The left operates like a bad codependent relationship, constantly generating new crusades to keep its membership base together. Like a fish without active gills, it must keep moving forward in order to stay afloat.
Of the most recent crusades, the most interesting is the War on Inequality. It has not yet begun, but is waiting in the wings especially in the USA were an out-of-the-closet socialist, Bernie Sanders, is running for President. Right now, we have the early stages of the war, which is the victimhood narrative requirement of mourning and self-questioning over “rising inequality.”
Assuming that we take these figures at face value — and we should not, since the liberal method is to choose anecdotal examples, cherry-pick data to avoid contrary viewpoints, and then declare broad conclusions from a tiny sample size — America is becoming a place where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
More interestingly, the middle class appears to be eroding.
Many will point out that, since liberals are the party of egalitarianism and conservatives the party of results, the two will differ. Indeed, both care about inequality, but conservatives see it as a Darwinistic method while liberals see it as The Enemy, as this article discusses:
Inequality is the major theme of the American political debate because inequality is the major theme of the policy debate between the two major parties. The conservative economic agenda at the federal level is built around reducing the portions of the tax code that fall most heavily on the rich and spending that flows most heavily to the poor, and at the state level, to shift the financing structure of government onto the most regressive tax base. The liberal agenda has pushed in the opposite direction.
It is true that liberals talk explicitly about inequality much more than conservatives do. But to conclude that inequality is simply an issue that liberals care about far more than conservatives do (like greenhouse gas emissions, say) is mistaken. The agenda of both American parties is centered on firm beliefs about inequality. The main difference is that Democrats are more prone to frame their inequality-reducing policies as such, while Republicans (understandably) prefer not to frame their inequality-increasing policies in those terms.
Ignoring the obvious fallacy — that allowing a natural process to occur by not instituting “progressive” taxation is not increasing inequality but revealing its actuality — the summation is roughly correct. Liberals want wealth transfer to create equality, conservatives do not.
As said earlier in the article:
In 1972, the neoconservative intellectual Irving Kristol defended existing income inequality on the ground that it simply reflected the natural distribution of human ability. “Human talents and abilities, as measured, do tend to distribute themselves along a bell-shaped curve, with most people clustered around the middle, and with much smaller percentages at the lower and higher ends …” he argued. “This explains one of the most extraordinary (and little-noticed) features of 20th-century societies: how relatively invulnerable the distribution of income is to the efforts of politicians and ideologues to manipulate it. In all the Western nations — the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Germany — despite the varieties of social and economic policies of their governments, the distribution of income is strikingly similar.” This was a comforting story for the right. The level of inequality in the United States happened to be a perfectly optimal reflection of the talent of the populace.
In other words, because our media no longer uses complex terms, Social Darwinism: the idea that income should reflect ability and the best should rise, and that others will do better — a broad tide will raise all boats — if power, wealth and culture are in the hands of the more competent. This idea offends liberals to their core because it points out the contradiction in egalitarianism, which is that there will always be disparate results because there are differing abilities, and thus that attempts to create “equality” amount to parasitism on the more competent in order to subsidize the less, in reversal of evolution itself.
Now that we see where the different sides stand, let us look at the two questions before us, namely whether inequality is rising and whether the middle class is disappearing. As with all writings on this site, I will use a combination of pure logic and unfiltered history. Pure logic means that we analyze a situation by its causes and effects alone, using what we know of logic to point out where some preclude others. Unfiltered history means that we remove the politicized conclusions from the events of the past and look at what actions caused what results. The two, pure logic and unfiltered history, work in parallel because they use essentially the same method, which is the scientific method outside of the linearizing analysis of a laboratory which looks at a single factor of thousands and invents reasons why it should ignore the rest of that context, thus rendering itself fallacious for social, political and cultural discussions.
To an observer a thousand years from now, it will be clear that “rising inequality” is a case of focusing on a detail and missing the background. What has happened in the United States is not that inequality has risen, but that the population has changed in two ways. First, it has shifted from majority Western European (“WASP” in the vernacular) toward majority third world and fringe European under liberal immigration policy, and second, it has been altered by liberal social policy, which has changed focus from a K-strategy focused on strong families to an r-strategy focused on third-world style mass subsidy and absence of stable family, religion and culture.
Since the end of the second World War, which completed the arc of European wars beginning with the French Revolution and ensuing Napoleonic wars, the West has turned down an increasingly liberal path. Unlike previous liberal incarnations however, its liberalism has been of an economic rather than ideological nature, meaning that it follows a financial guideline instead of a purely moral one. Thus unlike the Soviets it does not dive into pure socialism, but funds socialism through capitalism, and unlike the French it does not regulate social mores directly, but relies on the free market media industry to make conservative notions taboo. This is probably what Francis Fukuyama called “the end of history” simply because it is the most effective form of authoritarianism ever created.
