Column on My Fine Wealth Redistribution

My Fine Wealth Redistribution
Tibor R. Machan
So Barack Obama got elected president of the United States of America,
allegedly the freest country in the world and in human history, partly on
the promise that he will redistribute a goodly portion of our wealth,
yours and mine and everyone else’s. But why on earth does that make him a
deserving individual? Why, in other words, is that a good thing? First,
why is it a good thing that this wealth is to be redistributed? And then
why is he and his team of politicians and bureaucrats the ones who should
do this redistribution?
I was writing out some checks this morning, some to pay bills to
compensate various people for the work they have been doing for me, and
some as contributions to various causes–like Robert Paul Wolff’s fund to
help black South African graduate students, and like the Institute for
Justice, etc., and so forth. In short, I was doing some wealth
redistribution, all on my own without any need for help from the likes of
Obama & Co. Every month I do this, some of it via the Internet, not even
needing to write checks, merely clicking some icon and sending off the
electronic payment with the utmost efficiency, the money to be removed
from my checking account and provided to those I have selected to receive
But I am not deemed smart or wise enough to carry off this task of wealth
redistribution for nearly 50% of my wealth, not by a long shot. The local
politicians hit me up for some $2K for my property taxes which they then
will distribute according to their standards of what is important to
finance with it; then of course every payday I have substantial sums
extorted from me by various governments, through my employer (who is
forced to be complicit in this extortion), and later, this coming April
15th or thereabouts, some more of my wealth will be expropriated from me
all because I am not deemed smart and good enough to know how much of my
own wealth should be distributed, what I should purchase with it and to
whom I should contribute some of it as a gift.
If you consider it this way, the whole idea of wealth redistribution is a
colossal insult to–and assault against–all of us citizens of the United
States of America. Why should Mr. Obama and his cohorts be the ones to
redistribute a substantial portion of my and your and everyone else’s
wealth? Why not, say, the local bank robber or pick pocket or embezzler?
What actually is the difference between Obama & Co. and all those unsavory
characters such that if the latter attempt to do this wealth
redistribution, they get prosecuted and convicted of criminal conduct but
when the latter proceed to do it they are paid a salary for doing so?
Oh, you may say, it is democracy that makes the difference. A majority of
voting Americans have elected Obama &Co., so they are now authorized to
confiscate a goodly part of my and your and everyone else’s wealth and
proceed to redistribute it as they in their ways choose to do. But why is
this OK? How is it that these voting Americans may authorize these folks
to engage in these dastardly deeds that would send other people to prison
if they were caught doing them?
Surely these voting Americans may not authorize Obama & Co., to engage in
murder or assault or even racial and sexual discrimination, not to mention
banning the religious practices and free expression of Americans. So if
they aren’t authorized to do those things–presumably because doing such
things is vicious, criminal conduct–why do they get to extort funds from
us and spend them as they see fit? What is the difference? Need? No, what
people need they have to secure peacefully, from ones with whom they do
trade or from the charity of their fellows, not by means of the threat of
force as government obtains the portion of wealth it expropriates from us
so as to engage in wealth redistribution.
It seems to me certain beyond any reasonable doubt that Obama & Co. are
no better qualified to redistribute a substantial portion of my and your
and everyone else’s wealth than we ourselves are. And, furthermore, even
if they by some magic did possess greater virtue and wisdom in the
wealth-redistribution department, that still does not authorize them to do
it. As Abraham Lincoln so poignantly noted, “no man is good enough to
govern another man, without that other’s consent.” And the redistribution
of wealth politicians such as Barack Obama & Co., are embarking upon
certainly isn’t done with the consent of those who own that wealth and
from whom it will be confiscated.
So neither is there good reason to think these people are more qualified
to do the wealth redistribution than we all are, nor, certainly, do they
have any moral authority to confiscate the funds they are set to

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