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Joe Lieberman Visits Bill O'Reilly,
Part II: The Senator Runs Away from the Dreaded "Redistribution of Income"

August 4, 2001

As discussed yesterday, Joe Lieberman shamelessly attempted to ingratiate himself with Bill O'Reilly the other day when Lieberman appeared on O'Reilly's cable talk show. Yet there's something even more objectionable about Lieberman's appearance.

O'Reilly was at one point criticizing Lieberman's contention that in addition to people who paid income taxes, people who paid payroll taxes should also have been sent the recent tax "rebates."

O'REILLY: [Y]ou would be taking money away from other people to give them money because they didn't pay tax in the first place.

And that's the redistribution of income that many working Americans don't like the Democrats for.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, no. We always say, I said it last week at a Democratic Leadership Council meeting, we're not for redistribution of income. We want to grow the economy.

The dreaded "redistribution of income."

Any economic system that is not totally static winds up redistributing the relative proportion of income and wealth that different segments of the population enjoy.  Even when the economy grows.  The question is, from whom -- and to whom -- will the money flow.

Lieberman and his ilk who condemn "redistribution of income" use that term to mean a money flow from the middle class and/or the rich, to the poor.  O'Reilly says "working Americans" don't like it, with the assumption that the redistribution of income is from them to those who don't work.

But that's not what has ever happened, certainly not in the last few decades.  In other words, what about redistribution of income the other way, from the poor and/or the middle class, to the rich?

Any economic system designed by the wealthy will be set up to transfer an increasingly higher percentage of income and wealth from all others to them.  That's how the wealthy became so, and they certainly aim to continue that process. That's human nature.

And that's exactly what has been happening:

[O]ur economy has been getting increasingly unequal. Whether measured by wages, income or wealth, for 25 years the share of the privileged has increased, and everyone else (a roughly 80 percent majority) has become relatively worse off. [from United for a Fair Economy]

In future days I'll present some numbers illustrating this outrageous ongoing process. 

For now, however, let's open our eyes and understand that when those like Lieberman and O'Reilly express their opposition to redistribution of income, they are really only opposing redistribution of income that would come from the rich and go to the middle class and the poor.  They are quite happy with redistribution of income in the other direction -- from the poor and the middle class to the rich -- which is precisely what has been happening, and which is a subject that Lieberman, O'Reilly et would make verboten.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

More on Income Redistribution and
Economic Injustice

More on the O'Reilly Lieberman Interview

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