Lethargy worse problem than inequality

The rise of the Republican Party in Mississippi is a clear sign that people are prospering on their own and support the free market and individual initiative. Recent efforts by candidates to raise the populist ghost have failed while the country club Republicans have won. Message to me: More people are joining the country club.

There is one huge gaping hole in the rich-poor statistics. It assumes that the same people are rich and the same people are poor. In fact, these aren’t the same people at all. Many of the people who were on the bottom 15 years ago are now at the top. The stats don’t reflect this.

A perfect example would be young people just out of school. Just starting out, they are at the bottom. But they don’t stay there for long. Fifteen years later, many are at the top. There have been many studies tracking this. Class mobility in America is huge. As America prospers, there are more rich people. This is a good thing. It means young people out of school have a better chance of hitting the big time. This provides motivation and gives young people something to strive for.

If we paid our young people and others a ton of money right out of school, there would be a smaller income gap in our country. Do we really want to do that? Given our level of prosperity, it seems reasonable to teach our young people the importance of hard work.

The liberals see the country as fixed in concrete, as though nobody makes more or less. They see the poor as the poor and the rich as the rich, with nothing changing. This just isn’t how it works.

Think about people you know. Think about young people who have moved up in their careers. Think about all the young people from lower-income families who are now successful professionals. Think about how many once-wealthy families are working hard to pay their bills. Life doesn’t stay the same. Things change.

I subscribe to the concept of the safety net and we have a good one in this country. Any seriously ill person can walk into any emergency room in the country and get treatment, no questions asked. We have dozens of welfare programs. Half the adults in Mississippi don’t work. Anyone who is willing to show up on time, stay sober and work hard can get a good job in Mississippi. The truth of this is obvious to any observant Mississippian.

Wyatt Emmerich
Clarksdale Press Register
5/21/8