Income distribution is out of balance

This is a great chart from the Washington Post. Actual data from a liberal media source, go figure?

Original source: Washington Post

It shows a disturbing trend that needs to be addressed for many reasons. But it is a very, very tough problem and I’m not sure how you solve it.

I don’t think more taxes are the answer (though they might be a partial solution). Taxes are the default answer for liberals, but they are an after-the-fact attempt to redress a more fundamental problem which is that too few people are making the lionshare of the money. Why is that? We need to figure it out.

A better solution would be to spread the wealth more widely upfront – to create more high income jobs and to raise the net worth of lots more households. To just throw more taxes into the mix will do little but perpetuate dynamics that have been leading towards a smaller and smaller percentage of people taking in more and more.

In some future post, I’ll try to touch on one of the mechanisms that I see that helps lead to increasing concentration – and it’s something that Democrats strongly favor even though it helps produce the result shown here.

Best Letter to the Editor

From the Boston Globe Letters to the Editor on 10 Jan 2010. The letter refers to prior comments on the recent surprise election victory by Scott Brown (R) in previously solidly blue Massachusetts:

IN HIS letter to the editor (“ ‘All’ of Mass. not ready to throw support his way,’’ Jan. 22), Mark Bridger writes, “Although Scott Brown won the election, there is a large chunk of Bay Staters he doesn’t seem to represent.’’ Well, yes. That would be roughly the same chunk of Bay Staters who are represented by the other 11 of our 12 representatives in Congress. How do you think non-Democrats felt during the decades that we went without any representation at all? Based on the election results, it seems that 52 percent of the people of Massachusetts now have one representative, and 47 percent have 11 representatives. When it gets to be six and six, then Democrats can start to complain.

Marissa A. Babin, Melrose

Point well made! — and laugh out loud funny at the same time!

Continue reading Best Letter to the Editor

Rebellion against public sector unions

I very much appreciated the Wall Street Journal column today by Daniel Henninger. In the piece, he outlines some larger, longer term trends that were behind the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Public sector vs. private sector

Of particular interest to me was the idea that the relentless expansion of the public sector over decades has created an overly bloated public sector that the Democratic Party, in particular, has become beholden to.

Of course, it is not just Dems who have aided and abetted expansion of the public sector, but the Democrats are more so responsible – and, importantly, they are much more reliant on union voters for their election victories.

Henninger traces this situation back to a “Faustian bargain” the Dems made with public sector unions during the Kennedy Administration.

He writes:

The central battle in our time is over political primacy. It is a competition between the public sector and the private sector over who defines the work and the institutions that make a nation thrive and grow.

He makes numerous compelling points about the imbalance in spending and focus, including this:

Feeding the public unions’ wage demands starved other government responsibilities.

The result is you see the roads full of potholes while you regularly read stories about public servants retiring at 50 with full pensions – often goosed up with special perks and payments.

He argues that the GOP should find a way to restore balance and move us towards a more sustainable relationship between the public and private sectors.

Original story here.

New York Times is out of touch

So as we all know by now, Scott Brown, a Republican, won handily in rock solidly Democratic Massachusetts in Tuesday’s special election.

Scott Brown wins in MA

As I often do, I read the editorials of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe to see what their learned editors are thinking.

Yesterday (Wednesday), the NYT editorial pages were completely silent about the Brown win. Too blown away to comment, I guess.

Today, they came out with a remarkable demonstration of being in denial.

The best part of the piece is this gem in para 2:

“To our minds, it is not remotely a verdict on Mr. Obama’s presidency, nor does it amount to a national referendum on health care reform…” (emphasis added)

I mean maybe you could get away with saying ‘not entirely a verdict’ – but ‘not remotely a verdict’, that’s a fantasy.

I know for me, I explicitly voted for Brown for exactly those reasons — and I normally would not have voted at all because a Dem win in MA is usually a given.

I doubt I’m the only one motivated to vote like this – at least 2 people I know did likewise, and the news is replete with stories of entire families, even multiple generations, of lifelong Democrats, getting out to vote for Brown.

Original story here.

Update: Just noticed they’ve closed down comments on the piece. After 229 largely telling them they were idiots, I guess they’d had enough.