From my article in American Thinker, Everything that Counts”
When Piketty suggests that we tax the wealth of the richest, exactly what does he think will happen to it? The government will spend it – but on what? Does he think that some politically motivated bureaucrat will allocate that capital to a more socially useful purpose than Warren Buffett would? In which hands would that capital seek growth and job creation? In which hands will it most likely pay farmers not to grow, and workers not to work?
Our safety net succeeds in eliminating the crushing poverty known by the third world. Our challenge is to avoid replacement of the soul-deprivation of numbing poverty with the soul-deprivation of dependency. Our biggest problem with the health of the poor in America is not starvation, but obesity. As Paul Ryan framed it, we do not want to turn the safety net into a hammock.
Wealth more often dissipates in a few generations and moves to stronger hands. Dynasties are rare; most fortunes are lost in a few generations. We do not really need centrally planned redistribution; this problem generally takes care of itself when capital deployment is subject to competition and human frailties. Inequality is a natural outcome of the competitive allocation of capital, and we are all better-served when capital is in strong hands and deployed wisely. Rarely are those hands attached to the long arms of the government.