The American Middle Class is no longer the world’s wealthiest, it has been caught by Canada. Many other nations are catching up.
This alarming situation is shown in the results of surveys over the last 35 years, for more details here is a link to an article on The Upshot – New York Times of 22 April 2014.
As predictably as night follows day, this catastrophe is being blamed on rising “Income Inequality” in the USA. Claims that the “American Dream” is in ruins. I have written before, that except in a true communist society, income inequality is a natural and desirable condition.
Comparing the lifestyle of the third generation Kim in North Korea with the miserable existence of most of that country’s citizens shows that “income inequality” is alive and well under that and every other, brand of communism tried so far.
It is self-evident that unless every person in a society or nation, was restricted to the same government imposed income, equality of income would be impossible.
If two or more amounts or measures of anything are not identical, they are by definition not equal. Therefore inequality must exist, not only in incomes, but in size of houses, cost of cars, physical prowess and the length of each of our lives.
If the socialist ideal of income equality is unattainable, why does the liberal left keep on promoting it?
Because “income inequality” has far more guilt inducing emotion attached to it than the various other descriptions of varying income levels.
Income Disparity is the correct term to describe the range of incomes earned by people at various levels of; economic activity, success or failure, in a free enterprise society.
That is not to suggest that a wide range of income disparity should not be of concern. Huge, real or perceived differences between the haves and have-nots are the powder-kegs of revolution.
The problem both of the vanishing middle class and income disparity becomes one of relativity.
A member of the middle class in North America living reasonably well but by no means considered wealthy, may feel justified in complaining about a CEO of a major corporation receiving a salary and bonus package amounting to millions of dollars.
However that same unhappy North American cannot accept that compared to a labourer in a third world country earning perhaps $3 a day, he or she is wealthy beyond that person’s wildest dreams.
While our comfortable middle class North American or European calls for an income cap on CEOs he conveniently ignores the fact that many sports and entertainment celebrities’ earnings are at obscenely high levels.
That same middle class critic of “the rich” would resist any attempt to cap his or her earnings.
The relative numbers of unskilled immigrants in a society will affect each countries’ range of incomes and position on the scale of middle class wealth. That alone is a factor in Canada’s favour over the USA. Geography, climate and recently, under a Conservative government, a stricter immigration policy, making it a less desirable destination for poor, unskilled immigrants, legal or illegal.
The way to reduce the extremes of income disparity is to help, encourage, provoke, entice or plain push those at the bottom of the range to move up. Not reduce every one else to the level of the lowest.
There will always be ultra rich and there will always be very poor people, it’s been the same throughout history and there are parallels in nature.
Artificially trying to narrow the gap with income restraints, excessive taxation or other policies aimed at the higher income earners will only cause them to take their higher earning abilities elsewhere.
Along with their ability to create jobs and opportunities for those who want to rise up the income gradient by their own efforts.
image courtesy of sattva / freedigitalphotos.net