Stop blaming rich people
Nicholas Kristof’s article in the Herald’s July 25 edition addressing inequality raises some questions. First, he says inequality has worsened significantly in the U.S. That is true. The middle class is shrinking. But then he says inequality is in itself an impediment to economic growth. Doesn’t he have his premise backwards? If the middle class is more fully employed and consumer spending is robust, economic inequality will significantly lessen. It is not the state of inequality in and of itself which produces a lack of economic growth.
If that premise is accepted, then inequality breeds more inequality and a downward spiraling effect results. Isn’t the problem the economic policies and regulatory onslaught coming out of Washington the real culprit causing economic growth to stagnate? What jobs are being created are those which are part time or involve lower wages. If we can spur economic growth through lower corporate taxes and reduced regulatory and other burdens on employers, especially smaller companies, we will see a resurrection of a more robust middle class.
Of course, he blames the easy target of the rich. The rich get richer by growing their businesses. Does he believe The New York Times owners and high paid executives are happy with a stagnant business? I think not. Improving their product helps grow their business resulting in hiring more staff. Instead of concentrating on bashing the rich, start questioning whether the policies coming out of Washington are sufficiently business-friendly to finally promote economic growth thereby reducing inequality.
Finally, he suggests more education of the poor would help. Maybe the educational system needs to be fixed, especially when efforts to promote magnet schools benefiting the poor are being fought against.
Let’s focus on economic policies which promote economic growth and reduce inequality rather than blame the rich.