Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No Such Thing As Redistribution

Language often contains subtle biases. Take the current spat over “spreading your wealth around” for example. The debate has finally moved into the area of Marxist philosophy, in which Obama is said to favor “redistribution of income” and/or “redistribution of wealth.”

One of the problems with this description is that the word “redistribution” assumes that something has been distributed to begin with. It hasn’t. Something was earned, not distributed. Therefore, the government can’t redistribute something that wasn’t distributed in the first place. Someone made the money, and now the government is seeking to take it. That’s more like legalized theft, not some soft-soapy and obfuscating “redistribution.”

I don’t understand why McCain is choosing adopt language that resides on Karl Marx’s home turf. It’s the right thing to do to tie Obama to Marx’s socialist economic philosophy, but no need to let him off the hook lightly by giving him the benefit of a misleading choice of words.