Stealing from productive people won't end poverty

In a recent column on rising income inequality in America, commentator Thomas F. Schaller's asks "is President Obama the world's worst socialist?" (Sept. 3).

If by "worst" Mr. Schaller means "most egregious," then Mr. Obama, as a disciple of Saul Alinsky, is high on the list. But Mr. Schaller's essay is a litany of threadbare Marxist canards and misrepresentation of reality.

For example, statistically non-uniform distributions of wealth and income are not and never have been a source of poverty. To suggest that many people are poor because a few people are wealthy is nonsense.

Therefore, stealing from productive people for redistribution will not solve poverty. Bill Gates acquired his modest tens of billions of dollars through innovations that added tens of trillions of dollars in additional wealth to the world economy.

Similarly, other earners in the top 2 percent got there by expanding the economic pie in vast disproportion to what they have earned.

Corporations may be "greedy," but they are not suicidal. They pay substantial salaries and bonuses as relatively small commissions for the extraordinary successes wrought by executives.

The redistributive mania of statists can only destroy such incentives and their resulting superior productivity. Poverty in America is primarily the result this redistributive obsessive-compulsion.

Moreover, Mr. Schaller is deliberately misleading by using unequal individual stock ownership as evidence of wealth inequality. The vast majority of investments are owned by pension plans, funds and exchange-traded funds, which are the primary investments of the bottom 98 percent of earners.

Angelo Mirabella, Silver Spring

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