Thomas Sowell

The distracting phrases here include "obscene" wealth and "unconscionable" profits. But, if we stop and think about it-- which politicians don't expect us to-- what is obscene about wealth? Wouldn't we consider it great if every human being on earth had a billion dollars and lived in a place that could rival the Taj Mahal?

Poverty is obscene. It is poverty that needs to be reduced--and increasing a country's productivity has done that far more widely than redistributing income by targeting "the rich."

You can see the agenda behind the rhetoric when profits are called "unconscionable" but taxes never are, even when taxes take more than half of what someone has earned, or add much more to the prices we have to pay than profits do.

The assumption that what A pays B is any business of C is an assumption that means a dangerous power being transferred to politicians to tell us all what incomes we can and cannot receive. It will not apply to everyone all at once. Like the income tax, which at first applied only to the truly rich, and then slowly but steadily moved down the income scale to hit the rest of us, the power to say what incomes people can be allowed to make will inevitably move down the income scale to make us all dependents and supplicants of politicians.

The phrase "public servants" is increasingly misleading. They are well on their way to becoming public masters-- like aptly named White House "czars." The more they can get us all to resent those they designate, the more they can distract us from their increasing control of our own lives-- but only if we sell our freedom cheap. We can sell our birthright and not even get the mess of pottage.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate