In this talk hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Yaron Brook discusses the left’s focus on the issue of income inequality, the issue covered by his new book, Equal is Unfair: American’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality.
While the left uses the idea of inequality as a rhetorical device to claim the moral high ground and thereby justify more government intervention, Brook points out that inequality is a metaphysical fact of human nature. We are all different. We have different skills, different abilities, different ambitions. Michelangelo is a better artist than Yaron and LeBron James is a better basketball player, and these differences are a good thing, and we have no difficulty accepting them. It is no different in the case of a successful businessman who creates a lot of wealth.
There is no difference between being a great businessman, a great entrepreneur, a great artist, being a great basketball player. They are all manifestations of hard work, the exercise of human reason, applying yourself and making the best of your life you can make. We should celebrate these people.
The left, including the likes of Thomas Piketty and President Obama, want to portray inequality as a problem, as something that damages, slows, economic growth. History provides ample refutation of this idea. One only need to look at America and Europe in the 19th century, where inequality was growing due to the industrial revolution, but everyone’s life was getting better. The same can be seen today in China and India, where in last 30 years more than a billion people have been lifted out of poverty. Not by charity or foreign aid, but by adopting a little bit of capitalism, i.e. freedom.
Income inequality is irrelevant. What we stand for is freedom. What we fight for is freedom. What matters is freedom. Click & Tweet!
Following the 40-minute talk is a 25 minute Q&A session, always a favorite of mine. Yaron answers questions about the Federal Reserve, the left’s taking over the meaning of central concepts (e.g. liberal), Donald Trump and more.