  • The medical profession is rife with income inequality.  Government approved doctors who become members of the government doctors union (AMA) are able to command incomes much greater than the free market would bear.  They do so by limiting the supply of doctors, thus forcing up the price that needs to be paid to obtain the services of one.  If somebody attempts to provide medical services without a government license the doctors will have him arrested and imprisoned, no matter how good he might be at providing free market medical care.  PAs, nurses and others on the outer boundaries of medical care do most of the actual work when it comes to taking care of sick people.  If you have ever been hospitalized you know this to be true.  Yet these noble warriors against illness make a mere pittance of what the government approved doctors make.  This is an incredible example of income inequality.  I demand that medical service workers make the same amount of money as the doctors they are enslaved to.  To pay for these higher wages I propose a new "medical assistance and compassionate care" tax on the rich, whoever they are.
  • Lawyers, like their counterparts in the medical profession, make a tremendous amount of money because they are members of a government union that allows them to persecute and prosecute anyone who attempts to practice law who is not a member of their union.  Lawyers then create wage slave assistants who essentially do all of the work for them.  Anyone who has ever hung out around a legal office knows what I am writing to be true.  The lawyers are out playing golf while the legal assistants are doing all the work.  I propose a  new law that would force all lawyers to pay the same wage to their assistants as they make.  To pay for this new law I would propose a special "legal liberation fund" tax on the rich, whoever they are.
  • According to this blogger, "Dan Arnall of ABC News writes that, 'The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009) show that government workers make about 5 percent more than private sector workers on average.'  He goes on to point out that the disparity is greatest when private workers are compared to federal employees."  So there you have it.  Federal government employees make 5% more money than their counterparts in the private sector.  This is a disgusting example of income inequality that must be rectified.  I would propose several things to fix this problem.  First, the federal government needs to create a new bureau to look into the problem.  The bureau would be tasked with defining precisely who these federal employees are, as well as identifying every single one of their private sector counterparts.  Once the list of names of the victims of federally sponsored income inequality is established I would propose a law that would raise all of their incomes by 5%, across the board.  To pay for this new bureau and the associated income equalizing transfer I would propose a new "private sector employee income fairness" tax on the rich, whoever they are.
  • Government employed security officers, commonly referred to as cops, make much more money than their counterparts in the private sector.  They also have much greater benefits in regards to such things as health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance and pension and retirement benefits.  If there is one thing that should never be the case in this country (we can put a man on the moon but we can't fix income inequality?) it is that any level of income inequality should exist among those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  Allowing income inequality to exist among the brave men and women who protect us from bad guys is tantamount to valuing one life more than another.  For shame!   So I propose a new law that would bring up the salary and benefits packages available to private security officers to the levels of those who are employed by the government.  To pay for this new program of anti-income inequality I would propose a new tax called the "brothers in arms fairness" tax.  It should be imposed upon the rich, whoever they are.
These examples of horrific income inequality are all I have time to put up on my blog today.  There are many more examples of this sort, all of them emanating from the fact that government employees are privileged and people employed in the private sector are not.  But I need to get to work.  I own a janitorial company and I can't earn nearly as much as my counterparts who have contracts with the government.  I have to scramble every day to make a living while they have higher salaries, more days off and superior working conditions.  I would like to propose a tax to solve that problem but I am afraid that doing so would put me on the hook for paying for it.  So I will just keep my mouth closed and my head down.  It is never a good idea to get the attention of the majority in a democracy.  Doing so almost always means a loss of income.

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