Sunday, 8 January 2012

“Bring the cream down and the milk up”

Socialism has a dream of distributive justice that can never lead but only follow.  Wealth-creation has to come first.  As soon as you hear a word like “distributive” tacked onto justice, you know it’s not justice, it’s just an agenda. (Prager linked at SDA)

Redistribution politics is hardwired for three tasks:  To divert some cream to the guys doing the switcheroo, to concentrate the benefits on favoured groups and to hide the cost of those benefits by dispersing it over the population at large.

An appealing goal is to “increase social harmony”. The progressive hopes to decrease antagonisms arising from disparities of wealth.  As George Wills writes, imagine everyone wakes up tomorrow with treble the wealth. Will the appeal of  redistribution have disappeared or, as is more likely, will people continue to be more bothered by what their neighbours have than what they themselves may lack?

Most of the transfers are generational  transfers from workers to retirees’ pensions and medical care and those retirees are diligent voters. Seniors, whom I once pictured as shut-ins and poor, are near the top of the pile today.  US households headed by adults ages 65 and older have almost 50 times the wealth of households headed by adults under the age of 35 and this has been increasing..

The old fellow from Mission BC who told me that government should be about bringing the cream down and the milk up, was wrong.  We care for our community but are free citizens.  The government doesn’t own us and has no right to homogenize us in a blender.

George Will’s essay in the Washington Post has more: Government: The redistributionist behemoth. Paragraphs 2-4 are paraphrases of his pen.

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