OPINION

Opinion: Income equality or redistribution of misery?

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Walmart employee Adriana Cajuso (2L) rings up the purchases of customer Yoalmi Matias as she checks-out at a Walmart store on February 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  The Walmart company announced Thursday that it will raise the wages of its store employees to $10 per hour by next February, bringing pay hikes to an estimated 500,000 workers.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Walmart employee Adriana Cajuso (2L) rings up the purchases of customer Yoalmi Matias as she checks-out at a Walmart store on February 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida. The Walmart company announced Thursday that it will raise the wages of its store employees to $10 per hour by next February, bringing pay hikes to an estimated 500,000 workers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

With the help of other partners, Univision recently launched a new campaign: “Desigualdad” or “Income Inequality.” The timing is perfect — if you want to champion it as a divisive issue in the 2016 elections. The problem is that if we believe the “facts” presented, the very people they say they care about are the very ones that will lose on every count.

Wealth does not last too long in a system based on envy and hate for its successful citizens. There goes the cases of Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina, to name a few.

- Maricruz MaGowan

Yes, there are millions of people still living in poverty, but the truth is that in the last 30 years alone, poverty has been reduced significantly worldwide in the countries that implemented and championed free-market economies. In the ones that used the policies that the liberal agenda attacks so strongly. 

According to the World Bank estimates, in 2012, 12.7 percent of people in the developing world lived at or below $1.90 a day; down from 37 percent in 1990 and 44 percent in 1981. This means that 896 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day, compared to 1.93 billion in 1981. Of those, fewer than 50 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia combined!

Meanwhile, the governments that preached and implemented government-controlled agendas – the liberal credo – have sent millions of innocent human beings into horrible levels of poverty and corruption; at first they felt good about “redistributing wealth,” but then they faced the reality of “redistributing misery.”  

Wealth does not last too long in a system based on envy and hate for its successful citizens. There goes the cases of Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina, to name a few.

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There are only two basic ways to reduce income inequality: One is promoting economic growth, by allowing people to be self-sufficient, innovative, in an environment of sensible regulations and tax levels that would not strangle the private sector — especially the ones that are just starting. 

The second way is by taking everybody down, making sure that the successful, hardworking entrepreneurs and small-business owners – also called, with despise, “the rich” – would be castigated by forcing them to pay the highest corporate taxes in the world, regulating everything they do, to the point that they have no option but to close their businesses or leave the U.S., and of course laying off people on the way.

Income Inequality is not a loose term. It is an economic issue measured by the Gini Coefficient (after Economist Corrado Gini). This coefficient represents the income distribution of a nation’s residents. If it is close to 1(100 percent), the country is suffering from maximum inequality. On the contrary, zero expresses perfect equality. A Gini Coefficient of more than 50 percent is considered high. 

If you would believe Univision’s statements, you would think that the U.S. has a Gini coefficient of at least 0.9 (90 percent) or why not 1(100 percent). However, the fact is that the United States has a Gini Coefficient of 0.36 (36 percent) that has remained essentially flat since the 1960s, while at the same time our citizens enjoy among the highest per capita income levels in the world. Surprised?

The fight against poverty is far from over, but we will not keep reducing it by going backward, but forward. 

According to the World Bank and The Brookings Institution, looking ahead to 2015, the number of people living under $1.90 per day will fall to under 600 million, less than half the number of people cited by our left-wing politicians and media.

In sum, income inequality is a quantitative issue backed by facts, numbers and indicators. It is not, as the left want us to believe, an “opinion matter.” If Univision wants to keep making the case with more “let’s hate the rich, so we will become a nation of millions of poor people, so everybody will feel good,” they will have to look for another topic, because this one can be measured. 

If they want to promote higher salaries for the poor, for our community, for women, then they will have to promote education, and why not, they should start by educating themselves, so their new advocacy campaign “Desigualdad” will be carried out based on knowledge, integrity and by the principles that all journalists should abide when they inform and “educate” our community. It is about time.

Maricruz MaGowan is an Economist who works as an Economic and Political Commentator. She has over 30 years of professional experience in the U.S. and Latin America.

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