Do people really want income redistribution?

Our President famously said that he wanted to spread the wealth around. Do you like that idea?

If people think income redistribution is such a swell idea, why not level the playing field around the world and not just in the U.S.? Check out this Global rich list site and see where you fit in. If you make $50,000 per year you are in the richest 1% of the people in the world.

If we really want to even everything out you’ll have to give up everything except $850 per year. That would put you at the 50% mark.

If you are reading this you are highly likely to be a very blessed person financially. Get out of debt as quickly as you can, live within your means and thank God for your good fortune. Give generously and joyfully because you want to, not because you have to.

Capitalism rocks! It has its hard edges, but it blows away all the other “isms” when it comes to helping the most people in the most significant way.

0 thoughts on “Do people really want income redistribution?”

  1. The only income redistribution I’d agree to is the redistribution of the wealth of those who insist on income redistribution. Then, leave the rest of us the hell alone.

    As it is, I already redistribute my wealth as I see fit, to whom I see fit, when I see fit. I don’t need some liberal faker to tell me how. For all those Obama supporting libs who think everyone should have health care, they can donate their own money to those who have no insurance. Start a fund, a foundation, a charitable organization that exists for the purpose of letting the libs who are generous with other peoples’ money, put their own money where their big mouths are.

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  2. “Capitalism rocks.”

    True story.

    What we have in America is beyond amazing. Our ability to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, live to an old age, and produce wealth and stability has never been seen before in the world. This is the exception.

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  3. Just curious. Where do you think the legitimate interests of the people end and those of the corporation begin? What, if any, restrictions should be placed on capitalism? Keep up the good work and God bless.

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  4. Great post Neil! I forwarded this to our entire department here at work. There are a few people here that constantly rail against “evil” rich people. I enjoy pointing out that they are talking to themselves!!

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  5. I don’t know anyone who is totally in support of pure capitalism or pure socialism. On a scale that was a thousand points, your views would differ from mine by a few notches, yet you create this vast canyon between us by applying a capitalist or socialist label.

    My problem with capitalism is that it is a system that progressively distances the rich from the poor, and without checks and balances, creates distinct classes.

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    1. Not sure who or where anyone applied a label. However, Obama used the phrase “spread the wealth” himself, a purely socialistic ideal.

      So you should be upset with Obama if anyone…….

      And to your last point, please. Classes have existed under every economic system in human history. To say that is solely a result of capitalism is ignorant. The problem is not the economic system, the problem is that there are always those that are willing to work hard for more, and those that want more without working hard.

      Personally, I’d prefer a system that rewards working hard for more over one that penalizes for it.

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      1. I didn’t say there is a system better than capitalism. Overall, despite its problems, I think it’s the only system that works, for precisely the reason you mention. Those who work hard and contribute more need to be rewarded.

        My problem is with the tipping point that exists with wealth. You must admit that there is a point where the accumulation of wealth alone is what gives a person power, not the hard work itself. At that point, one does not need to work for money, and it keeps flowing. Do you really think that the distribution of wealth is currently in line with how hard people work? It’s not, and it likely never will be.

        Wealth does need to be spread around more, unless you are one who believes all poor people are lazy.

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      2. A) The distribution of wealth will never be “fair” across the board. Never has been, again regardless of the economic system in place.

        B) I disagree in totality about spreading wealth around more. Work hard and you will not be in want.

        C) I do not believe all poor people are lazy. Though I think the percentage of lazy people that are poor is exponentially higher than the percentage of lazy people that are wealthy.

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      3. I disagree that accumulating wealth is somehow bad and that we must confiscate “some” of it, especially when Liberals seem to define “some” as “everything above what I have.” Most of these people took risks with their money and made more. Good for them. I don’t covet what they’ve generated.

        At least that is my political view; on a personal level, I think we should be very generous with what God has blessed us with.

        Again, if you want redistribution, get serious about it and give away everything except $850 per year.

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      4. Well then, let’s take this to an extreme to try to illustrate my point. Do you think it would be okay if a person, through hard work, gained so much wealth that she controlled every business in the country, and then decided how much everything was to cost? When the wealthy get to a certain point of personnel worth, they begin to control their own ability to earn simply by their economic influence.

