Dr. Helen

Equal is Unfair

I am reading a new book by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook entitled Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality. From the description:

We’ve all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favor, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we’re told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage.

But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn’t rising income inequality―but an all-out war on success?

In Equal is Unfair, a timely and thought-provoking work, Don Watkins and Yaron Brook reveal that almost everything we’ve been taught about inequality is wrong. You’ll discover:

• why successful CEOs make so much money―and deserve to
• how the minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help
• why middle-class stagnation is a myth
• how the little-known history of Sweden reveals the dangers of forced equality
• the disturbing philosophy behind Obama’s economic agenda.

The critics of inequality are right about one thing: the American Dream is under attack. But instead of fighting to make America a place where anyone can achieve success, they are fighting to tear down those who already have. The real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success―not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.

It is a great read and personally, I found the book uplifting and inspirational as a libertarian who believes that individuals should be free to achieve to their highest level, not be leveled out to the lowest common denominator. The authors conclude with a chapter on how to save the American Dream:

Creating a culture hospitable to success will require us to nurture certain ideas: that individuals are fundamentally in control of their own lives; that they are responsible for their own failure or success; that success is something good, desirable, and admirable, not something that has to be atoned for by “giving something back.” And it will require us to fight–self-confidently and unapologetically–for political policies that protect our freedom to pursue and enjoy success. That’s a fight worth fighting–and it’s a fight that can be won.

I always wonder about people and companies who are always talking about “giving back” as if they have to atone for their success. Or maybe it is simply lefty posturing to show that one is a “good person” or a good company in order to receive rewards or increased sales. As the authors conclude, if we re-learn to value success, maybe this country can be great again.