The use of the term is on the upswing for a few reasons: first, because Obama and the Democrat Party are using it to gin up their base before the upcoming election. Second, because of a new book by Thomas PIKETTY getting tremendous play by the leftist dominated mass media. (The stats in the book have been demolished by critics.)
Here is what the Piketty book is like:
[Piketty spoils] the longstanding conventional wisdom, supported by economics Nobel winners like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, plus lots of less controversial characters, that capitalism is democracy’s best friend…
It shows a world getting radically more unequal, the return of hereditary wealth, and--at least in the U.S.--an economy so distorted that much of what happens at the very top can be fairly described as class-based looting. AndThe wealthy are looters!?!?! They got rich by looting the poor!?!? Sheesh.
Here's another classic leftist bit of artfully deceitful propaganda:
Jason Read really thinks that the people who sold goods and services and made a profit are parasites!?!?!
Here are 3 reasons why all this leftist "income inequality" is bullshit:
1 - The fact that rich people might be getting richer than poor people in no way can be logically or substantially be either the result of poor people getting poorer or the cause of it.
The richest people in the USA did nit get rich as the expense of poor people; they made the lives of poor people better and made tens of thousands of other people rich.
CASES IN POINT:
Henry Ford Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Sergey Brin and Sam Walton all made BILLIONS in the last 2 or 3 decades - or less. They did so by providing goods or services that millions of people CHOSE to purchase - goods and services which made their lives better. In Walton's case, he brought less expensive goods to the poor - improving their lives. In Ford's case, he brought an affordable car to the masses - and gave masses of people better paying work than they had. Jobs, Gates and Brin revolutionized the way we work and recreate and consume - greatly improving the quality of life for the masses. And together, their enterprises made millions of people wealthy - as their fantastic stocks guaranteed people's pensions.
Far from being parasites, they are the people who create and spread wealth and grow the economy - which raises wages for the working class.
Rather than being attacked and vilified; they should be thanked - and emulated.
2 - "Income inequality" measures dollars, not quality of life - and even in the years when rich gain more dollars than those who are less rich, the quality of life for the less than rich very well may go up.
THINK ABOUT IT:
The aristocracy of the first half of the last century did not have A/C, cellphones, jet travel, television, MP3 players, and so on. Their limousines and sports cars were less safe and had worse performance than today's average compact car.
If a small percentage of people become WILDLY wealthy by improving the goods that make less wealthy people's better than wealthy people's lives were a few decades ago, then there is a net gain for humanity overall and a net gain for the less wealthy - even if the income of the less wealthy doesn't go up at all.
3 - The more our economy sustains the most creative and productive among us - who, when rewarded by the freemarket are made super-wealthy - the better off we all are because the wealth they earn is a by-product of the value they create.
By-and-large, he super-wealthy become super-wealthy because they do something or produce something millions of people value and are willing to trade dollars for.
Baseball provides some insights here:
THESE ARE THE FACTS:
... Mike Piazza signed his then-record seven-year, $91 million contract with the Mets on Oct 26, 1998... [the average player earned $1.4 million a year]THAT MEANS THAT IN 1998, PIAZZA EARNED ABOUT 58 TIMES WHAT THE AVERAGE BALLPLAYER EARNED.
IN 1930, BABE RUTH ONLY EARNED $900,000 IN PIAZZA ERA DOLLARS.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL-TIME RUTH EARNED LESS THAN THE AVERAGE PLAYER DOES TODAY.
WHEN RUTH MADE $80,000 THE AVERAGE BASEBALL SALARY WAS $6000.
SO, RUTH ONLY MADE 14x MORE THAN AVERAGE.
THERE WAS LESS INCOME INEQUALITY IN 1929,
BUT ALL PLAYERS MADE LESS - AND - ALL MADE LESS THAN THEY DESERVED.
AS INCOMES FOR THE VERY BEST IMPROVED, SO DID INCOME FOR THE AVERAGE PLAYERS - BUT NOT AS FAST SO THAT BY TODAY, THE BEST MAKE MANY TIMES MORE THAN THE AVERAGE PLAYER.
THE FACT THAT IN 1998 PIAZZA MADE 56x WHAT THE AVERAGE PLAYER MADE DIDN'T MAKE THE AVERAGE PLAYER POORER; IF ANYTHING, IT MADE THEM RICHER.
THERE IS MORE INCOME INEQUALITY IN BASEBALL TODAY THAN IN THE 1930'S, BUT NO SANE PERSON WOULD ARGUE THAT ALL PLAYERS OR EVEN JUST THE AVERAGE PLAYERS ARE WORSE OFF NOW AS COMPARED TO THE 1930'S.
AND NO SANE PERSON WOULD ARGUE THAT THE BEST PLAYERS SHOULD SHARE MORE OF THEIR SALARIES WITH AVERAGE PLAYERS ON THEIR TEAM OR ON OTHER TEAMS.
BUT THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT SOCIALISTS LIKE OBAMA ARE ARGUING WHEN THEY SAY THAT INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE USA AS A WHOLE HAS GONE UP AND THAT THIS INDICATES WE ARE SOMEHOW A LESS FAIR ECONOMY.
AND THAT WE NEED FEDERAL POLICES TO REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH.
If George Clooney and David Beckham and Angelina Jolie and Lebron James deserve to earn millions more than the average actor or jock, let alone more than the average person, then so do the people who create the goods and services and jobs and valuable stocks everyone wants to buy.
We should no more be attacking our most successful capitalists and industrialists than attacking our favorite actors and jocks.