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Income inequality – The biggest lie?

October 20, 2014

The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are running on the “War on Rich People”, otherwise dubbed the income inequality issue this year. Supposedly, the answer to all our ills is to take the money from the rich and give it to the poor.

Considering that the so-called stimulus policy of this administration has created more wealth at the top of the food chain and systematically destroyed jobs and forced more people out of the middle class, it’s kind of hard to see how that squares with reality.

The Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low and printing money to keep the stock market boiling is in direct contradiction to the way that most people generate income, but it has sure created more than a few new illusory millionaires and billionaires through the stock market. Of course if the market crashes, it will also create a lot more bankruptcy filings but hey, we can live in the moment, right?

That may be the strategy. Create more millionaires so that you can take that wealth from them and redistribute it.

Of course if you get your money by working for a paycheck, this little crusade probably feels like a “war on workers”.

Consider how policy, any policy, affects the average person.

Since it has been in the news a lot, let’s take a look at the policy of destroying the fossil fuel industry for the purpose of replacing it with “green” energy sources.

All industries create direct and indirect income. Coal mines and oil fields don’t just provide income for coal miners and oilfield roustabouts. There are local shops and businesses spanning every sector of the economy that provide jobs based on the fossil fuel  industry. Trucking, construction, engineering, pollution control industries and even online retailers employ people because the so-called core sector employers exist.

Every sector of the fossil fuel industry has been under constant and usually effective attack under the guise of cleaning up the environment, and the casualties of that attack are the people that used to derive their livelihood from them.

If you are a true believer in the green movement, deep down you probably consider these people as manageable collateral damage in the quest to achieve your agenda.

Manageable because you are willing to invest other people’s money in re-training them to work in the green energy sector.

The problem is, the green energy sources rely partially on the fossil fuel industry for their existence. It’s kind of hard to build a windmill if there is no electricity to turn on the machines and light the engineering department. The fewer sources of energy, the higher the power bill, and the more savings that green energy has to generate to break even.

Even assuming that all the people displaced by the green energy policy could be retrained to work in the green energy sector, where would they work?

Perhaps at some point we will be able to generate all of our power from green sources, but we sure aren’t there yet. If we could wave a magic wand and make all the displaced workers qualified to receive incomes comparable to what they have lost and replace all of the goods they no longer can afford,  they would still have no factories or manufacturing plants to work in.

Even the most optimistic green energy supporters project that we wouldn’t be 100% energy self-sufficient on green energy alone for another fifty years.

Given that even the always optimistic U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) only forecasts 16% of energy needs will be met by all forms of renewable energy by 2040, it’s hard to figure how you can extend unemployment benefits long enough to provide income to all the displaced workers.

If income inequality is your issue, you need look no farther than the Oval Office to see what’s causing it, and it goes way beyond fossil fuels.

If you have you lost your insurance benefits, your 40-hour work week, or even your job, ask yourself if you can afford any more of these social impact policy decisions going forward. Are your groceries or electric bills cheaper now than six years ago?

If your goal in life is simply to work hard, be able to afford all the necessities and a few of the luxuries, you need to think this “take from the rich and give to the poor” strategy through a little more thoroughly.

Contrary to what media reports would lead you to believe, not everyone lives in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. In fact the top 10 largest cities, the ones where you see all the demonstrations on camera, only account for 7.4  percent of the U.S. 2010 population of 308,745,538. That’s not a lot of people driving policy for a whole lot more of the rest of us.

What good is a $15/hr minimum wage if there is no McDonald’s, Burger King or Wal-Mart to pay it in your town of 10,  50 or 100 thousand people?

There are sixteen days left to the mid-term elections. Think about it.

From → op-ed

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