Income inequality isn’t just about justice; it’s about freedom, too. One view of freedom minimises the state’s role in an individual’s life and maximises markets so that individuals are free to risk whatever they want to risk to be whatever they want to be. Another view sees the obligation of the state to hedge against the risk of the marketplace so that individuals can feel secure enough to be what they want to be.
Obviously, the libertarian view favours someone who can afford risk; the socialist view favours someone who can’t. One view has confidence in the market while the other is skeptical. One view sees income inequality as natural while the other sees it as politically oppressive.
One of the most revealing aspects of the rapidly growing OccupyWallStreet protest movement has been the bewilderment and befuddlement expressed by so many media stars as to what the “message” is of these protests and what these protesters are so angry about. Perhaps this juxtaposition can clarify things…
…Anyone who expressed difficulty seeing or understanding what motivates these protests revealed many things about themselves. None is flattering.