Turning the Tables on the Inequality Alarmists

Today’s opponents of economic inequality are fighting to dramatically expand government control over our lives, including through higher taxes, a larger regulatory-welfare state and an unprecedented hike in the minimum wage. And they are winning.

Despite reams of criticism from free-market-oriented economists, columnists and policy analysts, the inequality alarmists continue to hold the moral high ground in this debate. How can we change that?

In this essay, Yaron Brook and I argue that the key to turning the tables on the inequality alarmists is to expose them as the enemies of the only kind of equality that matters: political equality.

From the essay:

Here’s the familiar narrative on inequality: the American Dream is vanishing. The rich are getting richer, while the rest of us are struggling to keep our heads above water, and unless the government fights economic inequality through tax hikes on “the rich,” a larger welfare state, and a “living wage,” things are going to get much worse. “The rich” will not only continue to amass huge (and usually undeserved) fortunes, but they will use their power to game the political system for their own ends. Fighting this alarming trend of rising economic inequality, in President Obama’s words, is “the defining challenge of our time.”

What’s been the response from those who reject this narrative?

Some challenge the statistics behind these claims, and argue that economic inequality really isn’t as bad as the inequality alarmists suggest. Others challenge the solutions advocated by the alarmists. They say that the best way to achieve economic equality is to embrace market-oriented policies rather than higher taxes and higher government spending.

But both of these approaches commit a deadly error: they grant the inequality alarmists the moral high ground by conceding that economic equality is the ideal.

You can read the entire essay here.

For our full case against the inequality alarmists, see our forthcoming book Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality, available for preorder at Amazon.