During the French Revolution, one of the cries of the Revolutionaries was for “internationalism,” or the idea that all workers worldwide were in solidarity by social class and not national origin, so national boundaries should be abolished. This idea lives on as multiculturalism, diversity and other synonyms for what is essentially racial pluralism. It appeals because it tears down social standards, and for no other reason. Revolutionaries always destroy social standards because their goal is to replace multi-tiered hierarchy with a giant mob following ideology and a strong leader to keep that mob pointed in the right path. There is no other term for what they do than “breakdown,” and liberals spend most of their time denying that (for the purposes of this article, “liberal” and “leftist” mean the same thing, just as Communist and Socialist are differences of degree not different philosophies — a Communist is merely a Socialist who recognizes that in order for People’s Utopia to come about, it must have strong authoritarian power).
In the United States, starting with the Hart-Cellar act in 1965, immigration has shifted toward third world populations. These are different from first-world populations not in “skin color,” as the popular media alleges, but culture and biological abilities. If the third world could have produced what the first world did, it would have done so, and colonized the first world instead. This is pure logic: every species struggles for supremacy, and every population aims to be as powerful as possible, with those who cannot do so being ground down under their wheels, part of the process we call “evolution” or “Darwinism.” There was no lack of trying in the third world to reach military supremacy, as the Mongol invasions and Muslim raids that provoked the Crusades show us. The West achieved stability of society and higher average IQs and beat them out, despite being severely threatened by them, especially by the Mongol raids which may have several centuries later provoked colonialism as a means of avoiding a repeat of those brutal years.
The people coming into the United States now are almost all already of mixed-race as most third-world populations are, and generally of lower IQ. Not surprisingly, IQs in the West have dropped 14 points in the last century. Those figures do not tell us when IQs fell, but a logical inference is that recent immigration has something to do with it. That alone explains inequality, which is that if you take a thriving first-world population and import a third-world population which lacks the ability to achieve what that first world population did, the third-world population will remain poor and thus statistically inequality will rise. Factor into that cultures based on endurance of dysfunction rather than fixing it, and you see a society where only a few will have any wealth but they will have many customers for whom what they do is witchcraft or magic.
Leaving that aside, as it is politically taboo to mention, it is worth mentioning what has happened since 1965 under liberal social programs. Casual sex has become the norm; stable families the rarity. This means that people are more neurotic, less able to commit and less likely to be stable themselves. In other words: they are more dysfunctional (or “less functional”). This also explains inequality. Add to this the rising tax burden to support Great Society and New Deal programs which like zombies rise from the dead because it is seen as gauche, ignorant and uncultured to vote against them, and we can see where the situation has broadened. Even worse is what we have done to education, which is taking it from “competitive” to “participative,” such that any degree except a graduate or professional school degree is officially worthless. To have a $70k job now the average person must be extraordinarily lucky, or put down $200k for schooling through age 27.
Let us also mention rising costs. As social disorder increases, the comfortable middle class subdivisions of the past vanish. Instead, one must buy into a gated community. In the past, people could simply buy homes; now they must buy luxury homes to escape the roiling violence of the permanent social underclasses. In the past, grocery store food was safe and local; now you must go to Whole Foods to get eggs that taste like eggs or bread with fewer than 1500 ingredients. Water was once safe, but now it is Mexico City water, so you must buy filters. Living as a normal human being has become more expensive than middle class salaries can afford, which explains the second question being asked here, which is whether “rising inequality” is a cover story for elimination of the middle class by dysfunctional liberal programs.
I rest my case. The distinction remains obvious: we are engaged in a war of narratives. The left argues we are victims of some external force, whether the shadowy the RichTM or favorite scapegoats like The Jews or The Racists, but on the right, we see the problem as degeneration or the breakdown of our culture, people and individual abilities. This is the real inequality occurring: we are converting the West into another third-world remnant of a once-great civilization, and therefore, the few competent and realistic people are becoming radically wealthy, along with the corrupt of course. The rest are just trying to hang on and are being eliminated by replacement DNA and lifestyles which reward idiotic obedience in order to afford escape from the rising third-world society within our society, which will eliminate them, leaving a vast horde of low-IQ people ruled by a handful of smart plutocrats, as is the case in almost every third-world society. Eventually, the herd will rise up and eliminate even those, leaving only a vast equal mass of mid-80s average IQ and no prospects beyond living in filth, corruption and dysfunction.