Polemics & Exchanges

Robbing the Middle

I thank Robert Charron for his kind words (“Wealth Transfer,” Polemics & Exchanges, February), most welcome in the rather discouraging intellectual environment of France.  I’m sorry to have given the impression I was falling for the Robin Hood fallacy.  The main idea I was trying to convey is that the typical democratic politician (with notable exceptions, of course) is by nature no Robin Hood, but a crook prone to plunder money that is not his but the taxpayer’s—i.e., essentially the dwindling middle classes’ (the easiest target)—in order to buy himself the growing constituencies of the least well off, meaning more and more the immigrants.  (Why do you think politicians so often wish them to vote?)  In the process he just as naturally avails himself of an enviable salary, as tax-free as possible, and multiple fringe benefits, while careful not to burden the truly wealthy who fund his campaign, since in a democracy you need lots of money to get elected.

I intentionally left aside the topic of the superrich and the question of how they got there, both because that was not my primary topic and because I particularly resent people enriching themselves at our—the middle classes’—expense.  But again, I entirely agree with Mr. Charron’s assessment that our societies...

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