Walter Williams

Walter Williams writes in Investor’s Business Daily Many Who Portray Themselves As Part Of The 99% Live Like The 1%, 5/2/12


Last week, MSN Money posted a report titled “The richest counties in America.” According to the report, residents of those 15 wealthiest counties “have median household incomes that are double the national average.”

Three of those counties have a median income of more than $100,000. The report goes on to say, “While many Americans struggle to find jobs, balance their budgets and get by with less, some folks are living high on the hog.” Let’s look at some of those counties.

Loudoun County, Va., has a median household income of $119,540, making it the nation’s richest county. Virginia’s Fairfax County is next, with a median household income of $103,010; the median price of a house is $507,800. Third is Howard County, Md., where the median household income is $101,771. These three richest counties have seven nearby high-income neighbors, which include Arlington and Montgomery counties. The nation’s richest counties are close to Washington, D.C., where people come to do good and wind up doing well for themselves.

Will Rahn, deputy editor for The Daily Caller, wrote an article titled “NYC arrest records: Many Occupy Wall Street protesters live in luxury” (Nov. 2, 2011). Nearly 1,000 protesters were arrested in New York between Sept. 18 and Oct. 15. Police collected information on each arrestee’s name, age, sex, criminal charge, home address and — in most cases — race. The median value of the homes of the arrestees was $305,000 — a far higher number than the $185,400 median value of owner-occupied homes of the rest of us. Ninety-five of the arrestees lived in homes valued at more than $500,000. Those who rented paid a median rent of $1,850 per month.

Of the 984 protesters arrested, at least 797 are white. One Occupy Wall Street protester arrested — presumably, if you listen to the mainstream media, penniless and from a blue-collar family — lived in an $850,000 home in the nation’s capital.

HKO comments:

The OWS does not distrust wealth- only that wealth that is generated by serving customers rather than extracting it from taxpayers.  As Milton Friedman so appropriately asked, why would we trust one who acts in their political self interest more than one who acts in their economic self interest?

Part of this attitude belies an elitism that considers commercial interests crass and that only the properly credentialed are capable of making the proper social choices.  Many of those who seek political self interest fall prey to the trappings of wealth and power than they attribute to the self proclaimed masters of the universe that they associate with capitalism and Wall Street.  Those who cherish individual economic liberties threaten their political power.

Many progressives truly believe that they serve the best interests of the majority and seek the goals of social justice that they claim.  Because of the flaws in their philosophy their results fall far short of their intentions. The classical liberals and free market capitalists do not claim to seek social justice as a primary goal, but they have raised the prosperity of far more people than the best intentions of those who claim social justice as their primary concern.

For more thoughts on the perceptions of fairness read A Fairness Quiz for the President by Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal.