Focus Point - Wealth GapCommentary by Pete du Pont
October 27, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. You know the liberals who keep reminding us that income in equality is increasing ... well, guess what, they're right. What they don't mention is that income inequality has risen most sharply during Bill Clinton's presidency.
They also forget to mention that no group is worse off in absolute terms, because the average real income of every group rose last year over 1998 and is well above the 1992 level. Standards of living have risen even for those whose share of total income has fallen.
What the income gappers also usually fail to mention is that while the gap has grown, median household income has risen to its highest level ever, and the poverty level is at its lowest since 1979 - - just before the Reagan boom began.
And why is this happening? Because wealth isn't a zero sum game. Just because one person gets more doesn't mean another person has less. The point isn't so much to close the wealth gap; it's to give everyone the chance to gain more wealth.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.