The problem with redistributing wealth and having everyone equal, aside from how unfair it is to those who are working to better themselves, is the lowest common denominator. That is the number that everyone is reset to so that we are all equal, it is an average down trend. It is mathematically impossible for an average to raise everyone, so someone is reduced, in many cases dramatically.
Some simple statistics:
14.8 percent of the population live below the Government Poverty level. (U.S. Census Bureau 2014) (census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/index.html)
For a family of 3 the annual income for poverty guideline is $20,090. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) (aspe.hhs.gov/2015-poverty-guidelines)
The group that increased in the poverty level were married families and people with Bachelors degrees. In 2014 there were approximately 47 million people in the U.S. living below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). The group most heavily represented are children under 18, at 20% of their population.
A single person, earning minimum wage, working 40 hours per week, with 2 weeks vacation per year is above the FPL. That same wage is less than $100.00 per week from being above the FPL for a family of 3.
The average salary in the US is $46,480.00 (2014 census)
America is the Land of the Free. We are free to worship how and is we want. We are free to try and fail as often as we like. Anyone can make poor (STUPID) decisions. In the privacy of your home you can love whomever you wish and do whatever pleases you with your sexual organs with another consenting adult.
What you are not free from is the consequences of your actions. That is what the Nanny Government and Socialist programs are trying to take away, at the expense of the other 85% of the population. Education is not the answer. The percentage of degree earning adults has increased to 34% age 19 – 29, which is also the group growing in poverty. Providing free education will not eliminate the un- and under employed.
If you want to redistribute wealth, get off your butt and get to work. If you are waiting for someone to hand it to you, you’re part of the lowest common denominator.
One thought on “The Lowest Common Denominator”
It is a little hard to respond to your comments. Your essay does not make entirely clear what you mean by “redistributing wealth and having everyone equal”. There are a number of ideas that can be designated as “redistribution”. Do you have one or more in mind?
You stipulate in the penultimate paragraph that “Providing free education will not eliminate the un- and under employed”. What do you believe will “eliminate the un- and under employed”. What recommendations do you have for those yet to earn a degree and those who have already earned a degree who wish to avoid “un and under employment”? You have used the term “get off your butt” repeatedly in this blog, but I don’t find the expression to be useful. What exactly do you mean I should do when I “get off my butt” if I want to avoid being “un and under employed”?
David Ricardo, “Principles of Political Economy…”, strongly advocated abolishing all “poor laws” (an early term for what many now call “redistribution”) and allowing all unemployed laborers and their families to starve to death. He argued that the reduction in population would work to raise wages and thereby improve the circumstances of those who survived. He further argued that poor laws themselves increased misery by prolonging the time it took the unemployed to die and that they acted to make everybody equally poor. Are you proposing something similar. Is your idea that the un and under employed should be allowed to starve if “getting off their butts” fails to produce suitable results?