Talk:Income Redistribution

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RobS: What was wrong with the material you deleted? Ungtss 14:47, 19 August 2007 (EDT)

Two things primarily:
  • the act or government policy...takes two forms: voluntary redistribution (otherwise known as charity)
this is just nonsense.
Why is it nonsense? If the rich give their money to the poor through charity, isn't that voluntary income redistribution? Doesn't the existence of voluntary income redistrubution make involuntary redistrubution look that much more insidious? Ungtss 16:56, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Charity is an act or policy of government? C'mon now. Rob Smith 18:16, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
What I meant was that individuals can redistribute income without government intervention. "The ACT of redistributing wealth, or the POLICY of redistributing wealth." For instance, the early church as recorded in Acts redistributed wealth voluntarily. Jesus and his early followers were big fans of voluntary income distribution. But if you want to limit the scope of the article to government policy, that's fine. Ungtss 20:17, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
originally it even flatly stated "marxist or egalitartian." In the revised form here, it still was just disguised marxist propaganda.
My friend, I'm no Marxist, and i'm not in favor of an equal economic outcome for all people, but if we don't accurately portray the bases for belief, how can we debunk them? Ungtss 16:56, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
So "marxist" is "egalitarian", right? Rob Smith 18:16, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
In theory, yes. In practice, no. Ungtss 20:17, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
As to the Ayn Rand material, all of it in CP needs to be reviewed. None of it appears accurate. Rand is being presented as saying a person born with a disability can starve to death, or a 75 year old unable to work likewise can perish. Until some balance is at least strived for, I intend to remove it all. Rob Smith 15:07, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Have you read any of Ayn Rand's work? Ungtss 16:56, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
No. But I've listened to Greenspan speak since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and he was one of her students. And it's precisley because of her athiesm, I suppose, why I have never really read much of Ayn Rand. However, I find it very difficult to believe she was cold-hearted and wanted the elderly and disabbled to starve to death in a pure capitalist system.
I have read a great deal of her stuff. It's certainly a distortion to say that she wanted the elderly to starve. She thought they should either a) work hard enough in life to save enough for retirement, or b) find some way to merit the necessities of survival in frailty. She held a very stark outlook -- probably a reaction to the Soviet Communism she grew up in. Here is a quote from Ayn Rand explaining her views on charity, that might serve as a starting point:
"My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue." [From "Playboy's 1964 interview with Ayn Rand"], cited at the Ayn Rand institute.[1]Ungtss 20:17, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
I have been around the block dealing with marxist lies for decades. I know how Adam Smith is distorted and lied about by on college campuses. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Here's a typical example I've encountered many times, over many decades, and most recently in Wikipedia (Honestly, before even reading the page, I knew this lie & distortion would be there):
A quote from Adam Smith
In Book 2, Chapter 3 of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote:
"There is one sort of labour which adds to the value of the subject upon which it is bestowed; there is another which has no such effect. The former, as it produces a value, may be called productive; the latter, unproductive labour. Thus the labour of a manufacturer adds, generally, to the value of the materials which he works upon, that of his own maintenance, and of his master's profit. The labour of a menial servant, on the contrary, adds to the value of nothing. Though the manufacturer has his wages advanced to him by his master, he, in reality, costs him no expense, the value of those wages being generally restored, together with a profit, in the improved value of the subject upon which his labour is bestowed. But the maintenance of a menial servant never is restored. A man grows rich by employing a multitude of manufacturers; he grows poor by maintaining a multitude of menial servants.
Of course, I (RobS) had to finsh the quote:
The labour of the latter, however, has its value, and deserves its reward as well" (Andrew Skinner edition 1974, p. 429-430). [2]
So no, I wouldn't know where to begin citing Ayn Rand's comments toward the elderly & disabled, however experience teachers me, someone who considers marxism 'egalitarian' is the last source I'd consider as having any credibitly whatsoever as to what Ayn Rand said or thought. Rob Smith 18:16, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
You'll get no argument from me that most brilliant people are routinely distorted beyond recognition to serve the purposes of lesser minds. I applaud your efforts. Ungtss 20:17, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
You still cannot define Income Redistribution as being a policy of government and refer to charitable giving as a sub grouping of that policy and call it voluntary. Rob Smith 21:17, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
I'm not doing that. I'm defining income redistribution is the redistribution of income, and saying that it can be done voluntarily by individuals, or compulsarily by governments. Ungtss 21:44, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Again, "property already owned" makes no sense; you are saying here that a worker does not own their income. This is pure Marxist crap and advocacy of legitimizing slavery. It all will be reverted. Rob Smith 21:19, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
There is a clear difference between property you already own and income. Wealth redistribution occurs when the government takes your house and gives it to a bum. Income redistribution occurs when the government taxes your income and subsidizes his. Ungtss 21:44, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Also, you reverted a large number of changes without explaining. I put in a long section giving cogent conservative criticisms of income redistribution, including a quote from Friedman. You deleted it. Why? You also failed to respond to any of my comments above. Why? Ungtss 21:44, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
And again, sir, I'm not a Marxist. There's no Communist conspiracy here: Only an effort to accurately define the issues. Ungtss 21:47, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
A person's revenue is thier property, unless a lien exists against it. To say otherwise, is to deny basic equality and the Rights of Man. I know I know, leftists have had much success peddling tripe contrary to this basic fact for several decades, that people are too stupid to understand economic processes or even how to exercise thier basic rights, and they need gulag masters or a nomenklatura to dole out the leftovers of thier own labor back to them (i.e. "income redistribution"), but stuff like that just won't fly here.
Of course an individual's income is his property -- but it's not property he already owns -- it is new property -- an increase in property. That's why it is called "income." There is nothing even vaguely Marxist about that distinction. I would be a lot more upset if the government came and took 25% of my property every year than I am that they took 25% of my income, because at least once I earn something and pay taxes on my new wealth, it's finally mine and they have no more claim to it. I see nothing marxist about that distinction. Ungtss 22:32, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
That is a privacy issue; it is none of your business what a persons accumalated wealth is. Are you attempting to sow hate and envy among so called "classes" of citizens? Rob Smith 22:42, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
What does the difference between income and accumulated wealth have to do with privacy? How does distinguishing between income and accumulated wealth sow envy? When have I used the word "class?" Ungtss 22:59, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
And why do you persist in placing charitable giving as a subset of government policy? Rob Smith 22:16, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
I'm not saying it is, sir. I'm saying that both charitable giving and compulsary redistribution are types of income redistribution, because both processes redistribute income. And if you would, sir, could you address why you deleted all the material criticizing income redistribution? Thanks! Ungtss 22:32, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
You have done precisely that, twice now. You define income redistribution as government policy, then you proceed to divide that policy into two types, compulsory, and voluntary. Then you say that this government policy is responsible for voluntary charitable giving.
I have not defined income redistribution as a government policy. I have defined income redistribution as the redistribution of income, and noted that it can be either a government policy or an act by individuals.
You have done exactly that twice. [3][4] Rob Smith 23:10, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Read those edits carefully, sir. They don't say what you think they do. Ungtss 23:14, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
Really, a junior high school student can see the ludicriously of this statement, which you have inserted twice now. This is beginning to approach trolling, i.e. wasting a Sysops time. Rob Smith 22:42, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
It's easy to label a statement as ludicrous when you fail to read and understand it. Ungtss 22:59, 19 August 2007 (EDT)


