Here’s a little story. Two men, John and Bill work in a corporate office. They both have junior positions and make the same annual salary. One day Bill is promoted to mid-level management and with his promotion comes a ten percent salary increase. The next day John complains that his employer is discriminating against him because Bill makes more money per year than him and it is not a fair system, even though Bill worked his way up by being promoted.
John’s complaint may sound silly but it’s actually part of modern left-wing politics, an idea called income inequality. This is the idea that because a certain percentage of income earners make more money every year compared to the majority of other earners, there is an unequal system set in place.
There may not be another person who has made this issue more prominent than Senator Bernie Sanders. On his website Senator Sanders says that the wage gap is larger in America than in any country in the world. He states that the top one tenth of a percent have more wealth than the bottom 90% of earners and says that this is wrong. The question we all need to ask ourselves is this; so what?
It’s good that Bernie Sanders wants to help the less fortunate, but his ideas and methods are just wrong. There is no reason to believe that being a high-income earner is a sign of inequality, rather it is a sign of free market success. A business cannot function unless it makes a profit and this cannot be done without the people who bring certain value to the company.
There’s two ways of looking at this; the first is the CEO of Starbucks makes far more money than his baristas because of his role in the company. He needs the vision to lead and make sure Starbucks thrives around the world. He brings more value to the company that way. There will always be fewer CEO’s and executives than there are people that work for them. It should not be surprising therefore that a smaller percentage have more wealth.
The second point is everyone has the same chance for success and to get ahead, this is the to the benefit of everyone. While every now and then there is a Mark Zuckerberg or a Bill Gates who has enough vision to start from the top while young, the majority of us start at a much lower level in the corporate ladder and spend years working, being promoted, and having greater wealth. Where is the inequality in good honest hard work?
The truth is that wealth is not something that we should consider to be unequal. To say it is not equal is to suggest that systems are created to implement a disadvantage between two or more groups. This is just not the case. If people were unable to receive higher pay because of their race or gender then there would be income inequality. Rather what we have in our society is simply income difference, not inequality. Let us free ourselves form this belief that we are unequal because of the money we make and start believing in the spirit of competition again.