Bernie Sanders with all his humanitarian compassion seems to think that wealth is a static, fixed pie from which one can only gain more by stealing the ever-shrinking portion of others.
Citing the Golden Rule as his foundation, Sanders makes such claims as:
“We live, and I hope you know this, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, but most Americans don’t know that, because almost all of that wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent.”
“When we talk about morality and when we talk about justice, we have to, in my view, understand that there is no justice when so few have so much and so many have so little,” Sanders continued. “There is no justice when the top one-tenth of 1 percent today in America owns almost as much as all of the wealth at the bottom.”
Finally, “there is no justice, and morality suffers, when in our country millions of children go to bed hungry…That is not morality, and that, in my view, is not what America should be about.”
The idea that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer assumes that the pool of wealth is static and fixed and does not grow – that there’s only so many slices of pie, so many seats on the bus, so much stuff to be had. If true, the rich could only get richer by taking more from the poor who continually get poorer. If true, the only solution can be to take from the rich and redistribute variously and benevolently to the poor.
(There indeed is theft of wealth, but it occurs on a grander and more systematic scheme by the Federal Reserve through inflation and by the IRS through unjust taxation.)
However, wealth is not static and fixed but created. The pool of available wealth grows through labor, ingenuity, and risk. Thus, the rich gain more wealth not by stealing it from the poor but by creating it where it previously did not exist. Such is the free market way, such is reality – and this created wealth is inevitably put back into the economy which makes the whole society that much richer.
In this view, the gap between rich and poor increases, not because the rich are gaining and the poor are losing, but because the rich are gaining quicker and the poor are gaining slower – but they are still gaining.
And it is precisely because the rich wealth-creators are gaining quickly that the poor non-creators of wealth are gaining at all. In fact, the quicker the rich can gain – the less obstacles and regulations placed before them – the quicker the poor also will gain. Conversely, to destroy or hinder the wealth-creators’ ability to create wealth is not only to keep the poor in their poverty but also is to make all of society poorer.
Hence, really to help the poor, the sick, the hungry, the uneducated, we should free up and deregulate rather than constrain and redistribute wealth, wealth-creators, and society’s economic activities and daily lives. The only way to guarantee provision for every single need of every single individual is to institute so omnipotent and omnipresent an oversight and control that the most benign smiling socialist will play the tyrant in the end.