It’s difficult not to think a lot of the talk about income inequality isn’t entirely sincere, but rather politically expedient. Let’s stipulate that the amount of income inequality we have right now is bad; we still have to answer as a separate question what we should do about it. Handing power to government officials is one option, but the case has to be made and is subject to reevaluation. When people won’t make the case or reevaluate, the remaining conclusion is that they really just want the powerful government, with income inequality as a convenient excuse.
Thus, we get stories like “Studies: Income inequity in Providence third-highest in nation” in the Providence Journal, as the one-party (Democrat) rule in the state solidifies and becomes increasingly progressive:
In Providence, the poorest households earn $12,118 annually, compared with the wealthiest, which bring home $202,021 on average, according to the data. The ratio between incomes widened by 1.3 during the two-year period studied, starting at 15.4 and growing to 16.7 from 2014 to 2016, according to the data.
This is the fruit of low-growth, centrally planned progressive policy. In order to bring up those on the lower end of the scale, we have to empower them to take money from the wealthy through voluntary transactions by offering services and competing. High taxes create disincentive to produce things and earn money, occupational licensing and other regulations make it more difficult for people to work, and welfare programs that create government dependency reduce the incentive to do so.
This is a veritable recipe for income inequality. However, it does create opportunity for the likes of Gina Raimondo, David Cicilline, Brett Smiley, and Aaron Regunberg, whose continued fortunes depend on convincing people that we need to funnel our society’s wealth through government.
And at the same time that government is pushing more people into government programs in Rhode Island, the very same government has been proving that it can’t be trusted to run its own programs.