Now, without giving too much personal information away, my own annual salary is over seven times the average poverty-level income in the United States this year. To some that’s pretty unequal, and I can imagine that a person making only $11,490 a year with no other source of income probably feels pretty bad-off compared to me. But consider that the annual income Bill Gates, according to this website, is about $3.7 billion. That’s $3.7 billion dollars a year! So Gates’s annual income is more than 43,500 times my own. That’s monstrously unequal by almost anyone’s standard. But it’s funny—maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel oppressed by that fact at all. What does that mean?
I think it means that what most of us object to is not income inequality per se (although I know some people do) but poverty. So the question becomes: What is the best way to fight poverty?
The government has no business telling private employers what to pay or telling workers they cannot offer their labor services at less than the legal minimum wage, even if they are willing to do so to retain or get a job. The President’s minimum wage is anti-economic freedom and violates personal freedom; Gap’s higher entry wage does neither. This is a case of “the emperor has no clothes!”