There will always be income disparities in a purely capitalistic economy. There will always be much greater disparities in a mixed, crony socialist, fake money economy. From David Stockman at David Stockman’s Contra Corner via lewrockwell.com:
Nothing speaks to Joe Biden’s don’t “caring economy” better than the recently released “Wage Statistics for 2020” report by the Social Security Administration.
As it happened, 21.3 million Americans employed last year (out of 167.6 million total) earned less than $5,000 during the entire year and, in fact, an average of only $2,127. And those numbers are damn accurate because they come from Uncle Sam’s tax collection division, which does not under-count.
As it also happened, Goldman Sachs announced that it awarded its top two executives, CEO David Solomon and president John Waldron, one-time stock bonuses of $30 million and $20 million, respectively, designed to keep the executives at the helm of Wall Street’s biggest bank for another five years. And alas, these are their bonus amounts at the current stock price. As the Wall Street Journal further explained,
If the bank were to hit the top targets, Mr. Solomon’s bonus would be worth more than $50 million and Mr. Waldron’s would be worth more than $35 million.
Let’s see. At the top-tick, those Goldman bonuses would equal the annual earnings of 40,000 of the above mentioned wage workers!
And, oh, exactly what is the scale of 40,000 workers lined up check-by jowl?
Well, back in the day, your editor represented about 450,000 people in the Fourth Congressional District of Michigan including men, woman, children, criminals, the infirm and Democrats. So these two cats from Goldman are getting a bonus equal to about what would have been one-tenth of a congressional district. That is to say, “bonus” is a word hardly adequate to the task.
To be clear, we don’t begrudge capitalism’s verdicts and its implicit choices of winners and losers. That’s why it works and is the only route to more prosperity, opportunity and choices for everyone. But we do begrudge state policy that drastically distorts and exacerbates the natural outcomes of the market because its just plain unjust; and, in any event, is unsustainable and prone to disastrous outcomes.