“””The only important and relevant ethical and political issue in a free society should be: How has a person earned and accumulated his material wealth? Has he done it through peaceful production and exchange or through government-assisted plunder and privilege?
Rather than asking the source or origin of that accumulated wealth — production or plunder — egalitarians such as Thomas Piketty merely see that some have more wealth than others and condemn unequal distribution, in itself.
By doing so, they punish the innocent as well as the guilty through government taxation and wealth confiscation. That, surely, represents an especially perverse inequality of treatment among the citizenry of the country, especially since those who have obtained their ill-gotten gains through the political process usually know how to work their way through the labyrinth of the tax code and the regulatory procedures to see that they keep what they have unethically acquired.
Thomas Piketty and modern egalitarians like him are locked in a pre- capitalist mindset when, indeed, accumulated wealth was most often the product of theft, murder, and deception. They, and the socialists who came before them, seemingly find it impossible to understand that classical liberalism and free-market capitalism frees production and wealth from political power. And that any income and wealth inequalities in a truly free- market society are the inequalities that inescapably emerge from the natural diversities among human beings, and their different capacities in serving the ends of others in the peaceful competitive process as the means to improve their own individual circumstances.”
Austrian Economics & Public Policy, p. 245, Richard Ebeling