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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.”

Are We Headed for a Repeat of the French Revolution?

September 23rd, 2012

When you look at the in-fighting, the protesting, and the economic climate of America today, you can’t help but be reminded of what was going on in France just prior to the French Revolution.

Let’s rewind to the late 1700’s…

France’s national debt was out of control.  Unemployment was very high.  People in lower classes hated the upper-class citizens — not just the royal ones, but even professional people, because they felt like the professional citizens were taking advantage of them.  And, despite all of the taxes people were paying, France’s economy was wreck.

Sound familiar?

Eventually, people were so angry that they stormed the Bastille prison.  Just like that, the French Revolution had officially begun.

While Bastille Day is celebrated today, the overturn of the prison led to some long-term negative effects.  Once the French Revolution began, the country was full of civil disobedience.  In order to combat it, French leaders decided to create a stricter government.  Soon, they decided that man’s rights were not God-given.  Instead, any rights people had came directly from the government.

As a result, the government started erasing religious freedom.  Churches were seized, and priests were required to take a special oath to the government.  The ones who didn’t were jailed.

A few years later, Napoleon seized on the chaos and took over.  Unfortunately, he was a dictator who caused even more serious problems for the French people.

What do you think?  Is it possible for America to go through a similar revolution?

 

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