by Lipton Matthews
Members of the productive class provide services and products that other individuals within the market demand. So whenever entrepreneurs accumulate wealth, consumers obtain a product or service that is often used to enrich the quality of their lives. It is therefore folly to see wealth creation as a zero-sum game.
Although “income inequality” has become a topical issue, including being highlighted in the SOTU address by President Barack Obama, it is highly over rated. Some are even insinuating that the wealth disparity among various income groups is a “moral crisis”. This analysis is quite faulty.
Entrepreneurs must not be maligned for amassing great wealth for themselves, because without them the world would be poorer, quality of life would be at a lower level and in the process of creating their fortunes they allow others to earn an income. It is quite ironic that athletes and entertainers are never castigated for accruing millions of dollars while engaging in pursuits that rarely benefit the ordinary man but an entrepreneur who provides thousands of jobs is vilified.
A millionaire or billionaire who operates a financial company or a tech firm is of greater value to society than a footballer who is paid millions for scoring a goal. The institutions of society may find it very difficult to survive without the existence of proper financial advice or technological services that improve efficiency. The footballer maybe a good entertainer, but most individuals in society can do quite well without him.
The glitz and glamour associated with being a sports personality or an entertainer is very appealing and with the right talent it is easier to enter these professions. However, the businessman is forced to create a quality product that consumers require or lose out to competition. In order to compete with competitors, he must endure sleepless nights. The life of a businessman symbolizes hard work and determination and in the long term he may earns vast wealth if he succeeds in providing value for his staff and customers.
Successful entrepreneurs achieve what many people deem to be elusive. Instead of congratulating him for his success, ordinary people usually decide to begrudge him for doing the improbable. Entrepreneurs make people uncomfortable because their success highlights what the average guy could achieve, if he was willing to work harder and think creatively.
The prevailing and misguided view that the rich are getting wealthier at the expense of the poor is a fallacy. Many proponents of the “Income Inequality Movement”, fail to analyze sociological factors. For example, many individuals in the lower percentiles of income earners are usually unemployed unable to find jobs. They also assume that they remain permanently in the lower classes. Poor people don’t remain poor forever, neither do the rich remain rich forever. Social mobility is real and “income inequality” is but a mere political distraction. According to the Fraser Institute study on income mobility, 83% of Canada’s lowest income earners have experienced social mobility and based on the findings of the Cato Institute, 80% of America’s millionaires were not born wealthy.
Social mobility is not elusive, but some have a vested interest in distorting facts as propaganda, because it is their intention to gain political mileage for statist policies. Nothing is immoral about the wealth disparity among income groups, and it is indeed fair for the market to reward millionaires and billionaires who opt to use their creativity.