Acton Institute Powerblog

Think Redistribution Is Great? Here Are A Few Questions For You

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Are you a fan of redistribution? Do you think those with more money should willingly or unwillingly spread the wealth? Do you believe the government should step in and help with the redistribution process? Well, economist Donald Boudreaux has a few questions for you.

    • Do you teach your children to envy what other children have? Do you encourage your children to form gangs with their playmates to “redistribute” toys away from richer kids on the schoolyard toward kids not so rich? If not, what reason have you to suppose that envy and “redistribution” become acceptable when carried out on a large scale by government?

  • Do you not worry that creating government power today to take from Smith and give to Jones — simply because Smith has more material wealth than Jones — might eventually be abused so that tomorrow, government takes from Jones and gives to Smith simply because Smith is more politically influential than Jones?
  • You allege that great differences in incomes are psychologically harmful to poor people even if these poor people are, by historical standards, quite wealthy. So how do you explain the great demand of very poor immigrants to come to America — where these immigrants are relatively much poorer than they are in their native lands?
  • Would you prefer to live in a society in which everyone’s annual income is $50,000 or in a society with an average annual income of $75,000 but in which annual incomes range from $10,000 to $1 million? And regardless of the choice you would make, do you think others who choose differently are in error?

Read more questions at “Questions for redistribution’s proponents” at TribLive.com.

 

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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