Not zero sum
President Obama and other Democrat politicians want us to believe income inequality or the “wealth gap” is a national scandal. Income equality is not the proper measure of how fair is our society because the economy is always growing and, therefore, those on the top have far more wealth than ever before. However, the real indicators of our charitable spirit are how well the poorest among us are doing and how socially mobile is our society.
In an exhaustive study of poverty in America, researcher Robert Rector pointed out that the overwhelming majority of those defined as poor have air conditioning, cable TV, microwaves and other amenities, are well housed, have an adequate food supply and have access to medical care. A hundred years ago, even the rich didn't have some of the things that the poor have today.
Social mobility in America also demonstrates how easy it is to get ahead. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were not born wealthy but were able to achieve incredible wealth through their accomplishments. Thousands of industrial leaders, scientists, athletes and entertainers who were not born rich have accumulated great wealth from their achievements.
Our free-market economy is not zero sum. No one in America is poor because someone else is wealthy.
The writer was the Republican candidate for the District 8 Allegheny County Council seat in the Nov. 5 election.