Under Obama, The Rich Have Gotten Richer


President Obama is nothing if not a class warrior, using the themes of the Occupy Wall Street movement to color his railing about the “1%” not “paying their fair share,” etc., etc.

But what if it turned out the rich had actually gotten richer under President Obama’s governance? Remember too that from 2007 through 2010 Congress was controlled by Democrats, too (via Legal Insurrection):

From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896.

These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat.

Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home.

Our friends on the left don’t like to admit this, but the big government policies they promote actually do quite a bit to promote the very sort of income inequality they claim to hate (though many of their claims about income inequality are also inaccurate, but I digress).

Generally speaking, higher taxes and more complicated regulatory regimes put up barriers to entering the marketplace. These sort of policies tend to favor big business, and hurt small business, because it’s easier for big businesses to absorb the cost of complying with/paying new taxes and regulations.

That has a domino effect across the economy, holding down entrepreneurs. Holding down hiring. Generally, just holding down people. And so, in general, the poor stay poor and the rich keep getting richer because the government makes it harder for people to lift themselves up.

Except through the expanded entitlement state which, as we know, hasn’t exactly served as an avenue to self-sufficiency let alone individual achievement.

In the end, it isn’t the free market or capitalism or really even “big business” that stands in the way of ending classism and income inequality (to the extent that either can be ended). Truly free markets reward merit, not class distinctions and political connections. It takes giant bureaucracies and overbearing government to reward those things.

The “too big to fail” mentality wasn’t a construct of the free market. It was a construct of the government.

Big business indexes directly to big government. The left is their own worst enemy.