Monday, June 4, 2012

Income Inequality

Walter Russell Mead:  Last year the US made great strides towards a more equal society: we cut the number of millionaires by more than 100,000. According to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, 129,000 evil US millionaires rejoined the ranks of the proletariat last year as the value of their stocks, cash and other non-business and non-property assets fell below the magic number.

4.3 percent of US households still qualify as millionaires by that measure, but OWS partisans shouldn’t despair. Perhaps with another few years of stock market declines, slow or negative economic growth and low interest rates we can take another big whack out of that number.

This is, of course, exactly the wrong way to think about things. Poverty is the problem we want to fight, not an excess of wealth. And the best way to fight poverty is for the overall productivity of a society to grow. That only comes when new products, new enterprises and new and more efficient ways of doing things are entering the market — and that generally means that the people who thought up those new ideas and did the hard work to make them real are getting rich.

Hat tip Instapundit.

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