from The National Review Online Matthew Continetti writes The Inequality Business:
It’s a funny thing about the inequality debate that has consumed the American intelligentsia for the past several years: The individuals who are most interested in identifying, describing, diagnosing, and addressing the phenomenon of income inequality are the individuals least affected by it. We are not living through a revival of Chartism. There has been no recurrence of the Pullman Strike to galvanize public attention on the dissatisfaction of labor. The closest we have come to a popular revolt is the Tea Party, a protest movement of the beleaguered white middle and upper-middle classes that wants government to do less, not more. The passionate spokesmen against inequality look a lot like Couric and de Blasio: Wealthy progressive journalists and politicians, intellectuals, nonprofit employees, academics, social workers, consultants, and activists whose professional and social identities are defined in relation to “hot topic” issues. For these people income inequality is not only an economic and social trend to be lamented, but also a trend upon which their incomes and status depend. Inequality is a business.
Income inequality is the star around which an entire constellation of institutions and money revolves. It drives more than debate. It drives careers. Think of all of the jobs that depend on inequality, all of the foundation directors, program officers, grant writers, economists, authors, public servants, and MSNBC hosts whose ability to pay the mortgage or rent, to travel, to enjoy the professional life in D.C. and New York, would be diminished greatly if income inequality vanished overnight.
What the income-inequality debate is about is not social justice but social rule. It is about power, about who wields it and to what purposes, and the slogans and statistics that appear in the papers are the weapons by which a caste of liberals organizes its political coalition and vanquishes its opposites.
At what point does any of the fairness tyrants examine the policies of the last fifty years and ask what we have accomplished with the vast fortunes spent to alleviate poverty? The strongest growth in the number of the 1% is in the DC area where nothing is produced but government. Seven of the ten wealthiest in Congress are Democrats. It used to be more common that political leaders made money and then entered Government service; now that government service has become the preferred path to success. Look at the fortunes of Al Gore and how many of his companies depend on government largess. Hillary Clinton gets up to $400,000 for a short speech, paid by the financial elite. Do you really think this is because they find her cliche ridden speeches so enlightening and motivational? The fortunes Bill Clinton made after his term in office was once unheard of.
The Occupy Wall Street movement marched on the wrong city if they truly wanted to target the one percent. The problem is not the inequality of wealth; it is the inequality of power.
A true liberal should be outraged.