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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Richest people must face up to their responsibility to share the wealth

Dolly Levi said in the entertaining musical "Hello Dolly!"
"Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow."

For decades, I listened to Republicans complaining about tax money "wasted" on welfare programs.  

I often asked these Republicans how they recommended we care for the people who cannot care for themselves? Consistently, their high minded responses were to summon private charities to care for the needy. These same Republicans were nobly supportive of charities like United Way and the Salvation Army. Now, with the United Ways, and the Salvation Army and others in the position of being swamped with requests for funds, these same Republicans are still denying the need for government to provide support for those who cannot care for themselves.

Now there's a widening disparity of wealth distribution throughout the world. But instead of the rich extending their wealth to help the poor, many have been unwilling to support improving the human condition by advocating for increases in minimum wage and cost of living increases, based upon inflation, for social safety nets like Social Security and military pensions. Americans must be dedicated to supporting rising incomes for everyone who works to earn economic security.

An excellent academic paper about income inequality is at this site:  Global Income Inequality by the Numbers:
in History and Now 
http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/pdf/10.1596/1813-9450-6259

Rather than hoard wealth, Republicans must share wealth. If they really believe charity, not government, should care for those who need access to economic security, then, they should lead the way. Republicans should support policies whereby they will engage in sharing their wealth by increasing the minimum wage and supporting child care, access to health care, and social safety nets for the retired and disabled. Sharing wealth will improve the economy of our nation because hard working people will have access to middle class status. When the middle class grows, the economy prospers. Evidence of this is the post World War II economic boom.

Wealthy people have an ethical responsibility to share their money. Income redistribution is the best way to prevent government programs from becoming welfare and charities from going broke trying to help the less fortunate. Let's enjoy Dolly Levi's wisdom and thrive on the economic results.

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