Distribution of wealth, a combination of words that portray the idea of opulence for everyone. Hearing this phrase, automatically, the impression it makes on those who are neophytes to sociopolitical thought , is that it sounds like a good idea, especially for those who are destitute. Well if wealth is to be distributed, who will be distributing? People can distribute wealth out of humanitarian sentiment, governments can distribute wealth in the same manner, but stating people and governments can distribute wealth is prosaic. It’s obvious that they can or cannot. The question is, will they? To safely answer that question, they have, in the form of donations to Haiti, or social security checks to the elderly, or using taxes to subsidize public schools. These are assets to society that provides opportunity to live a so called “good life”.
In theory, and in practice, with certain reservations, wealth is customarily a benefit to society, so if people and governments seek to distribute wealth in various forms then morally it should be supported. With this understanding, society has sort of a contract with the government that taxes will be used to benefit the society by distributing wealth in various forms. State and federal taxes are the engine for wealth distribution. With ample tax revenues, the government is incredibly wealthy, and again, they distribute this wealth in various ways. With all this money, there has to be appropriation. There is a budget for the military, a budget for education, a budget for congress, a budget for social programs, so forth, and so on.
Fiscally, in principle, this is fundamentally how the government operates absent one major component, the human element. People are in control of distributing wealth, and these people, are guided by political ideologies, in ranging degrees, that prescribe how the world ought to be. The corollary is that , wealth distribution gets affected. Depending on the guiding ideology, wealth may be distributed in several ways, to the rich, to the middle class, or to the poor. With these contending ideologies, not everyone gets a fair share of the budget ,so there is conflict, that is exacerbated by corruption, the quest for power, and profligacy, to name a few.
How will this problem be solved? More ideology, such as limiting the power of government and lowering taxes so people can keep more of their money, and again political ideology provides guidance in determining who will be the beneficiaries of the tax cuts. If the wealthy get more tax cuts than the poor, that’s not fair, and if the poor get more tax cuts than the wealthy, that’s not fair, and this also applies to the middle class. How will this problem be solved? More ideology, such as solving the problem of who to provide tax cuts, and distribution of wealth, by getting rid of taxes to relieve the government the purported burden of distributing wealth, because if the government is no longer burdened by this obligation then it’s function should be limited to enforcing the law to protect and to serve the people. The wealth of the nation would be generated by the market with very little interference from the government upon abdicating its power to distribute wealth. With this ideology, the middle class keep their money, the poor keep their money, and the wealthy keep their money. Ideal!
But what about corruption characterized by secrecy, cronyism, nepotism, greed, and dishonesty. What will the market do to fix these problems? The purpose of the market is to generate wealth, and not to fix human pestilence, and admittedly the market can be instrumental in treating human pestilence, but not fixing it, because if everyone was wealthy, their would be less societal problems presumably on account of people possessing the means for subsistence, but history dictates the market can amplify human pestilence, such as those mentioned above.
Idealist ideologies such as free market capitalism, or socialism, traditionally describe and or prescribe ingredients that are efficacious in designing a society that is fair in its distribution of wealth. Such ideologies seem to treat the effect and not the cause, that being, human pestilence.