Love the Rich, Hate the Poor?

March 2019: I read this essay and added commentary for Episode 291 of the Everything Voluntary podcast.

My wife and I were talking last night. She asks me insightful questions in order to fall asleep. You see, she asks a great question, and then uses my ramblings as a sedative. Works every time. Her drug last night was what I had to say about "rich people" and "poor people". I explained to her that I don't see two groups of people, rich and poor. I see four groups. Two types of rich, and two types of poor.

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.


Anonymous said…
This is absolute fucking driven and you are less than human.
I'll take that as a compliment. Be sure to check out my new site, Everything-Voluntary.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous above hates black people.
Anonymous said…
This is some really stupid shit
Anonymous said…
You don't like people who made a bad decision? Okaaaaay....

There are two types of people who make bad decision
No, it's more, those who continually make foolish mistakes and fail (through a lack of desire) to learn from them... Most of "the poor" qualify under 1).