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 see no reason to care about income inequality in America: I hope the very prosperous 1% spend and donate their money wisely and enjoyably. The poorest have more comforts and conveniences than middle-class Americans had in the 1960s, and, in fact, live in larger quarters than members of the European middle classes do today.
The poorest, most dysfunctional or unfortunate have abundant governmental and charitable supports, but, unfortunately, these supports are not counted in their income status thus exaggerating disparities. Just Medicaid alone is equivalent to around $10,000 of income.
And, of course, income varies over the course of life; down, up and down and maybe up again for many, so statistics do not tell you who is newly poor and who is newly but perhaps only temporarily prosperous.
Of course, one way (if you want to address the statistics alone and ignore the people behind the numbers) to reduce income disparities is just to tax the hell out of the upper 10%. They'll quit working, of course, if they can afford to. Seen many big entrepreneurs in Europe lately?
Barone makes a few good points. Here's one:
...surprising, federal transfer payments have done much more to increase income inequality than federal taxes. That's because, in Ryan's words, "the distribution of government transfers has moved away from households in the lower part of the income scale. For instance, in 1979, households in the lowest income quintile received 54 percent of all transfer payments. In 2007, those households received just 36 percent of transfers."
In effect, Social Security and Medicare have been transferring money from low-earning young people (who don't pay income but are hit by the payroll tax) to increasingly affluent old people.
You see no reason to care because you disregard wisdom; in this case the lessons taught in a highly efficient, memorable manner by Dale Carnegie in How To Win Friends And Influence People.
You care not where these people come from, because, as I agree, they have no reason to be there. That's the natural reaction because it is correct in logic, but it is not the best course of action in order to increase your personal satisfaction and also in order to help sustain America's position as America, in the face of much onslaught from all sides including After-Americans.
Human nature will always dictate those without look at those with and feel emotion. Sometimes the emotion is gratitude: I"m glad I live in a land where that's possible and I can do the same for mine as he did for his. This reaction to an emotion has to be taught and is rare in history.
Sometimes, most of the time in fact, that basic human emotion, called envy and in many cases not without reason (although I think it's much more complicated than what one might presume when one hears of "jealousy" or "envy" annoyingly too often) is both the cause of, solution to, and thing that always will seemingly be the impetus of, honorable competition.
It's "Idiocracy" in real life. I see women who have 4, 5, 6, babies...no husband...no means of support besides the govt....and I see it over and over.
Who the HELL works for a living and can afford to have that many kids? Both parents can't work, the childcare would alone be onerous! One parent trying to make enough? Not with current taxes, unless it's a very high income individual.
The middle class can't do it. They have to weigh out the decision to add another child, and often come up with a "no" answer. But if you are on the dole, hey, another kid is just more income. It's not a stereotype, it's what really happens out there. Demographics alone will eventually take us down as there will not be enough workers to support the handout folks. That's already taking down Europe and England.