I have a serious question for my conservative friends (if I have any left): What is the exact amount of wealth needed to discuss income inequality? It’s a question begging to be answered.

That’s because anytime the topic is brought up, conservatives inevitably point out that the person broaching the subject is either too poor or too rich to legitimately do so. The former are deemed jealous of the wealthy, and the latter are labeled as hypocrites who should just give away their wealth instead of complaining about income inequality.

So, seriously: What is the specific requisite level of income and/or assets for one to qualify to discuss the very real issue of income inequality, as illustrated by a recent Oxfam report?

Is it a range or an exact amount? If it’s an exact amount, do you need dead currency, like the halfpenny, to reach that exact amount? Or do you need nonexistent denominations, like the tenthpenny?

Is it an imaginary number? Does it involve the square root of negative one?

What is the magical amount necessary to talk about income inequality? What is the sweet spot of wealth accumulation?

Wait, do you need to know a secret handshake, like in the Ku Klux Klan, in order to talk about income inequality?

Certainly you wouldn’t arbitrarily predicate discussing a troubling economic issue with a capricious wealth test that’s impossible to pass, like some sort of socioeconomic Kobayashi Maru, or a rigged carnival game involving a basketball bigger than the rim, would you? I mean, you wouldn’t try to stymie all discussion of the matter by imposing an impossible standard for merely raising the subject, right?

You do know severe, protracted income inequality can lead to all sorts of bad things that would affect even the most affluent, like crime, economic instability, and, in some cases, political upheaval, correct?

Do you really want to return to the days before Teddy Roosevelt busted the monopolies, when the barons held all the wealth? Do you want to see the same conditions that fomented the rise of socialism and the anarchist movement?

It’s OK if you do. I won’t judge you. Just have the decency to let the rest of us know how much wealth we need to gain or lose in order to have a conversation about it.

Can you do that, please? Thanks.


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