Guess what that means about how much of the nation's wealth is held by everyone else compared to 50 years ago? And yet some advocate for squeezing the bottom quintiles harder for taxes, because a maximum 39 percent marginal tax rate is so hard for today's richer Richie Rich (paying an effective tax rate of 13 percent or so) to bear.Mr. President, the worst thing you’ve done is you sent a message to America in your re-election campaign that we live in a zero-sum universe. There is a fixed amount of good things. Life is a pizza. If some people have too many slices, other people have to eat the pizza box. You had no answer to Mitt Romney’s argument for more pizza parlors baking more pizzas. The solution to our problems, you said, is redistribution of the pizzas we’ve got—with low-cost, government-subsidized pepperoni somehow materializing as the result of higher taxes on pizza-parlor owners.In this zero-sum universe there is only so much happiness. The idea is that if we wipe the smile off the faces of people with prosperous businesses and successful careers, that will make the rest of us grin.There is only so much money. The people who have money are hogging it. The way for the rest of us to get money is to turn the hogs into bacon. The evil of zero-sum thinking and redistributive politics has nothing to do with which things are taken or to whom those things are given or what the sum of zero things is supposed to be. The evil lies in denying people the right, the means, and, indeed, the duty to make more things. ~P. J. O'Rourke
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