‘Income inequality’ fading as issue

Readability

'Income inequality' fading as issue

The great­est unre­ported achieve­ment of Pres­i­dent Trump is that he’s knocked income inequal­ity — the most divi­sive, yet sil­li­est, issue in recent years — off the radar screen.

Spurred on by the thug­gish Occupy mob, the pre­de­ces­sor of today’s even more thug­gish Antifa gang, income inequal­ity became the main obses­sion of Democ­rats and other ele­ments of the Left in recent years. Through­out the 2016 cam­paign, the dou­ble “i” words were on all left­ish lips. But then Trump became White House-​bound, and “income inequal­ity” van­ished from the pub­lic forum even quicker than “The era of Big Gov­ern­ment is over.”

You can’t blame the Dems for gin­ning up a brouhaha over income inequal­ity. It’s the per­fect weapon to wield when class warfare’s your game and divid­ing the country’s your aim.

The most impor­tant thing to know about income inequal­ity is that it was never about help­ing the unfor­tu­nate poor. Most peo­ple mired in poverty are far too busy try­ing to sim­ply sur­vive to join protest move­ments. The spear­head of this egal­i­tar­ian drive was forged from peo­ple of priv­i­lege whose social level was stages above the mere mid­dle class.

But, to be fair, the allies egging on the hordes against the 1 per­cent did have their griev­ances. Their rage was stoked by frus­tra­tion — they’d never have that plush Man­hat­tan apart­ment, Ivy League cred for their spawn or vaca­tions in the south of France on an annual house­hold income of only $250,000.

It just plain wasn’t fair that cor­po­rate CEOs, hedge fund man­agers and invest­ment bankers could afford such tri­fles, while folks earn­ing a quarter-​million bucks a year who con­sid­ered them­selves middle-​class stal­warts were shut out of the good life.

Sim­i­lar out­rage was evi­dent each step down the line, as peo­ple who were finan­cially well off howled over the sta­tus of those who had just bit more (and obvi­ously didn’t serve it).

Com­plain­ing about income inequal­ity was a game any­one could play except maybe Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and War­ren Buf­fett. It united the Democ­rats like no other issue.

The pro­test­ers who claimed to rep­re­sent the 99 per­cent of Amer­i­can soci­ety con­stantly accused the 1 per­cent of greed. In actu­al­ity, the activists were guilty of envy, which is con­sid­ered one of the Seven Deadly Sins because it can cor­rode the soul itself.

The fool­ish­ness of get­ting angry over some­one else’s wealth came home to me as I was mow­ing my lawn in the sum­mer of 1996. I was mind­ing my own busi­ness when my neigh­bor motioned me over to the fence. After I turned off my mower, he launched into a 15-​minute dia­tribe about Michael Jordan’s new contract.

It was, indeed, a mon­ster of a deal that boosted His Air­ness’ salary from $3.85 mil­lion to an unprece­dented $30 mil­lion — giv­ing him more money than the com­bined salaries of entire NBA teams. I lis­tened politely and nod­ded occa­sion­ally but won­dered why he was so mad. After all, not a penny of Jordan’s pay was com­ing out of our pock­ets. Then it hit me: He was a Democrat.

When I got back my mow­ing, I couldn’t help but chuckle. My neigh­bor and his wife were both teach­ers whose com­bined pay was three times my annual salary — yet he was the one blow­ing his stack over a stranger’s good fortune.

Yes, income inequal­ity, as an issue, has left the build­ing, pri­mar­ily because Democ­rats and the media are too busy rais­ing a clamor over Trump, Rus­sia and Melania’s stiletto heels. But while it’s gone, don’t expect a farewell tour.

It all boils down to envy, and that’s always in style for some people.

The greatest unreported achievement of President Trump is that he’s knocked income inequality — the most divisive, yet silliest, issue in recent years — off the radar screen.

Spurred on by the thuggish Occupy mob, the predecessor of today’s even more thuggish Antifa gang, income inequality became the main obsession of Democrats and other elements of the Left in recent years. Throughout the 2016 campaign, the double “i” words were on all leftish lips. But then Trump became White House-bound, and “income inequality” vanished from the public forum even quicker than “The era of Big Government is over.”

You can’t blame the Dems for ginning up a brouhaha over income inequality. It’s the perfect weapon to wield when class warfare’s your game and dividing the country’s your aim.

The most important thing to know about income inequality is that it was never about helping the unfortunate poor. Most people mired in poverty are far too busy trying to simply survive to join protest movements. The spearhead of this egalitarian drive was forged from people of privilege whose social level was stages above the mere middle class.

But, to be fair, the allies egging on the hordes against the 1 percent did have their grievances. Their rage was stoked by frustration — they’d never have that plush Manhattan apartment, Ivy League cred for their spawn or vacations in the south of France on an annual household income of only $250,000.

It just plain wasn’t fair that corporate CEOs, hedge fund managers and investment bankers could afford such trifles, while folks earning a quarter-million bucks a year who considered themselves middle-class stalwarts were shut out of the good life.

Similar outrage was evident each step down the line, as people who were financially well off howled over the status of those who had just bit more (and obviously didn’t serve it).

Complaining about income inequality was a game anyone could play except maybe Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. It united the Democrats like no other issue.

The protesters who claimed to represent the 99 percent of American society constantly accused the 1 percent of greed. In actuality, the activists were guilty of envy, which is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins because it can corrode the soul itself.

The foolishness of getting angry over someone else’s wealth came home to me as I was mowing my lawn in the summer of 1996. I was minding my own business when my neighbor motioned me over to the fence. After I turned off my mower, he launched into a 15-minute diatribe about Michael Jordan’s new contract.

It was, indeed, a monster of a deal that boosted His Airness’ salary from $3.85 million to an unprecedented $30 million — giving him more money than the combined salaries of entire NBA teams. I listened politely and nodded occasionally but wondered why he was so mad. After all, not a penny of Jordan’s pay was coming out of our pockets. Then it hit me: He was a Democrat.

When I got back my mowing, I couldn’t help but chuckle. My neighbor and his wife were both teachers whose combined pay was three times my annual salary — yet he was the one blowing his stack over a stranger’s good fortune.

Yes, income inequality, as an issue, has left the building, primarily because Democrats and the media are too busy raising a clamor over Trump, Russia and Melania’s stiletto heels. But while it’s gone, don’t expect a farewell tour.

It all boils down to envy, and that’s always in style for some people.