Wealth Inequality and Politics: Why None Of It Makes Sense.

Chicago is not a happy place these days. The city government is running on fumes, funding-wise. The Public School system is perched on bankruptcy. Government-sector retirement pensions and benefits are a complete basket case, and it’s only a matter of time before many retirees get jilted. The crime rate is one of the worst in the country, and racial tensions are higher then they’ve been in recent memory.

People with money are starting to jump ship:

Millionaires are fleeing Chicago due to concerns over racial tensions and rising crime rates, according to a report by research firm New World Wealth.

“About 3,000 individuals with net assets of $1 million or more, not including their primary residence, moved from the city last year, with many citing rising racial tensions and worries about crime as factors in the decision,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago is third on the list of cities experiencing an exodus of millionaires, behind Paris and Rome.

I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t stay either.

Why is this happening? One reporter posits:

As we have previously highlighted, increasing wealth inequality combined with the rise of extreme protest movements like ‘Black Lives Matter’ provide a toxic cocktail that virtually guarantees social disorder.

…Economist Robert Johnson said the rich were making such purchases “because they think they need a getaway” from Ferguson-style riots that will erupt as a result of widening wealth inequality, which it at its worse in virtually all developed countries since the 1980s.

Side note: Robert Johnson is a hardcore fundamentalist liberal.  His economic ideas all revolve around raising taxes on “the rich” (whoever they are) and higher taxes on inheritance. These are about as typical as typical left-wing views can get.

Robert Johnson attributes unrest in cities like Chicago in part to the inequality of wealth. I agree, to an extent. I agree that wealth is unequal, and it makes some people upset. But this is not the root of the issue. The root of the issue is envy: “If I don’t have it, you can’t have it either.” Envy is one of the most harmful and destructive of all emotions. Nothing good can come of envy.

There can be legitimate reasons to be upset over wealth inequality. If people are defrauding others, or stealing, this may result in unequal wealth. This is worth being upset over. But it’s not due to the mere fact of unequal wealth. Why is wealth unequal? And this cannot be broad-bushed to an entire strata of society as the Left does with “the rich”. Individual crimes can only be attributed to individual people. No court of law will let you sue “the rich” in general.


I’ve always thought the hoopla over wealth inequality is interesting. The idea is that if only wealth were more equalized, then social differences would be less pronounced and society would be more harmonious.

Chicago, being one of the most left-wing cities in the Midwest, is likely run by many politicians who would nod their heads in fervent agreement at the claim that wealth inequality is a major part of their city’s problems. So, let me run this past you: Why don’t they just ask the rich people to leave? “Listen, Uncle Pennybags: Nothing personal, but your vast wealth is making the rest of Chicago uncomfortable. Could you please just move away? It’d bring down wealth inequality.” If city leaders asked nicely enough, I’m sure a few Chicago millionaires would be willing to move away and take their wealth with them, assuaging the problem a little bit.

Or if you want to get tough about it, just pass a law banning rich people. By law, only people within a certain closely equalized wealth bracket will be able to live there. If everyone in Chicago had a net worth less than $100,000, that’d definitely heal wealth inequality, correct?

Of course, I’m sure running this by a Chicago Progressive would net you an angry stare. “No, we won’t ask them to leave or ban them.” Why not? “Because they should be taxed more instead.”

Ah. I see. The only acceptable solution is to steal. Stealing is they way, the truth, and the life. None shall come to wealth equality except through theft.

Nothing, not even petty morality, shall stand in the way of the great revolution!

I doubt millionaires fleeing Chicago are being thanked by City Council for decreasing wealth inequality. More likely, they are getting the middle finger: “We deserve to take your money. Stand here and get sheared like a good little sheep, you coward!” If City Council had their way, they’d probably do a heck of a lot more than give them the middle finger; they’d give them a gun to the belly. “Leaving the city, eh? Fine. Just drop the money at our feet and you can go.”

It’s not about wealth inequality. It’s about envy, and the desire to get free goodies paid for by other people’s money. For the politicians running the show, it’s about stoking envy and discord to buy votes. This, of course, is not unique to Chicago. Everyone in America has their hands in other people’s pockets. Stealing from others to get goodies for yourself is as American as apple pie.

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