I read Amanda Marcotte
Let’s look at a few points in that piece. I’m imagining a conversation with AOC back when she was a learner instead of a prophet…
“Inequality breeds crime.” No inanimiate theory breeds crime. Crime is not an environment. Crime is an activity. People choose to do crime.
“Most people, of all wealth and income levels are hard workers. The fact that only a select few are amply rewarded while most others go wanting is both unfair and immoral.” Fairness is an ill-defined concept used to manipulate conversation. There are three possible definitions for fair that are orthogonal to each other. Search this blog for a longer explanation. For now,
- Is it fair that each has the same opportunity?
- Or fair that each receives the same amount?
- Or fair that each ends up with the same?
When someone wins a race at the Olympics, is that unfair? Or do you choose to debate how the races are run? Or do you simply announce that a different person should have won (or everybody should cross the finish line at the same time), so stagger the starts, make some people carry weights, whatever — but in any case, never allow anybody to be the stand-out winner.
“Fair” is a useless concept, so how about your other claim–immoral? Pure and simple, that’s a perception of individual right. You may think it’s immoral and others may not. There is no final adjudication of morality except an eternal creative God, if there be one. Well, if you don’t believe there is a God, I think that’s immoral. Do you see what a quicksand the claim of immorality becomes?
“Having more money does not prove they have worked harder. Getting people to sign off on the idea that they simply are less worthy is not an easy lift.” Why do YOU assign people’s worth to their money or their salary? I choose to not do that.
Personally, I believe that the uber-rich have figured out a way to collect many nickels from many people choosing to give them money. Do you disagree? Microsoft. Amazon. Facebook. If you believe this is is wrong, then stop it at the source. Limit people’s ability to buy from these companies – because each individual transaction is voting against your claim that the “rich leaders” did not do something better. They DID do something better, and millions have voted against your disagreement. It’s a fundamental concept of trade: I give you a nickel because what you give me back I perceive as *more* valuable. So don’t pick on the rich recipient that *offers* the trade(s). If you think it’s immoral, point your disdain toward the people that *choose* the trade(s).
“A system that allows billionaires to exists.. is wrong.” On the flip side, is a system that is designed to prevent or deconstruct billionaires right? What is this amorphous “system” that you wish to mandate and control? A system is an inanimate dead thing – it has no power. Someone like you, running the system, operates it with power. Come to think of it, why is it ~fair~ that you’re an elected official with more power than me? If lots of nickel spenders don’t make me moral, then lots of voters don’t make you moral.
You center rhetoric on the denomination of dollars. The real coin of the realm is power. And you unfairly have more than me. Don’t critique my accumulation of “unfair” paper money while you desire and pursue “unfair” accumulation power that is even more damaging. Your governmental power can destroy my fiat money in a second. Who is really the greedy unfair person who needs to be eradicated from a moral society? Which does our constitution so deeply respect as the more important to keep in check–the person who wants to accumulate power or the person that wants to accumulate money? My young legislative Padawan, it is power. How about a small dose of humility and deference to the system that gives you a voice at all. It is more immoral for you to collect power than for me to collect money.
“Saying it’s immoral that billionaires exist at all can help people reimagine a world where resources are distributed more equitably.” Uh.. that’s a passive tense grammar. Resources are distributed? Like a farm collective? Who distributes? You? Others disagree how you would do it. Why do you want more power to choose the answer than me? That’s unfair. In America, people “earn” resources, they are not “distributed”. And it’s unfair and immoral that you have more power than me to implement your plan to dominate my life.