Pat Buchanan

For just as God-given talents are unequally distributed, and the home environments of children are unequal, and individuals differ in the drive to succeed, free societies, where rewards of fame and fortune accrue to the best and brightest, must invariably become unequal societies.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, no nation achieved greater prosperity for working men and women than the United States, where all were born free, but equal only in constitutional rights.

Yet, though inequalities of income and wealth have endured through the history of this republic, each generation lived better and longer than the one that came before.

That was the America we grew up in. As long as life for the working and middle classes was improving, who cared if the rich were getting richer?

Todays new inequality is due to several factors.

One is a shift from manufacturing as the principal source of wealth to banking and finance. A second is the movement of U.S. production abroad.

This has eliminated millions of high-paying jobs while enriching the executives and shareholders of the companies that cut the cost of production by relocating overseas.

With globalization, the interests of corporations -- maximizing profit -- and the interests of the country -- maintaining economic independence -- diverged. And the politicians who depend on contributions from executives and investors stuck with the folks that paid their room, board and tuition.

Yet, behind the latest crusade against inequality lie motives other than any love of the poor. They are resentment, envy and greed for what the wealthy have, and an insatiable lust for power.

For the only way to equalize riches and rewards in a free society is to capture the power of government, so as to take from those who have, to give to those who have not.

And here is the unvarying argument of the left since Karl Marx: If you give us power, we will take from the rich who have so much and give it to you who have so little. But before we can do that, you must give us power.

This is the equality racket. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

The sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex, is simplified, and reduced ... to a single principle.

When they come preaching equality, what they want is power.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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