Wealth's upward flow biased

The principal axiom of science is that, without external stimulus, everything tends to degrade. For example: Water flows downhill. Heat flows from high to low temperature. Living things grow old and die.

An axiom of economics is that absent restraint: Wealth flows upward; those who have, get more. History shows that it has always been thus – sovereign and subjects, master and slave, “noble” and “base-born,” rich and poor. History also shows that such distinction was by coercion or birth, not choice.

There have been at least two attempts in history to resolve this injustice among people – the division among the Israelites of the “promised land” on their return from slavery in Egypt; and the birth of the United States, based on the truth that people are created equal and granted certain inalienable rights by God. That truth, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, was codified in the Constitution. So was born a new nation, not without flaws, but unique in the world.

Under our Constitution, people may be equal in a legal sense, but some people are smarter than others, work harder than others and manage better than others. Therefore, it is inevitable that, in any enterprise where wealth is involved, upward flow occurs. Such enterprise is not inherently wrong – certainly not when it is free enterprise.

Sadly, however, the upward flow of wealth in this country is biased, increasing the gap between those with wealth and those without. That bias is caused by:

• a tax code that taxes wages/salaries at a higher rate than investment income;

• crony capitalism – the illegitimate transfer of wealth from government to corporate America, particularly Wall Street, at taxpayer expense;

• the selfish and foolish transfer of industrial production overseas, causing the demise of the middle class.

Hubert Baker

Aiken, S.C.


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