We should give this man a medal for increasing the efficiency of wealth redistribution

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Today during lunch at work, I was looking at some headlines online.  One article seemed kind of interesting, so I read it.  Basically, a woman was robbed of her necklace.  As the man robbed her, he apologized.

“I’m sorry ma’am, I just need clothes for school.”  That’s allegedly what he said to his victim.

Like many stories like this, the comments to the article were mostly filled with disgust and anger.  I don’t know why.  I think we should give the guy a medal.  He found a way to increase the efficiency of the system!

He cut out the middleman.  If he hadn’t stolen the necklace, surely the government would have given him the money to buy some clothes or whatever other supplies he would have needed for school.  This is what people want, isn’t it?  But when you do it through government, it’s got to pass through all levels of bureaucracy and the many people who work in the system that need to get paid.  So a dollar being paid in taxes certainly isn’t a dollar going to the recipient of the government money.  By going directly to the taxpayer, he avoided a lot of unnecessary expenses and maximized his returns.

I don’t think that he should be prosecuted.  Some of you might think that’s shocking.  He did steal a valuable necklace.  I know that.  But he needed the money, and did this woman really need a necklace?  It’s a piece of jewelry—talk about luxury for the sake of luxury.  If she’s able to wear expensive jewelry like that, you can’t tell me she can’t afford to give some of that luxury to those less fortunate than her.  It is our duty to help those who need it.  This man was just making sure that this woman would help him out.

If this woman truly didn’t want to pay the man what was rightfully his, there are a few things she could have done differently.  First of all, don’t wear jewelry.  Secondly, if she didn’t consent to have it taken from her, she shouldn’t have been walking around there by herself anyway.

And really, this woman has a lot of nerve to be upset.  She doesn’t like it when her hand is pushed to help the needy around her, but when her time comes when she’s out of money or food, I bet she’d sure like to be able to take from someone else what she needs to live.

If you feel entitled to healthcare, money for food, help with your mortgage, or anything else, you can wait for the government to do it, or you can do it yourself.  We’ve been electing officials to do it for quite some time now and it’s important that we put our money where our votes are and live the way we vote.  Remember, if someone really doesn’t want to give you some of their money or possessions, they wouldn’t make themselves available to get what’s yours.

Don’t feel weird about doing it either.  This is the same exact thing as taxation except that it’s quicker, more direct, and much more efficient.

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wheylous
Guest

This is wonderful!

I’m assuming you’ve already read Bryan Caplan’s essay “The Stranger” : http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011/01/the_stranger.html

Rollo McFloogle
Guest

I’ve actually never read that until now and it’s a brilliant way of proving the point. Thanks for the link!

Navy Museum
Guest

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