Monday, December 11, 2006

The Wealth Gap

Here's an article worth reading: MSN Money on "Why is the Wealth Gap a Bad Thing?"
I do believe you can't have a healthy society without some income inequality, but I don't agree with people who think today's increasing inequality isn't a problem because it motivates people to be more productive.
Think of it this way: if you saw someone waving a big, juicy steak in front of his dog, making the dog jump for it, higher and higher, and then he sat down and ate the steak himself while the dog looked on-- you'd be upset that he was being cruel to his dog, wouldn't you?


Anonymous said...

I read that article, too. I was originally put-off by the reader's question, but after reading Schoen's response I was glad that this sort of dialogue is taking place in our country.

I think Schoen's response was fantastic.

Your analogy ain't so bad either.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, the wealth gap debate wouldn't be as big of a debate if the sense of entitlement was taken out from all sides. People often complain that there is a sense of entitlement from the poor (and sometimes there is) while the rich, particularly those with inherited wealth, can be just as guilty. When those with privilege don't acknowledge that they didn't earn those advantages, it can make it difficult to talk honestly about what is a "healthy" wealth gap.

Anonymous said...

Very good analogy, Madame X.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on wealth gap being a problem. But not so much with the dog analogy :).
The dog in this case is denied the steak by it's owner's will. With people, this is not the case. If they strive hard enough they can certainly reduce the gap. I agree that they won't get entire steak, but as much a portion to astisfy their hunger.
The question in that case is now about why the dog gets smaller piece of the steak and the owner gets the bigger piece (why the gap).
It's because the dog won't struggle (take risk) for a bigger piece. If it were to bite the owner (take some risks), I am sure it can have a bigger piece :).
The unfair part is that the rich are in a better position to take risks than the poor, and the more risks they take the bigger portion of the steak they get.

Anonymous said...

There is much talk lately about the minimum wage, but I think it is time for a maximum wage. The gap is getting so wide, it is almost impossible for the bottom to cross over.


The Sarcasticynic said...

Ha ha ha! A "maximum" wage! That's rich.