Can we please put a stop to this income inequality madness before Steven Spielberg starts complaining about income inequality because he only has $3.4 billion while Larry Ellison has $48 billion. It’s not fair. He’s the 99.999 percent.
Our sad story begins with a Bill de Blasio supporter who wants something done about the rich.
I recently asked a wealthy political donor why he was supporting Bill de Blasio and his attacks on the wealthy.
“Because inequality is a problem in New York,” he said. “The rich have gotten their way for too long.”
By “rich” of course, he meant people richer than he was—as in billionaires. Inequality in New York is all relative.
Yes, the poorest people in America are overweight and have smartphones. The poorest rich people in New York can’t afford to buy their own sports team.
Won’t Bill de Blasio do something about this tragic tale of two cities?
In New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and other concentrated wealth centers, the growing gap between the rich and super rich has rarely been wider.
Richard Kirshenbaum writes of a friend (whom he doesn’t name) who no longer feels important in New York because he’s only a millionaire.
Now, it takes at least $100 million to matter in New York. He says he feels like a “loser” because of his $10 million apartment. His wife’s 8-carat diamond is out-blinged by a friend’s 20-carat rock. He’s proud of his floor seats; another guy buys the team.
“You think you’re a player, flying your family first class, then so-and-so asks for your tail number, and they look at you like you’re taking the bus because you’re flying commercial,” he says.
The only solution is to redistribute private jets to everyone. And sports teams.
A lot of the class warfare that you see in the media now has exactly this kind of absurd flavor, wealthy and upper middle class liberals denouncing billionaires.
“The rich will no longer have it their own way,” shriek sites like Gawker whose ads come from luxury brands.
Everyone is oppressed because someone else has more money. There is absolutely no end to it because someone always has more money.
The millionaire malaise stems from a rapid growth in inequality—not just between the 1 percent and 99ers, but also between the 1 percent and the 0.0001 percent.
Forget the 99 percent. It’s all about the 99.99 percent.
If the top 0.1 percent were on the 160th floor, the top 1 percent would be on the 10th floor. And if Larry Ellison were on the 160th floor, Mitt Romney would be on the 6th floor and the rest of America is mixing with the top 1 percenters on the lower floors.
“The 99.99th percentile now sits on the third floor and the entire bottom 99 percent—and then some—mill around the lobby,” Winship writes. “We are the 99.99 percent?”
Or we could just stop compulsively envying each other and acting like we’re starving peasants outside a manor, when most of the people complaining are ridiculously well off by the standards of 99 percent of the world… and human history.
Income inequality is always going to exist. We can keep trying to redistribute other people’s money but the country will only get poorer as a whole and power and wealth will concentrate in the hands of the redistributors.
That’s how it worked in the USSR.
With the new, soaring glass towers going up in Manhattan with $90 million penthouses, it’s not hard to imagine that those living “below” in the prewar palaces along Fifth Avenue can actually feel disadvantaged.
And that’s what we’re really talking about here ‘feelings’.
This isn’t about deprivation, it’s about a class warfare made fashionable and redistributed across all of society so that everyone can feel part of the 99 percent as long as they have less money than Bill Gates.
It’s about the left’s pervasive culture of resentment that trades opportunity for envy and pays off in bureaucracy.