We have severe income disparities in the United States. Over the last 50 years, the highest-earning 20% of U.S. households have steadily garnered a larger share of the country’s aggregate income. According to Census Bureau data, in 2018, households in the top fifth of earners (with incomes of $130,001 or more that year) brought in 52% of all U.S. income, superseding the lower four-fifths combined.
Income inequality is not inherently a bad thing. The highest sector of the income distribution provides the populace with the best and newest goods and services, and they do it most efficiently. Nevertheless, when billionaires are making almost $500,000,000,000 in profit amidst the Coronavirus pandemic while half the country heads towards insolvency, it becomes clear as to why we now see a prodigious sector of the population embracing Socialism.
What is the modern conservative solution to this predicament? They don’t have one. Today’s conservatives tell those in poverty that they simply need to “work harder.” They tell them that they are in their situation at no other fault but their own. While this is true to an extent, it is not the approach we should be taking. It is not an approach that wins support, especially when the opposition exploits the struggles of the working class for political gain, touting an egalitarian utopia. Conservatives further the idea that the only thing separating someone in abject poverty from becoming Jeff Bezos is effectively how hard they are willing to work. It is this mindset that has led to a severance between conservatives and the poorer population, a divide that was only reciprocated upon the election of President Donald Trump.
Inequality of outcome due to natural occurrences leads to envy. Envy leads to crime. Envy also leads to political movements like the ones we are currently witnessing. It is no coincidence that egalitarian societies are usually more stable than ones plagued with variability. Hence, dealing with income inequality is a conduit towards the fostering of a strong social fabric. If Republicans seek to maintain political power, they must address this pressing issue. Middle-class patriots need our help.
Patriot Politics is a 16-year-old paleoconservative activist, content creator, and freelance writer. He recently co-founded the advocacy organization “ConserveGenZ.”