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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Democratic Strategist: Opinion: Robert Creamer: How to Fight Economic Inequality

The Democratic Strategist: Opinion: Robert Creamer: How to Fight Epidemic Economic Inequality

Perhaps someone should explain to me how someone with a good education, who works hard and is very productive and makes a lot of money for the work they do and what they produce, how that is unfair for that person to be as financially successful as they are compared with someone who doesn’t have much of an education and perhaps didn’t finish high school, who struggles financially to make ends meet, because they lack the skills to get themselves a good job and be economically independent.

Because that is what so-called income inequality is supposed to be. People who are very successful in life who did what they needed to do especially early on in life to get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in life and people on the bottom who made mistakes early on in life, like having kids too early or not even finishing high school. But somehow it is unfair that the successful is so successful and people on the bottom in life for them is a struggle.

I’m all in favor of empowering people on the bottom. Whether they are still in school and come from low-income families or are low-income low-skilled adults. Empowering these people to be able to get themselves a good education either while they are still kids, or as adults. And empowering them to either finish their education, or further their education so they can get themselves a good job. And one reason for this is a better skilled, or well-skilled workforce benefits everyone because it means more people with economic security and purchasing power.

And it would be mean that we would need to spend less money on public assistance in this country. Because we would have fewer people either living in poverty or close to living in poverty. Like being short one paycheck of having to live in poverty. But to say lawyers or doctors or business executives making a lot more money than people who drive buses or clean rooms or work in service industries is unfair, is flat false. Because we are paid based on our skills and the work that we do in this country.

The reason why I do not use the term income inequality and prefer to use the term income and education gaps, because income inequality suggests that it is somehow unfair for a doctor to make ten to fifteen times more than someone who cleans building or works in retail as an associate. When the facts are there is a lot more people need to do and be able to do to be a doctor and be successful at it than you need to be a sales associate at a store. And this is the main reason why high-skilled jobs pay so much more than low-skilled jobs.