Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wealth Redistribution

Some really smart people theorize that independent thought is an illusion. The last few weeks have provided some proof to this concept.

Now that Obama has won the election, I've heard and seen the term "wealth redistribution" quite often on the radio and online. The amazing thing was, it wasn't used as a derisive term.

Do we really vacillate that much and that quickly? It wasn't so long ago that "wealth redistribution" was widely recognized as a Very Bad IdeaTM. Now that Democrats will be in power shortly, many of the pundants and other commentators broadcasting present this as the inevitable consequence, and they seem to like it. So much for independent thought.

Obama doesn't seem to be supportive of this idea, so I have some hope that he will be smarter than this and our country can dodge this bullet.

The supporters (or, more effectively, the "opinion leaders" of "wealth redistribution" since the supporters apparently come and go) should go spend some time in Zimbabwe. This country used to be known as the bread basket of Africa. Now they are experiencing horrible poverty and famine thanks to a form of wealth redistribution where land was taken from existing land holders and redistributed to those the government deemed worthy (often friends of officials).

Someone might say, "Well, sure that's wealth redistribution that has gone too far and has been poorly done. WE wouldn't do it that badly!" However, once it's admitted that wealth redistribution can be a bad idea at a certain level, where is the line where it becomes a bad idea? Or does wealth redistribution always become a weight on the economy where the degree of muffling for the economy depends on the amount of redistribution taking place? If so, this needs to be a part of the wealth redistribution conversation every time. Potential recipients of the redistribution need to put the potential loss of their job, or reduction of their income, on the table. If they don't, they are effectively thinking they're playing the lottery where they'll always win, and that's a lie.

Absolutely taxes need to be paid by the rich. Even extra attention should be given to them to make sure they're not dodging taxes, since they have the resources to hire people to do exactly that. But let's not forget that we need these economic leaders to be rewarded with good returns so they'll continue to drive our economy instead of going to other economies, or worse, becoming news pundants.

That's what I independently think about wealth distribution, according to my wife.

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