Dr Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another rperson must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work bcause somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by diving it.”
From “Why People Prefer Unequal Societies” published in Nature Human Behavior, April 7, 2017
There is immense concern about economic inequality, both among the scholarly community and in the general public. However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favor fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. Both psychological research and decisions by policymakers would benefit from more clearly distingu9ishing inequality from unfairness.