Skip to comments.Problems With Income Inequality
Posted on 12/15/2013 1:21:36 PM PST by Kaslin
According to his profile, Darren Hutchinson is a professor of Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, Law and Social Change, and Equal Protection Theory at the University of Florida. At his blog, Dissenting Justice, Hutchinson takes yours truly to task for a recent article of mine in which I contend that the enterprise of rectifying income inequalities is antithetical to individual liberty, for the former demands an intrusive, activist, all meddling governmenti.e. a government as diametrically opposed as any to that delineated by the U.S. Constitution.
The title of Hutchinsons post is essentially self-explanatory vis-à-vis his position: Town Hall Author Jack Kerwick is WRONG: States Also Help to Combat Income Inequality. Hutchinson thinks that since the individual states have been busy at work implementing one redistributive scheme after the other, he has disproven my thesis.
In fact, he has only reinforced it.
Hutchinson notes in boldfaced print that the national government often partners with states and local governments to ameliorate the conditions of income inequality and to subsidize poor households (emphasis added).
It is telling that Hutchinsona professor, mine you, of Constitutional lawrefers to the national government, for the men who ratified the Constitution did so precisely to insure that America would not have a national government, but a federal one. The latter, constrained as it is by numerous checks and balancesincluding and especially that of the sovereignty of the states that gave birth to itcannot address income inequalities without transforming itself into somethinga national governmentthat wouldve been as unrecognizable as dreadful to the Framers.
Hutchinson also disingenuously refers to a partnership between the national government and the states designed to combat inequality. First of all, there is no such partnership. Over quite a stretch of time now, the national government has been laboring tirelessly to subvert the Constitutional design by usurping the sovereignty of the states. Courtesy of just the sort of redistributive projects that Hutchinson and his ilk encourage, it has been remarkably successful: the federal government is supreme.
Thus, the national government no more partners with its tributaries, the states, than it invests in public enterprises. It bribes and coerces the states to do its bidding.
But lets just say that this isnt so. Hutchinson nevertheless acknowledges that, whether with or without the states, it is indeed the national government that is working away to rectify inequalities.
Hutchinsons response to my position not only goes no distance toward undermining it. It strengthens it.
Yet Hutchinsons post still supplies much food for thought. Like other leftists, he equates income inequality with income inequity. It needs to be noted that this is a classic instance of question-begging or circular reasoning, for whether differences in income are inequities is exactly what needs to be determined. By equating the two from the outset, Hutchinson cooks his position, for he assumes as a premise that which needs to be proven.
But the problem with redistributionist reasoning runs even deeper than this. The whole outlook can even be said to be rooted in a fallacy, what logicians call the argument ad populum: an (emotional) appeal to the masses.
It isnt just that inequalities arent necessarily inequities. Inequalities in income arent even necessarily inequalities; they are differences. There is, though, a good reason why the Hutchinsons of the world wouldnt think to trade in the word inequality for difference when advocating on behalf of redistribution.
Equality is a moral ideal with a storied history stretching back centuries in Western culture. In America specifically, equality has figured to no slight extent in informing our collective moral imaginationeven if equality has by and large referred to equality before God and/or equality under the law.
Socialists know all of this, but so as to invest the raison d entre of their ideology with moral legitimacy, they resolved to exploit the concept of equality for all that they could bleed from it. Hence, differences in incomeregardless of how these differences came aboutare transformed into inequalities.
Differences, you see, are what we expect to witness in an open and free society. Of differences, the Hutchinsons of the world are indefatigably telling us, we are supposed to be, not just tolerant, but enthusiastic. Differences are supposed to be celebrated.
This is another reason why socialists never want to call income differences for what they are.
The champions of redistribution must resort to rhetoric and logical fallacies to defend their ideology, for they realize that the only argument that can be given for it, if stated openly, would promise to offend the sensibilities of ordinary folks.
As John Rawls, perhaps the most influential political philosopher of the last half of the 20th century, once put it, no one is entitled to gain or lose from his luck in the natural lottery of talent and ability, or from his initial place in society, without giving (or receiving) compensating advantages in return. Since we deserve neither our natural talents nor the opportunities weve had to develop and showcase those talents, no one deserves to keep the fruits of their laborsunless compensation is made by those who have been favored by nature for those with whom it has just as undeservedly burdened with arbitrary handicaps [.]
What this means is that peoples natural talents and challenges are to be treated as common assets. And common assets are to be controlled by the government.
When Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren infamously said to entrepreneurs about their businesses that you didnt build that, they werent misspeaking. A persons talents and opportunities are not to be treated as his; they are common assets to be used for the common good.
Only on such an assumption, an assumption from which the lover of liberty must recoil in horror, can income inequalities be judged the defining issue of our time, as Obama described it.
These, “constitutional law” professors are constitutional only in the way that I have a constitutional every morning.
Republicans: EEOC=Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Democrats: EEOC=Equal Economic Outcomes Commission
Some spend all pf their income, some save and invest and eventually get more income.
Give away all your money until you are at the subsistence level to equalize the income of a couple of other families.
