This post is inspired by a conversation started over at Chris Kirk’s blog. Check it out.
I’m not a full-blown Libertarian, as much as I like to pretend that I am – both in real life and on my Facebook page. I think that philosophically, I align with many of their beliefs, but on a practical level, I have a problem with a number of their stances. Particularly I think abortion should be illegal (you know, the whole “murder” thing) and hard drugs (pretty much everything but Marijuana) should probably just stay out of my local Wal-Mart.
But one area where there is no questioning an alignment between my ideological and practical beliefs is the Libertarian stance on personal property.
Sharing the wealth sounds really noble. There are very poor people and there are stupidly rich people and that’s not fair. We should remedy this by taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. That is fair. Right. Just. Patriotic.
But what about the work it takes to achieve wealth? What about the personal time and material investments that were required to make money? Is it fair to steal the results of hard work, exceptional brilliance or even blind luck?
Despite claims otherwise, taking money from people who have more is punishing them for being successful. And, the result (goal?) of punishment is changed behavior. Rather than work to improve their standing, people will start making business and financial decisions that limit their penalties rather than enhance their success. It might sound ludicrous, but I think people will change their behavior to avoid success.
And that’s the LAST thing we need in this current economic climate.
No, it’s not fair that there is such disparity between wealth and poverty. But the government is not the solution. Higher taxes are not the solution. Forced “sharing” is not the solution. And, based on our history, it appears that the church won’t be the solution either.
So what IS the solution?
Obviously, I don’t have a clue. I think the Fair Tax would help. I think a greater emphasis on personal and corporate responsibility is a start. Not bailing out companies who make foolish business decisions while we allow individuals who are just as foolish to flounder would be a smart PR move.
But that’s all I’ve got. What do you guys think?
NOTE: The winner of the caption contest will be announced on Monday. There is still time to get your entries in, so let’s be clever folks!