Thomas Sowell

What about the workers that businesses hire, whose education is usually created in government-financed schools? The government doesn't have any wealth of its own, except what it takes from taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses. They have already paid for that education. It is not a gift that they have to "give back" by letting politicians take more of their money and freedom.

When businesses hire highly educated people, such as chemists or engineers, competition in the labor market forces them to pay higher salaries for people with longer years of valuable education. That education is not a government gift to the employers. It is paid for while it is being created in schools and universities, and it is paid for in higher salaries when highly educated people are hired.

One of the tricks of professional magicians is to distract the audience's attention from what they are doing while they are creating an illusion of magic. Pious talk about "giving back" distracts our attention from the cold fact that politicians are taking away more and more of our money and our freedom.

Even the envy that politicians stir up against "the rich" is highly focussed on those particular high income-earners whose decisions the politicians want to take over. Others in sports or entertainment can make far more money than the highest paid corporate executive, but there is no way that politicians can take over the roles of Roger Federer or Oprah Winfrey, so highly paid sports stars or entertainers are never accused of "greed."

If we are so easily distracted by self-serving political rhetoric, we are not only going to see our money, but our freedom, increasingly taken away from us by slick-talking politicians, including our current slick-talker-in-chief in the White House.


Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate