Pass The Rock
Yes, I know, I’m sorry.
–whether or not conservatives can be wholly opposed to redistribution or whether they must support some measure of it for a means-tested welfare state.
The problem with the debate is that it’s like arguing over whether a basketball should be round or not. Government cannot exist without some degree of redistribution – from fascism to communism, social democracy to the laissez-faire state, money must be taken from someone, somewhere and used in ways that do not confer benefits exactly equally onto the group from which the money was taken. It’s an asinine differentation that Goldberg and Douthat argue over. Should redistribution be the chief aim of public policy? Redistribution is society. If no societal benefit can ever accrue from some surrendered bit of wealth or value on the part of all involved (or capable), we can never build a society worth the name.
What does a society look like where wealth is never spread? How is a military maintained? When one house burns, how is the neighborhood saved? The nature and scope of the redistribution is always to be debated, but the side that accepts it and attempts to make it as fair and productive as possible is drastically preferable to the one that’s still having the settled debate over whether it’s necessary and only cares about reducing its size as much as possible.