Unless and until you do this your distress about “income equality” is mere sophistry.
What about effort inequality? I am tired of working all week to have the people get free phone, house, money, groceries, child care, ....
What about efforts. When are people required to put out effort?
I have a problem with income equality; having to work to pay for some lazy a$$ to sit on his and collect the money I earn. After all these years its his time to pull the plow and pay me not to work but I know its not going to happen.
Income inequality is as natural as life span inequality, intellect inequality, athletic ability inequality, height inequality, etc. Trying to guarantee outcomes in happiness, success, income or ability is unnatural and violates every law of nature. And it never, ever, ever works.
Ya. There seem to be a disportionate number of African Americans in sports these days.
The ethnic mix of the team should exactly match that of the home city demographic including Asians, Hispanics, .... Eskimos, Aborigines, etc.
Also sport figures get paid way too much money. How much they earn should be regulated.
How does obama’s society “equalize” wealth between a graduate of Harvard Law and a high school drop out?
How does obama’s society “equalize” wealth between single women who choose to have multiple children with no husband and no child support, and those who choose monogamy and marriage?
how does obama’s society “equalize” the value of an income derived from 20+ years of education, an advanced medical degree and a 100 hour work week, with that of a fast food worker?
when does obama’s society recognize the different economic values of individual choices, freely made?
“What this means is that peoples natural talents and challenges are to be treated as common assets. And common assets are to be controlled by the government.”
The above is scary, horrible, the reason we will be stripped of what we have so it can be given to others. Our talents, education, are only important so we can use these talents and education to give away to government what we make so they can make every person in the US EQUAL.
What happens is what is already happening. Freepers are writing why should they work so hard when the govern. takes it? They will stop working so hard and that will happen all over the country and the country will collapse. It happened when Russia took people's property and made communes where all people had the same. Since they owned nothing anymore, they quit producing/working except minimally. Why should they work when it wasn't theirs?
When I went to mainland China in the country, we went to a village - let me say everything we had on us was written down when we first entered the country. When we left that village and went through customs again, the agent compared the list made when we went in, to make sure we still had every piece of jewelry we had going in. Absolutely nothing could be given to a villager as that person would then have more than another villager and that was forbidden. The guide told us every house had the same number of plates and bowls and cutlery and pots and pans. The same number of tables and chairs. The govn. regulated their life and they could only have what the govn. allowed them to have.
The above Chinese example is the goal of Muslim Hussein. We will only be equal when I know you, the reader, has exactly what I do. It is a gathering of all the money and physical items we have, and distribution of them so we are exactly equal. In a time like that, none of us will be paid a salary as the money will go straight to Hussein to be divided equally.
One big problem with this equality, is, the effort to produce is not equal. The disability rolls have mushroomed and it will come to a time any black person is disabled because he/she is not white and has been trampled on for generations so they get their share without working to make up for what “we” did generations ago.
Our only hope to stop this is to control the presidency and both houses.
I don't care what you have and you darned sure can't have my stuff.
For the dope on equality vs. liberty, check out Will and Ariel Durants’ “Lessons of History”. Liberty and equality are different ends of the pendulum and you cannot have both at once. Whenever one goes up, the other goes down. It is like having freedom and safety at the same time. It is not going to happen.
If this is a self-description, it is delusional and hopelessly contradictory.
Like being a resolutely pro-life advocate/ProAbortion activist...
How does obamas society equalize wealth between a graduate of Harvard Law and a high school drop out?
How does obamas society equalize wealth between single women who choose to have multiple children with no husband and no child support, and those who choose monogamy and marriage?
how does obamas society equalize the value of an income derived from 20+ years of education, an advanced medical degree and a 100 hour work week, with that of a fast food worker?
What a bunch-a stupid questions!
Why, by Executive Order, of course!
Well, the Lefty is right. In fact, I'll go further and borrow a term from the Anti-Federalists of 1788 and say our government is CONSOLIDATED.
It happened the moment the states booted themselves from the senate. All that power in the constitution which was subject to state approval, was instead punted to a few hundred men and women in Washington, DC.
He obviously does not see himself as president of a thriving republic of freedom-loving citizens----in his befuddled mind he represents self-made victims, slackers, do-nothings, layabeds, gutter snipes, welchers, and other social misfits.
Obama's stupid "income inequality whine is part and parcel of progressives' greed/envy/entitlement stupidity---the Pay-Me-I'm-A-Victim scam. More akin to a dirt-poor Third World satrap than a thriving republic ruled by laws and market forces.
Obama can't seem to rise above his inane "community organizer" mentality. When he was crawling around the nabe preaching envy and greed----duping people on food stamps into believing they could payoff mortgages (ne'er do wells who taxpayers were forced to bail out).
Addicting people to government handouts is the "community organizer's" con game--to get votes--buying loyalty w/ other people's tax dollars.
That would make them anti-constitutional in that they have NEVER had their "morning constitutional" and thus are "full of it".
That would make them anti-constitutional in that they have NEVER had their "morning constitutional" and thus are "full of it".