Monday, August 10, 2009

'Taking Rich People’s Money and Devoting it to Public Purposes'

Remember how leftists refuse to be labeled as "socialists"? The preferred terminology nowadays is "progressive," but underneath you''ll find the same hardline radicals who advocate revolutionary change to sweep away the capitialist order.

And note this from Ayn Rand's essay, "
The Monument Builders":
The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in 'society as a whole', i.e., in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.
So it's really interesting to see how transparently socialist is Matthew Yglesias' post today, "If Only We Had Some Means of Taking Rich People’s Money and Devoting it to Public Purposes." Here's the key passage, in the context of "banking reform":
... we actually have a well-established method of taking market distributions of income and trying to transmogrify it into a more just, useful, and welfare-enhancing deployment of social resources—taxes and public services. The world of finance has been the main driver behind the growth in inequality at the extreme high end, and establishing additional tax brackets with higher rates would help lean against that trend. So would something like the Obama administration’s proposal to curb the extent to which high-income individuals can shelter income from taxes through itemized deductions.

It strikes me as ultimately unlikely that the political process will be able to micromanage high finance in a way that strikes people as meeting the claims of justice.
And Yglesias' last point about "justice" is the dead giveaway. Here's this, on what "social justice" means for today's radical left:
The quest for social justice, or a just and equitable society, is perhaps the foremost stated objective of the modern Left ....

The unbroken line from The Communist Manifesto to its contemporary adherents is the notion that economic inequality is the monstrous injustice of the capitalist system, which must be replaced by an ideal of "social justice" - a "classless" society created by the elimination of all differences in wealth and "power." Thus "social justice" in its contemporary sense has come to mean a rejection of capitalism and of each man's economic freedom - be he a manufacturer or a consumer -- to do as he wishes with his own intellectual, physical, and material resources; this freedom is the origin of income disparity under capitalism.
There you have it: Matthew Yglesias unpacked as the true revolutionary socialist expropriator that he is. Take that, Edge of the American West (see, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Yglesias and Socialists and Communists").