Washington, DC - "If Bernie Sanders and his crew were serious about putting an end to poverty in America, they'd be promoting income inequality, not condemning it," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Income inequality can be a good thing, says Weber. "It fuels ambition and ambition stimulates economic growth for all of us. America is a country where individuals use their own talents and ingenuity to create wealth, not just for themselves, but for their neighbors far and wide as well."
Weber is a staunch believer in the old fish story: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. "In other words, government hand outs are actually an impediment to success, especially for low earners trying to get ahead. Sure, the need for a safety net so that those in need are fed and housed is not up for debate. They need our help and we owe them all the help we can give. But what is debatable is the concept that income redistribution is the answer to poverty. It's not."
The Manhattan Institute's Scott Winship is an authority on the topic and not so long ago he concluded, based on extensive research, that developed nations, where income inequality is prevalent, offer higher standards of living for the poor and middle class.
Weber notes that "the U.S. has more than its fair share of billionaires and their wealth creates jobs and opportunities for the rest of us-not to mention their outstanding record of contributing to worthwhile charitable causes. Think about it. Microsoft's Bill Gates and Apple's Steve Jobs created wealth for a broad spectrum of the population by creating thousands, if not millions of workplace opportunities. And, in doing so they created not just new jobs but a more educated work force manned by individuals with better earnings potential who, in turn, provide for the education of their children-kids that grow up with even greater earnings potential."
It's those who have amassed wealth that are the job creators, says Weber. Big government, on the other hand, provides a disincentive to job creation much of the time.
"A lot of well-intentioned people support government efforts to increase the minimum wage in America as a means of offsetting income inequality, for example. But, a higher minimum wage has a widespread negative impact on job creation. He points out that small business is the principle engine that drives job creation. But, raise the minimum wage and we force small business owners to reduce the number of people they employ in order to survive. They'll invest in automation to deal with rising payroll costs. In some cases, they are forced to shut down altogether. Either way those seeking jobs - the young looking for their first jobs and the old who need to supplement Social Security income - ultimately pay the penalty. It all comes down to one thing: equal opportunity; an equal opportunity to join the workforce, in the first place and then an equal opportunity to advance in the workplace."