Irvine, CA–Politicians and commentators from both parties are claiming that “income inequality” is a danger to America. They propose to alleviate it by raising taxes on the wealthy and expanding various welfare programs.

But, said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, “Income inequality–even vast income inequality–is a good thing. It is not income inequality but its critics that truly threaten this country.

“America is supposed to be a free nation, in which each individual can earn as much money as his ability and effort permit. If this results in vast ‘income inequality’–because different individuals in different professions with different abilities and work ethics create vastly different amounts of wealth–that is a good thing, not a problem for the government to ‘fix.’

“Opponents of income inequality complain that the wealthy ‘command’ an unfair share of national income–as if the wealth in America were a preexisting national pie, of which everyone is entitled an equal slice. But this is false. The vast wealth in America hasn’t fallen from the sky; it has been created through the productive activities of individuals in a free market. No one has a right to more money than he has freely earned–and no one has a right to claim that others have earned ‘too much.’

“For those who want to make more money, the solution is simple; enter a new field, develop new skills, start a business, or do anything else to make yourself more productive. But do not ask the government to loot the successful on your behalf. Nothing could be more unjust or more un-American than that.”

Voice of Capitalism

Capitalism news delivered every Monday to your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest