… is from page 81 of my colleague Tyler Cowen’s 2018 book, Stubborn Attachments :
Our strongest obligations are to contribute to sustainable economic growth and to support the general spread of civilization, rather than to engage in massive charitable redistribution in the narrower sense. In the longer run, greater economic growth and a more stable civilization will help the poor most of all.
DBx: Only those people who believe or suppose that the amount of wealth in society is fixed or otherwise independent of human action deny the truth of Tyler’s observation. Time, resources, and effort spent on ‘redistribution’ are time, resources, and effort not spent on production. Nor are these spent on the consumption activities that are ultimately the point of all economic activities.
Combine this reality with the additional reality that, save for rare instances, government-engineered ‘redistribution’ reduces the incentives to produce both of those from whom the resources are taken and of those to whom the resources are given, and the case for government-engineered ‘redistribution’ is weak indeed.