The Inequality Bed-Wetters are Misleading YouPosted: September 30, 2014
Gilded Gelded Age
I offer this for two reasons. One, because I’ve never read anything by Kevin D. Williamson that I didn’t like and want everyone to read. And two, because there’s this very disturbing photo of Paul Krugman that I’ve been dying to get off my desk. Now you can have nightmares about Krugman’s face, staring scoldingly into the abyss. And I can go back to my usual nightmares about Obama cutting a nuke deal with Iran in order to speed up the coming global apocalypse. Which reminds me. Do you have Williamson’s book yet? I think everyone should read that, too. See the full text of Williamson’s article here.
For National Review Online, Kevin D. Williamson writes: The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent.
“…if your assumption here is that this is about redistribution, then you should want the billionaires’ incomes to go up, not down: The more money they make, the more taxes they pay, and the more money you have to give to the people you want to give money to, e.g., overpaid, lazy, porn-addicted bureaucrats…”
I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the number of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.
“…poor people are not poor because rich people are rich, nor vice versa. Very poor people are generally poor because they do not have jobs, and taking away Thurston Howell III’s second yacht is not going to secure work for them…”
The inequality-based critique of the American economy is a fundamentally dishonest one, for a half a dozen or so reasons at least. Claims that the (wicked, wicked) “1 percent” saw their incomes go up by such and such an amount over the past decade or two ignore the fact that different people compose the 1 percent every year, and that 75 percent of the super-rich households in 1995 were in a lower income group by 2005.
“The 3 million highest-paying jobs in America paid a lot more in 2005 than did the 3 million highest-paying jobs in 1995” is a very different and considerably less dramatic claim than “The top 1 percent of earners in 1995 saw their household incomes go up radically by 2005.” But the former claim is true and the latter is not.
Paul Krugman, who persists in Dickensian poverty, barely making ends meet between six-figure sinecures, is a particularly energetic scourge of the rich, and he is worried about conspicuous consumption: “For many of the rich, flaunting is what it’s all about. Living in a 30,000 square foot house isn’t much nicer than living in a 5,000 square foot house; there are, I believe, people who can really appreciate a $350 bottle of wine, but most of the people buying such things wouldn’t notice if you substituted a $20 bottle, or maybe even a Trader Joe’s special.” In an earlier piece on the same theme, he urged higher taxes as a way to help the rich toward virtue…(read more)
— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review. He is also the author of “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome”.
- Paul Krugman: Our invisible rich (sacbee.com)
- RICH: ‘Economist’ Paul Krugman Gets $25,000 Per Month to Push ‘Income Inequality’ Agenda (tpnn.com)
- The rich (like Paul Krugman) get richer (like Paul Krugman) in Paul Krugman’s America (legalinsurrection.com)
- Irony: CUNY’s income inequality initiative will pay Krugman $225,000 a year (dailycaller.com)
- Kevin D. Williamson on Barry’s Good Idea: Police Interactions Should All be on Video (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Economic Lessons Unlearnt. “Abenomics,” the stimulus-oriented economic pro… (pjmedia.com)
- Goldberg, Williamson on Ginsberg: ‘We Only Whisper It’, ‘Abort the Poor’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Why Paul Krugman Doesn’t Like Us. And Vice Versa. (powerlineblog.com)
- Another Nobel Prize on the way? Paul Krugman to study income inequality from perspective of 1 percent (michellemalkin.com)