… is from page 375 of the 2016 second edition of Thomas Sowell’s Wealth, Poverty and Politics (original emphases):
By focusing on the rewards received for achievements, redistributionists ignore the benefits of those achievements for others, which is the very reason that those others – whether employees, patients, customers, or other recipients of the goods or services that people with these achievements produce – are willing to pay their own money to receive those benefits. As in many other contexts productivity vanishes into thin air by verbal sleight of hand, when discussing the “income distribution” that results from that productivity. It is as if all that matters is the income difference between A and B, ignoring the benefits of their respective achievements for C, D, E and many others. Ultimately, it is as if the internal distribution of the fruits of production is more important than the amount of production itself – on which the standard of living of the whole society depends.