Those Strapping Young Bucks And Their Drying Machines
Hot on the heels of Charles Murray’s upcoming The Rich Man’s Burden: Civilizing The Savages fellow AEI’er [coughwingnutwelfarerecipientcough] James Q Wilson takes to the pages of Fred Hiatt’s Rich Folk’s Etch-a-Sketch page to wave his hands around and deflect deflect deflect people’s attention away from the American Romney Class by pointing out that you’re just upset and acting irrationally (you’re probably having your period, aren’t you?) if you’re pointing at the Romney Rich as 99% percent of the problem on economic inequality in America:
There is no doubt that incomes are unequal in the United States — far more so than in most European nations. This fact is part of the impulse behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose members claim to represent the 99 percent of us against the wealthiest 1 percent. It has also sparked a major debate in the Republican presidential race, where former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has come under fire for his tax rates and his career as the head of a private-equity firm.
But the mere existence of income inequality tells us little about what, if anything, should be done about it. First, we must answer some key questions. Who constitutes the prosperous and the poor? Why has inequality increased? Does an unequal income distribution deny poor people the chance to buy what they want? And perhaps most important: How do Americans feel about inequality?
To answer these questions, it is not enough to take a snapshot of our incomes; we must instead have a motion picture of them and of how people move in and out of various income groups over time.
This is what is known as Three Card Monte For The Poors where Wilson uses misdirection lest we point at the card that, when flipped over, shows the rich guy who buys companies, overloads them with debt, takes massive management fees while stripping them of their assets, ships jobs overseas, and then bankrupts the company leaving the former employees to shift for themselves — unless, of course, they have a famous name and the connections that go along with that, in which case: it’s all good. Wilson could talk about these New Generation Poors but that dog don’t whistle, so he pulls another card out of his sleeve:
The real income problem in this country is not a question of who is rich, but rather of who is poor. Among the bottom fifth of income earners, many people, especially men, stay there their whole lives. Low education and unwed motherhood only exacerbate poverty, which is particularly acute among racial minorities. Brookings Institution economist Scott Winshiphas argued that two-thirds of black children in America experience a level of poverty that only 6 percent of white children will ever see, calling it a “national tragedy.”
Making the poor more economically mobile has nothing to do with taxing the rich and everything to do with finding and implementing ways to encourage parental marriage, teach the poor marketable skills and induce them to join the legitimate workforce. It is easy to suppose that raising taxes on the rich would provide more money to help the poor. But the problem facing the poor is not too little money, but too few skills and opportunities to advance themselves.
And by “legitimate workforce” he means jobs where you can stay at home, or maybe travel the country campaigning should the mood strike you, and still pull down $20 million a year which you could then stash in off-shore tax havens and Swiss banks. Of course, there aren’t too many of those jobs available as a quick search on Monster.com would bear out. But never mind that, because the real problem isn’t jobs; it’s that we have made it too easy on The Blacks and assorted other Poors by allowing them to”pimp” their “cribs” with “bling” which is indisputable, irrefutable, Q.E.D, case closed, in your face, suck it evidence that they’re really not all that poor:
Poverty in America is certainly a serious problem, but the plight of the poor has been moderated by advances in the economy. Between 1970 and 2010, the net worth of American households more than doubled, as did the number of television sets and air-conditioning units per home. In his book “The Poverty of the Poverty Rate,” Nicholas Eberstadt shows that over the past 30 or so years, the percentage of low-income children in the United States who are underweight has gone down, the share of low-income households lacking complete plumbing facilities has declined, and the area of their homes adequately heated has gone up. The fraction of poor households with a telephone, a television set and a clothes dryer has risen sharply.
And you know who didn’t have telephones, televisions sets and clothes dryers?
So, really, taking everything into account things are a whole lot better than they seem and everybody should just shut the hell up about the rich folks because they are neither the cause nor the solution to what ails America. They’re just along for the ride…