Emmett Tyrrell

De Blasio shares with another so-called "progressive" the ill-informed view that income inequality is a grave problem in America. His fellow progressive, President Barack Obama, said on Dec. 4 that "a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" is "the defining challenge of our time." But inequality is "growing" only if you listen to the tendentious left. Truth be known, according to a scholarly study conducted by Lee Ohanian and Kip Hagopian for Policy Review, "inequality actually declined 1.8 percent between 1993 and 2009. ... " Even the president admitted in his December speech that the rate of poverty has declined by 40 percent since 1967 from 26 percent to 16 percent, but ignored this passage's import in his speech. Other studies, for instance, one released by the Congressional Budget Office in October 2011, have come to similar conclusions.

The reason these demagogues overstate income inequality is that they rely on studies that ignore taxes, for instance, the progressive income tax, and transfer payments to the poor, for instance, nutrition assistance, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare. Also they ignore the Earned Income Tax Credit and in the months ahead the transfer payments from Obamacare that the better off and the young will pay out. When you add these up, the poor have been doing rather well.

Yet the poor are not doing as well as they could be doing from a faster growing economy and better jobs. The problem in New York is the same as the problem in America as a whole. The economy is growing too slowly, and nothing the Hon. de Blasio or the president prescribes will fix it.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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