Here’s a letter to the Los Angeles Times:
Robert Lutes writes that “Anti-government types tend to hoard their wealth. If we have to force the wealthiest to help fuel our economy and rebuild our infrastructure, so be it” (Letters, Nov. 21).
Overlook Mr. Lutes’s strange suggestion that people who wish to rein in government are especially likely to stuff their wealth into mattresses. Overlook also his call for government to follow the same ‘principles’ that guided Willie Sutton. Instead, recognize that the vast majority of people who have wealth (be they ‘Progressives’ from Manhattan or libertarians from Montana) have already “fueled” the economy by producing successfully for the market.
Public discussions of economics will continue to be confused unless and until the likes of Mr. Lutes come to understand that the challenge in fostering economic growth lies not in persuading people to treat themselves to desirable goods and services. The challenge, instead, is to give people appropriate incentives to innovate and produce. Efforts to meet this challenge are only set back by Mr. Lutes’s economic ignorance and bank-robber ethics.
Donald J. Boudreaux