Income inequality actually isn’t poverty, and the American people know that.

Apparently people need to be told this.

The first thing to notice is that economic inequal­ity, however undesirable it may be for various reasons, is not in­herently a bad thing. Think about it: We could arrange for the members of a society to be economically equal by ensuring that the economic resources available to each member of the society put everyone equally below the poverty line. To make everyone equally poor is, obviously, not a very intelligent social ambition.


It isn’t especially desirable that each have the same as others. What is bad is not inequality; it is poverty. We should want each person to have enough—that is, enough to support the pursuit of a life in which his or her own reasonable ambitions and needs may be comfortably satisfied. This individually measured sufficiency, which by definition precludes the bur­dens and deprivations of poverty, is clearly a more sensible goal than the achievement of an impersonally calibrated equality.

The Hard Left hates to hear this, but here goes: the American populace has traditionally been fairly indifferent to whether or not there are a host of rich people guzzling champagne and wolfing down caviar, provided that said populace is able to have a beer and a T-bone without too much fuss and bother. Our definition of ‘poor’ would make most historical eras’ eyes bug out; and, again contrary to the Left’s beliefs on the subject, that really does matter when it comes time for social unrest. There is a real, practical difference between being dissatisfied, and being no-fooling hungry. And all the slogans in the world won’t change that.

Yes, I am being hard-nosed about this. So stipulated. As I think that I’ve said in the past, on a related topic… well, somebody has to be.

(Via Instapundit)

Moe Lane

3 thoughts on “Income inequality actually isn’t poverty, and the American people know that.”

  1. “You will never solve poverty by making wealth illegal.” -One of my favorite Varifrank quotes.

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