by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Andy Serwer’s editor’s note near the front of the latest Fortune magazine tackles the topic of growing income inequality in the United States. Serwer’s observations are disturbing in at least three ways. First, Serwer dismisses out of hand the suggestion from Scott Winship, fellow in economic studies at the (left-leaning) Brookings Institution, that “the evidence is weak” that rising inequality harms the poor and middle class.
Sorry, Scott, I’m quite sure that a widening income gap is a negative, though I admit I am short on data.
If the triumph of feeling over fact isn’t enough for you, Serwer also advocates one of the worst possible options for addressing the problem he sees lurking beneath his lack of evidence.
[W]e should increase the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage was last raised in July 2009 to $7.25 an hour (which works out to $15,080 a year).
Completing the trifecta: Serwer also endorses a government program that’s a proven dud.
As for government transfers, I know there are questions about the efficacy of Head Start, for instance, but it’s hard to believe that sequestration cuts to that program are a benefit to society.