Is Income Inequality Unequal? — Or Just a State of Mind?
When an airplane lifts off from Gallatin Field the chances are that the person seated next to you probably paid more or less for their ticket than you did? How is that possible? Why is that acceptable? How is that equality?
Isn’t a seat a seat? Why would one cost more than another on the same flight going to the same place?
Would we be OK with that for a Disneyland ride? I think not. So some inequality we accept and others we don’t.
What is Inequality Anyway?
I have a really hard time understanding the conversation about income inequality. What does Bill Gate or Warren Buffet’s incomes have to do with me? How is that unequal?
If we swapped places would I feel obligated to help Bill and Warren out? I don’t think so. I would suggest that Bill and Warren go make their own fortune.
It would seem that if you don’t make as much as someone else you are a victim. If your neighbor has a four-bedroom home and you have a three-bedroom home do you feel disadvantaged somehow? Do you insist he board up one of those bedrooms to be equal to you?
How Much Wealth Is There?
If there was only so much money in the world then I might be concerned. If that were the case then the only way to make a dollar would be to take it from someone else. But as we all know there is no limit to available wealth.
Wealth Is Created; Not Taken From Others
Facebook made several people instant billionaires. That money was created by the mere existence of Facebook. It was not taken from someone else. Did your income suddenly go down when Facebook went public?
You create your own income. The more valuable your skills and expertise are, the more money you will make. Worrying about what someone else is making is an exercise in futility.
According to PolitiFact and others, the top 400 wealthiest Americans "have more wealth than half of all Americans combined."
That fact would concern me if there were only so much money in the world.
My only worry is can my current and future income sustain my chosen lifestyle without putting me in debt? If I can do that why would I care who else has what?
Some Final Thoughts
My other pet peeve is that somehow the rich can only get rich if they cheat others. How can that happen? I go to the store, buy a can of beans, and eat them. Was I somehow taken advantage of? Was the .75¢ price gouging?
No one in business can stay in business long unless they help someone. You can only cheat people for so long before the word gets out about your unethical practices.
Business owners know that profit comes from providing good products and competitive prices that benefit people’s lives in some way.
So congratulations. You are equal, yet unequal with others — Good for you.