J.D. Tuccille’s post “52 Percent Of Americans Want Government To ‘Redistribute’ Wealth,” on Reason’s “Hit and Run” blog was a glaring example of “vulgar libertarianism” in action.
According to C4SS Senior Fellow Kevin Carson, “This school of libertarianism has inscribed on its banner the reactionary watchword: ‘Them pore ole bosses need all the help they can get‘.” Carson adds, “In every case, the good guys, the sacrificial victims of the Progressive State, are the rich and powerful. The bad guys are the consumer and the worker, acting to enrich themselves from the public treasury.”
Tuccille was alarmed at a recent Gallup poll showing that just 33 percent of respondents considered wealth distribution in the US to be “fair,” while 59 percent considered it “unfair.” 52 percent of those responding favored taxing the rich to redistribute wealth. Tuccille responded to the poll results with condescension, a common tactic of vulgar libertarians:
“That’s not fair,” is the plaintive cry of every toddler ever born, though my own son quickly memorized my constant response: “Not getting your way isn’t the same as ‘unfair.'” I may need five minutes alone with the American public, however, since many of my countrymen apparently think it’s “unfair” that other people have more money than them — and they want the government to give them some of what the other guy has.
One would assume from Tuccille’s sneering tone that we live in a “free market” meritocracy (we don’t) where government doesn’t pick winners (they do) and everyone has a shot at their little slice of “The American Dream” (a myth invented by the privileged). Did Tuccille consider that increased calls for redistribution might be a sign that more people are becoming aware that the state capitalist system is rigged?
Tuccille concludes his sermon to us unruly wage slaves with a threat straight out of Atlas Shrugged: “Then again, if the United States becomes a country that punishes success, and so drives the ambitious elsewhere, or underground, perhaps the resulting leveling downward will be perceived as more … fair.”
Damn J.D., you’re going to take your ball and run off to Galt’s Gulch because of a Gallup Poll? Who’s pouting now?