Lanx Satura [Sat-ahyuhr]: New Mackinac Center Report Reveals that Wealth Inequality is a Myth
by Pete Nicely
“Who Is Suffering In America?” a four-page PDF recently released by the Mackinac Center, descimates a 63 page report the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released last week that concludes the rich are getting richer at the expense of middle and working class Americans.
“The incomes of the top 1 percent may grown by 275 percent since 1979, but it’s the poor in America who’re benefiting,” suggests Mackinac Center researcher Reed Lawrence, Ph.D., MBA, LRN, DDS, JD, in his four-page refutation of the work of researchers in the the Congressional Budget Office including Edward Harris and Frank Sammartino of CBO’s Tax Analysis Division, who wrote the study. Greg Acs, Nabeel Alsalam, Mark Hadley, Jon Schwabish, and David Weiner, all of CBO, who vetted the study, and nationally recognized population studies faculty Sheldon Danziger of the University of Michigan, Tom DeLeire and Tim Smeeding of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reed Lawrence was nonplussed by the CBO study. Nor was he impressed by the CBO’s researcher line-up—the sheer power of which rivals the 1927 Yankees’ Murderers Row.
Lawrence said: “In 1979, how many poor Americans had cable TV, electric ice makers or cell phones? The quality of life for poor Americans has grown exponentially since supply-side innovations finally righted the scales toward the most productive Americans. The growth has been so dramatic that many poor Americans are oblivious to luxuries that would drive the bottom 99 percent in other countries wild. Luxuries like indoor plumbing, multi-directional fans, free wireless from your neighbors, the freak occurrence of reality TV fame, no severe famine or Malaria epidemics… These are all things America’s working poor now take for granted.”
Lawrence points out that 15 million Americans may have lost their jobs during the Great Recession but it’s the rich who have suffered the most.
“The number of millionaires in America fell by 40 percent from 2007-2009. In that same time, job creators lost 50 percent of their combined income while those earning $50,000 a year only lost 2 percent. The fact that the wealthy have taken this disparity without ‘Occupying’ Main Street is a tribute to a class that has tons of class. Especially when you consider that they could easily afford to hire someone to do the ‘Occupying’ for them.”
Another major flaw in the Congressional report, according to Lawrence, it the fact that as the CBO report compares income groups as a whole, rather than particular people in the groups.
“We have no idea if this top 1 percent is even the same top 1 percent it was in 1979. What’s most important in America is ‘income mobility,’ now that we have an Emergency Manager in Detroit’s schools, for instance, we have no doubt that some graduates may quickly find themselves managing hedge funds, or making billions by finding more affordable manufacturing resources in China.”
Lawrence compares the mania around “wealth inequality” to the same substandard pseudoscience behind climate change.
“You don’t have to be Al Gore to see which way the snow blows,” Lawrence writes. “Every time it snows, it’s proof that Al Gore is a huckster and the folks who provide us affordable, carbon-based energy are being falsely maligned. And every time you turn on a TV and that TV is a color TV, you have proof that the poor in America have never had it so good.”
Targeting the top 1 percent will only lead to a culture that “rewards failure,” says Lawrence.
“Just as the only people who suffer from racism are the black Republicans who say that racism doesn’t exist, the only people who really suffer from class warfare are the rich. We should stop pitting Americans against Americans and start cutting taxes on the rich and praying that they trickle the sweet nectar of jobs all over us.”
Reseachers at the non-partisan Mackinac Center, who have given us major scholarship to dispute the liberal myths of the Great Depression, firmly believe that when the history of the Great Recession is written the real villains will be clear: labor unions, poor people and anyone who attempts to blame the GOP and/or George W. Bush.
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