Bush welcomes inequality

In: Uncategorized

27 Mar 2007

Judging by an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal the American president has started to acknowledge the widening inequality gap in the US. However, he does not see such inequality as inherently bad. In his view the most skilled and productive members of society are getting what they deserve:

“Until January, President Bush seldom acknowledged the widening gap between the rich and the middle class. Then, in a speech, he declared: “I know some of our citizens worry about the fact that our dynamic economy is leaving working people behind. …Income inequality is real.” He has raised the subject several times since.

“This isn’t a sudden change in Mr. Bush’s economic philosophy, but rather a change in tactics forced by the changing political environment, say current and former administration officials and outsiders in touch with the White House.

“Top White House economic officials still don’t consider today’s inequality — the growing share of income going to those at the top — an inherently bad thing; they believe it simply reflects the rising rewards accruing to society’s most skilled and productive members. Nor do they see merit in various Democratic proposals to reduce inequality, such as ending Mr. Bush’s tax cuts on the highest-earners, raising the minimum wage, making it easier to form unions and including labor standards in trade agreements.”

So it seems that Bush administration views inequality as positive while I suspect the Democratic critics are anxious about substantially raising the incomes of the mass of society. Just think of Al Gore’s austerity drive disguised as a campaign against global warming. Both sides, in their own way, help perpetuate relatively low growth and wide inequalities.

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