Ending Income Inequality?

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That puts him with those 1-percenters denounced by Wall Street occupiers. But who made LeBron a 1-percenter? It’s those children again, enabled by their fathers or some other significant male. Instead of children doing their homework and their fathers helping their wives with housework, they get into their cars, drive to a downtown arena and voluntarily plunk down $100 for tickets. The millions of people who watch LeBron play are the direct cause of LeBron’s earning $43 million and are thereby responsible for “undermining the foundations of our democracy.”

Krugman laments in his Nov. 3 New York Times column “Oligarchy, American Style,” “We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.” I’d ask Krugman this question: Who’s putting all the money in the hands of the few, and what do you think ought to be done to stop millions, perhaps billions, of people from using their money in ways that lead to high income and wealth concentration? In other words, I’d like Krugman to tell us what should be done to stop the millions of children who make Joanne Rowling rich, the millions who fork over their money to the benefit of LeBron James, and the hundreds of millions of people who shop at Wal-Mart.

I’d like to end this discussion with a bit of a personal note. The readers of this column know that I never make charges of racism. Rowling is an author, and so am I. In my opinion, my recently published book “Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” is far more important to society than any “Harry Potter” novel. I’d like to know what it is about me that explains why millions upon millions have not purchased my book and made me a billionaire author. Maybe Krugman and the Wall Street occupiers have the answer.

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  • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

    Look, no one holds it against authors or artists or any on who produces a product that people want, that they benefit from their productivity. But realize that Rowling didn't write the Harry Potter books so she can make $1B. LeBron doesn't play for the $43M. These people love what they do, and would do it if it meant Rowling only was worth $750M, and LeBron only made $30M. If taxes were somewhat higher, productive people would not cease being productive – except, perhaps, that segment of society that produces little, and can be moved only on the basis of bald-faced greed.

    The satire of this article is misplaced. The government is responsible for income inequality. They write the laws which determine the rules of the game which puts money in some people's pockets and takes it out of others. Krugman is absolutely right. When the rules determine that a tiny segment of the population controls all the wealth and all the political power in a nation, it is no longer a democracy.

    We're not talking about taking everything from productive people. We are talking about somewhat evening out the wealth distribution in this country to where we were even thirty years ago – when we didn't have the economic and political problems we face today. The very rich can either go along with a reasonable attempt to make this country more politically and economically fair, or face more protests and a steadily deteriorating country.

  • Ageofreason

    There is so much wrong with what you say in just three paragraphs that it's difficult to know where to start in rebuttal. Clearly your underlying and guiding principles are so flawed that it leads your thought all over the place. Who are you to say how much money someone should make? You certainly would not like it if someone pointed a gun at your head and said you make too much money, and others need it more than you do. In plain language, that is robbery. Your pontification on motives is irrelevant, and a red herring.

    The earnings of the wealthy are productive; they are not stuffed into a sock or a mattress. The wealth is invested and helps to generate more wealth for many more people. Whatever they spend goes into the pockets of those who sell them goods and services. Furthermore, wealth is not a pot from which wealth is taken by a few, leaving less for everyone else. Cont.

  • Ageofreason

    It is excessive taxation and regulation that kill the middle class, by sucking away its wealth, and ability to accumulate capital to invest to generate more wealth, to generate jobs, to generate generalized prosperity. You want an economically fair country? Reduce taxes; do not increase them. You want a politically fair country? Demand in no uncertain terms that politicians stop spending on entitlement programs: medicare, welfare, food stamps, etc, etc, etc. Also, let the banks assume the risks of investment in mortgages free of government interference. And if the banks fail, then the banks fail. Yes, people will be hurt financially, but we could call it short term pain for long-term gain.