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      5. When the wealthy get to a certain point of personnel worth, they begin to control their own ability to earn simply by their economic influence.

        That’s a hidden metaphor for why government run health care is such an awful idea, isn’t it? You sneaky guy, you!

        Your hypothetical is so extreme that I don’t the usefulness in the current discussion. Consider Walton, Buffet and Gates. None of them got even close to that. I think Gates was quite unethical at times in amassing his wealth, but that’s another story. They made a lot of other people rich along with themselves and created a lot of jobs. They took risks.

        Coveting is bad for us.

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      6. Extreme hypothetical are counterproductive. For instance, what if everyone became so poor that no one could afford anything and we all starved to death. I think that is about as likely as the hypothetical you raise.

        You started this whole discussion saying pure capitalism and pure socialism would never be supported. I think that is true. Capitalism isn’t perfect, and therefore we have allowed certain controls to be put into place. However, continuing to move down the control road to socialism is bad too. I think we are past the tipping point and we need to limit government’s intervention into free markets, not continue to allow them to enact further intervention.

        The problem is the attitude that rich people are bad or evil and therefore must be stopped. That is rooted in jealousy and as Neil alluded to covetousness. Aspire to be more like them instead of trying to take from them what is rightfully there’s. (I say that loosely since everything actually belongs to God.)

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      7. I’m glad we all agree that the solution lies somewhere between socialism and capitalism. I think you would both be surprised how close we are.

        I agree that rich people are not necessarily evil, but corporations are necessarily evil (they are all about “coveting”), and are the entities behind which many rich people hide.

        If we were just talking about people, I would agree with everything you say, but capitalism is about businesses, and many businesses are only as moral as they are regulated to be.

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      8. I think the answer lies between capitalism and capitalism, economically speaking.

        Politicians are immoral as well.

        See my latest post on how you can defeat the evil corporations.

        Sent from my iPhone

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      9. The question would then be how has a rich guy used his power against you? I’ve never been smacked by a rich guy in any way. I don’t think rich people are necessarily more nasty or greedy than anyone else.

        I’ve read a few books by rich people and they all seem to view themselves as average, regular people who simply did things most people don’t or won’t do. They all seem to believe that they haven’t done anything most people can’t do if only they’d learn them and do them.

        One thing that is very common amongst the non-rich is the idea that something special had to happen in the lives of the rich that helped them become so. Too many people wait for some kind of break to get them to the financially promised land. Some of the things the rich people have done in their early years, according to the books I’ve read, are things that are repellent to most everyone else. For example, I’ve read a couple of guys that worked for nothing for a rich guy to learn how he got there. How many people are willing to do ANYTHING for nothing? These people didn’t have a time limit on it, either. They went on until they learned something and then went off on their own and took the risks and put in the effort.

        Capitalism having any downsides is more a state of mind of those who have not availed themselves properly of what a system like it can provide. We all won’t reach the same heights, but one can’t complain if they aren’t going to make the effort, AND make the right efforts.

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  6. Ryan: I couldn’t agree with you more. By labelling people liberal or conservative, republican or democrat we often automatically disqualify good ideas from those we perceive as “the bad guys”. I believe most people and most economic systems have something good to offer. Why not co opt the things that are working and disgard those that aren’t.? Take what you need and leave the rest. Neither unbridled capitalism or socialism is anything to celebrate. The 20th century is littered with the corpses of both these failed experiments.And yes,as is often the case,the solution lies somewhere betwen these two extremes.

    Marshall Art said: “Capitalism having any downsides is more a state of mind of those who have not availed themselves properly of what a system like it can provide.” Your kidding right?

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    1. Hi Warrick,

      I don’t see that splitting the difference is desirable. Let’s remember the distinction about what capitalism is: “an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.”

      That doesn’t mean there are no laws or restrictions around business. But it is so easy to demonstrate that with competition you end up with better products and services. As long as we have private property rights, the rule of law and low barriers to starting businesses then consumers win.

