The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Round 'em Up

Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren and virtually every other left-wing politician, along with the majority of all Democrats, decry income inequality as “the defining challenge of our time.” It will undoubted become a major narrative for the 2016 presidential campaign—class warfare is always a winner for the Left.

David Azerrad has a wonderful suggestion that will completely eliminate income inequality: "Round up all 136,080 taxpayers who make more than $2.16 million a year [the 0.1 percent] and ship ’em off to whatever country will accept them. Presto. Problem solved."

The Dems think that income inequality is a high priority issue. No matter that it never polls well as an important issue among average Americans. But those who believe that the "rich" are somehow to blame for all of the economic problems facing this country will not be swayed. It's fascinating that as government gets bigger, as debt and spending grow without bound, "income inequality" increases and middle class life degrades. It's as if the Dems, who are very fond of coining "War on ..." memes are conducting their own War on Achievement.

Azerrad comments further about his plan to deport the rich:
While exiling the wealthy will do wonders for inequality in America, it will put a serious dent in the government’s finances. Almost one in every five tax dollars that the government collects comes from the 0.1 percent. To make up for the shortfall, we should probably also confiscate all their assets before exiling them.

What about the jobs the 0.1 percenters create and the value they add to the economy? After all, we’d be losing all but twelve of the CEOs from the 300 largest companies in the country. The show business industry would collapse overnight with all the star talent in exile. Gone too would be the best investment bankers, financial consultants, surgeons and lawyers. One third of the NFL’s roster and well over half of the NBA’s roster would also be culled.

Since the confiscated wealth of the 0.1 percent won’t be enough to make up for the ensuing economic shortfall over the years, we will need to generate more revenue. That could be done rather easily by auctioning off the top-earning Americans to the highest foreign bidder.

One man’s 0.1 percenter is another man’s business maven, job-creator or international superstar. We should be able to fetch top dollar for our economic elite. Heck, we could even get bidding wars started between ambitious third-world countries for our best CEOs.
Sadly, as revenues fall and spending increases, deporting just the 0.1 percent won't be enough, so we'll have to do the same for the 1.0 percent. Round 'em up and deport them, but first confiscate their assets. Even that wouldn't work, but more important, it won't resolve the other less important "challenges" of our time.

Tongue still firmly implanted in cheek, Azzerad writes:
ISIL will continue to expand its Caliphate. Iran will not be any less likely to develop nuclear weapons. China and Russia will not scale back any of their ambitions. The climate will continue to change.

Nor will any of the domestic challenges facing the country have receded. It won’t be any easier to start a business or to find a job. Four in 10 children will still be born out of wedlock. Our entitlements will still face unfunded liabilities of almost $50 trillion. And a new class of 0.1 percenters—poorer than their predecessors, but still formidably richer than the average American—will continue to spend millions on elections.

We will however be able to boldly proclaim that we have addressed “the defining challenge of our time.” Our country will in no way be better off. But we will have satiated our lust for equality.
But the left would feel really, really good about itself. That counts for something, doesn't it?

Last year, the book, Capital in the 21st Century, by Thomas Piketty was all the rage among those who believe that the only solution to "income inequality" is the massive redistribution of wealth. Piketty became a darling of the Left and was quoted widely by sympathetic pundits and media. But now Piketty has changed his mind. Robert Rosenkranz reports:
‘Capital in the 21st Century,” a dense economic tome written by French economist Thomas Piketty, became a publishing sensation last spring when Harvard University Press released its English translation. The book quickly climbed to the top of best-seller lists, and more than 1.5 million copies are now in circulation in several languages.

The book’s central proposition, that inequality in capitalist societies will inevitably grow, can be summed up with a simple equation: r>g. That is, the return on capital (r) outpaces the growth rate of the economy (g) over time, leading inexorably to the dominance of inherited wealth. Progressives such as Princeton economist Paul Krugman seized on Mr. Piketty’s thesis to justify policies they have long wanted—namely, very high taxes on the wealthy.

Now in an extraordinary about-face, Mr. Piketty has backtracked, undermining the policy prescriptions many have based on his conclusions. In “About Capital in the 21st Century,” slated for May publication in the American Economic Review but already available online, Mr. Piketty writes that far too much has been read into his thesis.

Though his formula helps explain extreme and persistent wealth inequality before World War I, Mr. Piketty maintains, it doesn’t say much about the past 100 years. “I do not view r>g as the only or even the primary tool for considering changes in income and wealth in the 20th century,” he writes, “or for forecasting the path of inequality in the 21st century.”

Instead, Mr. Piketty argues in his new paper that political shocks, institutional changes and economic development played a major role in inequality in the past and will likely do so in the future.
Of course, the left will conveniently ignore Piketty's about-face and continue to promote the canard that "income inequality" is at the core of our of our economic problems.