Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unjust Deserts and the Redistribution of Wealth

You've got to hear this clash between a "redistributor" and greedy right wing...I mean conservatives.

At opednews.com, Joel S. Hirschhorn takes a look at Unjust Deserts, written by Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly. The book examines how history can show us how the "redistribution of wealth can benefit everyone. It also helps explode the myths created by free market think tanks and politicians. They start with the premise:

...that there is no reason any one person should be entitled to that inheritance.

According to this understanding, it is not so much about redistribution of wealth from the richest people to everyone else, it is more about the morally correct and necessary action to rectify the unjust and immoral ownership of wealth that a relatively small fraction of the population has improperly (though legally) attained.

Here's clip of Gar Alperovitz on a local public radio program, WHA in Madison, Wisconsin, taking calls from a few angry conservatives:

What Americans need to be told by politicians is that “ever-increasing knowledge, accumulating across the generations, is central to the creation of all wealth,” according to the authors. Therefore the proper role of government is to ensure that many more people get some of this wealth. And the practical way to do this is through higher taxation of the unjust deserts now enjoyed by the Upper Class.

Here's another audio clip of Alperovitz trying his best to answer the outraged Republican callers who don't seem to understand even the basic premise.

Looking at this another way: the economic decline of the middle class and the expansion of the working poor result from all these unjust deserts. All the unshared wealth that has resulted from inherited knowledge that a few people have managed to unfairly benefit from. This has produced rising economic inequality and increased economic suffering by so many Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment