Of All the Crazy Media Ideas

I know because I spend all my time writing and speaking about strategy, I see the world how the world works in a way most people don't. But I find it hard to believe that anyone with more than a second-grade education buys into this particular "news story," but considering that this story comes out once every few months, and nobody laughs at it, I guess I am wrong. The story in question? The Gap between the Rich and Poor has Gotten Worse This is a terrible thing, right? But every time I hear it, all I can think is "What great news!" Why? The poorest people produce nothing of value and live on the street. They include alcoholics, drug-addicts, and mentally ill, and some "normal" people who choose to live outside of society, free from all obligations and regulation, living from hand to mouth and what they can beg, scavenge, or steal. Who are the rich? They are the people who produce a great deal of value, those who start their own businesses and build them, creating products people want to buy and jobs that people want to work in. These people make the greatest contribution to society. Now what are we saying when we say that the gap between the first group (the poor) and the second group (the rich) has gotten wider? Do we mean that the poor are rewarded less? No, those that produce nothing cannot be rewarded less for it. The bottom of this gap is always in the same place. The gap is getting bigger because the group that produces the most value is now producing even more value. Is this a bad thing? This means that society is getting wealthier and people are producing more. So, the bottom stays the same and the top moves up. The gap widens. How could this happen differently? What kind of world do the writers of these articles imagine? Are they against the most productive people becoming more productive? Do they imagine that people on the street can somehow going to get richer without producing anything? The St Vincent de Paul Society, the source of this particular article, works with these poor everyday. They know better than anyone that "the poor will always be with us," to quote a famous philosopher on the subject. The poorest will always produce nothing, make nothing, and own nothing. We can make their lives more comfortable, and thereby increase the numbers of people who are comfortable producing nothing, making nothing, and owning nothing, but this doesn't close the gap. At the very bottom of the gap, zero is always zero.