“Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.
“Intellectuals’ obsession with income statistics — calling envy “social justice” — ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone’s well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.”
Thomas Sowell on The Inequality Bogeyman
“These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation — if not obsession — of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.” … “We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.”
Rather than obsess on the wealth, it would probably be better to look at just what the wealthy did for others.
“Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, “The night cometh when no man can work” still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.”
Finding just what some wealthy person did for the ‘common man’ is easiest for those directly connected to innovation and industry such as Edison, Ford, Gates, and Jobs. It is a bit more difficult when wealth is acquired at the second level, that of capital formation and management. That is why Wall Street is so often a target of the leftist envy. That envy is what killed the goose that laid golden eggs. It has caused much human misery.