Should Billionaires Exist?
A mantra popularized by Bernie Sanders and like-minded progressives declares “billionaires should not exist.”
The statement serves as both a declaration of the “immorality” of wealth inequality as well as a justification for steep confiscatory taxes on wealth favored by the likes of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
While on the campaign trail last year, Sanders said, “I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” adding that his tax proposal “does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”
The goal, according to Sanders, is to “reduce the outrageous and grotesque and immoral level of income and wealth inequality.”
Reducing inequality starts with the state taxing away wealth from those in possession of an unacceptable amount, followed by redistribution to lower-wealth households. The wealthy will have less, but the rest will have more, goes the theory. Inequality reduced.
But as Ludwig von Mises pointed out in Human Action, confiscatory taxes on the wealthy may indeed cause billionaires to be slightly worse off, but the rest of us will be harmed more severely.
“A law that prohibits any individual from accumulating more than ten millions or from making more than one
Article from Mises Wire