The Niskanen Center published an op-ed in the Saturday edition of the New York Times (2/23/2019) entitled, “Abolish Billionaires? No, Abolish Bad Policy”. I agree.
The Democratic Socialists, who are gaining traction, are rightfully passionate about inequities and injustices. But here in New York, they chased out Amazon, along with 25,000 jobs and 27 billion in tax revenue and infrastructure. Bernie Sanders’ platform is an overdose of panacea. But does the mania for equality justify eliminating billionaires? The Niskanen Center comments (forgive the lengthy quote):
The empirical record is quite clear about the general form of national political economy that produces the happiest, healthiest, wealthiest, freest and longest lives. There’s no pithy name for it, so we’ll have to settle for “liberal-democratic welfare-state capitalism….But guess what? … Egalitarian Sweden, an object of ardent progressive adoration, has more billionaires per capita than in the United States.Will Wilkinson, “Abolish Billionaires? No, Abolish Bad Policy”
The fatal flaw in socialist thinking is that the economy is a zero sum game. The haves are stealing it from the have nots. True, poverty, poor working conditions and low wages need correction. But, wealth generated by innovation across all fields enlarges the pie for all. Again, the fatal flaw underlying left wing thinking stems from Marx’s rendering of the labor theory of value: profit is theft. It can be, as we see in Big Pharma. But what is the just reward for enriching society with the implementation of a new idea?