from Mark Perry in his blog Carpe Diem, John Tamny on ‘surging lifestyle equality’ and the source of the Clintons’ wealth
All of which brings us to the latest news about Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to numerous media accounts the formidable political couple has earned at least $30 million in speaking fees since 2014. The Clintons are maybe who President Obama had in mind when he famously said “You didn’t build that.”
The Clintons are extraordinarily rich not because Bill discovered a cure for cancer, or because Hillary has a knack for resuscitating companies that are on the proverbial deathbed, because both are expert as Ford, Rockefeller and Steve Jobs were at mass producing former baubles of the rich, or even because they were born well. No, the Clintons are rich for having been wise enough to make a profession of politics in what is the richest, most innovative country on earth. Without a hint of hyperbole, the wealth they enjoy is a function of their pull within a federal government that is empowered to tax away trillions on an annual basis. The Clintons are posh and supercilious, but their grand posture is directly attributable to the political class’s ability to plunder the actual wealth of America’s truly productive.
The Clinton’s millions are the result of government force, and those millions rob inequality of its life-enhancing beauty. While rising wealth inequality in the world of free markets is once again a sign of entrepreneurs shrinking the lifestyle gap, Clinton-style inequality is rooted in the political ability to influence the direction of economic resources created by others, but that were expropriated by the federal government.