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    2. Warrick, the problem with your proposal is that the goal of a little socialism is more socialism. Take the New Deal from the 1930’s. Even FDR himself intended to go away from Social Security to a privatized retirement system.

      Mention privatization of SS today and people start running around, flailing their arms, and screaming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”. In my experience, there is no such thing as a a partial socialist. Socialists (sorry for the labeling but it is my comment!) have an end goal, and that end goal is for government control of everything.

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      1. P.S. Marshall Art was dead on with his assessment. How about offering a little more than “Your(sic) kidding right?”. That was a cope out response. You might as well have said: “I hate capitalism and therefore am dismissing your astute observation out of hand.”

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      2. the goal of a little socialism is more socialism

        Which arse was that pulled out of? Stop watching Glen Beck.

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  7. Neil: I’m prepared to be disabused of my apparently crazy notion of taking good ideas and systems that work elsewhere and implementing them, if you can defend that position. Frankly, I fail to see why it’s a bad idea to use a good idea but like I said, call me crazy.
    The real problem with capitalism, socialism or most any “ism” is human nature. Wherever we look, fallible human beings are pursuing personal enrichment, often with total disregard for the consequences to others. I’m sure Jeffery Sachs didn’t “really” mean for the per capita average wage in Bolivia to drop from $845.00 in 1985 to $789.00 just two years later in 1987.I mean, that’s real progress! Or for the average Bolivian peasant to be earning slightly over $140.00 annually. Nor,for that matter, unemployment to rise to almost 30% or many children to become victim to malnutrition. All of this after his avowed intention of returning Bolivia to a “normal market economy”. A bit like killing the patient to cure the disease. These are the types of negative outcomes that unfettered capitalism can bring. The same can be said for tyrannical socialism. For years banks(and their credit card surrogates) have charged sometimes usurious rates of interest with the apparent blessing of the governments of the day. Yet, at least here in Canada, we have rarely received more than 2-3 % interest on our savings. Doesn’t seem quite right, does it?These types of examples could be multiplied many times over. Instead of coming down on the side of capitalism or socialism, how about we come down on the side of justice and simply doing what’s right, bottom line notwithstanding? Seems I remember reading about that in the Bible somewhere. As I said, neither of these systems( or any other) is perfect. Let’s at least have a discussion on how to improve them without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    LoneWolfArcher said:”That was a cope(sic) out response. You might as well have said: “I hate capitalism and therefore am dismissing your astute observation out of hand.” Lone Wolf,it’s time to take the red,white and blue glasses off. You seem to have forgotten your history. Let me refresh your memory(if the above hasn’t already). “For fear of compounding their legal liability, Union Carbide would not identify the chemical agents that fueled this catastrophe, leaving doctors to treat victims without an answer to their agony. Choking, with violent convulsions, many Bhopal residents drowned in their own body fluids. Thousands died that night.”Yup, another responsible corporation. “It was soon revealed that none of the six safety systems at the Union Carbide plant were functional, and Union Carbide’s own documents demonstrate convincingly that the company designed the plant with “unproven” and “untested” technology, cutting corners on safety and maintenance in an effort to save money”. I guess as long as you’ve “ never been smacked by a rich guy in any way” it’s okay. Oh, did I mention over 20000 people died? I suspect that many of the owners of Union Carbide may well have been “rich guys”. Isn’t Ford on the record as saying it’s cheaper to pay the wrongful death suits than to fix the cars? The porn “industry” is lamenting it’s loss of profits and national magazines are actually buying into it,instead of condemning this abomination which is hardly victimless. This is just one aspect of corporatism run amok. Space prevents me expanding further, but I think you get the idea.

    One of the hallmarks of capitalism and American “pioneering spirit” has always been an ability to come up with great solutions to fix things that need “fixin”. Let’s put that to good use again and fix what’s wrong with our part of the world. And Ryan,you’re right again. Too much Glen Beck will rot your brain.

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    1. Hi Warrick,

      You are confusingthe issue. I defined the terms for a reason. You are implying that I oppose any regulations of business I never made that claim. I oppose gov’t ownership of GM, school loans, health care, etc. You continue to argue against a claim I never made.

