Backwards

Another week, another link to Thomas Sowell. This time he wrote about the Fallacy of Redistribution and backs up what I wrote in my post, the iPad Tax. I greatly appreciate his ability to simplify things.

In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler’s Holocaust in the 1940s.

How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth — and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending and feeding while raising them to maturity.

Barack Obama can endlessly proclaim his slogan of “Forward,” but what he is proposing is going backwards to policies that have failed repeatedly in countries around the world.

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They made their own pies

Wealth redistribution is often discussed in terms of “divvying up the pie fairly.” Nobody seems too interested in where exactly the pie came from.

Recently, I saw this on Twitter from the Ayn Rand Bot (thanks to @downtownjeff for RT that one):

When great industrialists made fortunes on a free market…they created new wealth—they did not take it from those who had not created it.

Great point.