sábado, novembro 02, 2013

Consequences of Redistribution

Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution por Robert Higgs:
.. in the full-fledged transfer society, where governments busy themselves redistributing income by means of hundreds of distinct programs, hardly anyone is better off as a result. Those who get something of value from the system frequently give up even more in taxes. Further, because many of the consequences of government income redistribution share the common aspect of impoverishing the society, even those who get a bigger slice than they surrender are cutting into a smaller pie. Only the ruling class—those who constitute the government—can confidently expect to gain, as each new program enlarges the number of official jobs and the bureaucracy’s budget.

In the transfer society the general public is not only poorer but less contented, less autonomous, more rancorous, and more politicized. Individuals take part less often in voluntary community activities and more often in belligerent political contests. Genuine communities cannot breathe in the poisonous atmosphere of redistributional politics. Most importantly, the society that allows its government to redistribute income on a wide scale necessarily sacrifices much of its liberty.

Finally, one must recognize that, notwithstanding what some regard as the institutionalization of compassion, the transfer society quashes genuine virtue. Redistribution of income by government coercion is a form of theft. Its supporters attempt to disguise its essential character by claiming that democratic procedures give it legitimacy, but this justification is specious. Theft is theft whether it be carried out by one thief or by 100 million thieves acting in concert. And it is impossible to found a good society on the institutionalization of theft.

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