Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, November 08, 2004

Redistribution of Wealth

Should the redistribution of wealth occur from the top down or from the bottom up?

From the bottom up, the wealth is in the form of four pennies per week multipled by perhaps one million times. Can these poor actually use the pennies? They can certainly use them four pennies to buy a pack of Newports or Newport Lights to split with their teenage children every one hundred twenty-five to one hundred twenty-seven weeks. So, the answer is yes.

From the top down, the wealth is in the form of one hundred thousand dollars per year (roughly two thousand dollars per week) multiplied by perhaps one hundred times. Can these very rich actually use the two thousand dollars? They can certainly use those two thousand dollars to buy a Hummer or three for their teenage son, who, under such expressions of wealth, might not hate them forever. So, the answer is yes.

Here we have a dilemma. Both groups can use the monies taken from them by the government, albeit for questionable purposes. However, through buying the cigarettes, the poor are actually enriching the rich, who, under our hypothesis, do not engage in redistribution of wealth. The rich, by buying the Hummer(s), also enrich the rich. The equation balances on one side, but not on the other. You be the judge.



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