A Professor Explains the Income Gap

Time for another Gooberhead Award [Beanie-cap Breakdown], presented periodically to someone in the news who has their tongue running 100-miles-per-hour...but forgot to put their brain in gear.

Today's Goober is a hot-shot, Harvard economist, named Martin Feldstein, whose claim-to-fame is that he once was head of Ronald Reagan's council of economic advisors. You might remember that Reagan was big on the trickle-down economic theory, asserting that if government helps the rich get richer, these privileged ones then will trickle on the the rest of us, showering us with the refuse of their wealth. Feldstein was one of the engineers of this policy of elitist economic effluence.

Well they certainly did make the rich richer. Indeed, half of the economic gains from the Reagan period to today has ended up in the pockets of the wealthiest one-percent of Americans. Another 40 percent of the gains went to the next 19 percent of well-off Americans. That left very little to trickle down to the underlying 80 percent majority.

The result is that the gap between the top 20 percent and the rest of us has now grown wider in our country than in any other industrialized nation. Professor Feldstein tells the New York Times that this imbalance puzzles him...but doesn't bother him. Asked if America should worry that Wall Street barons make a killing while workaday folks get killed, Feldstein is smug in his ideology, telling the Times: "I say no."

In this goober's mind, income inequality is simply a "natural" consequence of the new, high-tech, whiz-bang economy that he says rewards "talent, skills education, and entrepreneurial risk." So you're not rich, it's because you're an untalented slug. He adds that the income gap also exists because some people "may choose not to work as hard as investment bankers."

This is Jim Hightower saying...I wish Feldstein had to spend a year in the shoes of a single mom working three jobs to hold her family together. That would give the professor a real lesson in talent, skills, risk-taking, hard work...and real-life economics. What a goober.

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