“Income inequality is a strange obsession, at least to the extent the obsessives focus their policy responses on trying to adjust the condition of the top 1% rather than improving the opportunities of everyone else.”
–Holman Jenkins, The Wall Street Journal
As Freud put it, “Everyone must be the same and have the same. Social justice means we deny ourselves many things so that others may have to do without them as well.”
Or we could follow an alternative. We could worry less about equality of outcomes and more about equality of opportunity, as our Founders suggested. Since we don’t all have an equal endowment of ability or work ethic, and more importantly, we don’t all have the same goals for our lives, equal outcomes—equal incomes, equal wealth—is necessarily impossible.
But those equal opportunities, and the ability of everyone to satisfy his own potential in the manner and to the extent each sees fit, is the stuff of rapidly increasing wealth for all of us—not only of the pecuniary variety, but of the moral, as well.