Skip to comments.The Fallacy of Redistribution (Sowell on Obama)
Posted on 09/19/2012 10:02:40 AM PDT by jazusamo
The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news. He said the same thing to Joe the Plumber four years ago. But the surfacing of this tape may serve a useful purpose if it gets people to thinking about what the consequences of redistribution are.
Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design. But if human beings have their own responses to government policies, then we cannot blithely assume that government policies will have the effect intended.
The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty. The communist nations were a classic example, but by no means the only example.
In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler's Holocaust in the 1940s.
How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending...
(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...
And yet we have a big chunk of America that is perfectly willing to confiscate current wealth and mortgage the future so that they can live the good life today. In the long run, they are dead and its someone else's problem.
The problem is that the Republican party continually nominates people who don’t have the skills to articulate the problem with redistributionist, socialist economics as opposed to truly free market capitalism. Instead we get nice guys (like that makes any difference whatsoever) who cannot debate the real issue.
I have no doubt that Romney is a (limited) free market capitalist). But so far his response to Obama’s redistribution remark has been “Obama thinks that is the way America should go, I don’t.”
Paul Ryan could probably do it, but it’ll never make the news. Why could we not nominate someone like Newt Gingrich who could chew up Barack Obama’s philosophies and spit them out six ways from Sunday?
But no, we have to appeal to the middle. BS. From where I sit the middle wants articulation, not merely some milquetoast appeal like, “Obama’s a nice guy we just disagree on the way forward.” Great, Milt. Now tell people something they can sink their teeth into. For crying out loud, even 9-9-9 would be better than this.
Thomas Sowell for President!
Confiscation of wealth and apportionment to favored groups? Yes.
But something that is not ‘distributed’ cannot be ‘redistributed’.
“In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous.”
Someone once said that if you took away everyone’s money and redistributed it equally to ALL ... in a year the people who had the most to begin with would have it back and the people who were broke before would be broke again!
I believe that.
” and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated.”
Why so much private wealth has DISAPPEARED from the USA in the past 3 years.
We on this forum all know Obama is a socialist. So this is not news to us. However there may be some voters that this news will have an effect on. So it is good this redistribution tape is back in the news. Maybe we can convert a couple of percent of the voters.
I've made 1600 phone calls from home to New Hampshire in the last six days using the system set up by the campaign. Even 100 calls will make a difference. Who will join me?
The meek may inherit the earth, but the next day the strong will take it back.
The meek will inherit the earth.... but they’ll be too meek to accept it.
That is what Obama is all about and it needs to be repeated constantly to get through to people that are trying to ignore it.
Marxism doesn't work, it has never worked, it never will work.
It's time to unmask Obama as a marxist and explain to the public what that really means.
Another problem with confiscation and redistribution is that it depletes the supply of capital available for investment in new and existing ventures and thereby makes such ventures (and the jobs they create) less likely. In short, capitalism requires capital.
Money is a tool.
If you take the tool away from people who know how to use it and give that tool to people who do not, less is produced with that tool. When less is produced, you have less wealth.
Redistributing wealth reduces the overall wealth of a nation. The more you do it and the longer you do it the poorer the nation becomes.
Its as simple as that.
As a citizen, I understand that I may knock on my neighbor's door and request a donation to provide food or help for a deserving family of my acquaintance. I understand, also, that my neighbor may say, "no," and that he owes me no explanation for his refusal to donate voluntarily. He earned his money: he can decide to whom and for what he wishes to give it away. That is the concept underlying America's Declaration of Independence and Constitution protecting private property rights and Creator-endowed liberty.
Now, the "redistributionist" mindset doesn't stop there. No, the "redistributionist" simply passes a law that "takes" my neighbor's hard-earned wages and gives them to whomever he/she chooses, believing that what is against the nation's laws for individuals to do to each other does not apply to him or his cronies in positions of power in government.
What "audacity" and what presumption of a power not delegated by the Creator to any mere human being!
The problem with redistribution of wealth is that at some point you run out of other peoples' money.
Have you ever referred to 0bama as a socialist around a liberal?
It’s funny how they’ll turn inside out denying it.
Redistributionist, arrogance, audacity and presumption of power fit Barack Obama perfectly.
Isn’t there a tape of Michele Obama saying the American dream doesn’t exist?
In the insanity of the current unreality the esteemed Thomas Sowell must lower himself to become Captain Obvious.
Exactly, clear as a bell. Why can’t liberals understand that?
They don’t try.
