Food For Thought on Next Year’s Elections and Income Equality


The election year is going to be fierce and brutal, and the fight’s already begun. People have taken sides, but many are still on the fence. In my opinion “income equality” is possibly the worst topic to even be brought up for any reason. At my job, I constantly hear clients and customers complain that they can’t pay their bills because they’re on a fixed income. Every time, I want to say either, “We all are,” or “Get another job.” Brutal as that sounds, but hey, life is brutal.

A good friend of mine caught my eye with a Facebook Post, and I asked him to expand on his thoughts by writing a guest post for my blog. He was delighted to and this is the result. 

By Kyle Richardson, @intersectionpdxDMd3CGkJ

This election cycle we’ve been hearing a lot about “income inequality” and ensuring the wealthy pay their “fair share”. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator running for the Democratic nomination for president, is quoted saying: “Message to the billionaire class: You can’t have it all!” His implication being there is a metaphorical piñata and the rich have somehow managed to shove all those poor folks aside and grab every last bit of stale candy that has busted out. Sorry kid, you snooze you lose.

And many have jumped on the Hate-The-Rich Express headed for Prosperityville, believing the lie that the wealthy 1% have stolen what is rightfully yours and tucked it safely away in some Cayman Islands bank account. But the beauty of capitalism, specifically American capitalism, is that there is no finite amount of capital to be had. The rich have not stolen your money (the government has, but that’s another story).

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the top 1% have managed to get rich by beating the system and finding every single tax loophole that exists. How does that affect your life? How is their wealth preventing your prosperity? The fact that an actor makes $13 million a movie has no bearing on my life whatsoever (or maybe that’s why movie ticket prices are so high? Ok, never mind…Occupy Hollywood!).

The market is ripe for the taking, you just need the drive to take it. Granted, this may require some effort in the form of education, humility, and work ethic, but no one is stopping you from being a doctor, a stockbroker, or a manager. The great thing about American values is that through freedom, we are all given the power of choice. We choose our destiny. No, we may not all start at the same place in life, but we don’t live in a caste system and we have the economic flexibility to determine our own path.

To quote another individual running for office, this one from the Republican field: “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.” (Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story)

Perhaps if we stopped focusing on other’s success we might have more time and energy to focus on our own.

No, not all incomes are equal, but all incomes are possible.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

8 thoughts on “Food For Thought on Next Year’s Elections and Income Equality

  1. This is a great post and so true. People complain about income inequality and they look to the government for a solution. Then people complain that the government is too invasive, that it’s extending its reach beyond what is reasonable.

    I think the people need to make up their minds about what they want, and that starts with being honest — really honest — about how much time and energy they want to invest in their own success.

  2. Thank you for this. I have never understood the whole “they have more, which means I have less!” mentality. It’s a juvenile understanding of how the economy works. One MAY make the argument that the government is robbing us in order to subsidize the tax breaks and loopholes for the rich and big companies. But in that case, my stink eyes are on Congress, not Wal-Mart. I can’t inherently hate someone for having more than me when I aspire to be like them one day.

  3. Not all incomes are possible. I think that is one of the problems. If we tell people all incomes are possible but they go to a school that has a 50% drop out rate (or as I did some research earlier this year, a school that is giving students As and Bs but their test scores are showing them 2 or more years behind already by 4th grade, the students is not going to get a six figure a year job without some serious intervention)

    Yes Carson has a great story. And there are always exceptions like them. But the fact that exceptions exist does not mean that it is really possible for anyone to be an exception.

    One of the things that is important to this conversation is the generational changes. Right now the likelihood of a child of a high school drop out to go to college is decreasing. Changes in socioeconomic status between generations in the US is not only decreasing, but is now lower than most other developed countries. Traditionally status conscious countries like Britain are now more likely to have children break through to higher classes than the US.

    That is why the idea of income inequality is gathering steam.

    1. Adam, no one said it’s easy. But the fact that you say not everyone can be the exception seriously undervalues human capability and achievement. It’s the Left that keeps telling us “you CAN’T do it on your own! You’re not capable! You need serious help!” but far more often it’s the Right that believes in individual value and responsibility.

      The sad thing is that the Left keeps the poor in horrible schools by refusing to allow vouchers to transfer schools, it’s the Left that created Common Core (the horrible educational standards that have ruined teachers and students alike). We can blame our circumstances all we want, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s up to US to change our situation, not anyone else.

      What you’re describing is the result of too much government. Perhaps they should move out of the way and let the market drive education. Charter schools have really picked up steam because if the teacher isn’t good, they get fired. They have to earn their income. They aren’t locked into a job simple due to tenure. These charter schools are the result of capitalism, because at its core capitalism operates under the premise that if you produce an inferior product, you lose customers.

      1. It is simply not true that everyone can accomplish a good income let alone a six or seven figure one. That does not diminish the value of hard work. But there just is more to it than shear hard work. Yes hard work matters. But hard work in the face of injustice is not enough to over come all hinderences. Yes some can. And that keeps the dream alive as possible. But it is a false dream.

      2. Well said, Kyle! I have seen it over and over again. Yes, it is more difficult for people from a low income family to make it, but they do and they can and none of us should blame “the rich” saying they are stealing our money or keeping us poor. So many people just want to sit back and do nothing and expect the government to take care of them. I have worked with and seen so many people come from 3rd world countries with nothing and within a few years have an education, good jobs, lovely homes and successful families. Two families in particular that I know well have come from Jamaica, one with ten children and one with five, all the children got a good education, most of them with University degrees with honours and most of them own their own homes and are doing very well. I also know a number of families coming from various parts of Africa who became very successful within a few short years. Yes, I know not everyone can immigrate into Canada or the US or there countries, but, other than a few exceptions, everyone has the ability to “pull up their own shoe straps” as my dad used to say and create a living for themselves, whether it is a successful farmer, a famed musician, a business owner, politician or the Prime Minister or President. People need to stop waiting on others to “do it for them”.

  4. I think the rich should want to help the poor…not be forced to. I love hearing about celebrities that actually help others financially, in time of need. Like Brad Pitt building homes for a whole community that lost theirs in the hurricane. Also, let me add that we are called to help the poor, according to the bible (and widows and orphans). I don’t, however, agree that it should be through the government. Each of us should always be looking for someone worse off, and helping as much as we can…You never know when the tides of life can shift, and YOU become the one with a great need. Further, we should help others in a variety of ways, too. Not just write checks to charities. Actually physically and mentally help and serve others in their time of need. There’s my two cents on the matter.

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