Apparently with a straight face Matt Bruenig over at Salon has some profound words to share that are so abjectly stupid that I thought I was reading the Onion instead. At Salon, this is what apparently passes for journalism today. Matt Bruenig’s wrote that - wait for it - in order to make up for racial intolerance and inequality we need to take money from white people and give it to black people. I hate to break this to you Matt but this already exists today - it’s called the US tax code (more on that later). Here’s Matt in all his unbridled glory:
Even if racism were wiped out tomorrow and equal treatment became the norm, it would never cease being the case that the average white person has more wealth than the average black person. We could equalize everything else in society, and racial wealth inequality–plus all of the political power disparities that accompany such a thing–would continue into perpetuity.
Sorry Matt, I gotta stop you right there. What your are saying is that playing field were suddenly leveled (something I believe to be the case already, but let’s let him go with it) that there is an inherent bias that capital somehow will seek out whites and stay with them in perpetuity? Say what? How does that even make sense? Ok, sorry for the interruption here’s more:
Thus, those actually serious about righting the wrongs of enslavement and Jim Crow apartheid must support more drastic leveling efforts. Beefed up anti-discrimination, which is both necessary and good, will not be enough. Ideally, we could work towards reparations in the form of redistributing wealth along racial lines. With that an unlikely possibility though, we can at least think about ways to redistribute wealth more generally from those with wealth to those without it, something that would have a similar, albeit more attenuated, effect as reparations given who the wealthy and non-wealthy happen to be.
Good god, Marx and Engle couldn’t have put it any better. It’s not like we haven’t tried to do this before with varying degree of failure. From the 10’s of millions who died in the great Bolshevik experiment that dominated the last century to the watered down version we now see in the EU. But Bruenig has a better idea. This is what I love about articles like this. Bruenig makes his premise straight from the heart, no need to do any background reading to find some support for his nonsense. No, like most liberals, Matt doesn’t need to be bothered by icky facts such as this doozy:
86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers
You read that right folks, for every full time taxpaying worker there are 1.7 on the dole. So when Bruenig bitches about wealth redistribution and his infantile solution is simply take from those who have (namely whites) and give to those who don’t (presumably blacks) you have to ask just how much is too much? Now some of you may argue that getting paid a salary is not the same as wealth and I agree. But in order to obtain wealth somebody’s gotta go to work. It has to start somewhere right?
But the real point is this. While I would agree that there are disparities between the amount of wealth between races, the first thing I would do is ask why. Is it, as Bruenig suggest that capital has some sort of built in discrimination against blacks? Or, as I suspect, does it have more to do with culture? For example, 72% of black families are raised by one parent. 95% of black murders are perpetrated by another black. The black communities are a shambles (mostly due to liberals trying to help them) and almost all of them are on some sort of government assistance. Perhaps these statistics have more to do with where capital resides and less to do with skin color.
Exit hypothesis: If we could somehow wave a magic wand and redistribute wealth in the manner Bruenig suggest, how long would it take the wealth to re-accumulate to basically where it is now. My guess is that capital moves to where those who are willing to work and take risks and away from those who make bad decisions like having children before you can properly care for them and out of wedlock. Just a thought.