Once they get to the point of
“I’m a good person because I advocate helping the poor”
there’s no reason to analyze it any further, because, as far as they are concerned, every goal has been accomplished.
Problem is much deeper than just Obambi though...
Oliver Wendall Holmes [sp?] said of the churches and 16th amendment iirc -
‘the power to tax is the power to destroy’
The real question is - why didn’t the people recognize the Federal Reserve combined with taxing [stealing] income from the working class would destroy our nation? Still no one in power seems to get it,
or better yet reverse the dismantling of capitalism and the constitution!
Excellent point!!! But, doesn't that, then, perfectly describe the arrogant and empty mindset or world view of the great "redistributionist-in-chief"?
The settlers of America, on their own, and without any organized government oversight, by 1775 had created an economy which was unheard of previously. Any who doubt that, might wish to read Edmund Burke's 1775 "Speech on Conciliation . . ." before the British Parliament. Burke provided statistical detail to prove that point, attributing such economic success to the colonists' "spirit of liberty."
BTW, love the Samuel Adams quotation on your "about" page:
"Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." - Samuel Adams
Thanks for the ping jaz. Another excellent article by Dr. Sowell.
The Samuel Adams quote reminds me of one by Reagan as well...
“Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to.” In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” Ronald Reagan
Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, 'We dont know how lucky we are.' And the Cuban stopped and said, 'How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to.' In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of mans relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." - Ronald Reagan
The thought occurs to me, considering the Thomas Sowell article, along with the quotations from Adams and Reagan, and other posters' comments on this particular thread, what is the likelihood that any so-called "progressive" Dem web site contains any such discussion of provocative ideas concerned with protecting "a refuge" for future generations of human beings whose potential for pursuing happiness is being impacted by their present actions and policies?
High minded ideals tend to be discarded in favor of feelings, demagoguery, villianization, and a postmodern mindset that there IS no objective truth - no high minded ideals.
It helps if you dismiss the great men of our founding as “dead white males” and Reagan as a “B-movie actor” - it helps to ignore their great ideals to attack them personally using anachronistic arguments.
To quote Reagan again ‘The problem with our liberal friends isn't that they are ignorant - it is that they know so much that isn't so.’.
There has always existed a private wealth redistribution network that is voluntary. Last year Americans donated $300 billion to charity. But that’s just reported contributions. If you can imagine how much in money, shelter, goods and services Americans gave out of pocket it might be a trillion. What would be the amount in a booming economy? Prosperity is the engine that ultimately solves all material problems.
But, of course, we know that Reagan's ability to exercise that facility came from deep personal study and understanding of the essential ideas of liberty, along with an acquired knowledge of the slippery ideas of his adversaries--the "progressives."
A good President for our conservative cause needs both a core of ideas and ideals - AND a polished delivery with a quick wit.
Listening to “1776” by David McCullough on my daily commute right now. Highly recommend it to all who love liberty! ;)
The consequences of redistributionism in the form of social justice, and its welfare statism, and its policies of confiscatory taxation, government budget deficits, and inflation to pay for it are:
1) destruction of wealth and its productivity
2) decreased incentives to accumulate capital and capital decumulation
3) reduction of savings and productive expenditure and economic degree of capitalism
4) decreased incentives to search out and implement technological advances
5) decreased incentives to be efficient in the use of capital goods
6) destruction of the foundations of productivity of labor and thus real wages of wage earners
7) taxes imposed on profits and interest are paid largely with funds that otherwise would have been used to purchase labor which leads to lower demand for labor which means lower average money wage rates and higher unemployment of wage earners which means it ends up hurting the ones it is trying to help
9) decline of the American economic system
Rational principles that cut off redistribution, altruism, and social justice at the root are:
1) man is an end in himself and not the means to the ends of others
2) man exists for his own sake and is not a sacrificial animal that exists for the sake of others
3) a man is the proper beneficiary of his own action
The New York Times was one of the 'oh so brilliant' groups that lied to cover for Stalin and his killers... guy won a Pulitzer for his cover up. The New York Times still sucks...
Absolutely, and they’ll never be any different.
Why bust yer azz to buy a Mazerati, when all they'll let you have is a Yugo?
The pain you feel today is the strength you'll have tomorrow.
Been my tag for four years now...
GOOD to see you, sweet and dear friend!
We (FReepers) understand that as humans we are all corruptible, therefore we can not rule other men. That leads us to understand that we do not want to be ruled by other men. History has proven us right and progressives must deny history because it proves that they (and their vaunted leaders) are not gods.
A vivid image of this is to say ‘Eating the Wallpaper’.