by Patricia L. Dickson 10/16/15
I received an email a while back from a college student asking for my comments on the issue of income inequality for a research paper he was doing. My response to him was in the form of a few questions.
How can everyone earn equal income? Where is it written that everyone can or should earn equal income? How does one arrive at his or her income to begin with? Are we to expect someone with only a high school education and little work experience to earn the same income as someone with at least a four-year degree? Are we to expect a social worker to earn the same income as a chemist, engineer, or medical doctor?
I informed him that an individual’s income is a combination of his or her level of education and experience. I concluded the email with the following comments:
The entire income inequality movement is just rhetoric to inflame hearts and divide people. No logical person really believes that the income disparity between the rich (mostly educated) and the poor (uneducated) can ever be equal. If so, please explain to me how it could be possible.
After listening to Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’s comments during the first Democrat debate, I have since given this issue more thought. I now realize that the issue of income inequality is based on a false premise. A premise is a proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn. A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument – since the premise (proposition or assumption) is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error.[pullquote]The false premise behind income inequality complaints is that income is distributed instead of earned.[/pullquote]
The false premise behind income inequality complaints is that income is distributed instead of earned. If it is a fact that income is distributed instead of earned, I would like to pose a few questions. Who is responsible for distributing it? Who decides the amount of income to distribute? What factors are used to arrive at the income amount? If income is supposed to be distributed equally, does it matter the number of hours employees work? What about the different skill levels required for certain jobs? If a population is supposed to earn equal income, why have institutions of higher learning?
This by no means is an exhaustive list of questions for this premise. I would like for liberals (Clinton and Sanders) to provide some specifics to how they plan to fix the alleged income inequality problem in America. When liberals speak about income inequality and the wealth gap, we notice that they replace the word “earn” with “distribute.” If they were to use the word “earn,” it might trigger the words “work” and “merit” to enter the conversation. Liberals believe that for someone to merit his or her income based on hard work is just not fair. If we examine any liberal stance on any issue, whether it is gun control or abortion, we will find that it is built on a false premise.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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