John Ransom

Every time our culture passes gas sideways, liberals love to trot out the theory of “income inequality” as the culprit behind it.

From the modern theory of “bullying,” to global warming, to breast cancer, to riots in Sweden, France, or the disappearance of the arctic ice shelf, income inequality looms large in liberal cosmology.

At a time when more people in the history of world have become upwardly-mobile, solid members of the middle-class, liberals believe that they must stop the natural process by which people are moved out of poverty in favor of some sort of state-sponsored program that ensures “fairness.” 

From the Huffington Post:

Participants in the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland are citing worldwide income inequality as a problem that needs immediate attention, according to multiple reports. The political, cultural and business leaders convening in Switzerland this week are the latest group to express pointed concern over the growing gulf between the planet's richest and poorest citizens.

Several of the wealthiest Davos attendees have told the press that they believe the current lopsided distribution of wealth is unsustainable -- that the "global social-economic order will change, if we want it or not," in the words of one industrialist quoted in Bloomberg.

It's not just them. The Forum's annual Global Risks report names "severe income disparity" as the issue most likely to affect the world over the next 10 years. And a poll of Davos participants conducted by Bloomberg News found that more than half believe income inequality is bad for economic growth -- a conclusion also reached by the International Monetary Fund last year.

About two-thirds believe governments should take active steps to address the issue, the survey also found.

The Davos summit, taking place this week, comes after nearly a year of international protests inspired by a lack of economic opportunities, from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park, and on the heels of numerous studies showing much of the world's population struggling with deprivation.

So to sum:

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.