The Bondage Of Redistribution Ideology

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"Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state." -Thomas Sowell

The idea that we should take from those who have and give to those who don't is viewed as proper and just among liberals. In fact, if you do not subscribe to redistribution ideology, you are attacked as being greedy at best and racist at worst. The problem is that income redistribution in practice promotes one of the same moral injustices found under slavery.

A simple inquisition will explain. If morality is defined by private property; meaning a person has a right, based on natural law, to their person and their possessions. And if property is generated by the productive and wealth creating behavior of a person's labor; then immorality is defined as any force that seeks to injure or take away ones property (murder, theft, rape, etc). As such, using the productivity of another for one's personal gain is immoral.

We can then extrapolate this theorem. If taking the productive output of a slave and using it for another's personal gain was immoral; then taking the productive output of any worker and using it for another's gain is immoral, no matter what race, color, gender, or socio-economic status the producer happens to be.

Logic leads us to one conclusion. A modern form of slavery is taking place within in the welfare state. And no matter how you slice it, property theft to promote a false ideology of "fairness" or advance a twisted form of "compassion" to gain power is abhorrent. It does not matter how many ribbons and bows decorate the rhetoric of "Robin Hood" redistribution, the final analysis is the promotion of servitude.

Redistribution ideology is not about a safety net for the truly needy or the necessity of government to tax in order to perform their proper functions of protecting people, property, and enforcing the rule of law. President Obama may call redistributive efforts "economic justice," or "economic rights," but in the end, using the power of the state to take one's property is as immoral as taking the wealth created by a slave to benefit the slave owner.

Those on the left will look you straight in the eye and profess they defend liberty and property; but one need only to read the words of the President in regards to his definition of "social justice."

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody"

"I actually believe in redistribution"

"Spreading the wealth around is good."

‘Bring about significant re-distributional change"

"Actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change"

"I do not believe that those two things- fair distribution and economic growth are mutually exclusive"

"I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts"

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society."

"I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."

And of course the classic lines "You didn't build that" and "those who do not pay their fair share" show the Presidents belief that private property is to be confiscated while ignoring the unalienable rights defined in the Declaration of Independence.

By advancing the welfare state and income redistribution through class warfare, one of the greatest intellectually inconsistent ironies of liberalism is exposed. The indefensible position of trying to defend equality and the dignity of man by violating the human rights of those very people you claim to be defending. The hypocrisy of the left knows no boundaries.

Far too many American's have shed blood to protect the sacred rights of life, liberty and property. History reminds us the Civil War's fight to end the abuse of human dignity was a victory that came with a high price.

The nation's current trajectory of wealth redistribution will eventually polarize its citizens into a fight between the takers and the makers because entitlement creates resentment. Americans must find moral clarity on property rights within the framework of the Republic before the battle grows ever more volatile and the resolution becomes violent.


Dean Kalahar recently retired from teaching economics and pyschology.  He has authored three books, including The Best of Thomas Sowell, a user-friendly guide to Sowell's insightful thinking on a wide range of social and political issues. 

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