Discussion Tuesday

And to switch tack …

The role of government is not to redistribute incomes, a process that leads to many with already reasonable claims on resources to simply demand (and be given) more from others.  The government’s redistributionary focus should be on insurance in certain circumstances, helping those trapped in poverty, and those who start life at a significant disadvantage.

7 replies
    • Kimble
      Kimble says:

      Any government action is necessarily going to be redistributionative.

      Any sort of social safety net is going to be the same.

  1. Blair
    Blair says:

    I support free basic health care and primary & secondary education for the poor, paid from general taxation. That seems like a pretty good level of redistribution right there. GMIs are a topic I am just getting interested in. I never thought the numbers would work for a GMI (i.e. would require very high taxes on everything to pay for it) but am reading The Big Kahuna at the moment to see what numbers Guthrie and Morgan get.

  2. Blair
    Blair says:

    A big limitation on the power of redistribution, in my experience, is that the most advantaged elements of society will end up benefiting because they lobby and tweak the rules through political coverage, control of select committees etc. Case in point: NZ Super. It protects some pensioners who would otherwise be in poverty, at the cost of a huge transfer to the wealthiest demographic in society.

  3. Kimble
    Kimble says:

    Is this where you tell us that that is a quote from Mein Kampf or Das Capital?

  4. Bill Bennett
    Bill Bennett says:

    Where does the quote come from?

    To answer the question properly some context is needed, such as, ‘what precisely does the questioner mean by redistribution?’

  5. JC
    JC says:

    How long is a piece of string?

    There’s no set purpose for forming a Govt beyond that which seems advantageous to a society at any given time and circumstances. It might be formed by religious authorities for their own purposes, for national defence, law and order or to set up and police commercial activities.

    Stuff like taxes and redistribution are simply complexities that tend to be added to keep the thing going past the original basic purposes for which it was set up and often these complexities improve the well being of the society.. human ambition and greed are not necessarily bad reasons for perpetuating a government.. in fact altruism may be the very worst reason for keeping government going.


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