Holman Jenkins, like any good upper class white male member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, is absolutely perplexed by America's "Inequality Obsession." Look America, the whole "I am concerned about the alarming levels of income inequality in America" thing? Yeah. It's getting to be kind of... how can Holman Jenkins put this politely... an obsession. Not cute.
"Income inequality is a strange obsession, at least to the extent the obsessives focus their policy responses on trying to adjust the condition of the top 1% rather than improving the opportunities of everyone else," writes Holman Jenkins. You're looking at this the wrong way, old boy. Give me your money, Holman Jenkins. That would improve my condition. The effect on your condition is merely incidental. Stop being so self-centered.
Why are the 99% of Americans who are not in the top 1% of American income so obsessed with the fact that they find themselves rather poor while others are fabulously wealthy? Holman Jenkins has some theories:
One factor is a certain human soul-sickness that's impossible to put a constructive gloss on. Why is the New York Times disproportionately given over to cataloging the consumption of the rich in a tone even more cringing for its pretending to be snarky? Why do some of our dreariest journalists spend all their time writing about Goldman Sachs, except to associate themselves with the status object they attack in order to raise their own status?
That goes doubly for the inequality obsessives. How society stimulates the creation and distribution of income is an important topic-so important that one could wish it were less infected with the pathology Freud diagnosed as "group spirit" and which he said was ultimately founded on envy.
You know which humans have "soul-sickness?" Not people who hoard far more wealth and resources than they need while others starve. No. It's the people who spend time discussing the fact that such inequality exists. That is just sick.