Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute devotes his latest column at National Review Online to the limits of class-warfare rhetoric.

Hooray! The stock market crashed! Oh, wait — you’re not happy about that? But inequality in America has decreased. Those evil capitalists, Wall Street traders, and Chamber of Commerce types lost billions. This was a dream scenario for the Left and for populists of all stripes.

On Monday alone, more than $1.8 trillion in wealth evaporated. After losing a combined $182 billion last week, the world’s 400 richest people lost $124 billion on Monday. Charles Koch alone lost $1.3 billion that day!

Some on the Left were practically gleeful. “For the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class have rigged the rules to redistribute wealth to the richest among us,” Bernie Sanders tweeted, with the clear implication that they were finally getting what they deserved.

Schadenfreude may be sweet, but it is hardly sound public policy.

In fact, the market downturn exposes the fallacy of the Left’s obsession with inequality. Average Americans are no better off because millionaires and billionaires are poorer. We may actually be worse off.

That is because to a much larger degree than the Left would like to believe, we are all capitalists now. A recent Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans currently have money invested in the stock market. That represents about half of all households. Even among the poorest 20 percent of Americans, more than one in ten has money invested in the market.