Wealth Redistribution: The Gateway To Socialism

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 11:56 AM
Wealth Redistribution: The Gateway To Socialism

Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Opinion has shifted in America to the point that almost 60% of Democrats have a positive view of socialism.[1] Socialism has been embraced by the intelligentsia and is being increasingly admired by our youth. Proponents of socialism lament the inequality of wealth and income under capitalism and claim that America’s wealthy are not paying their fair share of taxes. Politically elite liberals promote socialism as the panacea to income and wealth inequality. They call for increased wealth transfers funded by higher taxation of the rich.

Wealth redistribution became institutionalized a century ago on the revenue side of the Federal budget with the passage of the 16th Amendment allowing income taxation. As money flooded in to governments from higher, broader and more progressive income taxation, wealth redistribution spread to the expenditure side of Federal and state budgets in the form of government welfare programs and payments. 

Wealth redistribution involves the government taking money from those who are ‘producing more than they are consuming’ and giving that money to those who are ‘consuming more than they are producing’. Of course punishing net producers and rewarding net consumers motivates net producers to become net consumers – leading to economic decline. It also increases the power of those officials who espouse wealth redistribution. That is the primary driving force of calls by political elites for increased wealth redistribution: increased political power.

Liberals hype the myths that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes and that economic inequality among Americans is increasing. But these assertions are demonstrably false. 

Our youth are taught that economic freedom leads to wealth inequality and that wealth inequality and income inequality lead to poverty. The excesses of billionaires are cited as causing poverty despite the contemporaneous long-term rise of billionaires and decline in true poverty. But money, per se, is only a medium; it is the standard of living or lifestyle that matters. The poor in America today are living immeasurably better lifestyles than the richest Americans from 200 years ago. Economic equality is increasing. The poor have benefited more than the rich over the past two centuries because they have experienced much more dramatic improvements in their economic lifestyles than those received by the wealthy.

In the decades surrounding the American revolution there were massive lifestyle inequalities between the day-to-day lives of the rich and those of commoners throughout the world. Common people labored all day to obtain food, tend fires, tend to livestock, and make, wash and mend clothing. The wealthy were freed from working “sunup to sundown” because they had servants for laborious tasks. The rich enjoyed luxuries that were out of the reach of commoners: abundant food, fine clothing, traveling for enjoyment, tutors, and college educations. 

Today in America both the wealthy and the commoners can enjoy advanced medical care, higher education, lighting, appliances for cooking and clothes washing, year-round fresh vegetables and fruits, central heating and air conditioning, safe and reliable transportation, and on and on. While the richest Americans have thousands of times more wealth than ordinary Americans, when measured by dollars, they share lifestyles that are much more similar today than centuries ago - or even decades ago. Simply put, economic progress narrows lifestyle inequality because prosperity improves the standards of living of the poor more than it helps the rich.

Let’s turn to the myth that the rich pay little or no income tax. Bloomberg reports that the top 1,400 U.S. taxpayers pay as much income tax as the entire bottom 50% of American taxpayers - and that does not include the roughly 50% of Americans who pay no income tax at all.[2] The top 3% of U.S. taxpayers in 2016 paid the majority of the income tax. How much more absurdly tilted against the wealthy must the tax system become in order for the myth to be debunked?

But the political war in America regarding socialism is not about economics, it is about political power. The liberal agenda is for Americans to forfeit their birthright to the natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberals seek an America where rights are defined and granted by society - a society that they will control. The battle between the liberals and conservatives in America is now a battle regarding the very foundation of the American system. 

Advocates of socialism are using wealth redistribution as a gateway to socialism. They seek to buy political power using government giveaways such as student debt forgiveness, free higher education and reparations for enslavement. The liberal agenda means converting the land of the free (in which the people are born with natural rights to life and liberty) to being the home of the subjugated (in which the government bestows welfare rights on its subjects).