Viewing the Individual as Owned and Used by the Collective

“In a recent interview, Piketty said that he had no formula to determine how much is too much in terms of socially necessary inequality. But he considered a variety of multi-million- and multi-billion-dollar wealth positions to be socially unnecessary and harmful.

Notice his phrasing and the mindset that it implies. The society, the community, the tribe is presumed to own the individual and collectively decide how much the material “carrot” should be in terms of unequal incomes that may be necessary to induce people to be productive or innovative enough.

Enough for what? To make the communal economic pie grow at a rate that he and others like him may think is the optimal amount — not too much and not too little — out of which the government will decide what share each will receive.

On the basis of what standard all of this will be determined, he clearly admits he has no clue, other than what he may subjectively think is right or just or fair. Like the difficulty of offering an objective definition of pornography, he just knows it when he sees it.

We have already seen where this leads in modern democratic society. It is a mutual plunder land of individuals and special-interest groups rationalizing every tax, redistribution, and regulation to serve their own purposes at the expense of others who are forced to directly or indirectly foot the bill through the use of government power.”

Austrian Economics & Public Policy–Restoring Freedom and Prosperity, pp. 241-242, Richard Ebeling