Income inequality

Joe Biden, apostle of love

Featured image I don’t think Steve Hayward has plans to run this useful little chart by our friend Mark Perry in his Daily Chart series, but it would in any event bear repetition. It is Mark’s concise response to President Biden’s characterization of the “poison of white supremacy” as the “most dangerous threat to our homeland security” this past weekend in his Howard University Class of 2023 commencement address. At his commencement »

Robert Reich vs Dave Chappelle on Economics (& Common Sense)

Featured image As you may have heard, Robert Reich, who increasingly looks like a parody of an old man yelling at clouds, is very concerned about equality. Very very concerned. Almost obsessively concerned. Actually, strike “almost” from the previous sentence. His egalitarianism extends to the WNBA. Reich finds it scandalous that WNBA players aren’t paid the same as NBA players. Never mind getting schooled by any libertarian walking down the street, as »

Back to the Caves!

Featured image Surely, you must think in sober moments, the left (especially the environmental left) doesn’t literally want to take us back to living primitive existence in caves and such? You wouldn’t think so, but then you run into a purportedly serious article that is so mind-numbingly stupid that you wonder if someone is pulling your leg. Such as an article currently up at Aeon, under the title, “How Equality Slipped Away.” »


Featured image As college students, John and I both subscribed to the philosophical doctrine of determinism. We differed, though, on what implications, if any, the doctrine had for the issue of income distribution. I believed that because the traits that result in wealth are determined by causes beyond our control — the genetics lottery, for example — wealth is undeserved. Therefore, inequality is unjust and should be abolished John understood that my »

Is Kamala Harris a Marxist or just incoherent?

Featured image I don’t know. The main thing I know about Harris is that she’s an opportunist. If you don’t think so, check with some of the people she prosecuted in California. The following statements by Harris have been cited as evidence that she’s a Marxist: Equality suggests, oh, everyone should get the same amount. The problem with that, not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So if we’re all getting »

Neoliberal . . . Crabs?

Featured image The left’s obsession with inequality has reached a level of fanaticism that you could easily confuse with parody. Check out this New York Times headline: It’s for real. Here’s some of the whole story: Hermit crabs face a uniquely competitive real estate market. They need bigger and bigger shells throughout their lives, but can’t grow these homes themselves. So they rely on castoff snail shells, and are constantly on the »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 115: The Endless Quest for Social Equality

Featured image Just in time for your Sunday afternoon walk in the woods or your Monday morning commute, the latest podcast!  By popular demand (with some listeners anyway), this episode features another lecture from my periodic series for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the topic of “The Endless Quest for Social Equality.” This talk ranges widely from the contentions over income inequality that Thomas Piketty’s book ignited »

Tax the Rich, Feed the Poor. . .

Featured image There are days when I note that I was way ahead of the Progressive curve. For example, six years ago I mused here twice about why liberals should advocate for a wealth tax ( here and here), noting in the first post: An excise tax of 1 percent on Buffett’s assets would yield something like $350 million a year.  Throw in Gates, the founders of Google, Apple, and Facebook, and the »

Americans are breaking out of middle class; liberals, media hit hardest

Featured image In 2000, the percentage of wage earners making more than $150,000 per year was 0.8, according to the Washington Post. In 2018, the percentage was 4.2. Even allowing for inflation, this is a good news. It suggests that plenty of folks are moving on up from the middle class. However, the Post isn’t writing a success story. Instead, it’s fretting about income inequality and the inability to measure it. The »

What is socialism?

Featured image George Will takes up the question. He notes that socialism once stood for state ownership of the means of production. Then, it stood for state ownership of the economy’s “commanding heights” — its most important entities. Now, says Will, it stands for the proposition that “the government [shall] distribute, according to its conception of equity, the wealth produced by capitalism.” To this, I would add that the government shall exert »

What to do about wealth inequality?

Featured image The Washington Post asked twelve “experts” what to do about our nation’s “staggering economic inequality.” The Post’s Jeff Stein sets up his article by noting that the 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the poorest 80 million households, and “the richest citizens continue to capture the lion’s share of new wealth.” Indeed, “the top 5 percent has captured 74 percent of the wealth created in this country since 1982.” »

New study raises questions, sheds light on race and income inequality

Featured image The Washington Post reports on a study comparing black and white incomes. The study found that virtually nowhere in the United States do black boys grow up to earn incomes equivalent to white boys raised in the same neighborhoods by parents with comparable wealth and education levels. The disparity holds true even for black boys raised in the wealthiest of families, who grew up on the same block in the »

The Causes of Income Inequality, Revealed

Featured image In 1995, Scott and I wrote a paper titled The Truth About Income Inequality, which was published by Center of the American Experiment, the organization I now lead. It got quite a bit of national attention, and I subsequently debated Congressman Martin Sabo, who then represented Minneapolis, on the subject at a Center-sponsored event that was televised by C-SPAN. That paper looked at the issue of income inequality from a »

Who is “ruining America”?

Featured image This David Brooks column called “How We Are Ruining America” has received lots of attention on the internet, but I don’t think we have commented on it. According to Brooks, members of the college-educated upper middle class — the top 20 percent or so — are ruining America by making sure their kids have good opportunities and, supposedly, making sure that kids from lower classes don’t get them. Brooks says »

Washington Post makes wild claim about Trump’s budget

Featured image “President’s plan could stretch nation’s income inequality to ‘extreme’ levels.” That’s the headline in the paper edition of the Washington Post of an article about President Trump’s proposed budget. Can a budget that cuts taxes and makes appreciable but relatively minor cuts in spending on giveaway programs really “stretch [the] nation’s inequality to ‘extreme’ levels”? I doubt it, and nothing in the Post’s story supports such a claim. To assess »

Do Liberals Notice That Their Goals Are Contradictory?

Featured image At National Review, Reihan Salam makes an important point, briefly and eloquently: If I had to identify the two issues that left-of-center American intellectuals care about most, I’d probably choose rising economic inequality in the United States and the threat posed by anthropogenic climate change. But the left–not the Democrats’ rank and file voters, but virtually all Democratic politicians and pundits–also favor major increases in immigration. Does that make any »

Scandiphilia and Income Inequality

Featured image Bernie Sanders channeled the id of liberalism with his deliberate shout out last night that we should “look at” Scandinavian welfare states, especially Denmark and Sweden. He probably doesn’t know that Sweden has lately made some significant cuts to its social spending programs. But why let facts get in the way of a religious narrative. More curious is that liberals always forget to mention that their beloved European welfare states »