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Inequality Hurting Upward Mobility? Not So Much.
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“Income Inequality” is the current marketing slogan for rallying voters to the Democratic Party. It just isn’t “fair” that some people make millions of dollars a year “doing nothing” while millions of people work hard and struggle every day to put food on the table and afford HBO.
So, what’s unfair? Is it unfair that a pimple-faced 19 year-old can sell enough songs and concert tickets to afford sports cars, high quality pot and lawyers? Is it unfair that some smart men and women figure out ways to make millions of dollars at hedge funds and big investment banks, then give the largest of their political contributions to the Democrats who help keep them in business?
Or, is it important because it gives the impression that a middle class kid in a Wilmington, Delaware neighborhood can’t work her way up the ladder to be CEO of DuPont and Chris Gardner could no longer work his way from homelessness to being a millionaire stockbroker?
If that’s the problem liberals are using to generate enough hate and envy to motivate voters to elect lawmakers who promise to “transfer the wealth,” then they sure can’t let anyone know the results of the latest nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research study.
The study shows that Americans born to the poorest households still have the same chance of to work their way to the top of the income brackets as their predecessors.
Specifically, the income gap between the richest of the rich and the poor is greater now than any time since the Roaring 20’s while those born to the poorest 20 percent of households in 1986 have a slightly better chance of working their way to the top 20 percent that those born in 1971.
As of today, 9 percent of children born to the poorest 20 percent in 1986 have been able to climb into the top 20 percent income bracket while 8.4 percent of children born to the poorest households in 1971 were likely to work their way into the top 20 percent.
The American Dream of working your way to prosperity is alive and well.
However, the American Dream of getting a job with a big manufacturer, being paid a large enough salary to buy a lake cabin and a boat, then retiring comfortably after 30 years with the same company is still in trouble.
Obamacare, inordinate regulations and taxes will keep that dream at bay for quite some time.
Democratic Governors are also contributing to suppressing economic growth for the middle class by racking up more and more taxes on those of us trying to make ends meet.
California’s Jerry Brown increased the sales tax. Maryland doubled the “flush tax” which will be passed onto consumers. Washington Governor Jay Inslee is bracing taxpayers for an onslaught of tax increases next year. Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell is pushing for raising the gas tax by another ten cents, further straining the family budgets of hardworking people who must drive to work and especially those whose job entails driving. This is especially taxing to those who know their state could pay for transportation projects and salaries by reducing the prevailing wage calculation by a mere 15 percent or consolidating their 22 school districts in a state smaller than any one of nine Texas counties.
New York City’s de Blasio is readying a raft of tax increases on the rich, businesses and subsequently everyone who does business with or is employed by them.
His recent blatant demonstration of using government to punish those you despise is also an excellent example of how such behavior torments the middle class and working poor.
When he allowed the ritzy Upper East Side streets to go unplowed during the recent big snowstorm, rich folk complained and nobody cared.
However, this behavior also kept hundreds of shop-workers, accountants, bus drivers and other middle class workers from getting to the job.
It also adds to the reasons why Democratic Party policies hurt the middle class and working poor.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s Award-Winning Conservative Talk Show Host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on from 1pm - 4pm EST. Contact Rick at, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.