Monday, June 30, 2008

Minding the Gap (follow-up)

"Anonymous" had a comment on my gap posting. I think it's funny, because I'm pretty sure I know who "anonymous" is. There are really only 3 people who read this blog (as far as I know). Anyway, he says:
My biggest concern about the gap is that it allows the rich to fund injustice.
While I think that this is possible, I'm skeptical that this is a prevalant problem. Can you give me some examples of when the wealthy fund injustice?

Anonymous continues...
That said, I don't have a solution. I don't believe in legislating morality
Personally, I don't have a problem when laws are created that prevent people from infringing on the rights of others. That is exactly the purpose of the government, to protect individual rights. Whether the government is the most effective protector of rights is up for debate. But it's certainly a whole bunch better than what it does most of the time, which is to take money from an unfavored group and give it to a favored group.

Maybe that's the example: the wealthy buy politicians. But I don't consider the problem to be with the wealth gap. I consider that to be a problem with the politicians. I don't think the solution to corrupt politicians is to reduce the size of the wealth gap. To me, that's roughly equivalent to saying that sex should be outlawed because some men aren't faithful.

In my opinion, the problem of corrupt politicians is a problem of a small number of people having too much unchecked power. Politicians wield a gun. You have to follow whatever laws they create or the police come get you. It doesn't matter if the laws are valid or not. The process of fighting corrupt laws is incredibly difficult.

I'd very much like to see the government's power greatly curtailed. But I worry that any such reduction would be a short term thing, only to be reasserted later. That seems to be the way our current government is going.

Given that, I'm curious about the idea of removing all government power, e.g. anarcho-capitalism. I don't know whether or not it would work, and what would prevent anyone w/in that framework from turning around and agreeing to form a government. This would, of course, put us (eventually) right back where we are. Still, it's compelling enough to at least be tried as a small scale experiment. I'd be interested in how it turned out.

Anonymous continues...
and I don't believe in redistributing wealth.
I have no problem with voluntary redistribution of wealth. I have a big problem with it when it's forced.

I've said this before, but I see very little difference between the government forcing me (at the point of a gun) to give up my money to be used for the government's purposes, and a thief forcing me (at the point of a gun) to give up my money to be used for the thief's purposes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" had a comment on my gap posting. I think it's funny, because I'm pretty sure I know who "anonymous" is.

< grin >

I'm not hiding from you! But we've already discussed that.

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