Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design. But if human beings have their own responses to government policies,...
Actually, Otho, the definition of "redistribution of wealth" is "the transfer of income, wealth or property from some individuals to others caused by a social mechanism such as taxation, monetary policies, welfare, nationalization, charity, divorce or tort law." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University). It is only ideologues like yourself that seek to redefine it to fit a political agenda. So, shopping at Wal-Mart or paying to have my grass cut is an economic transaction. Having a portion of my income taken by the government via taxation and distributed to another person (be it a soldier, fire fighter, student, or my unemployed neighbor) is redistribution of wealth.
The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news. He said the same thing to Joe the Plumber four years ago. But the surfacing of this tape may serve a useful purpose if it gets people to thinking about what the consequences of redistribution are.
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