Monday, November 28, 2011

The wealth gap

I'm puzzled by all this talk about the wealth gap.

On one end of the spectrum, we have creative people who produce new products and services that people are willing to pay for, people who are willing to invest their own time and money to get those products and services into the market, people who invest in themselves by getting a good education, and leaders who can put all that together to create wealth.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have people whose knowledge, skill, and motivation are saturated by the act of opening a can of beer or filling out an application for public assistance.

Is there a gap? Yup. A big one. But the gap isn't simply wealth.

Most of us are somewhere between. We who are in between don't have what it takes (sometimes it includes luck) to be in the upper crust, but we're far too motivated to be on the bottom. We get along fine, so long as the government stays out of our lives and doesn't foul up the economy.

For some bizarre reason, there are those (represented by the likes of "Occupy Wall Street" selfish, childish protesters) who feel that this spectrum of wealth is unfair, that wealth must be taken by force from those who have earned it and "redistributed" to those with no motivation or talent.

I have earned my place in the economy. I have two college degrees. I have considerable technical training in my field of employment. I have a good job. But, I have not done what it takes (including being lucky) to rise to the top as did Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Financially, I've had some tough times, but with the support and sacrifices of my wife, I got through them. In the end, I have what I've earned and I'm satisfied with that.

As a follower of Jesus, I give at as much time and money to charity that I feel I should and can -- far more than the national average -- and even more than typical liberals and Democrats. I am deeply annoyed by those who give less than I do, yet demand that the government force me to give more -- especially to support those who are societal parasites -- not truly needy.

So, somebody, please tell me why is the so-called wealth gap unfair?

What is unfair is that the current tax code is designed more to manipulate the behavior of Americans than to raise money to run the government.

What is really unfair is the claim that the wealthy are not paying their fair share in taxes when half of American households pay no income taxes at all! These people have no skin in the game when it comes to taxation. They have everything to gain in voting for more taxes on the other half to pay for their own government handouts.

More than a wealth gap, what we have is a morality and character gap. Half of this nation has no morals or sound character. Fix that, and the wealth gap will shrink significantly.

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