The Marxist Income Inequality Lie

Richard Epstein

Richard Epstein of the New York University School of Law explained simple economics to the Leftists at PBS recently.  Somebody will probably get fired for allowing this guy on the air at Propaganda Broadcasting System, but for now be thankful for the lesson.

Right now, the wealthy in America are NOT paying their fair share of the tax burden–they are paying far too much. Americans should all be treated the same before the law, which means, instead of a Marxist progressive tax scheme, all Americans should be paying taxes at the same rate. The wealthy will still pay far more money (it’s simple math), but the law would not be penalizing them for doing better. In fact, much of the immense complexity of our tax system (and the resulting loopholes and finagling) are due to our government’s obsession with “sticking it to the rich.”

As a result, we end up taking a lot of productive money out of the economy that could otherwise be spent on starting new businesses, expanding existing ones, creating more jobs, and purchasing more of those products made by wage-earning Americans.  We shoot ourselves in the foot with our covetousness and class warfare.

Rather than pursuing Marxism, socialism and all the various forms of class warfare, we should be seeking to force our own government to go back to operating within its constitutional authority. Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution provides our federal government only a few powers which are, as stated by James Madison, to be “exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.”   If we return to the constitutional standard, there will be very little need or opportunity for government to be picking the winners and losers in our country, little need or opportunity for the wealthy to lobby for this favor or that, and a lot less wasted time and effort than we see today.

We tried socialism (before the term really existed) early in our nation’s history…and it was the same abysmal failure then that it always was before or since.

Put aside any utopian fantasies you might have and step into the real world for a moment. If working hard will net you the same rewards as doing as little as possible (or even sitting on your can), are you going to work hard? Be honest. This is why Marxism is inherently unfair and inefficient: it refuses to acknowledge basic human nature.

Have you noticed what economic powerhouses Marxist countries are? Have you noticed what utopian paradises of innovation and lack of need that they are? The reason you haven’t noticed this is because they are exactly the opposite of economic strength, innovation and lack of need. Have you noticed what a rat hole Cuba is? Have you observed what a brutal, repressive hellhole North Korea is–perpetually on the verge of starvation and famine? Remember the famines of the Soviet Union that killed millions?

The privation I mentioned in these Marxist hellholes (which have to keep their people prisoner in order to keep all their citizens from fleeing) brings up another important point about Marxism. Do you really think there aren’t “haves” and “have nots” in Marxist societies? Excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing for a while. Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, or any Marxist country you want to name: you have a few people in power who live high on the hog, while the teeming masses live at the bottom of the ladder and often starve to death. Equality? Egalitarianism? They are the living epitome of the philosophy of the pigs in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where all animals are equal…but some animals are more equal than others.

There will always be “haves” and “have nots” and income inequality in any society. It’s simply part of the human condition, brought on by the worst in human nature–and no amount of Leftist wishful thinking will ever change that. But in free societies like America, we have the opportunity to change our station. We have the opportunity to better ourselves with education, hard work, a strong work ethic, improving our lives and reaping the rewards. In Marxist societies, the government-enforced “egalitarianism” guarantees that the unwashed will always remain “where they belong” at the bottom.

Only someone who is insane (and someone living in the fantasy world of Marxism is definitely disconnected from reality) would want to live in an egalitarian society. When it comes down to it, what someone else has or makes is none of your business. If someone cheated, defrauded or otherwise broke a law to obtain ill-gotten gains, then step forward with the proof…or shut up. There’s a good reason God so strongly condemned covetousness in the Ten Commandments, and we would do well to remember that.

We would so ourselves one better to worry less about what another person has that we don’t, and worry more about how we can work harder to reap more of the rewards to be found in this wonderful land of opportunity known as America.

HT: Hot Air.

Watch Does U.S. Economic Inequality Have a Good Side? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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