NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 16, 2005

Despite a strong economy, the media continues to peddle the myth that President Bush created a new class of "hyperrich" that is gobbling up more pieces of the economic pie and leaving everyone else crumbs, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

IBD says in their rush to socially re-engineer reality, critics make a number of faulty assumptions:

  • The economic pie does not represent a fixed amount, whereby gains for some necessarily result in losses for others; the pie can grow -- and it does, at a 4 percent annual average, thanks in large part to the Bush tax cuts.
  • Social classes in America are not static; since the 1980s anti-tax revolution, the ranks of the poor (and middle class) have shrunk as the ranks of the rich have swelled, meaning the rich are getting richer and the poor are also getting richer.
  • The latest Census shows over half of poor families own two or more color TVs, one in four have a big-screen TV, and nearly three in four own a VCR or DVD player.

Class warriors also claim artificial barriers stop the poor from joining the ranks of the upper class. IBD says, actually, rags-to-riches stories happen every day in America. Consider:

  • Nearly 30 percent of poor climbed into the top income bracket between 1975 and 1991, according to a longitudinal study of 17,000 people by the University of Michigan.
  • A separate Federal Reserve study found that in the 1990s more households than ever jumped from the poorest fifth to the richest.

The rich are the engine of the economy that drives living standards for all, says IBD. An economy with equal incomes would mean a Third World economy with Third World per-capita income or the institutionalized joblessness -- and mass rioting -- of "Eurosclerotic" nations such as France.

Class warriors want to look at America as a nation of haves and have-nots. In reality, says IBD, we are a nation of haves and have-mores.

Source: Editorial, "Class Warriors March Again," Investor's Business Daily, December 8, 2005.


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