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Joseph Farah
Joseph Farah
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Preaching Income Inequality Pays $225,000


You have to love the way progressives work. And the work pays — usually at the expense of taxpayers.

A case in point is liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Krugman's specialty is whining about "income inequality" and demanding that government do more redistribution, despite all evidence indicating such efforts are the cause of the problem rather than the solution.

For his good works, Krugman has been rewarded, much to even his surprise, with an offer to become a professor, or "distinguished scholar," at the taxpayer-funded City University of New York's Luxembourg Income Study Center, a part of the Graduate Center, for $225,000 a year. Does that sound like a lot of money? Well, get this: The offer does not even require teaching . It's a show job, one that promises, according to the graduate school president, a "comfortable perch."

So what does he have to do for the dough?

The offer letter explains: "(Y)ou will not be expected to teach or supervise students." What then? "Instead, you will be asked to contribute to our buildup of LIS and the inequality initiative and to play a modest role in our public events."

In other words, it's vague. But the university wanted him to have the money. Perhaps it's part of CUNY's war on income inequality. Krugman will be asked to teach one seminar per year starting in the second year of his contract. At least he'll have plenty of time to prepare.

In his letter of acceptance, he wrote: "I admit that I had to read it several times to be clear ... it's remarkably generous."

Remarkably generous, indeed, which is why I'm remarking on it. It's even more remarkable when you consider the offer will be paid with other people's money — namely taxpayers.

By the way, this is hardly the first time Krugman has been so honored and rewarded for whining about income inequality.

He was awarded a Nobel Prize. He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, one of the highest distinctions available to a living economist.

"Perhaps I'm being premature or forward," Graduate Center President Chase Robinson said in an email to Krugman, "but I wanted you to have no doubt that we can provide not just a platform for public interventions and a stimulating academic community — especially, as you will know, because of our investments in the study of inequality — but also a relatively comfortable perch."

But this is merely an illustration of how so-called progressives scratch each other's backs, take care of their heroes and do it over and over again with other people's money.

It's not only ironic that they pay big bucks to whine about income inequality; it's a teaching moment for those who do not understand why the left is not only whining but winning, despite the counterproductive natures and destructiveness of its alleged solutions.

When was the last time you saw a brilliant conservative economist honored like this? Walter Williams? No.

Thomas Sowell? No. Arthur Laffer? No.

Why not? Because people like the above are considered the enemy at America's liberal academic institutions. They have to make money the old-fashioned way: by earning with their work, their books, their writings and their lectures. What a concept!

Indeed, for progressives, redistribution of wealth is really about taking money away from people they don't like and giving it to those they do like.

We don't always get illustrations, like Krugman, that make it so easy to see. More often, it's done in broad strokes in which preferred constituencies and groups get money from nonpreferred constituencies and groups.

For instance, not only does the IRS give carte blanche tax-exempt approval to progressive groups but actually also doles out billions in the form of federal grants and contracts to them. When was the last time you saw a federal grant go to a conservative 5019(c)(4)? You can think about that for a long time, but I don't believe you will be able to come up with an answer.

This is one reason government should not be so big. It becomes a self-perpetuating monster — by promoting and subsidizing those who want to give it even more power. The other reason, of course, is that it spells the end of liberty and, ironically, equality , something progressives claim to love.

