“You are not supposed to take money away from the competent people and give it to the incompetent so that the incompetent can compete with the competent people with their own money. That’s not the way capitalism is supposed to work.” (Quote attributed to Jim Rogers)
Even more: You don’t do the incompetent (or the less competent) any favors by giving them something for nothing.
This applies whether you’re talking about money, or even unearned praise or opportunity.
Granting the unearned is nothing more than faking. It’s dishonesty. It’s a form of theft, morally and psychologically speaking as well as financially.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul, merely because Paul needs or wants it, does nothing to advance Paul’s life.
By paying off Paul in this way, you encourage him to think, ‘I’m entitled to something at another’s expense, whether I earned it or not.’
This sets Paul up to be dependent on a resentful Peter. Peter keeps his mouth shut, because both his government and his clergymen tell him, ‘Never be selfish. Give unto others because I say so.’
But it’s really not in Paul’s best interest to depend on a Peter who deep down is likely resentful. Inevitably, Peter will become passive-aggressive, or even outright hostile, at being forced to take care of Paul in this way. Paul will in turn resent the dependence, and when he gets used to the dependence — feeling entitled — then he’ll start to resent Peter for being resentful.
And even if Peter doesn’t really mind paying Paul’s way, how is this good for Paul? What if something happens to Peter? What if Peter gets an illness or otherwise becomes unable to think and work? Paul is out of luck.
And what about the motive of those who rob from Peter to pay Paul? They get to feel morally superior. ‘Look at me. I’m requiring Peter, who’s better off than Paul, to take care of Paul. Paul would never have been rescued if not for me. Aren’t I great?’
And sure, the clergymen, the government officials and most of the Hollywood celebrities, literary/academic elites, and sports stars will all applaud the one who robs Peter for the sake of Paul.
But isn’t that a contradiction? Peter is commanded to pay Paul’s way because, he’s told, self-interest is always evil. But the people who take credit for making Peter pay Paul’s way get book tours, tax-supported jets, Nobel peace prizes and all kinds of goodies. Why is self-interest just fine for those who rob Peter, but not for Peter himself??
As you can see, robbing Peter to pay Paul with unearned money and/or praise is wrong and contradictory on a lot of levels. It does not make the world a better place, and it does not make the world safer for the Pauls. It actually makes the world a much more cynical, hypocritical and even sinister place than it otherwise might have been. Freedom and respect for private property tend to breed benevolence and voluntary generosity; coerced giving breeds bureaucracy, corruption and ultimately a gigantic nation-state filled with malevolence.
It’s not just that we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. We’re making the world less safe for Peter as well as Paul. We’re making the world a lot less safe, secure and comfortable for everyone.
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