Income inequality gap continues to grow

January 21, 2014

There is much talk today about income inequality. The left vilifies capitalists, company owners, CEOs and the 1 percent; the right loathes influence peddlers, special interests, and bad actors on the public stage who happen to be rich. But those who invest, run companies, organizations, foundations, and charities provide jobs for those of us not smart or brave enough to be entrepreneurs. There was a time when we admired and wanted to emulate the rich and successful, not denigrate and destroy them.

People like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and Berry Gordy Jr. are the soul of capitalism. Ordinary men and women took a vision, a good idea, a public need, or a way to improve a product, service, or process, to build business success. The government provided stability in the form of law, property rights, taxes, energy, transportation, and an educated citizenry. These entrepreneurs were encouraged by the possibility of profits (now a dirty word), capital investors, patents and copyrights of their ideas, ownership of their own companies, and the ability to borrow against them. As a by-product, they created a higher standard of living for most, and tens of millions of jobs, few of them minimum wage.

Start-ups and existing businesses today are being regulated and taxed to death by an administration that is more interested in redistributing wealth, and controlling elections, and thus the people, by forcing them to be dependent on government entitlements. Rather than create a stable business environment and encouraging job creation, this administration would prefer the people be dependent on unemployment insurance, food stamps, disability, Medicaid, welfare, and other government programs. This puts government in control of you and your family, and if the government disapproves of anything you say or do, they can punish you by withholding benefits.

While income inequality is the false target for what ails the economy, it is one more lie from this administration. It is another attempt to blame capitalism and free enterprise, rather than the socialist policies in place since Wilson, FDR and LBJ, and accelerated particularly since Clinton. With capitalism crippled by these policies for decades, it is easy to misdirect the people’s attention to the idea that the rich are taking too much from the poor; that the economy is a fixed size and cannot grow, and that this is the reason why the lifeblood of our economy is being sucked dry.

Truth is if capitalism were unchained, the economy would take off like a rocket; a slow lift-off, but constantly accelerating. People of all ethnic backgrounds could again hope, work and thrive; and prosperity would be the norm. Entitlements could then be more easily curtailed. But that is not what our government has wanted, nor has it for quite some time.

This administration has seen the income inequality gap widen for the last five years, and has done absolutely nothing to stop it. There is at least one other gap that has widened under this president, and that is the credibility gap.

Armand Carreau

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