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Government Brings Out the (Undisciplined) Kid in Us

Here’s a letter that I sent today to the Boston Globe:

Derrick Jackson wants
government to reduce income differences among Americans ("Politely
declining to touch the income gap
," August 19).  Forget that even poor
Americans today generally have greater access to goods and services
than did middle-income Americans of a generation ago
.  Instead ask:
what kind of philosophy demands that government adopt and act on values that all decent
parents teach their children to reject?

Who among us sends our
children to school or to the playground with admonitions to begrudge
classmates or playmates possessing nicer clothing or fancier toys?  Who
among us counsels our youngsters to form schoolyard coalitions for
forcibly confiscating expensive sneakers and video games from ‘rich’
kids for "redistribution" to poorer kids?  Who among us would not scold
our children for such envy, and punish them severely if they
participated in such thievery?

Children should avoid envy and learn to thrive by producing rather than by taking.  The same is true for adults.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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