Forbes’ Tamny: ‘Income Inequality Is Beautiful’

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 08:30 AM

By Michelle Smith

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While many people are angered by the growing riches of the upper class and the partisan politics that tend to aggravate matters, they should realize that “income inequality is beautiful,” John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets.com, writes in a column for Forbes.

During his inauguration speech in January, President Barack Obama stated, “For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

“We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class,” he added.

Editor's Note:
How to Pay Zero Taxes . . . Legally

Americans have grown accustomed to such statements from the president. But, despite his record of pro-middle class rhetoric and policies, Tamny notes that some are starting to bash the Obama economy for being one where rising levels of income inequality threaten economic health.

These are not conversations we should be having, during Obama's administration or any other. Growing wealth among the rich is not something to despise and it is not drawback. Instead, wealth gaps benefit society as a whole, according to Tamny.

To begin with, the rich club is not as static as people are often led to believe. Each year Forbes creates a list of the world's richest people. According to USA Today, this year's list includes 213 newcomers. And it also reveals that the United States is home to the most billionaires.

Wealth among the upper class also serves as a driver for creativity in society as it encourages more people to come up with ideas that will allow them to climb the ranks, Tamny explains.

Furthermore, while many people tend to focus on the rate at which wealth grows at the top, the reality is that the benefits flow to the rest of society as that happens.

Tamny points to the rising popularity of cell phones, reminding us that back in the 1990s these devices were a source of awe. The wealth of the wealthy has also changed society by improving the masses access to a wide range of items, from music to healthcare.

“[T]he simple, life-enhancing truth [is] that when the wealth gap is increasing, that’s a certain signal that the lifestyle gap is shrinking – rapidly,” Tamny writes.

“[T]he sentient among us should cheer every time they read of rising inequality,” he adds. “The sentient should cheer because it signals enterprise being rewarded, freedom to keep the fruits of one’s labor, and then for all of us not rich it signals that our lives are getting better and better; the lifestyle disparity between us and them (the rich) shrinking precisely because economic achievement is taking place.”

Editor's Note: How to Pay Zero Taxes . . . Legally

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