- It's not a healthy society that allows some to be billionaires while others are unable to afford a doctor's visit.
- The productivity of the worker has increased too: it would appear that workers have been unable to fully reap the benefits of their own improved skillsets.
- The prices of healthcare, housing and college educations have been rising faster than inflation. These costs were formed a higher percentage of middle class budgets to begin with and are therefore disproportionally eating away at the the already disproportionately small wage gains.
- As a practical matter, humans value relative wealth over absolute wealth. I'd rather that we both earned $10 than for you to earn $20 while I earned $15. Conspicuously large differences in relative wealth are bad for social stability.
- Even if incomes have been rather stagnant, average overall compensation has been rising with productivity. How can wages stagnate when compensation increases? Well, employers pay a pretty big share of the rapidly rising healthcare costs, right? Is there a better claim to "fair" distribution of income than that income match productivity?
- As discussed earlier, the whole "real wage" thing is still comparing apples and oranges. The rich earned their windfalls in part by driving the technological gains that improve the goods available for purchase. Even if low earners can't buy many more things than before, it's worth noting that a lot of the things they buy are better. Cell phones instead of regular phones, broadband instead of dial-up. Many of these improvements might be luxuries, but some are probably driving significant increases in quality of life.
- India and China have much wider income gaps than we do, they're growing faster than we are and they're kicking our ass at manufacturing and low-skilled services. If we have any hope of keeping our place in the world economy, we're going to need to adapt quickly, probably turning into a service-based knowledge economy. Someone has to replace the Big Three at the top of the list, and the stratospheric compensation packages are going to draw those people. Basically, we need to make sure that the next Google is founded in Silicon Valley instead of Bangalore or Hong Kong (n.b., SarbOx isn't helping there).
- We can't just take the money from the rich and spend it on healthcare anyway. Healthcare is already a scary-large portion of our economy and we'd be burning the candle at both ends if we sacrificed economic growth (what the rich would otherwise be doing with their money) in order to increase healthcare spending. Healthcare might be a problem that we just need to grow our way out of?