Thomas Sowell writes:
One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them in the first place. …
Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little — if any — attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.
What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.
More: The Inequality Bogeyman | National Review Online.
More by Sowell on income & wealth inequality.
An appeal to “social justice” is popular defense of the so-called welfare state, which should really be called the dependency state. At LearnLiberty.org, Philosopher Matt Zwolinski discusses and refutes this notion:
The Quest for Cosmic Justice, by Thomas Sowell
Aaron Ross Powell of the Cato Institute explains how political meddling in what should be our personal decisions turns those with different preferences into enemies.
See also “Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict,” by Neal McCluskey:
Indeed, rather than bringing people together, public schooling often forces people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs into political combat. This paper tracks almost 150 such incidents in the 2005–06 school year alone. Whether over the teaching of evolution, the content of library books, religious expression in the schools, or several other common points of contention, conflict was constant in American public education last year.
At the Objective Standard blog, Ari Armstrong writes:
[A]n alleged “right” to a good or service … obliterates the actual rights of individuals who are forced to provide that good or service. The government cannot concoct and enforce fake rights without violating real ones.
Does the fact that health care is not a right reduce it to a mere privilege … ? No. A privilege is a special favor granted by a government (or other party). Health care is not something that we properly obtain only at the government’s discretion.
Health care is neither a right nor a privilege, but a service.
Read more: No, Edolphus, Health Care is Not a “Right” or a “Privilege”.
Fox News reports:
A Catholic university in Ohio said Tuesday it is being forced to end a student health insurance program over increased costs it claims are associated with President Obama’s contraception mandate and other provisions of the health care overhaul.
Franciscan University in Steubensville, Ohio, said it has so far excluded contraceptive services and products from its health insurance policy for students and will not participate in a plan that “requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.”
Read more: Catholic university drops student health insurance, cites ObamaCare | Fox News.
Via Ari Armstrong.
On the federal government’s dictate that all legal health plans cover contraception, Cato’s Michael Cannon writes at the Huffington Post:
Finally, it’s not just people who consider contraception sinful that oppose this mandate. That’s because the mandate also violates the freedom of those who have non-religious reasons for not wanting to purchase contraceptives, who would rather pay for contraceptives out of pocket, or who want such coverage now but might change their minds in the future.
Rather than respect each individual’s freedom to make their own choice, President Obama demands that even those who will never need contraception — gays, lesbians, the post-menopausal, the celibate, the infertile — must underwrite other people’s sex lives.
… The president seeks to achieve universal health insurance coverage by forcing everyone to purchase it. With a populace sharply divided over what health insurance should include, however, that mission becomes an altar for sacrificing individual rights.
Read the whole article: Michael F. Cannon: The Illiberality of ObamaCare.
John Goodman provides many examples of his excellent observation:
The left’s entire approach to poverty is to segregate the poor into inferior public provision, while the rest of society enjoys the benefits of quasi-private provision. It’s as though the left wing in American politics wants socialism for the poor and capitalism for everyone else.
Read the whole post: Keeping Poor People Poor | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.