Sunday, August 8, 2010
The two types of people that make up "the rich" are 1) those who made their wealth by providing goods and services for trade with others voluntarily, and 2) those who used force, ie. theft or the machinations and power of government, either directly (politicians) or indirectly (lobbyists and their principals) to get their wealth. I like rich people that are "voluntarily" rich, I dislike rich people that are "coercively" rich.
The two types of people that make up "the poor" are 1) those who are poor because of a lack of opportunity, usually thanks to government interventions in the market, and really no fault of their own, and 2) those who are poor because of bad personal decisions. I like poor people that are "coercively" poor, and I dislike poor people that are "voluntarily" poor.
You see, it' not as simple as "the rich" and "the poor", for each are made up of very different types of people. Complete opposites, actually. Libertarians are often accused of loving the rich and hating the poor, but this is true insofar as the accuser means the voluntary rich and the voluntary poor. But they never mean that. Libertarians love the voluntary rich and the coercively poor. These are the two groups that are trying to serve their fellow man. The difference is that one manages to get through the roadblocks and the other doesn't. They are the same type of person, both worthy of our praise (rich) and help (poor). Those who use force to "get gain" (rich) or consistently fail to learn from their bad decisions (poor) are the ones that libertarians believe society would do well without.