What’s notable to me is not that a
progressive regressive professor in Chapel Hill would hold such views, its that an academic elite claiming to be interested in reducing poverty is so intellectually uncurious. I’ve written before on Nichol’s class envy rhetoric, and what I find most striking about his writing and the work of the UNC Poverty Center is their absolute refusal to attempt to understand how to reduce poverty. Instead, they are more interested in ginning up anger against the owners of capital and keeping the poor dependent on government programs.
Back to today’s article, a couple of sections are worth commenting on.
And, of course, the United States again embraced larger income gaps between its rich and poor members than any other advanced Western industrial nation.
Aside from using this data as a pretext to lobby for political control over our economic resources, why is it any business of Nichols how much some people earn compared with others? And is Nichol not the least bit curious why income gaps exist? Perhaps it is the interventionist nature of government that protects entrenched businesses against competitors that provides the insulation for “the rich?” But I’m sure Nichol thinks that the root of income disparity is that individuals in this nation simply have too much freedom to decide what to do with their money.
Nichol then devotes two paragraphs decrying the high cost of luxury items and then following up by noting Walmart offering smaller-sized packages of toilet paper because its consumers couldn’t afford to buy more. And this has happened within the last couple of years. But Nichol makes no mention of why this may be the case. He puts no thought into the policy of Federal Reserve money creation to pay for all of his beloved social programs. The problem being, that new money goes first to those closest to the political elite – so we see Wall Street bankers getting the money first and having the buying power to purchase expensive luxury items while working class folks see prices rise on everyday items before the newly created money trickles down to them. But alas, Nichol can’t be bothered with critical thinking when he is merely attempting to manipulate people’s emotions.
And of course he dare not link the plight of the poor and minority communities over the last couple of years to the policies coming from the White House.
Then Nichol ends with this:
It takes a good measure of hubris, in 2011, to press a political agenda whose operative assumption is that those at the bottom have too much and those at the top don’t have enough.
But Nichol’s “operative assumption” is that government owns (or should own) all of the wealth in the country and then “distribute” it equitably. Of course elites like him at government-funded universities will get a larger share because he is one of the chosen ones who gets to determine what exactly is “too much” for anybody.
If folks like Nichol were truly interested in reducing poverty, they would actually make an attempt to understand the process of wealth creation – rather than just creating envy-filled tirades and calling for more government control over society. Perhaps the law professor should pick up an economics book sometime.