Derrick Z. Zaps 'Wasteful Rich'

Amongst Derrick Z. Jackson's many fulminations in his Boston Globe column of this morning, The Divide Remains, this one leapt out at me: "the great gorge between the working poor and the wasteful rich remains far from being bridged."

Since Jackson never gets around to substantiating his 'wasteful rich' allegation, it's hard to see it as other than a gratuitous slur by a entrenched class warrior. Jackson is the apparent captive of a socialist mindset in which 'the rich' are straight-from-Monopoly caricatures who steal from the poor while not laying about or downing champagne in big-band nightclubs.

Other annotated tidbits from Jackson's column, written in praise of minimum wage increases and condemnation of those would oppose them:

"The Legislature ignored ridiculous rationalizations against an increase and overrode Governor Mitt Romney's veto of the hike. The minimum wage will be $8 an hour by 2008. When he vetoed the increase, Romney whined that 'such abrupt and disproportionate increases would threaten to eliminate jobs in Massachusetts.'"

Ridiculous rationaliziations? Try this one, Mr. Jackson: it's not the legislature's money. Jackson's proposal amounts to imposing a tax on low-skilled jobs.  And when you tax something . . . you get less of it.

"Even as advocates for the working poor were celebrating here and in places like Chicago, where the city council passed an ordinance requiring 'big-box' retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Target to pay $10 an hour by 2010, virtually everyone knows this is the least that politicians can do. The progressive think tanks of United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies have calculated that if the minimum wage had risen at the same rate of CEO pay since 1990, it would stand at $23 an hour."

So $10/hour is 'the least' employers can do. Jackson would apparently like to see a $23/hr. minimum wage, but fails to inform us how many millions of entry-level workers would be left unemployed as a result.

Concludes Jackson: "Even with the rises around the nation, America's wealth and income remains cut into proportions beyond moral justification."

Give Jackson credit for not being coy in calling for the application of government power to radically redistribute income. From each according to his abilities, to each . . .

Economy Boston Globe