INCOME INEQUALITY VERSUS PROSPERITY—DEFINING OUR FOCUS


ImageBy: Dr. Lynn Reaser

It has been nearly three years since the “Great Recession” officially ended, but many Americans are gripped by a sense of malaise.  Unemployment has eased but is still high.  Recent attention has also focused on the gap between the rich and the poor.  Some are asking the question:  “Is income inequality a threat to our prosperity?”

While the frustration of those asking the question is understandable, the answer is “no”.  America’s core values do embrace equal opportunities, but this does not imply equal outcomes.  Some will work harder than others, incur greater risks with new ideas and businesses, or just possess greater talents than others that will be rewarded.

A company where everyone is paid the same regardless of how well they perform would certainly give little incentive to be one’s best.  Taking such a model nationwide would be a recipe for mediocrity not prosperity.

America does need to do a better job in lifting the incomes of the poor by improving a woefully inadequate education system.  That should be the focus, not dissuading those who would strive for excellence. 

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