Hans Sennholz on the Morality of Redistribution

Hans Sennholz:

“Mindful of the phenomenal improvement in the living conditions of every citizen of a free society, of the reduction in human mortality rates and the great lengthening of life expectancy, the foes of redistribution proudly conclude that unhampered economic freedom is most virtuous and moral. The system of social organization that builds on freedom is in complete harmony with the calls and imperatives of ethics.

These economists are unalterably opposed to political intervention because it springs from politics, builds on verdicts and interpretations of judges, and depends on brute enforcement by police. It runs counter to the inexorable laws of human action and, therefore, brings forth the very opposite of what it sets out to achieve. It hampers economic production, discourages individual effort, stifles economic progress, and creates social and economic classes whose self-interests are irreconcilable. Government intervention on behalf of one social class against another not only is illogical and ineffective, but also highly immoral. It defies the eighth Commandment—Thou shalt not steal—and violates the tenth—Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s. It is bound to bring poverty, frustration, quarrel, and strife.”