Carpe Diem

Let Business Pioneers Do What They Do Best: Create New Wealth, Not Redistribute Wealth

From Thomas Sowell’s latest column:  

“A recent New York Times article criticized Apple CEO Steve Jobs for not contributing to charity as much as the New York Times writer thought he should. The media in general are full of praise for business people and their companies for giving away substantial amounts of their wealth. Indeed, that is one of the few things for which many in the media praise businesses and the wealthy.  

Judging businesses or their owners by how much wealth they give away — rather than by how much wealth they create — is putting the cart before the horse. Wealth is ultimately the only thing that can reduce poverty. The most dramatic reductions in poverty, in countries around the world, have come from increasing the amount of wealth, rather than from a redistribution of existing wealth. 

What kind of world do we want — one in which everyone works to increase wealth to whatever extent they can, or a world in which everyone will be supported by either government handouts or private philanthropy, whether they work or don’t work? 

It is not an abstract question. We can already see the consequences on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who have grown used to having others provide their food, shelter and other basics as “rights” are by no means grateful. 

Let business pioneers do what they do best. And let the rest of us exercise more judgment as to how much charity is beneficial and how much more simply perpetuates dependency, grievances and the polarization of society.”

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