I like your columnist Mark Sadd and was generally pleased with his recent article on income inequality. He was writing to rebut Cathy Kunkel and Ted Boettner advocating higher taxes, more freebies (e.g., health care, family and medical leave, higher education, etc.), and greater government overall. Sadd took issue with what he described as their “Robin Hood strategy: take from the rich to give to the poor.” I think British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it best: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Unfortunately, Sadd himself endorsed limited Robin Hood-ism: “To some or another degree, we all support the Robin Hood strategy ... or at least I do.” His quibble with the more liberal Robin Hooders is that they don’t concur with the limits of Sadd’s Robin Hood-ism. Here’s the rub, though. The Declaration of Independence prescribed that the purpose of government is limited to life, liberty and property. That is, its role is to protect our God-given rights to be free — and nothing else. Certainly not income redistribution.
Sadd thinks he can constrain Robin Hood-ism, but history has demonstrated that he is grossly mistaken. The modern liberals will always up the ante and demand more, more and more. As Thomas Jefferson observed, “The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to y[ie]ld.” Limited Robin Hood-ism is still thievery, and it won’t contain the wolves of big government.
John S. Buckley