      Sent from my iPhone

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    2. I do understand human nature and the Bible, which is why I oppose gov’t control of industry.

      To say we are ok with what Union Carbide did is silly.

      Sent from my iPhone

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    3. A company committing negligent homicide has nothing to do with capitalism. Sorry, but that is ludicrous. That is like the fear-mongers that try to ban guns because some idiot shoots up a school. You blame the individual, not the tool he used.

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  8. Neil: I started off a couple of posts ago asking “Where do you think the legitimate interests of the people end and those of the corporation begin? What, if any, restrictions should be placed on capitalism?” Apparently,nobody cares to answer these questions, trusting that, why, everything is just fine,thank you very much. Instead, what we find is a lot of rhetorical chest beating. There is a huge difference between a theoretically perfect system (i.e. capitalism and socialism) as you have defined it and what happens in the real world. I agree with you that it generally works best when government stays out of the business of being in business. Naturally, there are exceptions to every rule. By 1985 after the economy of Chile had “stabilized” and was growing again, 45% of the people were living below the poverty line. The RICHEST 10%,however, saw their income grow by almost 83%! The only thing that kept Chile from total economic collapse was the fact that the state copper mine, NATIONALIZED by Allende, not only was NEVER PRIVATIZED but accounted for almost 85% of Chile’s export revenue! Now, if we can agree that an economic system should have the betterment of it’s citizens at heart(I hope we can agree on this)then clearly something went horribly wrong. Remember, all those resources belong to the people of Chile( and God ultimately)and not to a corporation that only has relocation of that wealth offshore as its primary goal. Let’s at least try to ensure a fair return for the natives.
    By the way, I’m neither implying you oppose regulating business nor arguing against a claim you never made. I am quite certain that you recognize the need for reasonable controls in the economy. It’s the extent of those controls and regulations I was trying to determine with my original question. Instead, we get ( not from you) comments like “Capitalism having any downsides is more a state of mind “ and “Capitalism rocks” which are ridiculous on their face. Being critical of capitalism does not equate with wanting “government control of everything” as LWA seems to believe.
    I’m still open to being convinced that taking good ideas from “the dark side” is a bad idea, though I doubt anyone could maintain that position for long. Not only might it be a way to improve the free market system but it just seems like a no brainer to me. I mean,seriously, do the republicans really believe that there is NOTHING good in the proposed so called “Obama care”? It’s the ideological extremism on this site re the overall issue that I find most disturbing: “Capitalism good, everything else bad”. As has been well said ”capitalism is the worst system we have….except for everything else!” I hope we can all at least agree that for all it’s benefits, capitalism has a long way to go.
    To LoneWolfArcher and Neil: Apologies if I left either of you with the impression that you have no problem with Bhopal etc. As brothers in Christ I’m sure this breaks your hearts as it does mine. Rather, the point was to highlight what can happen ( and has happened many times)when we throw caution to the wind and simply hope that corporate America will behave nicely,well, just because they are just so darn responsible. Remember, real people with real families with real obligations are the ones who end up suffering.
    Neil, thanks for the respectful and thoughtful discussion so far! Blessings!

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    1. Warrick,

      The issue I take with your stance (now that you have taken issue with mine! 🙂 ) is that it is based on the false idea that capitalism is the only economic system that results in the majority of the wealth ending up in the hands of the few.

      I have never argued that isn’t the case in capitalism. However, what I have argued is that it is the same in socialism and every other system of economics known to man. The difference is in who ends up with the wealth. In capitalism, the wealth is in the hands of private citizens. In socialism it is in the hands of the central government.

      Now I don’t know about you but I am for the former rather than the latter. Time and time again history has shown what fraud and misuse occurs when the latter is the case. Also, unlike socialism, capitalism allows for those not in the upper-class to aspire and strive for it. I could site many many self-made millionaires in the U.S., where in socialist nations, or those further down that path, that isn’t the case.

      So yes, I believe capitalism is better than any of the other options. I am definitely not for the hybrid that Canada, and many European nations have opted for.

      That is why I am against Obamacare. While there is some good in Obamacare, as you point out, the bad outweighs the good. The government is already involved in way too much, let’s not give them our health care on top of it.

