The problem of income inequality is mostly a problem of crowding out working class and middle class people. In other words, it's a cultural idea with economic consequences. The primary problem with the cultural idea is that we have adopted the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" as the appropriate arc for the common man.
Look how everyone wants their phone to be smarter and AIs to deliver them from hard work. How they expect words to be as worthwhile as deeds. What America needs to do is to culturally reject the life of bling, and replace that with a work ethic that includes much respect.
Eating the rich is poking a hornet's nest. It cannot work without a revolution. I repeat. It cannot work without a revolution. Americans are going to have to accept that it's not just the Koch Brothers, but Beyonce, Tom Hanks, Bruno Mars, Drew Brees and LeBron James that they'd have to eat.
What people also need is the focus of attention for their basic needs. That means high quality items need to last. It means I should be able to buy a $400 refrigerator that lasts 10 years. Rugged dependable basic durable goods. It means that I should have no problem whatsoever finding a safe neighborhood if I can only afford $600/mo rent for a 1BR.
I grew up in an era where people regularly said "We were poor but we didn't know we were poor." That's cultural. It's because we had arcs of our lives that didn't depend on the ultra-rich. Those people did not control the things we needed and wanted in life. Then again we didn't expect ski trips to Colorado, or $300 wristwatches. But we also didn't have the monopolies that we have today.
I say the biggest problem is that Americans are oriented towards the blingiest and the blingiest is owned by monopolists. Look at something as simple as eyeglasses. It will scare the pants off you.
I think there is also an impoverishment of thought that gives us the idea that our problem is income inequality and the solution is wealth transfer. Look at what I select as priorities for the Cobb Left, and maybe you can catch my drift.
It is reasonable for people to question curiosity, because curiosity is just another avenue for monetization. I think we need to look at the beast we created with the MBA, the concept that any single-minded hustler can take any idea whatsoever, from pet rock to college coed rating service and turn it into a million or a billion dollars. As long as we keep alive the idea that you can follow your passion and will be economically rewarded, we give license to the common man to abandon the discipline of the practical, and approval for Shark Tank overlords to dangle dollars just above our heads. These are not free markets, these are lottery mechanisms. And yes we have lotteries too.
Our culture has promulgated the illusion that wealth, in and of itself, is evidence of an immoral scam. That is because of an unwillingness to remove the idea of profit from the realm of vice. Too many people believe that profit is prima facie evidence of coercion, that wealth and the abuse of power always go hand in hand. This is what justifies the idea that tearing down all the wealthy to benefit the poor is always a good idea. But not only is it fighting fire with fire, it undermines the cause of structuring society's working classes to attain a moral profit. That is what gets dictatorial powers to those who will lynch capitalists, merely because they are capitalists, and destroys the ability to raise new moral capitalists in the mainstream.
Putting oneself in the shoes of the poor does not mean that suddenly I should hate the wealthy or the talented. We cannot ever afford to steal the profits of people who are not themselves thieves. There is but one morality and it has to do with fairness, in never doing to others what you would not have done to you.
When society believes that wealth and profit are always immoral, we make the talented who attain wealth through profit fear the revenge of society, even as society benefits from their productivity. This is evident in what we lament as income inequality. The rich want to live away from the rest. They are seen as a different kind of human. Whose responsibility is it to teach otherwise? It is everyone's responsibility. Because when a society decides to steal on behalf of the 'noble' desires of the poor to live like the rich, well I think Hayek best called it the road to serfdom.
There is one good life for all men. It is determined by liberty. Liberty cannot be bought with cash. It must be a common value in all of society. Liberty does not abide theft. So let us bring thieves to heel. The presence of wealth is not evidence of a crime.