Over at the unofficial think tank of the one percent — better known as the Heritage Foundation — Lachlan Markay claims Americans don’t much care about the ever-widening gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of the country. 

That’s no surprise. Heritage, after all, is lavishly funded by millionaires and billionaires for the clear purpose of expanding the gap between the rich and everyone else. It does so by churning out spurious arguments in favor of polices that redistribute wealth upwards, like the impressively dishonest claim that a cut in capital gains taxes paid almost exclusively by the wealthy would primarily benefit the non-wealthy — not to mention the callous argument that the poor are doing just fine because they have access to refrigerators. It then denounces anyone who dares study the inevitable results of these policies. The Heritage Foundation claiming people don’t care about the predictable results of a system rigged in favor of wealthy elites is a bit like Jesse James insisting nobody cares about bank robberies.

Markay’s argument has two components, neither of them convincing. First, he writes:

A new poll shows that, despite attempts by liberal protesters and politicians to inject class resentment into the national debate, Americans, by and large, remain unconcerned by income inequality.

Gallup reports that only 2 percent of Americans list the “divide between rich and poor” as the most important economic issue facing the country. Those findings come from an open-ended survey, meaning respondents were not confined to a pre-selected group of responses. Unemployment and the national debt top the list, but all told, a full 17 economic issues rank higher in the American political consciousness than income inequality.

Though Markay pretends they’re the same thing, there’s a difference between few people thinking income inequality is the nation’s biggest current economic problem and Americans “remain[ing] unconcerned by income inequality.” This difference is magnified by the fact that several of the economic issues mentioned more frequently than the “divide between rich and poor” have a great deal to do with that divide.

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Tags: Heritage Foundation, Economy, Taxes

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