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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.

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Editorial, Pages 16 on 09/20/2012

Print Headline: The fallacy of redistribution


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Archived Comments

  • stef313
    September 20, 2012 at 7:33 a.m.

    Please make this required reading for John Brummett.

  • NWAConsumerReview
    September 20, 2012 at 8:52 a.m.

    Thomas Sowell is an uneducated person's idea of a smart man. His goal are to get the lower middle class to vote against their economic self interests.

    His quote "...No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce" is certainly timely with Romney's latest diatribe.

    These kinds of "genius" sentiments brought Thomas Sowell to compare the constitutionally protected assembly of the Occupy Wall Street protesters to parasites.

    Thus, according to Sowell, apparently the banks taking 1.5 trillion of Americans dollars to bail themselves out does not constitute leaching and being parasitic The people who complain and protest that such acts are unfair, they are the parasites, according to Sowell.

    Along these lines, Thomas Sowell, like Romney, throughout his writing, doesn't want us to forget that the 1% class of billionaires of the country are producers. Everyone else is a leach living off this 1%.

    Yes, I know of Thomas Sowell and he should be ashamed of his rhetoric, as should Romney.

  • Morebeer
    September 20, 2012 at 9:14 a.m.

    Sounds good until you realize that the highest federal income tax bracket is pretty much at the lowest point it's ever been. Any many of the rich don't pay at the top rate, like Romney, who paid at a 13.9% rate on $21 million in income in 2010. Doesn't seem like much redistribution is going on. All wealth studies show the same thing, the rich are getting richer and the poor and middle class are losing ground. I read Frederick Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, an economic philosophy tome much-loved by the right (I'm not sure they read it, just hold it aloft). Hayek acknowledges that a sophisticated economy has many needs to keep the wheels greased, such as a banking system, currency system, roads and airports, a trustworthy judicial system with enforcement powers, environmental rules, workplace rules to oversee hours, sanitary conditions and such, rules to protect neighbors of industrial operations from various types of pollution — noise, light, chemical. A free market like ours is complex; it's not Indians trading handcrafts on a blanket. One might argue that the tax dollars collected to make such a complex economy run smoothly and honestly benefits a Master of the Universe like Romney more and therefore a progressive tax structure is the fairest one to use. After all, a member of Romney's 47% probably doesn't need the SEC (not the football conference, the regulators) to keep Goldman Sachs from selling him designed-to-fail securities.

  • TimberTopper
    September 20, 2012 at 9:26 a.m.

    The writer of this article is an I-DOT! And a lier!

  • NWAConsumerReview
    September 20, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.

    Yes MoreBeer ... Between 1983 (the beginning of trickledown) and 2007 (the onset of the financial crisis) the top 1% increased its share of national wealth by 60%. Since then that share has increased further. If we are being honest, we don't need to talk about the redistribution of wealth from the top down. Its going the other direction.

    Further, despite this article, I have not heard anyone in the mainstream propose confiscating legally obtained wealth. I think we should have a serious discussion about raising taxes on the wealthy, but that's quite different. Rich people will still stay rich with a more progressive tax rate, they will just have a bit less to add to their pile each year.

    Just as the country calls upon young men (and now women) to risk their lives in foreign wars, its not too much to ask the people who have profited profusely to step up and pay more. This does not have to be a volunteer effort. Just tax the top 5% AGI an average of 50% using a progressive scale, and that will almost completely cover the deficit. Close loopholes. The country needs revenue. Get us back in the black and this country will be a top destination again for capital. If America can once again prove its credentials as a rational and practical place with a system of government that can resolve difficult challenges, we will become the most credible and predictable place to do business.

    Perhaps a tiny number of the wealthy will leave, but more than a few isn't likely. This is simply a country coming together to pay its bills. The folks who have all of the money are the ones who will pay most and that is just plain fair.

  • mamawof9
    September 20, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.

    This article nails it. I suppose the common sense of it all is lost on many because it supports individual responsibility (learn to fish) rather than a govenment (taxpayer)sponsored free fish market!

  • Walter
    September 20, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.


    September 20, 2012 at 11:09 a.m.

    The real have and have-nots are those that have power over others and those that don't have independence. The way that Progressives/Libs/Dems have been wielding power over others is by increasingly making the less fortunate more and more dependent upon government for the last 100+ years, through hand-outs. The Progressives/Libs/Dems (The Left) fear that by making others more independent and self-sufficient, as Conservatives have been trying to do for at least the past 50 years, the power shifts from the government to the individuals. That is why the Consititution, which limits governement's role in American's lives, is viewed with disdain by The Left. That is why The Left wants everyone to take a short term economic self interest view and vote for Obama and those that are trying to control individuals through dedpendancy upon government. That is why The Left is threatened by Conservatives that want to increase independence and freedom by solving the long term problems of increased debt and ever increasing government spending.
    In short, vote for Obama and The like-minded Left, if you are economically short-sighted or vote for Romney and like-minded Conservatives if you take a long term multi-generational view.

  • TomN
    September 20, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

    Ouch! So much for Democrats (socialists) and their mantra of going "FORWARD." Mr. President, the world has been there, done that! Redistribution and socialism just do not work! Do we really want to go BACKWARD with Obama and his class warfare and divisiveness? The Marx/Engels Communist Manifesto comes to mind just about every time I hear the President, Vice-President and recent Democrats speak. We might as well use the words "bourgeoisie" and "proletariat" when some Democrats (increasingly socialistic liberals) speak. Might want to study even just a little history before you destroy what remains.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.

    Why do all the lefties on here insist on getting so tangeled up in the weeds with these issues. Redistribution is redistribution whether you are taking money and giving it to a poor person or to a multi-billion corporation. The only difference between Dems and establishment Republicans is the particular flavor of socialism that they practice. This country must get back to letting everyone stand on their own two feet, whether they are a poor individual, an underwater homeowner, a corporation, or even a state.