Vital Signs

The Myth of Economic Equality

Except in war-time, Washington matters little to the comfort and safety of responsible Americans. Washington does matter, however, as the major source of impoverishment, harassment, and jeopardy. Our Founding Fathers never intended it to be this way.

The last thousand years have been defined by revolutions that freed peoples throughout the civilized world. Yet at the end of the millennium, citizens of democracies secured by those revolutions find themselves under governments far more encompassing than those they replaced. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the United States, where the world's most limited government was founded in 1787 as a republic of sovereign states. Since that time, Americans have acquiesced to the unlimited expansion of their central government and relinquished the rights of states, communities, and individuals.

Since this social transformation was voluntary (democratic government, at least in theory, is controlled by the ballot box), we must ask: What would persuade American citizens to surrender their cherished freedoms, heritage, and institutions? The answer lies in the general body of myths upon which socialism was founded, particularly its economic myths.

Socialism's unifying economic myth posits that inequality of income and wealth is unjust and socially inefficient. This requires us to disregard the fact that the free market has been the source of the superior material...

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