Income Inequality: Conservatives Find Blame, Not Solutions
Jonas Goldberg, a conservative columnist, wrote an article in USA Today called “Define Income inequality” about a 12-year-old girl, Dasani Coates whom recently was living in a homeless shelter with her parents. Mr. Goldberg pointed out that her parents were far from being exemplary parents; the father being absent and the mother being a drug addict who has three children from three different parents.
Jonas makes it clear he understands the girl is a victim but points out it is not because of income inequality that she was living in a homeless shelter. It is her parent’s fault, is what he wants us to understand is the blame for Dasani’s poverty, not the capitalist system that we have here in America.
We get that Mr. Goldberg; kids end up in bad situations thanks to their parents. Then, the kids grow up in poverty and most likely, have kids of their own. Then, their kids are then victims and it is their parents who are to blame, not rich guys on Wall Street just enjoying all the wealth they have managed to accumulate. It is an endless cycle, no one is to blame but those who are in that endless cycle, and we should just leave the rich guys to their moneymaking.
Like most conservatives, Jonas Goldberg only has criticism and blame, no answers. He points this out in his article:
“As a broad generalization, liberals see income as a public good that is distributed, like crayons in a kindergarten class. If so-and-so didn’t get his or her fair share of income, it’s because someone or something — government, the system — didn’t distribute income properly.”
What confuses me about conservatives such as Mr. Goldberg is that their understanding of income distribution; because the wealthy accumulated their wealth most likely on the backs of workers who are paid a certain wage, which is decided by those wealthy employers, does not mean those workers are being paid fairly. Certainly, there are employers who pay their workers good wages and provide decent benefits but that is not always the case. Many workers work for wages that have been stagnant for years, thanks to a low minimum wage.
The government tries to use taxes to even the playing field so that those taxes can pay for social programs, such as Medicaid, Head Start programs, food stamps, etc. to help those who fall between the cracks, such as Dasani Coates. Her parents may be the blame to some extent but Dasani is not to blame and therefore there are social programs to care for her.
Personally, I think taxing the rich is not a sufficient way to even the playing field between the rich and the poor; the wealthy certainly have ways to get around paying taxes, with all the loopholes and tax shelters available to them, thanks to their enormous wealth. Good wages and good benefits are a better method to see that hard work pays off and encourages work instead of welfare.
Throughout Mr. Goldberg’s article, not once does he offer any solutions when it comes to income inequality. He only manages to blame Dasani’s parents, deflecting blame from capitalism, and offers no solution to Dasani’s poverty.
If I walk down the street and see a man lying in the gutter, homeless, I can do as Jonas Goldberg does, blame the man for being lazy, a drunkard, a drug user, or I can blame his parents because perhaps they were lazy, drunkards, drug users, but none of that solves any problems, it only places blame. Perhaps Mr. Goldberg has no answers and it is easier for him to deflect blame from those who are growing their fortunes by paying less than they should to those who work for them.
Poverty has its many reasons but there are also many solutions to help those in poverty, depending on the reasons. Blame is easy but solutions take money.
There are many middle-class families who are doing all the right things: working and trying to pay their bills. Then perhaps, there is an illness and a family member needs medical care. Mr. Goldberg does not like ObamaCare either but then; he has no solutions for how to keep a family from falling in serious debt because of the old health care system, which formerly caused the bankruptcy of many families, no fault of their own.
It is a shame that we have a two-party system now in which one party consistently is looking to find answers to the problems that is facing average Americans, such as unemployment, health care and poverty. Then, we have another party that sits around finding blame for all those problems and criticizing every solution the other party comes up with, offering no solutions of their own. Then, as much as they can, stand in the way of any progress to solve those problems by blocking legislation and refusing to cooperate or compromise.
Perhaps if we had both political parties searching for solutions and then working together to mend their differences, we could actually solve some of the many problems facing our nation. Unfortunately, those like Jonas Goldberg will continue to point out blame and offer nothing but more criticism as the nation grudgingly moves forward in search of a better tomorrow, and that is for us all.