Sunday, August 28, 2011

Redistribution Of Wealth


" Scrutinize word for word the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and you will not find the word "fair." The First Amendment does not protect the "fair" exercise of religion, but the "free" exercise thereof; it does not restrain Congress from abridging the "fairness" of speech or of the press, but the "freedom" of speech or of the press.

The modern tendency to substitute "fair" for "free" reveals how far we have moved from the initial conception of the Founding Fathers. They viewed government as policeman and umpire. They sought to establish a framework within which individuals could pursue their own objectives in their own way, separately or through voluntary cooperation, provided only that they did not interfere with the freedom of others to do likewise.

The modern conception is very different. Government has become Big Brother. Its function has become to protect the citizen, not merely from his fellows, but from himself, whether he wants to be protected or not. Government is not simply an umpire but an active participant, entering into every nook and cranny of social and economic activity. All this, in order to promote the high-minded goals of "fairness," "justice," "equality."

Does this not constitute progress? A move toward a more humane society? Quite the contrary. When "fairness" replaces "freedom," all our liberties are in danger. In Walden, Thoreau says: "If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life." That is the way I feel when I hear my "servants" in Washington assuring me of the "fairness" of their edicts. "

Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

This was published by the Future of Freedom Foundation as part of an article entitled, "Fair versus Free," written in 1992. It is totally consistent with all of what he had to say and write about throughout his career as an economist.

It cannot be added to! And when so much of our federal budget is intended, yes INTENDED, to redistribute wealth on the holier-than-thou-and-untouchable-so-called Third Rail, things are entirely out of whack. Such redistribution is as immoral as the gubment telling me that I must, MUST, purchase Twinkies for my neighbor.

It has been said, and would certainly be true if tried, that if all the money in the world was confiscated and redistributed equally among people, in a short amount of time it would go back to the distribution (which some say to be "unequal") that existed at the time of the confiscation.

What a disaster that would be if it was tried! But to attempt to pretend otherwise is stupid at best, evil at worst.

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