Is socialism the answer to the gap between rich and poor? Is it the government's responsibility to redistribute wealth to shore up this purported inequality? Is un-leveling the playing field the right way to play it? As a Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith economists myself, I say no, and not because I am a free-market fundamentalist, but rather because of my observations competing and producing in the free-market economy (well, as free-market as it is). Okay so, let's talk because the other day I got into an economic debate over what to do about inequality.
First, I don't think we should do anything other than ensure that free-market capitalism can flourish and make sure that crony capitalism and socialism takes a hike in the US. Now then, let me set the stage for this quick little debate I had the other day.
Robert Reich the former Nobel Economist is today resting on his laurels with an unfortunate misconception as he departs from reality and discusses economic inequality claiming it is due to capitalism. It's isn't, but as the former advisor to the Clinton Administration the gentleman continues to spout his blather (in my view). Still his follower's state things such as; "You must mean like in the rest of the developed world."
Well, have you looked at the rest of the world and the socialist nations and their true economic realities - super high taxes, dwindling quality of life, lack of efficiency?
I've looked at socialist leaning nations like Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and others and just cringe. The reason we have inequality is due to crony capitalism and the human inherent objective to just get by, like any other biological organism - conservation of energy - do the least possible to get the most - and poor folks don't want to work, but line-up for free-stuff and then give away their freedoms and future opportunities to the very wealthy crony capitalists courted by power hungry socialist elite.
I find it rather interesting that those who had caused the problem of inequality are the ones blaming capitalism for not working as they try to justify continued use of obviously failed policies. The US government's and current administration's trend is towards re-distribution (let's just call that what it is; socialism) and this trend has made our economy less vibrant and resilient, and weaker in the process. So, we need to do less of that and get back to our roots of free-market capitalism while steering clear of the power base temptation for cronyism. Please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net.
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