Also, on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Amanpour asked one of her conservative elected guests (can’t remember which one) if he thought it was fair that so much wealth has accumulated to the top 1%?
The guest skipped past the question.
I think it’s worth answering because so many harbor ill feelings toward the wealthy and want to use government to exact revenge through taxes.
Here’s how I would answer the question as an elected official.
First, I have to ask how the wealthy accumulated such riches.
Did they steal it?
If so, one of the basic functions of government is to protect our private property. Stealing is against the law and lawbreakers should be prosecuted and the property returned to the rightful owner.
Did they accumulate wealth from act of government?
For example, our government imposes tariffs on sugar imports. That has made domestic sugar growers wealthier than they would be if they faced foreign competition directly. This extra wealth for domestic sugar growers comes as a direct loss to consumers who pay more than they have to for sugar products and have less to buy other stuff. I don’t think is fair. Government shouldn’t be used as a tool to enrich some at the expense of taxpayers. Fortunately, there’s a simple remedy for that. Remove government from that situation. Remove the tariff on sugar imports.
Did they earn it through free, voluntary transactions in the market place?
If so, these folks should be thanked. Their wealth is evidence that they provided a good deal of value to a good number of people. Now, we may not all agree with or like how these folks choose to spend their money, but they may not like the way you choose to spend yours. They have no more right to tell you what to do with your private property than you they.