The liberal political class led by the president have found a new way to stir class resentment with the word "inequality". It turns out "the 1%" wasn't getting any traction and so they are launching a new campaign with a brand new tag line.
And so what does this word mean other than some "folks" have more money than others thus making the world unfair, unequal, therefore unjust? This idea is tired and old. It was first uttered by Karl Marx in the mid 19th century when the struggles were between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Such terms are by now esoteric and would only expose the socialist origins of this "struggle".
Just as "inequality" isn't new so are the calls to use government power to restore balance. These so called solutions expose the lefts mistaken assumptions of just about everything when it comes to how the world works. We've been through this before in one form or another in varying degrees. The president is attempting to rehash class struggle to open up a new agenda. Here are his solutions:
Higher Minimum Wage:
$10.10 ought to do it. This is Obama's magic number. How did you come to that? Well in the state of the union address he said it was "easy to remember". Oh, okay. But what is wrong with $25 an hour? Why stop at ten ten? If a minimum wage doesn't cause unemployment (which it does, why? because the minimum assumes the price of labor has no bearing on supply of jobs and so an arbitrary price on labor could be set without affecting the supply. This is not how economics works, but who said anything about economics?) why not just shoot for the sky? The obvious reason is the very reason why there ought not be a minimum in the first place and that is because it causes fewer jobs. Everyone knows that a minimum price on anything at all will cause shortages, labor works exactly the same way, the only saving grace to the whole thing is the minimum wage is, for the most part, below the actual market minimum and so it acts as moral and political window dressing.
Extended Unemployment Benefits:
Even if we were to assume that inequality is a problem, why is this a solution? In this instance Obama undermines all the wonderful things that are happening with the economy because there are a swath of people unable to find a job for a long period of time under his watch. Mathematically, sure, there's some ledger balancing going on by taking money from businesses and giving it to those who don't have it and in this sense that's all that matters to the left. But it doesn't solve the underlying problem of no jobs.
Universal Pre-K Programs:
You know why people are poor while others are rich? Because we don't "universally" educate pre-K children . Raise your hand if this makes sense. Public schools are not in the business of quality education anymore and to quote Hillary "what difference at this point does it make" if we expand the enterprise? Furthermore if schools were doing a good job in the first place there would be no need for this. What is Obama trying to say?
The other proposals are altering labor laws, infrastructure spending (such a nice sounding intelligent word "infrastructure"), job training, eliminating corporate tax loopholes so they can fork over more of what they make and then pay ten ten; and kind'a sort'a have Joe Biden ask corporations to hire long term unemployed, because you know there are sooo many of them.
To be sure there are too many poor people and many in the middle-class are living in precarious circumstances. The economy isn't good. The problem with "inequality" from the viewpoint of the left is not that the poor don't have their own money, they don't have enough of someone else's.
Which takes us to the big misconception of all and that is how the left perceives wealth. Wealth is not a fixed quantity, it is created new all the time. A person becomes wealthy by creating value from parts (old wealth) into a new whole valued greater than the parts. As noted before wealth isn't fixed, it's dynamic, expandable; not taken from someone else. The solution is to create an atmosphere of new wealth not shift around old wealth. When we say economies grow it means wealth is being created and for that it takes many people to help it along and this translates into jobs.
There will always be "inequality", there's no getting around it. It isn't because we live under an unjust economic system that needs smart people with power to make things fair, it is the nature of a free society when no one is the same, where hard work and good ideas are rewarded. Inequality used to mean unequal protection of the law, the absence of civil rights etc. This new usage is meant as a con to imply victimhood and it also underlines the lefts aversion not only the free-market system but to freedom itself.