The Real Redistribution of Wealth

We have heard the phrase "redistribution of wealth" often in recent times, and Obama's phrase is generally taken to mean taking money from the wealthy and giving it to lower-income people. Various observers have commented that increasing taxes on the wealthy would operate the government for a few more days, and calculations have shown that even taking 100% of the income of rich people would only go a few months toward paying the federal government's bills.

In the recent election, many voters interpreted "redistribution" to mean "take it away from the other guy and give it to me." They failed to see the comparatively short-term nature of the transaction. "Entitlement reform" is always a mañana topic; it gets postponed every time it's brought up in Washington.  Because of America's ability to borrow money, the day of reckoning has been postponed ... for a while.

The real "redistribution of wealth" that is taking place is an intergenerational transfer. Money gets transferred to today's voters, via borrowing. The trillion-a-year debts being run up nowadays are to be paid off by some future generation, either our grandchildren or those not yet born. The present-day voters are transferring money to themselves, and handing the debt to workers several decades further downstream. Very few of those future taxpayers are aware of the debt burden they'll assume.

However, they will find out someday, and will be mad at the old people who took away all that money previously. Their very natural reaction will be to try to shift costs back to the old people.  That is most easily done by trimming Social Security benefits to subsistence levels and "pulling the plug" on all the expensive elderly with physical ailments. New laws, official policies and review panels for health care will see to it that this happens.

They will miss their target by about a generation; all us present oldsters will have died by then, and their anger will fall upon those who are about 30 - 50 today.  It is our adult children who will have the plug pulled early.

Obviously there is a major downgrade in the value of human life implied here. What will likely happen in America is an increase in "hospice care," accompanied by the understanding that you must check into a hospice a whole lot earlier than medical technology makes possible.

The Ponzi scheme that underlies America's entitlement programs might have been sustained, and its consequences averted, if not for the killing of about 1/3 of American babies (for over a generation now) via abortion