Archive for January 31, 2014

The great inequality propaganda machine.

Solidarity (2 of 25) Glenn Halog via Compfight

You cannot listen to a news broadcast or open a newspaper without hearing, watching or reading about that mortal sin “inequality” or it’s more sinister partner “income inequality”.

Politicians love using it, the media cannot resist hammering us with it.

It is designed to induce feelings of guilt amongst the successful and more so those who are both wealthy and successful.

It has been elevated to the heights of manipulation by a superbly orchestrated propaganda machine. Sponsored by liberal politicians, media and celebrities (many of whom are extremely wealthy). It is right up there with or beyond, “oil sands”, “Keystone Pipeline”, or “apartheid” in its capacity to stir the emotions.

There is one problem with it.

Income inequality (and many other inequalities) will always be with us.

They have to be, it is a fundamental rule of nature and life.

Our politicians, media and bleeding heart social commentators are using the wrong term.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “inequality” as

The quality of being unequal. Lack of equality. Difference or variation in size, amount, rank, quality, social position, etc.

It’s important to consider the same dictionary’s definition of “equality”:

State or instance of being equal.

Both terms are absolute, not relative. Two or more conditions, values, amounts, are either equal or they are not equal. Similar to the condition of pregnancy, a female is either pregnant or not.

Income equality could only exist under a perfect communist system where every person received an equal income regardless of contribution to the source of that income.

That did not happen in the former USSR, the communist states of Eastern Europe and is certainly not happening in North Korea, Cuba or China. In all those examples, the politically advantaged did and do receive far greater incomes (in different forms) than the masses.

The correct term is “Income Disparity”. A condition that has existed since the first evidence of life on the planet. A stronger, more active, more adaptable and more motivated member of any species will tend to be more successful, acquiring more and better resources. This allows it to attract and keep better mates and produce offspring with a better chance of survival and continuation of the species.

Although more accurate, the word disparity does not carry the same emotional, guilt inducing weight as does inequality, perhaps because of the intense emotion generated by reference in the past to racial and sexual inequality.

That is why the proponents of wealth distribution both in government and the media, continually portray income inequality as a mortal sin instead of a natural condition.

In modern society, only the most rabid communist would expect that a top-level executive responsible for creating and securing thousands of jobs, or the leader of a country, should receive the same income as someone who cannot or will not work at all.

Those comfortably off middle class who complain about the millions paid to CEOs and call for caps on bonuses should be careful what they wish for. Where salary caps and wage controls have been tried, they tended to suffer from “downward bracket creep”.

When those at the middle and lower-income levels, the very people who have been calling for controls, suddenly see their own incomes capped or reduced, they quickly lose their appetite for the policy.

It’s also worth remembering, that those at the lower end of the income scale in the first world are seen as fabulously rich by millions in the developing world.

An unemployed Zimbabwean with a life expectancy of 36 and no prospect of either employment or welfare thanks to disastrous government policies, is not going to have much sympathy for an American or European struggling to survive on $40 000 a year.

We should be concerned about income disparity. Real or perceived disparity in wealth, incomes, living conditions, access to resources are the sparks that ignite revolutions.

The way to address income disparity is to encourage, inspire and push those at the lower end of the scale to rise up it. Not drag those at the top down to their level through punitive taxation, legislation or politically expedient propaganda.

Let shareholders decide on executive and management income packages, not politicians, the media or celebrities.

 

peter-wright

 

Odd reactions in the West to Ariel Sharon’s death.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Sharon

Ariel Sharon 2004
Wikipedia Creative Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting to read about reactions to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s death.

Most of the media, including, sadly, the BBC falling over themselves to give Israel’s enemies plenty of opportunity to condemn him.

Neither the leaders of USA nor the UK attending his funeral, sending instead the Vice President and a former Prime Minister respectively.

Compare that with the total absence of any hint of criticism of Mandela in the media in the first weeks after his death. One or two negative reports surfacing after two weeks or so but given no prominence.

The President of the USA and the British Prime Minister neglecting the running of their own countries for days so that they could be seen and photographed at services for Mandela. (Including being photographed taking their own pictures)

South Africa is now ruled by a communist oriented and corrupt party that was previously labelled a terrorist organisation by the USA. It’s currency has devalued from being worth more than a US dollar to 9 cents today under an ANC government.

Except for a small minority of the politically well-connected, conditions for most South Africans are worse than they were 20 years ago under the “old” South African government.

Crime rates are atrocious, businesses are suffering, the mining sector, the former backbone of the economy with more labour unrest than ever.

South Africa while still enjoying the remnants of what was once the most formidable military power on the continent, is not a major international player.

Israel is – with the chaos in Egypt – the West’s only major ally in the Middle East.

With the demise of the former USSR and with no overt signs of either the new Russia or China desiring to control the shipping lanes around the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa is of far less strategic importance to the West than Israel.

If South Africa was a more important trading partner, we could perhaps understand this preferential treatment.

That is not the case;

Trade with USA January to November 2013

Exports      Imports

Israel                 $12.5 bn    $$20.6 bn

South Africa        $6.8 bn      $7.8 bn

Source : United States Census Bureau

The statistics show the reverse to be true. In the first 11 months of 2013, Israel was twice as big an export market as South Africa for the USA and provided three times the imports.

That pattern has been similar for the last 5 years.

The entire trade between the USA and sub-Saharan Africa is less than double that with Israel alone and for the entire continent less than three times the figure for Israel.

If there are no economic or strategic arguments for two of the major Western nations favouring South Africa over Israel, what are the real reasons?

The existing perceived and actual support of Israel by the West is an irritant to some of the more important Arab and other Islamic states, however this irritant is already a fact of life and unlikely to be increased by reaction to the death of a former Israeli leader.

Iran now appears to have found some common sense as a result of sanctions (and perhaps concern that Israel might act unilaterally to remove the nuclear threat).

Perhaps the real reason is appeasement, as part of foreign policy to keep the third world rabble at the UN quiet and to do the same with the pro-Palestinian liberal left domestically.

It’s a sad day when former terrorists and a relatively insignificant country are accorded more respect than allies and leaders of major trading partners.

peter-wright