The Rich Are Not Stopping You From Being Rich

January 24, 2011  |  

The latest in the effort to turn this country into the United States of Europe is this feigned outrage over income inequality. This message also helps to wrap all the negative reactions that do more to enslave people, dash dreams, and redirect energy into dead end avenues.

Anger – look how much money those people have, they must have stolen it from you!
Hatred – you can’t pay your rent and they have yachts, you should hate them!
Self-loathing – how can I live in a country that’s so unfair?
Fear – there is no way you can make it as they already have all the money.

This message will continue to resonate from the White House, although it will not be the way speeches begin; there will be hints and comments about income inequality. The remedy to this was the centerpiece of the Administration’s first foray into economic policy, the redistribution of wealth. This will always be dear to the heart of President Obama, and always will be a top priority. The messaging from the White House is going to be different than before, with the liberal media doing the in-your-face lobbying. So it’s all about income inequality, a term that means:

> Greedy Wall Street
> Evil Oil Companies
> Uncaring Republicans

The current issue of The Economist has a special 14 page report on the global elite as the cover reads: “The rich and the rest.” Interestingly, after so much huffing and puffing a passage reads:

“The question of the economic impact of extreme inequality is separate. Recent evidence suggests it may not be as damaging as many imagine. Our special report after page 58 casts doubt on the widespread view that inequality causes (or is associated with) a host of social problems. Economics focus, on page 90, finds little evidence that it stocked the financial crisis.”

I think the Left knows this already, but it makes for great fodder that says only we like you and through government, we are the only ones that will help. Of course, the question is how do people go about rectifying this injustice? It is an injustice, right? The obvious solution for the true elites pushing messages is to hike taxes on the rich, individuals, and companies. On Friday, I heard Russell Simmons on the “Bill Maher Show” say he’d pay more taxes, and I thought what’s stopping you? Of course it was an orgy of self-hate on that show where everyone ganged up on Steve Moore, who should have fought back with more vigor.

We heard how great Brazil is with their efforts to help the poor by giving them money. That example was used to avoid the obvious goal of moving America into a European social welfare state. Well, we have given our poor more money than Brazil has ever generated in its existence. By the way, Brazil has a GINI coefficient higher than America, so how the heck do they serve as an example?

The GINI co-efficient is a measure of the so-called inequality of a distribution. For incomes, a 0 means everyone has the same income, while 1 means one person has all the income. I decided to take a look at countries with great GINI ratings, you know, they spread the wealth. As it turns out it’s those nations that America’s liberals drool about. These nations have sky high tax obligations and aren’t known for innovation or job creation. These nations will not save the rest of the world in any fashion, militarily or economically.

I decided to do more digging to see just how much upward mobility exists in these nations because from my vantage point, I want to live in a country that creates a lot of millionaires and billionaires. The idea of somehow leveling the playing field by taking from those that have achieved really does nothing for the poor. Combing through the Forbes 2009 list of billionaires, I found some interesting things about where super wealth is created and spreading. Denmark had two names on the list that live in that country, one more person has moved to Switzerland. There are five names from Sweden that still live in that country, one lives in the UK, and Ingvar Kamprad (of IKEA fame) lives in Switzerland. And Norway has two names on the list, Olav Thon 85 years old, and Arne Wilhelmsent 75 years old.

These are old nations that have no innovation, aging populations, and massive social welfare obligations. Is this really what America wants to be? I counted 19 billionaires living in Switzerland of which six are German, one from the UK, and one (Marc Rich) from the United States. So, how many people work for those wealthy people and their families in Switzerland? Russia has more billionaires than all those Scandinavian nations combined. China has more billionaires, as does India. France has less than 10 billionaires, and Italy has ten, but four are from the Benetton family. Belgium has one billionaire and a country teetering on the brink of civil unrest because workers are tired of supporting non-workers.

I know so many people that blame their own failures on others, and grab onto stuff like so-called income inequality like a barnacle on a sinking ship. Ironically, it’s the kind of idol worship promoted by Russell Simmons that The Economist says has helped to stretch the difference in incomes. I admire self-made men and women, and that’s 80% of the millionaires in this country. Not everything is fair and even in the world, but the best system in the world is one where people can start with nothing and have it all when it’s all said and done. The answer is not high taxes and 43 million people on food stamps. The answer is not to gut the dreams and hopes we all have as children by creating false villains and hollow hurdles. It’s a damn shame.

Charles Payne is the CEO and Principal Analyst of Wall Street Strategies . This post was republished, with permission, from his company’s column, WStreet Market Commentary.

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