The Boogie Man of Income Inequality Reaches a New Level of Absurdity

In an Urban Institute study, author Stephen Rose reports that the upper-middle class has risen from just under 13% of the population in 1979 to almost 30% in 2014. Good news, right? I mean, those figures overwhelming illustrate that upward economic mobility has improved. In fact, in the study, Rose concludes that “with the exception of the bottom 6 percent, real income growth occurred throughout the income ladder.”

Well, unfortunately, Stephen Rose wasn’t content to marvel at the beautiful, flowering tree of economic progress. Instead, he made himself so dizzy in an attempt to find a boogie man behind the tree that he was able to convince himself that he'd found an ugly, wart-covered troll with which to scare and incite his fellow leftists.

Strictly adhering to the income inequality talking points, Rose scolds, “Any discussion of inequality that is limited to the 1 percent misses a lot of the picture because it ignores the large inequality between the growing upper middle class and the middle and lower middle classes.”

That boogie man flies in the face of Rose’s own claim that “The main reason for the increase in the upper middle class and rich share of total income was not because of growth in income gaps or change in average incomes but because of the growing size of this group.”

Turning economically positive statistics into a condemnation of income inequality takes a special kind of hubris, or rather, a special kind of ideological commitment. The scariest aspect of all of this is being confronted with the reality that leftists apparently want everyone on the same low economic rung. For them, upward mobility is a sin that should be eradicated. In their brave new world, hard work is rewarded with, well, nothing except contempt. Leftist economics demand that everyone must struggle. Flying in the face of actual economic theory and statistics, success is a sign of elitism and oppression for them. Don't be cowed into submission by the made-up leftist boogie man; hard work and commitment is rewarded, for now.