Restraint

In any civilized society, some individuals must be restrained to promote the peace and prosperity of the majority.

It goes without saying that thugs, robbers, and rapists must be restrained, often physically. But incompetent or avaricious or dishonest businesspeople must also be restrained. This is done, not through physical restraint, but through regulation and oversight.

And hoarders must be restrained, especially in times of widespread need. This applies to hoarders of the nation’s wealth, as well as to hoarders of any other necessary commodity. The method that Western societies use to restrain the hoarders of wealth is progressive taxation and redistribution. A fraction of the wealth at the top of the income ladder is taken and injected back into the economy nearer the bottom of the ladder. From there it bubbles back up as it changes hands, stimulating demand and employment all the way, until it again reaches the top.

We learned this lesson during the Great Depression, then forgot it: In any civilized society, some individuals must be restrained to promote the peace and prosperity of the majority.

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