Friday, February 13, 2015

Envy Economics and the Introduction of Income Inequality

Progressives are always looking for ways to divide the American people.  The objective is to play one group against another in an attempt to gain and exercise power over all of us.  The latest con to come down the pike is “Income Inequality.”  
Carolina Journal Radio interviewed James Piereson, president of the William E. Simon Foundation, on economic growth and the introduction of envy economics.  Here is an excerpt:

Piereson: Well, the Piketty book is a very serious work. I’ve written about it and spoken about it. It focuses exclusively on the distribution of income and wealth in our free-market societies, and it places great emphasis on the growing inequality which they detect.

It’s a very much one-sided interpretation of our free-enterprise system. It has many dimensions that go beyond the distribution of income — innovation, quality of life, progress, freedom. All sorts of dimensions that have to be taken into account, and he only looks at one of them.

As I’ve said, this focus on inequality is a new issue. Traditionally, when we’ve spoken about inequality, we’ve talked about elevating the poor into the ranks of the middle classes. All of our government programs in the ’60s and ’70s, and even before that, were focused on elevating the poor. 

This comes at the problem from the reverse angle. That is, the wealthy, the very rich, and trying to find ways to redistribute their wealth and income back down through the rest of the 99 percent.

As I say, I think that is a fool’s errand. We can’t improve the living standards of 99 percent of our people by trying to take income and wealth from the 1 percent who are successful. And as I say, that obscures the real problem that we’re facing in America and other societies across the West, which I think is not inequality but something else.

Kokai: And you mentioned during the Hayek Lecture — after you showed a number of slides and discussed a lot of the data, including some data from Piketty and his colleagues — and said that to you it looks like slower, sluggish economic growth is a much more pressing problem.

Piereson: That I think is the core problem that we’re facing in the United States and in Europe and of course in Japan, which has been struggling with this for 20-odd years. Our economy has had sluggish growth since at least the year 2000. Even before the financial collapse in 2008, our economy is growing only at 2-2.5 percent. 

And then, of course, it went over the cliff in 2008. And we really haven’t really regained the kind of solid economic growth we had in the 1960s or in the 1980s or the 1990s.
Two percent economic growth in America is not going to get the job done. That’s a recipe for stagnation of incomes and standard of living for our middle classes. And it will not allow for mobility for people who are way down the ladder.
Click the link below for full transcript:

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