An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
The continued refrain from the Obama
administration is that they are engaged in a struggle against inequality. This
may sound good for the denizens of class warfare, but in fact, it is a claim
In the eyes of God we may all be equals.
Surely we are or should be equal before the law. But in every other respect,
equality is a chimera. If you accept liberty as the precondition of a
democratic state, some people will rise and some will fall. The desire to
attend to one's needs can go from the self-indulgent to the committed
benefactor. Should equality be seen as realistic, ala philosopher John Rawls,
the government must engineer every aspect of a life and, as a consequence,
notwithstanding denials, limit freedom.
Income disparity may upset many people
who harp on the growing valley between rich and poor, but attempts to close the
gap artificially invariably run into the trap of government overreach. Tax
policy is one example. Taking from some to give to others as a form of income
redistribution rarely works. Should the tax be so high it militates against
income increases, the tax base cannot sustain the transfer. And if the transfer
is notable, e.g. two years of unemployment insurance, the incentives for work
and effort are reduced.
Luck may play a role in success, a role
invariably exaggerated by social engineers. More often than not, those with
talent or an ability to recognize a niche in the marketplace prosper. Most of
my colleagues in the academic world resent this success. Invariably they note
"we are smarter than these bourgeois shopkeepers, but our rewards are not
as great." This is merely a reflection of envy that appears as a concern
over income disparity.
Clearly creating opportunity is what a
free market delivers along with mobility going up and going down. That
opportunity isn't always realized when an entitlement psychology settles in, an
entitlement regimen promoted by government to buy votes and encourage
dependency. It is curious, but instructive, that beneficence - the desire to
help those who claim they need assistance - can convert a free man into a
In the race for life, there is rarely a
tie. Some will be at the finish line before others. The key is to try to make
sure the race isn't rigged. Of course, that cannot be guaranteed since some
will have superior genetic material. But if there is one thing the government
should do, it is push the barriers operating against the free market aside. Let
those who want to run do so without an artificial weight around their ankles.
This was the assumption behind the
founding of the nation. It was the point reiterated in the 1965 Civil Rights
Act which stated that neither race nor ethnicity should be an advantage or a
handicap. Fairness is a condition found in the eye of the beholder. But freedom
is not merely subjective; it is bred in the bone. It is what gives life its
meaning. To superordinate equality as a national goal, as the president has, is
to subordinate freedom.
Should there be a desire to close the
income gap - a dubious goal in the first place - I contend we should let the
free market perform its magic unhindered. The government should get out of the
way and its rhetoric might shift to the principles of liberty, individualism
and freedom. These are the foundation stones of this republic and we would be
wise to remember them.
London is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the President
of the London Center for Policy Research. He is president emeritus of Hudson
Institute and author of the book The
Transformational Decade (University Press of America).