Where I differ on the subject of redistribution is not in whether redistribution is necessary but in how redistribution should occur. The current drive toward wealth redistribution will be a nail in the coffin of an already sick nation. My hope is that it is not too late to change America’s dreadful redistributive course.
For two centuries, Americans have intuitively accepted the notion that the western world has benefited from our acceptance of wealth inequalities between social classes. Most of our citizens have received far greater benefits than would have occurred in other economic systems. Throughout the economic tumult of the 20th century, while conflicts over fair distribution of wealth led to various levels of socialism within western nations, the masses have nonetheless accepted wealth being concentrated in the hands of a very few stewards as a precursor for successful national growth.
For those lucky enough to be perched on the pinnacle of wealth distribution, I offer both God’s blessing and mercy. I am not envious of their stature nor would any misplaced envy change the inevitability of the few destined to sit atop. Capitalism works because mass envy is not a common trait in a healthy economy. It is however a fickle trait that can be politically manipulated when capitalism is stricken ill.
Yet, capitalism is simply a wealth sharing system, nothing more or less, and those that inherit concentration of fortune do so by virtue of grace, luck, a bit of ambition, and the will of a contented public. When contentment sours beyond the realm of sustainability, wealth is always redistributed by the envious, whether for the good or bad of society.
An envious society must overcome the desire to divert wealth concentration purely for mass consumption. We must accept that concentrated wealth is required if a people are to rise above a level of sustenance that existed for all the earth before the turn of the 20th century. The benefits to modern society were born in a condensing stew of science and industry on the heels of modern banking and capital.
China has now centrally emulated this formula for the benefit of her people. History will ultimately determine her success, but posterity is now penning the chapter on the West’s experiment in capital diversion. We are now demonstrating that a concentration of wealth deployed across political boundaries can cause capitalism to fail within political boundaries. This is not a judgment on the virtues of globalization, only an observation of its limits.
America’s deployment of concentrated capital eastward has seen too little benefit for those that subjugated themselves to our capital stewards. Now after three decades of trickle out versus trickle down, an uprising is afoot. Redistribution will likely result in a short-sided American consumption of our precious future. How will redistributive consumption better our people? Will we allow expedient appeasement politics to devour our birthright?
The alternative of enforcing a redistribution of capital into American infrastructure will be just as futile if we are unwilling to correct underlying economic, structural impediments through shared sacrifice. Yet, rather than help America mature, our politicians have opted to feed America’s discontent with the divisive, poisoned scapegoat of wealth inequities as our problem.
If redistribution is inevitable, then a proactive geographic redistribution of wealth back within America’s political boundaries is what is required, not class redistribution but compromise toward a concentration of wealth that benefits all; that invests in a restructured educational system, a drive toward American state of the art productivity and efficiency in industry, and a restructured culture of long lived natural resources. Is there yet time to steer redistribution toward this thriving compromise? More at thrivingpath.com