No problem with income inequality.

From the Daily Kos:   (Authored by Shawn (sic) “Bottom Line: I’m a Liberal” Russell)
“[Presidential candidate] Rick Santorum said,
‘They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.’” 
Predictably, Shawn (sic) selectively quoted Santorum the full quote is
“The reason you see some sympathy among the American public for them is the grave concern — and it’s a legitimate one — that blue-collar workers, lower-income workers, are having a harder and harder time rising,” the former Pennsylvania senator said at a presidential campaign stop. “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.
“President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism,” Santorum said. “I’m not for income equality. I’m not for equality of result — I’m for equality of opportunity.”
“The key in America is that people can rise, that there are opportunities to move up. In that area, America is falling short now. We are not as income-mobile as even some western European countries, according to a lot of the data. So that is something that as Republicans we should be talking about and be concerned about.” DesMoines Register, 12/20/2011
Shawn (sic) goes on to say:
“If working hard meant an escape from poverty, then many American single mothers would’ve been millionaires by now. Had Santorum studied sociology he would’ve been introduced to a term called the feminization of poverty.”
(My Comment): Sociology ranks slightly above basket weaving as a college major that provides a marketable skill. The “feminization of poverty” to the extent it is exists, is a result of teenage children having children, too soon and too many, and is a direct result of dependancy on government.
“Furthermore, poor people work greater hours than their wealthier counterparts, often having multiple jobs. Yet they remain poor!”
(My Comment): The number of hours one works has little to do with productivity. Individuals get paid for the value they create and that is a function of what they know, not what they physically do. When I was in the locksmith business, I was called upon to open a safe that the shop-owner couldn’t. I asked him for the combination, dialed it, and whacked the door with a large plastic hammer I sued for such things The door opened. I cleaned and adjusted the lock, and put it back in. The whole process took me 15 minutes. I charged him $200. He complained saying that price was outrageous for 15 minutes work. I then itemized the bill: $10 for doing the work; $190 for knowing what to do. There are countless similar examples.
“If having better ideas was a guarantee to be richer than Antonio Meucci (the first inventor of the telephone) and Heinrich Goebel (the first inventor of the Light bulb) would’ve died rich. They died in poverty.”
(My Comment): Inventing a better mousetrap is only the start. You have to promote it and it has to be practically useful. It doesn’t matter how much you know unless others know you know it. The world is full of unrequited geniuses.
“Finally taking risks does not always translate into success and money. Many Americans have taken risks by investing all of their money on failed businesses, or buying a home only to have it foreclosed, or spending their money on college, only to be unemployed.”
(My Comment): That’s why its called “risk” – duh! Homes are usually only foreclosed upon if you don’t make the payments, and it’s worth less than you owe on it. Lesson is, don’t by a house unless you can put enough equity into it to begin with. Spending your money on college is a great investment if you major in engineering, or even liberal-arts that teach you to think, write, and communicate effectively. It’s not if you major in basket weaving – or sociology.
“Hence, all of the conditions Rick Santorum mentions, which separate the poor from the affluent, really are not sure guarantees of being affluent. Many Americans have done all the things Rick Santorum exalts and glorifies but with futile effort.”
(My Comment):  Bottom line: Work hard, but more importantly, work smart.
“So what happens when the American people fail by following Santorum’s guidelines? Will he compensate them for selling them an unrealized dream?”
(My Comment): No. He’s not selling them anything. He’s is describing reality.
Some who agree with Santorum (Alana Goodman in Commentary for example), believe “… he may have been better off framing this in more optimistic terms – like Jeb Bush? did with the ‘Right to Rise’ earlier this week – rather than supporting ‘income inequality,’ which has a distinctly negative connotation and cedes the language to the political left.”
When asked why she chose to use the emotion-loaded word “selfishness” to describe her anti-collectivist, ani-altruist philosophy rather than a more nuanced, explanatory phrase, Ayn Rand replied: “For the very reason you fear it.” Fifty years later Rand has the left wing in a tizzy, and her ideas are gaining more credence than ever. I am not a particular fan of Santorum, but he has it right, and maybe more plain-spoken rhetoric is just this thing our vapid, politically correct culture needs. The only downside is that I probably don’t have 50 years left to wait for a similar phenomenon.
Cheers!

One comment on “No problem with income inequality.

  1. DavidP says:

    Kinda wish we discussed this over thanksgiving in person, but I think you and Santorum are over-generalizing as usual.
    There is a tipping point (it's more a range) where education, hard work, and even luck can't help people realize the 'American Dream' – that dream is that if they work hard and 'pay their dues', they'll be rewarded with a raise, promotion or simply the ability to pay off their student loans. I think we've entered that territory- you do not.
    Look, like most republican talking points, it's mostly rhetoric and few stats. People can actually measure these things and the results are in – the US has been piling up wealth in the hands of a few people at the top and it's not because people have all of a sudden become lazy or “teenagers are having babies”. I know, facts have a liberal bias, but research has found that countries that “distribute the wealth” more fairly (free education, etc.), have more upwardly mobile families and people actually can achieve the “American Dream” – to bad it's not in America.
    No one is saying that everyone should make the same wage, but it doesn't take a sociologist or economist to realize that when your childhood dream of becoming a teacher or fireman is simply a joke because those jobs “aren't valuable to society”, you start to lose hope in society overall. When the attitude is “you're poor because you're lazy” and not “you're poor because you decided to not work in technology, law or wall street”, we're done. Santorum 2012!

    Like

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