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Monday, March 24, 2008

Redistribution Of Wealth

The following is a letter to the editor that was printed several days ago in our local paper and my response. Mr. Clark is a regular contributor to the "letter to the editor" section of our paper. I don't write as many letters as I have in the past probably because my blog has provided an outlet for my writing. But when I read Mr. Clark's comments I could not let them pass without challenge.

Mr. Clark's letter is first and then my response.

Equality should replace current lopsided system

What’s next?

We now have the election in November ahead of us. Does anyone believe we will have investment in infrastructure that has been so neglected since Nixon? Does anyone realize that even in Europe and Asia, building of rail, highways and locks on waterways have continued, though not as much as is really needed, at least something is being done?

We hear calls for less government, yet it gets bigger and more restrictive of the individual every year. Down with the IRS, they say. There is no fairer tax than the income tax, properly administered. Roosevelt managed to curtail the conglomerates, and through the income tax, hindered the amassing of great fortunes. Under him, we all paid a more equal share of our income and America has never had it as good as during his years.

We need to learn again that satisfaction of the heart is more important than Mamon, that an equitable share for all of us does us all more good than the present lopsided system. As our Constitution says, “We are all equal.”

Norman Clark, Lake Jackson

It’s not government’s place to redistribute wealth

Norm Clark writes, “satisfaction of the heart is more important than Mammon” (March 18). I agree, but why then focus on those who have more and argue for an “equitable share for all of us.”

This reveals a preoccupation with Mammon and a heart that is not satisfied unless it can have what belongs to another person. Because I cannot take my share from those that have more than me I empower government to take it and give it to me. The role of government is to protect the property of its citizens, not plunder and redistribute it.

It is the Declaration of Independence that says, “all men are created equal.” This is quite different than saying “we are all equal.” Being created equal means we all have the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It does not mean equality of outcome. Should the indolent have an equality of outcome with the diligent? Should the foolish have equality of outcome with the wise? Should the fast-food employee have equality of outcome with the chemical engineer working in research and development? The answer is no and woe to the government that plunders its citizens to ensure it.

James C. McEntire Jr.,
pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Freeport
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