Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
The Left is all aflutter about the issue of income inequality in the United States. Their solutions are simple and simple-minded: take from the haves and give to the have-nots. This is often dummied down to the “1% versus 99%” nonsense they spout. Years and years of social welfare programs have done little to nothing to address the issue of income inequality. This writer will admit that it may be an issue worth discussing. In “The Age of Turbulence” by Alan Greenspan, he notes that when income inequality reaches a critical mass- whether economically or, more often, through perception and propaganda- one of two things can happen: revolution or the rise of populism. Unfortunately, that populism often takes the face of socialism. It is understandable- who is going to turn down free stuff?
Obviously, nothing is free so that is the first nail in the Leftist coffin. This writer got into a heated argument with a liberal on another website about the issue of income inequality. When asked why the rich wouldn’t just pack up their wealth and go elsewhere (along with jobs), I was told the law could prevent them from doing so although no law was ever cited or specified. When I asked short of confiscation of wealth how they intended to achieve their goals, the conversation became, predictably, a series of ad hominem attacks against me. In other words, they could not answer the question. Fair enough and it was expected.
Regardless, the Left has not given up on the idea that capitalism is bad despite the numerous Communist and socialist countries that have discarded that economic system along with their Lenin, Marx and Che T-shirts. The Left will argue that capitalism makes people poor by concentrating wealth in the hands of a relative few. By global standards, only 2% of the United States population can be considered poor. Even more important, nearly 88% of Americans are upper or high middle income when compared against global standards. If poverty and the poor are such a problem in America, then America has the richest poor people in the world.
Also, unless they have their hands in your cookie jar, no one should care what the hell anyone else makes. Most of the bitching is predicated on jealousy. Suddenly, an ex-bartender from the Bronx is an expert on income inequality because she lived in two differing zip codes and knows things the rest of us don’t. Realizing that her degree from Boston University bought her a job as a bartender in the Bronx it seems only logical that she would show jealousy and therefore covet her neighbor’s wealth.
Regarding that 1%, there is some silly notion that this is some monolithic group of people. The fact is that people move into and out of the 1% all the time. The reason they are not a monolithic group of people is because of capitalism- the very economic system they wish to tear down. Capitalism is the one system that allows for the greatest means of economic mobility.
Thus, if people want a better chance in life, there are three simple rules. All of these have been proven time and time again to almost guarantee the elimination of poverty in America. They are (1) graduate from high school, (2) get a full time job, and (3) get married before having a child. According to most studies, a high school dropout can expect to earn $10,386 LESS than a person with a high school diploma every year. Over the span of a lifetime, those numbers add up.
Second, obtaining a full time job obviously pays benefits. With record-low unemployment, especially among minority groups, the benefits are obvious. However, we have people suggesting government payments and a livable “wage” for those “unable or unwilling to work.” That was no Freudian slip, folks. Finally, having a baby out of wedlock is an almost certain guarantee of potential poverty. That is not to belittle single mothers; it is simply a fact.
The Brookings Institute, hardly a bastion of conservatism, found that if these three simple rules were followed, there was a 98% chance you would not live in poverty. Unfortunately, all three rules require something totally foreign to the Left- personal responsibility. In fact, every suggested Leftist solution absolves the individual of personal responsibility. Institutional racism, the patriarchy, toxic masculinity and a host of other excuses and made up words are the reasons for anyone’s lot in life; it is never personal responsibility.
And perhaps that is what most separates the conservative from the liberal: the mature acceptance of personal responsibility. At every turn, be it in education, gainful employment or the benefits of marriage the Left has worked to undermine personal responsibility. The cause of failing schools is never the fault of the student; it is a lack of funding. The cause of unemployment or meaningful employment is those greedy capitalists. And as far as single-parent families goes, well… its just the norm so get used to it. From their standpoint, it is understandable. If you remove these three bedrocks, you can then create your socialist Utopia. If you follow those three simple rules, they lose the greatest tool in their arsenal- grievance.