Today on Uncommon Knowledge, Thomas Sowell, economist at the Hoover Institution and author of the newly published Intellectuals and Society. What does Dr. Sowell have to say about the putatively unfair state of income distribution — a favorite complaint of intellectuals?
Income is not distributed! Newspapers are distributed, social security checks are distributed, and at one time milk was distributed. Income is not distributed – people earn it directly from those for whom they provide some good or service. The argument made by many people is that it’s a question of capital and labor having conflicting interests and dividing up the income. No, no, there is no preexisting income to divide up – there’s no manna from heaven for them to fight over.