Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Don Boudreaux sent a letter to the Boston Globe. I'm quoting it here in it's entirety because it's excellent:

Derrick Jackson wants government to reduce income differences among Americans ("Politely declining to touch the income gap," August 19). Forget that even poor Americans today generally have greater access to goods and services than did middle-income Americans of a generation ago. Instead ask: what kind of philosophy demands that government adopt and act on values that all decent parents teach their children to reject?

Who among us sends our children to school or to the playground with admonitions to begrudge classmates or playmates possessing nicer clothing or fancier toys? Who among us counsels our youngsters to form schoolyard coalitions for forcibly confiscating expensive sneakers and video games from 'rich' kids for "redistribution" to poorer kids? Who among us would not scold our children for such envy, and punish them severely if they participated in such thievery?

Children should avoid envy and learn to thrive by producing rather than by taking. The same is true for adults.

Donald J. Boudreaux

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