“This is the horror which Robin Hood immortalized as an ideal of righteousness. It is said that he fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed, but that is not the meaning of the legend which has survived. He is remembered, not as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became the symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does….Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive.” – Ragnar Danneskjold
From Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged
I know this is a long quote, but apt in light of this article from Politico. Over half of the population think it’s morally right to use force, in the guise of the government, to take from some people (who earn more) and give it to other people (who earn less).
Income inequality is only a useful measure when used in conjunction with a nation’s economic freedom. In a truly free economic system, I would expect to see a few at the top making very large sums due to their highly specialized skills and experience, while most people earn much less due to the more generally available skills.
I am, by education, an accountant. There are thousands of accountants across this nation. Some of us are paid extremely high salaries because of additional skills, expertise, and career choices. Some of us are paid much less because we have less additional skills and expertise as well as making different career choices. Do I deserve some of the money made by the senior partners at the Big Four because I chose not to obtain the skills and expertise or take the career path that would get me that salary?