We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I suppose it does, in a way. J.K. Rowling is one example.
It never makes sense to me for people to be concerned about income inequality - or inequality of wealth. As Dylan was quoted as saying in our link this morning, "The world owes you nothing. Not one single thing."
One reason I feel inequality is a bogus issue has to do with the Ezra Klein quote above:
The top 1 percent, for instance, has gone from capturing about 8 percent of the national income to 18 percent.
"Captured"? Like piracy? That's a childish and fallacious zero-sum view of income. It's not like there is a set number of dollar bills out there to be distributed. J.K. Rowling did not "capture" income - she created wealth out of nothing, which is what wealth-creators do. In the process, she created income for book stores, Amazon, printers, her employees, etc. - along with vast tax income for the UK. Furthermore, she got herself off the dole.
Due to my needs for personal wealth creation, I don't have time today to do a full essay on what is problematic about the concern about income inequality. I will say, however, that I think it's about politics, not economics.
Maybe I will complete my thoughts later, but you have probably had the same thoughts already.
Have you noticed how the Democrats are obsessed with race, class and sex? According to the Democrats, if we are not all equal in all things then whoever has less is being victimized by the person with more. I look forward to reading your thoughts.
Let's take an example: You have two people, one earning 50K and one earning 100K per annum. If both earn double that amount next year, the conservative view is that both are twice as well off as before, the liberal view is that the income gap is twice as wide as before. Both are true, but one is measuring something, i.e. more income for both parties, while the other is assigning value to nothing, i.e. the "gap".
This goes far towards explaining why liberals are never, ever happy.
Thomas Sowell wrote a very important line that I will have to paraphrase here: the market rewards value. It does not automatically reward innovation or effort or speed. People buy what they need or want; those who provide it reap profits. Those who provide more of it, perhaps through the economies of scale that helped bring Ms Rowling a billion dollars, get more profits. That's how actors become zillionaires: popular actors perform in movies that millions can see and reap the reward of that value.
As for income inequality: yes, feh, why worry? There will always be a lowest 20% and a highest 1%, even if the gap between them were only 2 to 1. The real question should be, how many people actually live in want, deprivation or squalor because their resources won't lift them any higher? I exclude bad choices here: if you're making 50% more than me and you're floundering, you're making bad choices, you're not poor. (You're not rich either).
This article about JK Rowling is bogus. utterly without merit. The fact that she created Harry Potter means jobs were created to:
1. Make the movies
2. Bind the books
3. Put the books online and/or gave additional work to Jim Dale (voice of the audio book), among others
4. Make the toys, posters and various other merchandise.
Had JK NOT created Harry - some of these jobs would've been created by another phenomenon, but who's to say that phenomenon would've been AS BIG? That is to say, if it was only 1/4 the size of Potter, then many fewer jobs would've been created.
And since she earned $1bb, do we know (in REAL REAL terms) that Homer and Shakespeare (Tolkien may well have earned an equivalent amount after the success of the movies, had his estate not been broken up) were not as successful?
This article is indicative not of how technology enhances income inequality, but how jobs and incomes shift from one area to another with growth. Lack of understanding this is what makes some people Leftists and others more moderate or reasonable.
IF technology enhanced income inequality, then by now we should all be impoverished, because the Luddites and Malthusians would've been proven correct and the world a much worse place.
The thing the zero sum adherents forget is money has more than amount, it also has what I call velocity. Transactions per unit time determines the money supply not fixed amounts sitting under various mattresses.