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.