James Madison warned that as our country grew in population, that those who were considered self-sufficient (or as we’ll discuss later, the makers) would be in the minority. The risk would be that the majority would seek redistribution of wealth through the political process. James Madison,
In all civilized Countries the people fall into different classes having a real or supposed difference of interests… There will be particularly the distinction of rich & poor… An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, & secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in in this Country, but symtoms, of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger.
Madison was correct in his warnings of the future danger. In a free society, some people will be more successful than others. Some will acquire more wealth than others. Madison spoke more on the risks:
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man… divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity… the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property.
As more and more people (47%) find themselves with no federal tax liability, the danger is real. Soon, a majority in this country will be paying no federal taxes. We are developing a culture where we punish success and have disdain for those who are successful. We provide so many long term safety nets for individual failure that we incentivize failure. We create a culture where people are encouraged to simply take money from those who make money.
Economist Chris Coyne is correct in his observations regarding the takers in our society.
More and more of our citizens are encouraged to vote for more Corruptocrats so that they can receive more government handouts. The thinking at the individual level is, “Banks get bailed out, why not me?” That is precisely what Coyne hits upon in his comments on Takers versus Makers. People see the inequalities of wealth on a large scale being subsidized by the government. They feel that it is through the government that they can receive their financial justice. The dangerous turn of the Occupy Movements is the focus on the failures of capitalism. The problem is not a failure in capitalism, but the continued failures of socialism in the guise of capitalism. Fellow blogger Daniel Fee uses the term “faux capitalism” which is aptly named.
Economist Jeff Miron speaks on the top three current myths about capitalism. One of which is the misconception that being pro-capitalism is pro-business. This could not be further from the truth. Being pro-capitalism is about being pro-consumer.
I will remind readers now of what Alexander Hamilton reminded us of at the founding of our country. Hamilton,
It was certainly true that nothing like an equality of property existed: that an inequality would exist as long as liberty existed, and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.
Our country was founded on everyone being created equal under the law. But, with our continued progression of legislating punishments on some segments of society to the benefits of others, such as a progressive tax system or subsidizing some businesses and industries over others, we create greater inequalities under the law. You can not reach an equality of property or wealth without losing the equality of us all under the law. We will sacrifice our liberty in our chasing of the equality-carrot. We will lose our liberty, our wealth, and our republic.