Walter E. Williams

Their greater income is a result of their pleasing millions upon millions of their fellow man. They created wealth by producing a product that improves the lives of millions upon millions of people all around the globe. Should people like Messrs. Brin and Page, who have improved our lives, be held up to ridicule and scorn because they have a higher income than most of us? Should Congress use the tax code to confiscate part of their wealth in the name of fairness and income redistribution?

For the most part, income is a result of one's productivity and the value that people place on that productivity. Far more important than income inequality, there is productivity inequality. That suggests that if there's anything to be done about income inequality, we should focus on how to give people greater capacity in serving their fellow man, and we should make sure there's a climate of peaceable, voluntary exchange.

Think back to my poker example. If one is concerned about the game's result, which is more just? Taking some of Tom's winnings and redistributing them to Dick and Harry, or teaching Dick and Harry how to play poker better?


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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