To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



3 Comments | Post Comment
There is actuially no such thing as "government". It is just a bunch of people who have gotten power by claiming to know better than we do about almost everything. There is no money there except what it extracts from Peter to give to their friend Paul, no accountability when their good intentions do more harm that good, and are not even very good at recognizing the harm.
Comment: #1
Posted by: partsmom
Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:10 PM
Sir;... Your brilliant right wing columnist are not brilliant, and not even by definition, economists since they reject the notion of management which is absolutely a part of the word... You can hardly steal the meaning from half of a word and still expect it to have the same meaning... Certainly, they must have some idea of what they mean when they say economy, but the word which is actually two Greek words joined does not mean only what they intend... Part of the power of the right is their williness to make our language impossible to understand and unable to carry meaning...They never communicate because communication is truth... They are too busy bending minds to follow their immoral morality and their false truths stated as facts to bother with communication... They take for granted that the consumers of their nonsense are stupid by nature, immoral in fact, and ignorant by desire, and they play on these faults of character as the very essence of character...And after that, let me agree that there is something wrong with making a man a teacher who does not teach... People teach because that is their nature... The joy of each new particle of knolwedge when shared does not make me a teacher, but a pendant, because knowledge cannot unmake me what I am... And you cannot take a teacher from his or her teaching because that special skill of pointing out a shining star and telling its name makes it forever real when not before... Teacher teach because few have that skill, and they do... It is not just your economist who are blind because they cannot see; but all of us who must have things pointed out to us before we learn to look.. The brilliant mistake of your brilliant economists is in thinking they can see when they cannot; who do not even know the meaning of the most basic words they use because they have so often misused them...
Greek is a wonderful language to try to learn... It may mean you will have to sit on your throne and read, but a throne is just a chair...You may still see the word ekois on yogurt containers... Ekois Yogurt may be Greek for Cottage Cheece...Economy is not a thing, a single thing, but is at best a state where ones house is under control... If we will not govern our economy it will rule us and to date it has been a cruel tyranny free to do as it would...The people you cite as brilliant have nothing to offer in economy, and less to offer of morality...
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:18 PM
Re: partsmom;... You are correct that we have no government for there is only one form of government, and that is democracy... Majority rule is still rule, and not government, and while every tyranny including outright slavery has its democratic elements there is no democracy that is not a democracy proper, with people voting on those issues that affect their lives, and for good measure seeking consensus... Those who believe democracy was only truly possible in a familiar or community setting should look about them...The internet has made us a town...When we got our form of government not a single major river in America was bridged... The idea of anything approaching instant communication was unthinkable... In spite of this inability to travel and communicate, your Supreme Court Justices all rode a federal district as well as meeting as a Supreme Court...When we see how distant our government is from the people even while our ability to travel has increased, we must realize that all our speed is getting us no where... The original constitution provided for a growth of government to allow democracy to flourish while the representative never lost touch with his people even with a significantly vaster distance between them... A government that actually responds directly to the will of the people is the valve to shut off party power and the brokerage of votes to interests...If I should say: return the power to the people, this will never be done...Who isn't afraid of the people??? The people are an ass, and it makes no difference if they carry bricks or baby Jesus because as long as they will carry, some one will ride...
The people think they love the constitution though the constitution stands against them... If they love themselves, they will demand that their house be doubled, squared and cubed until each representative represents his own district alone, free of party pressure... That simple step would allow the people to control their government, and be possible for the house to assert its authority over the government... I am not saying the people are always right, but that they have the right to be wrong, and finding they are wrong, to correct themselves... Giving to people what you think people want is an element of tyranny, and no part of democracy...
I understand your government is not responsive to your will... I get the antagonism you feel between yourself and the government, and I think it it quite general among the population... Since the changes that reduced the ratio of the house of representatives to the population were by simple house vote which the supreme court has passed on, this change could be undone easily, and would in a short period disempower both of the parties...Ultimately, the people should be able to judge any legislation and reject or agree with it...In this age, tyranny is too unnecessary, and just as commonplace as ever... As we have lost our government we have gained tyranny, and as we have gained tyranny we have lost commonwealth, and losing commonwealth have gained poverty...
Why don't one of them tea partyers get up and move to double the size of the house... Not one of them will vote for less individual power even when it would increase the power of the house many times over, and give the people a taste of democracy...I think you might find that all of your parties hate and fear democracy with equal intensity...Their lust for individual power makes this whole people obviously weaker...
The internet gives this people the power to govern, but essential to that is the power to inform, and educate others... With government constituted as it is, we are not educated as to the available choices by government, and we cannot inform government of our needs and concerns...
The people are not responsible for this breakdown in communication, but the parties standing between the representatives and the people are to blame... They have become an extraconstitutional arm of the government, and this is more impediment added to a government loaded with inertia...The Senate and Supreme Court were set as guards against democracy before parties were considered... Jefferson was right that this people needs to right itself to right its forms... If our parties are all us against you- when I am not against you- then they are not working for me...Parties leading us into disunion are hardly making more perfect union possible...Parties have their own interests, and they are not mine...I trust the people more than any party...I believe in democracy...
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:47 AM
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