“In view of what they hear from the experts, the people cannot be blamed for their ignorance and their helpless confusion. If an average housewife struggles with her incomprehensibly shrinking budget and sees a tycoon in a resplendent limousine, she might well think that just one of his diamond cuff links would solve all her problems. She has no way of knowing that if all the personal luxuries of all the tycoons were expropriated, it would not feed her family — and millions of other, similar families — for one week; and that the entire country would starve on the first morning of the week to follow . . . . How would she know it, if all the voices she hears are telling her that we must soak the rich?

“No one tells her that higher taxes imposed on the rich (and the semi-rich) will not come out of their consumption expenditures, but out of their investment capital (i.e., their savings); that such taxes will mean less investment, i.e., less production, fewer jobs, higher prices for scarcer goods; and that by the time the rich have to lower their standard of living, hers will be gone, along with her savings and her husband’s job — and no power in the world (no economic power) will be able to revive the dead industries (there will be no such power left).” — Ayn Rand, “The Inverted Moral Priorities,” The Ayn Rand Letter

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