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Katy Grimes

California gives rise to ‘income inequality’

As I walked out of the Capitol Thursday, May 1 at just after 5:00 pm, I noticed a fledgling labor rally beginning.

It was May Day, the date chosen by the Socialists and Communists for International Workers’ Day.

But there weren’t any of the usual purple shirt-wearing protestors – this crowd was a real potpourri of odd people, including a group of leathered, old hippies, acting as if their brains had been fried years ago by drugs.

As I was walked past, guest speaker Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, was introduced.

Dickinson, a Democrat from Sacramento, is known as a good friend to labor. Dickinson took the microphone and began to speak as if there were thousands of purple-shirt SEIU members in the crowd.

“The direction we are going is putting the wealth of this country in the hands of fewer and fewer, at the expense of everyone!” Assemblyman Roger Dickinson said.

So compelling was his statement, I stopped to write it down. But that was about as much as I could take; I didn’t stick around for the rest of the speech. I knew where it was going.

Income “inequality”

Democrats across the country have been harping on income inequality since the beginning of the year, largely because they don’t want to talk about the failure of Obamacare.

Liberals want to see higher incomes redistributed.  The “wealth” and income inequality Dickinson referenced is no different.

But what Dickinson and other liberal Democrats fail to ever address is that income is a result of something.

“In a free society, for the most part, income is a result of one’s capacity to serve his fellow man and the value his fellow man places on that service,” said renowned economist Walter Williams in a Townhall op-ed. “It serves as evidence that I served my fellow man and enables me to make a claim on what he produces when I visit the grocer.”

Income is largely a result of one’s productivity, and the value that people place on that productivity.

To the extent conservatives see income inequality as a problem, it is as an indication of more concrete problems. If the poor and middle class are falling behind the wealthy, it might be a sign of declining or stagnating wages or lackluster job creation. In other words, liberals tend to see income inequality as the disease, and conservatives tend to see it as a symptom, according to Williams.

The media and liberal politicians have been focused only on income inequality, and blame the wealthy and successful.

Liberal economists like Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and James Galbraith have been pushing books and writing columns and op-eds obsessively on income inequality and the one-percent.

But while liberal economists today are opining on how the wealthiest one-percent are managing to accrue more for themselves, they are ignoring the historic decline in working class conditions.

Real income inequality – poverty in California

The poor have gotten poorer in California in the past two years, since passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increases in 2012.

More than 6.2 million Californians live in poverty today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And, despite numerous studies every year showing the damage to low-income communities with minimum wage increases, the California Legislature continues to pass minimum wage increases.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s solution to our failing economy is to increase the minimum wage, push higher taxes on the successful, and spend money like we are printing it ourselves.

California has the highest effective poverty rate in the United States. While the state’s poverty rate grows, Gov. Jerry Brown continues to push the $68 billion High-Speed Rail and the $40 billion Delta Water Tunnels, slated to be two of the largest  flim-flams in world history. And Jerry Brown loves to tell the rest of country it should emulate California.

Media’s slobbering love affair with Brown

“As he works through hundreds of bills on his desk that must be signed or vetoed by Oct. 13, Brown has taken steps aimed at combating global warming, reversing growing income disparity and giving undocumented immigrants a series of new rights,” the Los Angeles Times wrote of Brown in September. “The governor says California is forging a political path that could become a national model.”

Brown’s suggestion that he had figured out how to counter income inequality would be funny if he wasn’t serious:

“Since retaking office in 2011, Brown has raised concerns about growing income inequality across the country, calling it a risk for the United States’ long-term political and economic stability,” the Times said. “Months after persuading state voters to increase income taxes for those making more than $250,000 per year, Brown is now set to raise California’s minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2016 — the highest in the nation.”

“Democratic leaders hope the changes in California could help build momentum for national change.

“’This new law puts Californians ahead of the curve. Now, it’s time for Congress to follow suit,’ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said after Brown signed the wage increase.”

Since 1995, eight studies have examined the income and poverty effects of minimum wage increases, and all but one have found that past minimum wage hikes had no effect on poverty. Some low-skilled workers living in poor families who remain employed do see their incomes rise with a minimum wage increase. However, other low-skilled workers lose their jobs or have their work hours substantially reduced, which causes income losses and increased poverty.

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