Don’t Have to Redistribute Anything to Eliminate Poverty

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‘Income/wealth inequality’ might be good clickbait, but isn’t eliminating poverty the fish we really should be frying?

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

Poverty has been around for as long as civilization has existed. Since the Great Depression there has been much talk, and some action, regarding using taxes to ‘take from the rich’ to end poverty.

In Europe, where society as a whole is viewed as the basic social unit, poverty in the sense of not being able to afford the necessities of life has been all but eliminated. In the U.S., where the individual is viewed as the basic social unit, poverty is alive and growing. Policies and programs that resulted from a brief turn towards a more societal view of life suffer loss and after loss in the face of an inexorable counterattack from what is thought of as the political ‘right’. A home is becoming a luxury and with rising food costs hunger is increasing.

Poverty is a matter of insufficient income. We can create a guaranteed, sufficient income that would be available for any adult citizen without redistributing anything. The money for the income would be created as needed. There would be built-in protections against inflation.

Politically, that would be difficult to argue against. Materially, it would solve the problem of poverty. Economically, it is unassailably valid.

There are those among us who think that punishing some people is necessary. I prefer to solve the problem of poverty.

further reading for those who are curious enough:

Same Economy, Way Better Outcomes for Society

(for, primarily, economists) “Paradigm Shift

[both here in Medium, but not behind the paywall]

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Exploitation is another issue. It consists of individuals taking arbitrarily large portions of the revenue that is available for the remuneration of employees in a business enterprise when that revenue is obviously the result of the collective effort of all employees. To address that issue does require changing the distribution of incomes. As that would also be a means of justly limiting consumption, it might at this point be the only means of saving ‘Western civilization’, i.e., liberty within the rule of law and a democratic political process along with the level of material well-being we now have.

if interested: “To Preserve What We Have, What We Have Must Be Enough

[also here in Medium but not behind the paywall]