Jack Kerwick

According to his profile, Darren Hutchinson is a professor of “Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, Law and Social Change, and Equal Protection Theory” at the University of Florida. At his blog, Dissenting Justice, Hutchinson takes yours truly to task for a recent article of mine in which I contend that the enterprise of rectifying “income inequalities” is antithetical to individual liberty, for the former demands an intrusive, activist, all meddling government—i.e. a government as diametrically opposed as any to that delineated by the U.S. Constitution.

The title of Hutchinson’s post is essentially self-explanatory vis-à-vis his position: “Town Hall Author Jack Kerwick is WRONG: States Also Help to Combat Income Inequality.” Hutchinson thinks that since the individual states have been busy at work implementing one redistributive scheme after the other, he has disproven my thesis.

In fact, he has only reinforced it.

Hutchinson notes in boldfaced print that “the national government often partners with states and local governments to ameliorate the conditions of income inequality and to subsidize poor households” (emphasis added).

It is telling that Hutchinson—a professor, mine you, of Constitutional law—refers to the “national” government, for the men who ratified the Constitution did so precisely to insure that America would not have a national government, but a federal one. The latter, constrained as it is by numerous “checks and balances”—including and especially that of the sovereignty of the states that gave birth to it—cannot address income inequalities without transforming itself into something—a national government—that would’ve been as unrecognizable as dreadful to the Framers.

Hutchinson also disingenuously refers to a “partnership” between “the national government” and the states designed to “combat” inequality. First of all, there is no such partnership. Over quite a stretch of time now, the national government has been laboring tirelessly to subvert the Constitutional design by usurping the sovereignty of the states. Courtesy of just the sort of redistributive projects that Hutchinson and his ilk encourage, it has been remarkably successful: the “federal” government is supreme.

Thus, the national government no more “partners” with its tributaries, the states, than it “invests” in “public” enterprises. It bribes and coerces the states to do its bidding.

But let’s just say that this isn’t so. Hutchinson nevertheless acknowledges that, whether with or without the states, it is indeed the national government that is working away to rectify inequalities.


Jack Kerwick

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at jackk610@verizon.net or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.