Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Political Purpose of Debasing Profits

I think the job of an economist, before determining his political affiliation, is to first make sure he can rationalize all political affiliations.  Otherwise, he doesn't understand people, or society.  It is important that he does understand society, to the extent that anyone can.  Here are some of my forays into this worthy exercise.

Why do liberals / progressives consistently demonize rich people and the earning of extraordinary profits, even if the income of most people is rising?

   In economic issues, the central component of the progressive platform is force.  Force employers to pay people a certain wage or don't hire them at all.  Force investment firms into mortgage-backed securities and taxpayers to subsidize the homes of others.  Force other taxpayers to pay for the education of my students.  Force you to pay for the health care of other people.
   However, at the same time people support large government plans to redistribute wealth, they dislike the notion of forcing people to do things.  It makes us seem dictatorial.  Consequently, they must be convinced that the people they are forcing are immoral, and that is why the very richest of people will usually be seen as corrupt to the progressive party members.

   Or, does causation run the other way, and force is the natural consequence of believing the richest among us are corrupt?  And let's not deny the possibility that the richest Americans may actually be corrupt (though if they are, does more government solve it, or less?).

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