Income Inequality is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's favorite hobby horse. For decades, Krugman has assailed the increasing gap in pay between the wealthiest Americans and the poorest.
In Mother Jones, he complains:
|What few people realize is that this vast gap between the affluent few and the bulk of ordinary Americans is a relatively new fixture on our social landscape. People believe these scenes are nothing new, even that it is utopian to imagine it could be otherwise.
Did I forget to mention this article was written more than a decade ago? In 1996? Let's continue reading.
|...Why has America ceased to be a middle-class nation? And, more important, what can be done to make it a middle-class nation again?
What, indeed? I know that -- in my city at least -- there are only two types of neighborhood: the first is a crumbling, decaying urban core where the poor live in huddled masses, yearning to be rich. The second are the gated communities of the ultra-wealthy. There is literally no middle class to speak of. I'm sure your city or town is similar.
|...America is by far the least heavily taxed of Western nations and could easily find the resources to pay for a major expansion of programs aimed at limiting inequality...
Once you add up federal, state, local, property, sales, and other miscellaneous taxes, it would not be surprising to find most Americans -- middle class Americans, mind you -- pay well more than 50% of their gross wages in taxes.
According to Krugman, that's not nearly enough.
|In particular, we also need to apply strategic thinking to the union movement. Union leaders and liberal intellectuals often don't like each other very much, and union victories are often of dubious value to the economy. Nonetheless, if you are worried about the cycle of polarization in this country, you should support policies that make unions stronger, and vociferously oppose those that weaken them... There are some stirrings of life in the union movement -- a new, younger leadership... They must be supported, almost regardless of the merits of their particular case. Unions are one of the few political counterweights to the power of wealth...
Let's recall: this article was written by Krugman in 1996. I'll be kind and just say that he's no Kreskin.
The last decade has demonstrated the utter irrelevance of unions. A plethora of government agencies -- from the EEOC to OSHA to the National Council on Disability -- protect every aspect of America's work-force.
As for the growth in "income inequality", Forbes' Dan Seligman writes:
Damn, Paul -- that sounds like a middle-class to me!
Let's do a little thought experiment to highlight the stupidity of Krugman's mental excretions. Consider Bellevue, Washington in the storied seventies -- the era of pure equality that Krugman so frequently and lovingly recalls. Bellevue was a sleepy little Seattle suburb that was more rural than urban.
The decade of the Eighties and Nineties saw the rise of Microsoft in nearby Redmond. Microsoft's growth spawned tens of thousands of jobs; grew many hundreds of regional businesses; and has transformed the Seattle suburbs into engines of opportunity.
But if Krugman is right, the income inequality represented by the Microsoft billionaire boys club -- Gates, Allen, and Ballmer among them -- is downright horrifying. In Krugman's bizarre world view, Redmond would have been better off had Microsoft never located nearby because the "income equality" of the Seventies would have lived on indefinitely.
Put simply, Krugman's like a broken record. For decades, he's sung the same off-key tune using raw statistics... but no knowledge. Income inequality is a great thing. Tom Blumer at Bizzyblog writes:
In short, Krugman lobbies for a kinder, gentler Communism. He advocates the simple redistribution of wealth and lauds a centralized command-and-control system to ensure a consistent income for all.
You'd think that one hundred million fatalities -- the result of the world's last major foray into Communism -- would have taught Krugman a powerful lesson. That murderous form of government leveraged political repression, extrajudicial executions, deportations, and man-made famines to slaughter innocents at a record pace.
Oh, I forgot -- Krugman's a liberal with a conscience.
Update: Omri at The Astute Bloggers gangs up on the Washington Post. Watch one intellectual take on a rabid pack of mental midgets on the same topic.
Hat tips: Gateway Pundit and Larwyn