Is inequality of wealth and income fair?
One of the favorite tactics of the Left (i.e. Democrats) in this country is to use class warfare envy to justify the heavily progressive nature of our tax system and the resulting redistribution of wealth.
They deem it unfair that a few should earn so much while many earn much less.
"Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free."
I wish I could remember who said that because it ought to rank as one of the great truisms of all times.
Our republic was founded on the notion of equality before the law – that is, being judged innocent or guilty based on whether or not you committed the crime, not on what color, sex, race, or creed you represented.
That’s a noble goal; however, it’s not at issue here.
The "equalness" referred to by the Left is economic wealth.
If one were to rephrase the above, the quotation might read, "Free people will have different incomes, and where people all have the same income, they cannot be free."
Keep that in mind because there are at least three, and perhaps four, reasons that account for differences in personal wealth in a free society, and they all begin with the fact that people themselves are different in countless ways.
The reasons: talent, industry, and thrift. Plus that fourth, poor decisions.
Talents are as varied as can be. Some people have the talent to paint or sketch beautiful pictures; others cannot draw a straight line.
Some have great athletic prowess, some of it is perhaps natural talent, but a great deal of it comes from a decision to enhance that God-given talent by endless hours of practice once they have discovered the area of their greatest potential in order to develop it to the fullest.
One person can run a mile in record time while many of us can’t run across the yard.
Maybe you’re the greatest saddle maker in the world, but if nobody, or not enough people, wants saddles you’ll probably starve.
Making good decisions in life determines greatly how our futures play out.
For example, the decision to drop out of school automatically places someone potentially at the bottom of the income scale.
A decision to do drugs limits one’s future.
A decision not to attend college can place huge limits on future income.
There are notable exceptions, but they are rare and they excelled because their talent and drive overcame the deficits brought on by those bad decisions.
Industry is the willingness to work and that differs from one human being to another and even from one day to the next.
After you’ve discovered a talent you have and others will pay for, your income will depend greatly on how hard you apply yourself.
Thrift is an attribute that takes no extra measure of discipline these days.
Saving and investing, rather than consuming now, can make it possible for you to retire and enjoy a standard of living higher than most of those who work.
So powerful a part is thrift in accumulating wealth and accounting for the differences in income that if we equalized everyone’s earnings tonight, we’d have inequality again before morning.
Some would save, and some would not, or some would simply save less.
In a free society, the person seeking higher income must develop their best talents in an effort to supply the needs and desires of others, work hard and faithfully at it, and yet still put something aside for later in the form of prudent investment.
Not everyone does these things, or does them as well as others, so differences in incomes naturally result.
Building on what I’ve said so far, my best advice to anyone in the job market is to become indispensable to your employer.
I mean become so uniquely valuable to him (or her) that pay raises are almost automatic.
I have often observed that employees complain about low pay and small raises.
And, the ones who grumbled the most were usually the ones who did the least to distinguish themselves from the pack.
They did the bare minimum to get by, came in to work and left at the appointed hour, made no lasting mark on their job or the notice of their employer.
Becoming indispensable means doing things others cannot or will not do.
It means standing out from the crowd, being unafraid to put forth a little extra effort, or learning how to get along with employer and fellow employees.
At review time, it causes the employer to think twice about what it would mean to lose you.
In short, being different in a very positive way accounts for different pay, higher pay.
In terms of income, the only way to make people the same is to use force to keep them from being different.
That’s the way it works in a free society.
It’s one of those great features about freedom most people too often take for granted.
We are all truly different, our talents and skills, industry, decisions and thrift makes us uniquely who we are.
So, being truly free enables us to take full advantage of who we are and what we can become.