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April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
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How the Free Market Redistributes Wealth Vs. How the Government Does

Allowing private actors to produce and act selfishly redistributes wealth better and more fairly than the government ever can.
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Back in 2008 when I was still a Bill O’Reilly fan and a mainstream “neoconservative” type guy who loved the idea of spreading freedom with very powerful explosive devices throughout the world, I still didn’t like Barack Obama. It was on the Glenn Beck Program, who I am also no longer a fan of at all, that I heard some recordings of Obama talking on some radio show in Chicago about the failures of the Civil Rights movement in how they did not go far enough when they backed off from demanding court-ordered “redistributive measures” or something to that effect.

I specifically remember the word “redistributive” rolling off Obama’s silver tongue like a drop of glue-based dew on a glistening fake house plant shining in Vaseline basking in the artificial light of a sun lamp. It sounded so seductive and scary.

Go Glenn! I’d say.

Here’s how government redistributes wealth:

Government, benevolent and friendly and wanting to help the poor, seizes money by force from anything productive. Politicians take the money and start a welfare agency. The welfare agency provides paychecks for its bureaucrats, all of whom are friends of the politicians who seized the money. The benevolent welfare agency with the big heart runs out of money providing paychecks to all the bureaucrats running it before it hands out any stolen money to poor people, so the welfare agency lobbies for more money, which they use to expand the welfare agency and give more paychecks to more buddies of legislators, all of whom have huge hearts and went into the business of government bureaucracies to help poor people because they are so selfless. They run out of money again before they start doing anything, so they lobby Congress to steal more money from anything productive so they can do their job of eating paychecks more effectively, with huge big hearts of love and giving and benevolence.

With production down, there’s less stuff, making everything more expensive and hurting everyone’s standard of living. Then we are told that in order to increase our standard of living, the government needs more money.

A few months later, a welfare agency bureaucrat flips a quarter to a beggar on Capitol Hill, quintupling the amount of money given to the poor by the welfare system. The bureaucrat goes home all proud of himself for being such a selfless and giving human being and cashes his next paycheck.

The government runs out of money again, so they call on Ben Bernanke to print it, in the name of stimulating the economy.

Government thereby redistributes wealth from productive people to Congress’ best friends who out of the goodness of their souls, got jobs at a government welfare agency.

Here’s how the free market redistributes wealth:

Rafi and Natasha are paying 115 shekels a month in internet bills. Rafi and Natasha, those money grubbing selfish bastards with nothing but their own wallets on their minds all the time, look for a way to save money. All 115 shekels are going to the private money grubbing selfish internet company, which does nothing but think about how it can squeeze more money out of their greedy, miserly customers all day, every day.

In a fit of pure selfishness and miserliness, Natasha calls Angloprotekzia, a selfish miserly money grubbing company that thinks about nothing but itself all day. This company, purely in order to extract money from its customers, not thinking of the poor at all, provides a service of private negotiation with other private companies, and promises to lower Rafi and Natasha’s internet bills. In exchange, Angloprotekzia gets half of the savings.

In other words, they lower your bills in return for a commission.

Angloprotekzia, smelling the opportunity for money, cash-register heart beating and dollar signs filling its greedy eyeballs, calls the internet company and gets them to lower the bill from 115 shekels a month to 24 shekels a month, saving Rafi and Natasha 91 shekels a month that they can now use to sit there and count again and again, reveling in their money. Or invest. Or buy something with, whatever.

Previous score: Netvision 115, Rafi and Natasha 0.

New score: Angloprotekzia 45.5, Rafi and Natasha 45.5, Netvision 24. Total = 115 shekel.

About the Author: Rafi Farber blogs at SettlersofSamaria.org.


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6 Responses to “How the Free Market Redistributes Wealth Vs. How the Government Does”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    A Samaria settler complaining about government redistribution? Why just about every settlement in Judea and Samaria was established as the result of government subsidies, with tax money taken from citizens of Israel within the Green Line!

  2. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I normally don't respond on the site, but this needs a response….

    Settlers don't pay their share of taxes? Settlers don't run businesses, employ people and bring in tax revenue to the state? Because settlers don't do more than their share of the security burden?

    Charlie, I read all your comments, and while I don't agree with you a lot in general, I respect your position.

    But what you wrote above is a sham argument and a disgusting parroting of a false proposition, and not worthy of the other comments you've written.

    If we Jews didn't live in settlements, we'd be living in some other community where the same schools, roads, medical centers and infrastructure would still need to be built to accommodate the needs of so many people. Whether that be in Jerusalem, Gush Dan, the Negev or the Galil.

    The reality is that housing in settlements helps lower prices in high demand areas such as Jerusalem and Gush Dan, by providing a nearby alternative. If only we were allowed to build more, the pressure on those areas would be reduced even more, creating more affordable housing all around.

    Until it was destroyed, the 1700 settlers of Gush Katif were responsible for 15% of Israel's agricultural export, 60% of Israel's herb and cherry tomato export, and 70% of Israel's organic vegetables and fruits. The state got far more back then it put in – until they destroyed that golden goose.

    And next we can move on to the settler's award winning wines, exported to all over the world.

    Settler and settlement communities are doing far more than their share for the state of Israel, so when you make statements about money being taken away from citizens within the Green Line to build settlement, as if Settlers are parasites, that's just false and ugly.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    "The reality is that housing in settlements helps lower prices in high demand areas such as Jerusalem and Gush Dan, by providing a nearby alternative."

    You've just destroyed Bennett's argument. Government subsidies DO lower housing prices! He just won't admit it.

    "The state got far more back then it put in – until they destroyed that golden goose."

    Correct. GK was an economic success, unlike the settlements in Y & S. But this is an inadmissible argument according to Bennett.

    " Settlers are parasites, that's just false and ugly. "

    I've never said that and don't believe it. I'm just calling out Bennett for his hypocrisy. The settlements required big subsidies to start, many remain uneconomic, and the ones beyond the Security Fence are a drain on IDF resources. It is perfectly legitimate for government to favor one segment of the nation over another, and Bennett even would agree. I'd just like him to stop being disingenuous.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    I'm reminded of the Republicans in the US Congress who are voting against Sandy aid but were quite aggressive in getting aid to their own regions after earlier natural disasters.

  5. The analogy with Sandy does not follow. There's a lot of pork in the Sandy aid bill that was just passed, and a lot of aid was in CDBGs, which are eminently abusable.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    All government programs are abusable, and all appropriations have pork. That is the way we want it. The public doesn't really care about abuse of government programs; the biggest abuser in history is now Governor of Florida.

Comments are closed.

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