Monday, March 4, 2013

Misleading left-wing viral video of the week

I've seen this video posted a few times over the weekend and I expect to see a lot more of it. A few minutes ago someone simply posted it as a reply in a discussion about corporate welfare. That didn't actually make sense, which is fitting because the premise of the video doesn't make sense.

The problem with these numbers is that they are the pre-tax income levels, as if America has a perfectly flat tax system and no welfare programs. The solution advocated by the narrator is to "fix" the current reality, but he fails to provide the reality. He never said he wanted to force board rooms and employers to pay different wages, he said he wants "redistribution."

So why does he act like we don't do that at all? Bruce Meyers argues that post-tax and post-welfare numbers do not show this rise in inequality. Don Boudreaux and Mark J. Perry show the flaws in the middle class stagnation canard, including the way non-monetary forms of compensation are left out.

In short, this video says we don't "redistribute" enough, but never tells us how much we "redistribute" already. If we followed every suggestion he makes, the numbers he shows to scare us would not change.

There is a brief mention of a poverty line in the video, but no actual claim that the poor have an unacceptable standard of living. Envy is not a virtue, and this video is not about carrying for the poor so much as hating the rich.

1 comment:

  1. Covetousness. Apart from being an awesome word, it sums it all up pretty nicely.

    What I think is interesting, and appalling, is that no one thinks about how the rich get their money, people think that money is actually a thing. In reality, every dollar a person has was exchanged for something that they valued less and the other party valued more.

    When a person comes to me to take drivers ed their tuition is worth more to me than the time I give them in exchange, while on the other side, my time is worth more to them than their tuition is.

    We are both better off at the end of the course. We has created wealth, just like a third grader trading his cookies to another third grader for his pudding.