Dear Mr. President: Zero-Sum Makes Zero Sense | World Affairs Journal

Mr. President, your entire campaign platform was redistribution. Take from the rich and give to the . . . Well, actually, you didn’t mention the poor. What you talked and talked about was the middle class, something most well-off Americans consider themselves to be members of. So your plan is to take from the more rich and the more or less rich and give to the less rich, more or less. It’s as if Robin Hood stole treasure from the Sheriff of Nottingham and bestowed it on the Deputy Sheriff.

But never mind. The evil of zero-sum thinking and redistributive politics has nothing to do with which things are taken or to whom those things are given or what the sum of zero things is supposed to be. The evil lies in denying people the right, the means, and, indeed, the duty to make more things.

Zero-sum may be a truth in love, Mr. President, but you weren’t proposing to redistribute the most attractive subscribers to Match.com. Zero-sum is a fallacy in economics. Perhaps, sir, you are an economic ignoramus. You certainly seemed to be one in the second presidential debate when you tried to explain that the price of gasoline was low when you took office because the economy was bad but is high now because the economy hasn’t recovered.

via Dear Mr. President: Zero-Sum Makes Zero Sense | World Affairs Journal.

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