Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Redistribution, or as I call it, civilization

McCain's pretend presidential campaign has settled on its newest attempted slur: "redistributor". Apparently "terrorist" and "socialist" weren't moving the polls, so instead we get a snappy five-syllable jab. To listen to McCain and his allies, the worst thing possible is to "share the wealth", to "take your money and give it to someone else."

Some Democrats have accused McCain of yearning for a "free market fundamentalism", but the consequences of his positions are far more reaching than that. Exacting taxes to pay for a military is a form of redistribution. Why should I fork over some hard-earned cash just so somebody can have fun running around and firing guns? For that matter, why should my work translate to pay for anyone else -- cops, border guards, domestic spies -- anyone?

Redistribution is the foundation of civilization. It's the recognition that our physical, cultural, and economic security is more assured when people work in groups, and those groups need funding. You can't expect to fund it on goodwill -- you need to exact a price for belonging to civilization. People give up a portion of their income toward people who provide security. My money is being "redistributed" to our soldiers and to cops on the streets. I don't have a problem with that. The alternative is not conservatism, because conservatism enforces redistribution as much as anyone else. Bush, for example, wanted redistribution to friendly corporations such as Enron and Halliburton. McCain probably does, too. At least, I hope that's what he means. Because if you take him at his word, McCain wants anarchy in this country -- no redistribution, everyone for himself.

Of course, McCain's problem is that Obama only wants to redistribute income to those who need it. Today, McCain attacked Biden for pegging the maximum annual income for the title "middle class" as those earning $150,000 per year. Seriously, McCain wants to run as the defender of the four percent earning $150,000 or more.

Anarchists, and the rich. At the end of the campaign, McCain comes back to his base.

No comments: