Class envy and entitlements: The story of the baker

I've never envied the rich or thought they owed me anything. In the short list of unalienable rights, nowhere is it written that I have a claim to property of another.  My moral code resists that idea, and the criminal code prohibits it. Moreover, if those on the higher rungs of the economic ladder owe me something, it follows that those on the lower rungs have a similar claim against me.  My enlightened self-interest resists that idea.    This whole entitlement mentality makes me uncomfortable.  Coercive taking by the state and redistribution to favored political constituencies are inexorably replacing the voluntary good works of charities, churches, friends, and neighbors as the primary means of providing a safety net for the needy. This change in methodology may appear to be a distinction without a difference, but the real-world effects on giver, recipient, and society as a whole are deeply disturbing.    To illustrate, a small...(Read Full Post)