… is from page 158 of Lee Ohanian’s speech to a September 2014 conference on inequality sponsored by the Hoover Institution; this speech is published as part of the just-releaseed collection Inequality & Economic Policy: Essays in Memory of Gary Becker :
My view is that inequality is not an issue that policy should address. Some have argued that policy should redistribute incomes away from the highest earners. This view is counterproductive, as it does not sufficiently recognize that our top earners create enormous surpluses for society. Bill Gates at Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple, Fred Smith at FedEx, Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, and many others who started new businesses have directly and indirectly created millions of new jobs, created new industries, and transformed our society. And these individuals have received only a tiny fraction of the economic value that they have created.