Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why "soaking the rich" won't work and won't help anything

Some people buy into the notion that there is a point at which wealth becomes objectively immoral -- and at that point such people would have government tax away the excess. Isaac Morehouse at The Libertarian Christian takes the reader through a step-by-step logical analysis to show why such premises are false.

One revealing statistic: The poorest people in the world today are better off than the average American in 1880, who lived to be 39 and made about $4,276. In 2000, there is not a country in the world with a life expectancy below 44. A very poor country like Angola, with a life expectancy of 48 and average inflation-adjusted income of $5,056, is better off than the US just a handful of generations ago.*

One of the few things that Abraham Lincoln got right was this statement, "You cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor."  This truth has been proven over and over again from the Communist experience. Without people with the incentive and the drive to become rich, you do not have the go-getters that create opportunities for themselves and the rest of us. Destroying that only enforces a dull mediocrity over an entire society.

Here is what Mr. Morehouse has to say about the WWJD question:

We needn’t ask what Jesus would do in the face of great wealth and poverty. We can look at what he did do. He helped the poor and instructed others to do the same, but he never forced anyone to help on threat of fine or imprisonment as our tax and welfare system does. He told one rich man to give his possessions to the poor, but then let the man walk away. Apparently, it was the rich man’s heart, not his possessions, Jesus was after.

Preach on, brother.
* I would, however, urge caution in the use of dollar amounts over time and across nations. The American in 1880 was making U.S. dollars backed by silver, the Angolan today probably is not. On the other hand, $1 in a Third-World country in many instances will buy more necessities than $1 in an advanced nation -- I am assuming that the methodology to assume "inflation-adjusted" is correct. This takes nothing away from the logical analysis that Mr. Morehouse is presenting.

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