The #redistribution question is not, “What we can redistribute to help?” The question is, “What MORE?”
Essentially in the last half-millennium, the West has exported a higher standard of living than any other culture ever developed. Now many want/demand we reduce our living standards by giving away the wealth the West – uniquely – has earned. So let’s look at how we acquired our standard of living, and why others refused to.
When Europe set out on the Age of Exploration, we followed a couple of models colonization / imperialism. The British model brought to what we would today call the “developing world” the most benefit: the rule of law, education, capitalism, rising living standards. Some former colonies have thrived, some have not, some non-Brit European colonies thrived and some non-colonies, adapting to Western technology (Japan) thrived and threatened, for a time, to surpass the West. And some non-Brit colonies were disasters of epic proportions on the locals and their imported slaves (millions more worked to death in Brazil, for example, then even ever existed in North America – no, I am not apologizing for slavery; I am stating it was a fact and had different outcomes): Spain in much of Central and South America, Belgium in the Congo, etc.
But at the end of the day – by the mid-20th Century, as America began its historic ascent, everything that needed to be known to raise the living standards of a nation… WAS known: Free market capitalism, no crony capitalism, freedom of the press, media, assembly, religion, the rule of law. Our way of life, as enshrined in our Constitution, was known throughout the world.
At that point countries had two options: Follow the governing and market philosophy that created the freest, wealthiest nation with the highest living standards in the known universe – or not.
One non-Western nation, Japan, followed our lead and prospered. Very few others made this choice.
WHY nations made different choices is not material. THAT they made other choices is all that matters.
If your worldview is that nations chose otherwise because of their unique culture and they must be able to continue their culture.. just because…. you are demanding that they become living museums, regardless of the outcome of their culture, regardless on the poverty of lifestyle and living conditions with which that culture degrades the most vulnerable within it, and that others who made different choices must pay for your demand that these cultures exist for YOUR entertainment, which is all a museum ultimately is if one refuses to learn from it.
Have the results of that choice been good – or bad? For THAT is the question on which the issue of redistribution rests.
Again, the question is not, “What we can redistribute to help?” Nope. The question is, “What MORE can or will make a difference”
Why do I phrase it this way? Let’s take a look at what we have created and, by definition, redistributed .. thus far… to the world to allow them to achieve the same or similar results, or to allow them not to NEED redistribution now.
As we review this, we should be asking ourselves: “Why will any MORE make a difference?”
Below is a list of what the West, particularly America since 1945, has given the world thus far. By no means is this list comprehensive. (And by no means is America, now captive to the ultimately regressive political philosophy of “Progressivism,” still moving forward; we are either stalled or moving backwards, depending on your measurement, and backwardness is the goal of “Progressivism.”)
This is what the West has already redistributed: What more could they possibly need?
The rule of law
The Separation of Church and State – the “Tension between Athens and Jerusalem”
Phosphate fertilizers (the original “Green revolution” that enormously increased the third world food supply)
Vaccines, particular polio & smallpox, but many others, as well
Water purification technology
The steam engine & the internal combustion engine
Planes, trains, automobiles and large surface ships
Telegraph & telephone
Electrical generation and distribution
Modern mining and smelting
Modern pharmaceuticals & healthcare, including modern surgical techniques
Modern construction techniques and building codes (why our buildings & houses don’t fall down)
Publishing, printing, mass literacy, mass education, desktop printing
The transistor, laser, integrated circuit, computer, fiber optics -> The Information Age
Miniaturization and microminiaturization
I’m sure anyone here can add to this list. But that’s not the issue. The issue is this:
WE have invented the modern world. WE have not kept any of the above secret. EVERY nation on this earth, every culture on the planet, is aware of – and benefiting from – all of the above.
If nations still exist in poverty, it is THEIR FAULT. The TOOLS to rise are right there on that list. ALL that must be done it to take advantage of them.
Global poverty and low living standards, just as American poverty, are BEHAVIORAL. And no amount of redistribution of goods, services or wealth will, in the absence of changes in behavior, alter the conditions under which the global poor live and die.
The entire WORLD knows what works: American capitalism and individual liberty and the freedom of religion. WE have exported all of these. The fact that others refuse to import these philosophies is the SOLE REASON for their poverty, and NO amount of lowering our living standards via redistribution can – or will – alter that fact.
… it is existentially foolish to pretend otherwise, or to be so ignorant as to actually think redistribution can help in the long run of civilization. We have run out of the WORLD’S money. It is time to stop redistributing.