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Redistributionism: The War on Freedom and Savings

The man who saves has demonstrated an economic value-add in excess of what he requires in the interim. 

This surplus, however, doesn’t constitute waste or deadweight, as some economists and politicians contend. 

Instead, the man who saves anticipates putting this surplus to use in the form of investment or future consumption, perhaps in retirement. 

Indeed, investment of all kinds must first find a source of savings somewhere; this is the lifeblood of all investment, which is patently impossible without it. 

In the case of savings for purposes of future consumption, or similarly the case of retirement, the man produces in excess of his need today precisely in order to prepare for a future time when he may be unable, or less unable, to do so. 

Over the course of life, man degrades in his cognitive and physical powers, and he who saves positions himself to continue enjoying life despite his diminished productivity. 

What’s more, the capacity to work toward such a future, one of leisure, adventure, hobbies and moments shared with family and friends, serves actively in stimulating investment, innovation and creativity to maximize personal and household returns and, incidentally, to spur real economic growth: human beings are motivated to work for themselves and their families, respectively, not for people they don’t know. 

Any system, then, that intends to redistribute those returns will naturally impede economic growth, rendering the productive man worse off, less prepared for his future, and — at the margin — less incentivized to perform productive work. 

In order to compensate, the man will shoulder only a heftier burden — that of the artificial system — that demands even greater measures of productivity that will make him no richer than he was beforehand. 

Tantamount to slavery, this arrangement, albeit inconspicuously, forcibly places demands upon some for the advantage of others. 

While it invariably affects the producer, it also adversely affects the beneficiary who, in the interim enjoys the immediate benefits, faces institutional disincentives to work, to become productive, or to invest time, effort and resources in acquiring the requisite skills to do so. 

This produces a visible net drain on wealth and an invisible diminution of future wealth. 

To make matters worse, the built-in incentives of the unsustainable system ultimately encourage population growth, as beneficiaries birth children into a world favoring consumers over producers, where consumers lack the requisite skills to be productive, self-sufficient and independent, where they are yet falsely convinced of future prospects — whether from income, spending, investments, career or lifestyle — that are simply untenable. 

This means that there will be increasing stresses placed upon civilization whereby increasingly-democratic processes will facilitate desperate demands of the impassioned malcontents who will predictably prioritize their present wants over the long-run consequences of the types of policies they will advocate. 

The politicians will predictably blame free enterprise for the scarcity, for allegedly underproducing, whereas the governmental systems will escape scrutiny as they are popularly measured against their warm and fuzzy intentions instead of their destructive and diabolical track record. 

In the end, it’s easy to find individuals who are struggling, as it’s the natural state of affairs on planet earth. Even where men and women appear to flourish, they struggle out of sight, out of the public eye. 

The caricature of the man or woman who has it all is the consequence of brilliant marketing and media who are in the very business of selling that image. 

Even where it exists in that semblance, wealth was created in equivalent measure to sustain that lifestyle. 

Despite the fiction produced on screen and through propaganda, many among us operate from that false dichotomy between the filthy rich and the unfortunate poor who, according to the popular narrative, continue to endure hardship for no fault of their own. 

People simply prefer to latch on to those sorts of narratives, as they excuse their own failures by invoking an intangible abstraction that, like any false deity, conveniently exists beyond both the scope of logic and the perceptions of man. 

Alternatively, they appeal to those of higher society by promoting specific business interests, targeting special interest groups, and rewarding voters and activists with confidence that they are superior people, that they are more enlightened, more sensitive and cultured, more aware of social issues, and that they will be on the “right side of history.” 

In this sense, the con can only continue unabated as the system creates more apostles by its destructive nature and appeals to impressionable students by its pompous prose and its institutional design.


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