      As you did with Neil, I thank you for being respectful and thoughtful. We disagree, that is obvious. I am not trying to convince you to come to my way of thinking, but more just giving you the reasons why I feel the way I do.

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  9. LoneWolfArcher: I’ll make a few points and then let you have the last word. First: please will somebody answer my initial questions re the legitimate interests of the people ending and those of the corporation beginning? As well, what if any restrictions should be placed on corporations? I can’t take the not knowing much longer! You ( and Neil) want to overlook the examples of failed capitalism I have given, as if they were mere blips on a radar screen. These are serious problems for which the unrestricted free market champions seem to not have an answer. If capitalism is so great, these countries should have seen better outcomes and adopted capitalism without coercion. It would be nice to know how you define success for the average person in any economic system. I suspect there would be as many definitions as the number of people you asked! We need to recognize that at some point the system( whatever that is) should be working for the great majority of people,or frankly, it’s not worth a hoot!

    You remarked that the difference between systems is that the wealth in capitalism ends up in the hands of private citizens. Had you said in the hands of a few private citizens you would be closer to reality. This is, of course, the same in socialist/communist regimes. For instance, in China, almost all of the billionaires( as measured in Chinese currency) are family members of party officials, some aprox 2600 individuals commonly referred to as “the princes”.In South America, we have the same story where government officials bestowed great wealth and ownership to a greedy few(socialist in name only) prior to their economies collapsing. And,of course, Russia has her oligarchs. Seems like where ever you look,its the same story.

    Sorry to burst your bubble:) but we all can’t be millionaires, At best, 5% of the population(i.e. The dominant 5%) can ever hope to attain such lofty heights. I question the wisdom of rating any system by the number of self made millionaires listed in Forbes etc. Like I said, we need to define what success is and I for one refuse to define it in purely monetary terms.

    Neither our so called hybrid system or the American one is perfect. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. I suspect what is really important in terms of judging relative success is how the people in each country rate their own system overall. If internal polls and outside surveys are to be believed, Canada is punching way above its weight, especially economically.

    I’m not for or against Obamacare as I don’t know enough about it to pass judgment. Whatever happens, I just hope it doesn’t break the bank. Your country has a hard road ahead debt wise, so fiscal responsibility should be the order of the day. I am disturbed by reports that it would support tax payer funded abortion, something that I believe is already outlawed in other legislation. Just consider that there may well be some good stuff in there and don’t a priori reject it because it comes from the other side of the aisle,advice I would also suggest the Democrats follow.

    Bottom line: let’s both of us remember to not become too enamored of any worldly system as we know a time is coming they will all be discarded, when our great Captain and King returns to make everything new! Maranatha and blessings!

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    1. Hi Warrick, I appreciate your tone and core beliefs. I just don’t have time to respond to all you bring up because much of it is not related to claims I made. I don’t know of a finite line between individual and corporate rights and am not sure what point that would make. No one claimed capitalism is perfect. I have said multiple times that it has it’s rough edges. No one said there should be zero regulations. But it is the best system and second place isn’t close.

      Sent from my iPhone

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    2. To kind of quote Socrates (he said Democracy though: “Leave our capitalism alone!” 🙂

      Warrick, you apparently didn’t fully read my response. As I conceded that capitalism results in wealth ending up in the hands of a FEW private citizens.

      But, as I said, we are at am impasse. Neither of us is going to convince the other. Let’s agree to disagree. I choose to live in a capitalistic society. Their are many socialistic societies for you to pick from as well.

      Peace to you………

      P.S. I am not sure about the answer to your question. At it’s heart it is philosophical, much like the question “Where does the rights of one individual end and another’s begin?” For instance, your right to smoke (I am not saying you do this is just a hypothetical), and my right to be free from 2nd hand smoke. Where do those rights meet? Are public places the domain of my right or yours? Those are things government can and should work out, with the consent of the people. But I do take issue with the basis of your question. I do not think the rights of the individual and the rights of the corporation are mutually exclusive.

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  10. LWA: I just had a scary thought; What if capitalism is the predicted end times system in place before the parousia? Gulp! ( just kidding!)

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