We've all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favor, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we're told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage.
But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn't rising income inequality - but an all-out war on success?
In this timely and thought-provoking work, Don Watkins and Yaron Brook reveal that almost everything we've been taught about inequality is wrong. You'll discover:
Why successful CEOs make so much money - and deserve to
How the minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help
Why middle-class stagnation is a myth
How the little-known history of Sweden reveals the dangers of forced equality
The disturbing philosophy behind Obama's economic agenda.
The critics of inequality are right about one thing: The American Dream is under attack. But instead of fighting to make America a place where anyone can achieve success, they are fighting to tear down those who already have. The real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success - not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.
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A Passionate and Scholarly work
I would say they are equal. Jeff Cummings does a fantastic job in his narration.
The comparisons to American ideals and founding principles.
This book turned out to be so much more than just the issue of "income inequality'. 'Equal is Unfair' goes after all of the major tenets of modern Leftism. Don Wakins and Dr. Yaron Brook raze modern leftism to the ground, leave no stone unturned, and salt the earth afterwards. The book takes down:
The inequality myth.
The Scandinavian socialism myth.
The myth that the successful are 'exploiters'
The economic pie myth.
Leftwing economist Piketty's statistical manipulations.
The "You didn't build that" rhetoric from those like Warren and Obama.
The left's Success=Luck argument.
FDR and LBJ's Great Society programs.
"Social Justice" advocates.
The inculcation of victimhood by the left in poor ghettos.
And much much more....
Watkins and Dr. Brook attack every leftwing issue on multiple fronts. They prove their case empirically by taking down the statistical manipulations of the left. They prove their case by showing the logical progression of what these ideas entail. They prove their case morally, by showing what these ideas mean to individual human beings and life on this earth, and finally they prove their case by offering a solid alternative.
Political Equality > Economic Equality- Must Read!
An extremely important discussion in the midst of the ever increasing trend in today's culture of divorcing one's self and one's thoughts from reality and rationality. Filled with data, charts, and other references that objectively refute claims of today's inequality alarmists and back up their own.
One of the greatest insights is the only way of eliminating cronyism is to "...create a government that has no favors to grant."
A striking example of the inequality critics' ideology taken to an extreme was that of the horrific Khmer Rouge of Cambodia. One quote from the dictator, Pol Pot lays out the ideology quite explicitly:
"If we can destroy all material and mental property, people will be equal. The moment you allow private property, one person will have a little more, another a little less and then they are no longer equal, and it isn’t communism. But if you have nothing – zero for him, zero for you – that is true equality."
The only true economic equality can be that of the zero, nothingness. Why is this held by some as a moral ideal? The authors point out that, while most egalitarians don't advocate for this extreme application:
"egalitarianism is evil, not because it puts us on a slippery slope to the Khmer Rouge -- it is evil because, IN ANY DOSE, it amounts to waging war on human values: achievement, virtue, independence, intelligence, wealth, opportunity, everything that makes human life and happiness possible. The fact that egalitarianism DOES put us on a slippery slope toward mass carnage only makes matters worse."
I will finish with a quote that summarizes the main debate:
"Americans today face a choice between two moral views. One view upholds JUSTICE: it says that each individual has an equal right to pursue his own happiness and success, and that whatever wealth, income, and opportunities he earns in that pursuit belong to him.
"Another view upholds 'social justice': it says that the government must restrict our freedom to make us economically equal, and that if one person produces 'too much', his hopes and dreams should be sacrificed for the sake of those who haven't produced.
"Either we're all equal in our rights or some people are to be met with burdens and others with special privileges. That is the choice."
- Danny B.