Letter to the NY Times re: the fallacy that income inequality is harmful

Re: Income Inequality May Take Toll on Growth

Dear Sirs:
The fallacy that equality of incomes and wealth are just and beneficial goals of society to be advanced by “an aggressive series of changes to tax and spending programs” cannot be supported by empirical research or deductive logic.  In his magnum opus Human Action Ludwig von Mises explained that the “inequality of individuals with regard to wealth and income is an essential feature of the market economy.” (page 285 of the Scholars’ Edition)  Furthermore he stated that “Its elimination would entirely destroy the market economy.” (page 836)  In a society without government enforced privileges each man produces according to his own abilities for the benefit of his fellow man.  The only way to create a society of equal outcomes would be to hobble the natural abilities of the more able, because it is impossible to transfer those innate abilities to others.  Of course, this would result in a less productive society in which even those at the lowest income tier would be worse off.  Patrick Barron

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