Time flies – even when unequal
Since I started blogging back in 2012, we have had two Federal Reserve Chairpersons with a third to be sworn in shortly, and I have written a total of 882 posts, or 883 counting this one. Though I suspect that you’d really have to pick through the pile to find the one or perhaps two worth reading, as if searching for a needle in a haystack. The rest are all various rambling renditions of peasant with a pitchfork.
One of the ideas I’ve been working on is on the topic of income inequality. Out of the soon to be 883 posts, I have perhaps one or two on the subject due of intentional ignoring, hoping it would go away as the economy recovered. But it hasn’t gone away and I am hearing about more often than in the past.
First off I am skeptical of the income inequality issue champions, mostly those left of center who have yet to shake off the bad rep that came with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act disaster. When we already have the largest public debt ever, and the economy is tanking, more fiscal stimulus just never made any sense. And it really isn’t any wonder it didn’t work as the problem was caused by several trillion in destroyed safe assets in an unmitigated fashion.
On the surface, the way the issue is presented smacks like the same stuff that was used by demagogues to justify the rise of communism and consequently some of the world’s major atrocities, and so it raises some huge red flags that whatever is being said should be carefully considered if not simply ignored. I have grown quite cynical in recent years, but apparently not cynical enough to countenance such ideas. Our world is not so broken that tearing it down from the top down would hardly be noticed.
As with many of their predecessors, however, they capture at least some vague grain of truth about the present, and they may have a point that the societal deck is stacked decidedly against the common person. The point being that, in general, one isn’t going to get wealthy working for some else. At one time, a person could have a somewhat comfortable life doing so. But that appears to be unreliable at best in the present, and the many other avenues for augmenting ones income if starting from the ground floor are mired in time consuming regulation and red tape, licensing and certification requirements, taxes up the whazoo, legal expenses, or outright prohibition such as the $35k net worth requirement to complete more than four independent equities trades per week in Sarbanes-Oxley, trades that go straight to low priority queue. (Whose bright paternalistic idea was that??) And all of this has been made much worse post-financial crisis because, while before one could borrow money on their home for starting a business, it is nearly impossible to do so now. There is truly nowhere to go; we are being held captive to the notions of elitists in ivory towers who have stopped at nothing to protect their own turf and care nothing about the deplorable conditions created for others in the process.
When someone like me can agree with some points in the inequality mantra, we can’t seem to get any farther because solutions that help people help themselves are the only things that would really free us, rather than more ways for government to get even bigger with watered down and perverted window-dressing attempts at solving the problem that leave us more enslaved than ever. Repealing Sarbanes-Oxley would go a long way to help solve the problem, but that seems to be the last thing on the agenda even after they’ve run out of paper.