There is 1 leftist strain of thought which still piques my interest: is wealth inequality bad? I have always shelved the question, because I could not answer it satisfactory. But I’ve done some thinking.
The idea at its core is leftist, extensively described by Marx: a small rich elite enjoys a life of abundance at the expense of the lower classes. But even if all socialist corrections fail horribly, the moral question remains: is it fair that the top 10% of the population controls 50% of its wealth?
The best modern day advocate for redistribution policies is Thomas Piketty, whose argument is ‘wealth inequality is bad, government needs to redistribute’, as described in his way-too-long-will-never-read book ‘das Kapital in the 21st century’. Naturally, I disagree.
Now, truth be told, I don’t mind the rich elite having some enemies. After all, I am not the rich elite, and I know some of the rich elite, and I find some of them to be genuine assholes whom I would not at all mind at all, as we say in Holland, to sing a tune lower. Nonetheless, Piketty spouts bullshit.
I believe his data: that a large portion of wealth is in the hands of a minor portion of the population. Apparently not even that disproportional — 10% pop has 50% wealth is much less skewed than the 1% pop 99% wealth I had in mind. But still, disproportional.
Piketty’s solution is a non-solution. You cannot stop the poor from being poor by giving them money. I’ve come to believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch, that that which is not earned is never owned. If your sugar daddy gives you a free iPhone, you will not take care of that iPhone, you are prone to break it, because in your mind it was never really yours. Same with lottery winners; the money they won was never really theirs, they have no clue what to do with it. Same with the poor: give them money and they’ll spend it on exactly the same things they normally spend it on: tobacco, alcohol, drugs. Wealth redistribution doesn’t work, works only to create chaos.
But still, Piketty will insist, it is our moral duty to do something! No, it is not. Ostensibly Piketty talks about moral duty, but in truth he talks about justifying covetousness: that he wants what the rich have, that it is morally just to want what others have, what is not yours. That is not a moral principle, that is a sin.
I’m not saying every rich guy on earth deserves his wealth. Pretty sure there’s a significant amount of cheating scum with loads of money. But whatever way they earned their money, it is their money, not yours. Envy is never sexy.
… Which will not stop Piketty and associated leftists from promoting wealth redistribution. In fact, we have loads and loads of government sanctioned wealth distribution in the West. But we should call these schemes for what they are: jealous, covetous, envious.