Saturday, May 30, 2009
For years we have been hearing that the growing inequality between rich and poor, or even rich and the rest, is a social problem that in and of itself justifies government intervention into the economy. Well, inequality appears to be well on its way to solving itself:
As I have been writing for the past year, the rich have been hammered by this crisis, largely because of the plunge in the value of their investments and real estate. As a result, the millionaire population (especially the lower end) is taking a dive.
I suspect that once we have more complete up-to-date information about the distribution of wealth in the United States we will learn that it has narrowed considerably, what with massive losses in the financial markets, the assault on corporate compensation, and the plunging value of real estate. So at least we will have taken that fraudulent reason for confiscatory taxation off the table and adopt the more honest "from each according to his ability, effort, and good fortune, to each according to his political clout."
Speaking of redistribution, it seems NJ property tax reassessments are presently due.
Consider it your contribution to the EEOC of central NJ via the Borough of Princetown.
Just don't expect them to pick up the trash when they're supposed to.
The sharp drop is not surprising.
A millionaire is still an exception, perhaps 1% in the US. So the wealth distribution curve would show that perhaps 90% of millionaires have just over $1M.
Those marginal millionaires couldn't take much of an economic loss and remain millionaires.
The Simpsons had an episode in which Mr. Burns wealth dropped to roughly $999M and he was thrown out of the Billionaires Club.
He found himself among the poor; people who only owned such things as baseball teams and small banks. For him that was Hell.
If tomorrow we were to wake up to a world where everybody's net worth had magically equalized, there would still be a drumbeat for 'fairness' of some sort.
It was, is, and always will be, about one simple concept: revenge. Revenge over the 2000 recount, revenge over the Reagan boom, revenge over . . . well, revenge against the very existence of an opposing point of view, quite frankly.
Great comment, Anon 03:20! I couldn't agree more.
Wealth comes from opportunity. Opportunity comes from one's position. Positioning one-self comes from education, experience and hard work...maybe not your own...but somebody close to you.
As has been said before: It's not a struggle between the "haves" and the "have-nots", it's a battle between the "dids" and the "did-nots".
Once wealth is redistributed...how are they going to redistribute what makes one wealthy??
Simple...by removing position and opportunity.
When you look at the disappearance of a classical education over the past two generations...it is clear that we are well on the way.