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What is Redistribution?

September 23rd, 2012

In a much talked-about video from 1998 that has just surfaced, President Obama says “I actually believe in redistribution.”

But what does that mean?

Redistribution is a fancy word for creating level incomes in a particular society.  Specifically, you take money from the rich and give it to the poor.  Redistribution is the main focus of Socialism, because Socialists believe that everyone should be equal — regardless of how much they work or how much money they make on their own.

To a point, America already redistributes some of its wealth.  After all, money for welfare and other government assistance programs comes from tax dollars.  So, some of the rich’s money is already given to the poor.

However, what would happen if America were to place more emphasis on redistribution?

History gives us two big examples of where redistribution has been tried — and failed:

–        Henry VIII seized money from the Catholic churches in England and gave it to his supporters.  However, it still wasn’t enough to keep the country afloat.  Henry VIII wound up having to lower the value of the country’s coins — which led to massive inflation.

–        During the French Revolution, police took money from the wealthy citizens.  What they left behind, looters stole for themselves.  In the end, Louis XIV was beheaded, and France was left with a dictator in charge named Napoleon.

It made a nice catch phrase for Robin Hood, but is taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor what our forefathers intended for America?

While we can’t speak for all of them, we know that Thomas Jefferson was against it.  In a letter to Joseph Milligan in 1816, Jefferson wrote:

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

 

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