RobS, please explain why you deleted my criticism of income redistribution. Ungtss 22:59, 19 August 2007 (EDT)

put Layard's opinion into the article if you label it as his POV


There is strong evidence that increased redistribution of wealth results in better outcomes for health, happiness and crime - as for instance in the Scandinavian countries, which have highly progressive tax regimes. Professor Richard Layard has argued that "in societies where income differences between rich and poor are smaller, the statistics show not only that community life is stronger and people are much more likely to trust each other; but also there is less violence – including substantially lower homicide rates – health is better and life expectancy several years longer, prison populations are smaller; birth rates among teenagers are lower, levels of educational attainment among school children tend to be higher; and there is more social mobility. In all cases, where income differences are narrower, outcomes are better." [5]

Articles should not, generally, argue for or against something.

You can put Layard's opinion into the article if you label it as his POV. If you agree to this, I will unprotect the article. --Ed Poor Talk 13:40, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Of course, but how do i do that? - it does say 'has argued that'.

Start with "Some people argue" or "Socialists believe that". You also might try omitting "There is strong evidence", since just about everyone here disagrees with that assertion.
Leaving it as an argument by Layard makes it okay. We all can agree that Layard made that argument even if we disagree with the points he made.--Ed Poor Talk 13:49, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Ok, grand - but I'm going to remove 'Also, mandatory giving...legitimizes class warfare.', as that's clearly unsubstantiated opinion. Thanks

False Jefferson Quote

I have removed the following Jefferson quote which appears to be fake. In its place I put a quote from Benjamin Franklin, which is genuine and can be sourced beyond secondary sources back to the primary source.


"Levelling" is what wealth redistribution was called 250 years ago. This is helpful for others who seek to research the topic further and break free of the constraints of modern language. It literally is "levelling" as in levelling people's paychecks, earnings, or property, etc. Note that its not always written with a double l.

Elbridge Gerry also mentioned levelling at the Convention in a negative way, though he was less explicit about what he was referring to with the word so I did not include it.