On tonight's Glenn Beck Program, Glenn was joined by Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Michael Cox, former senior vice president of the of the Federal Reserve bank of Dallas, and George Selgin, professor of economics at the University of Georgia, to offer the libertarian perspective on income inequality and wealth in the United States.
The conversation first centered around the idea of success and what makes an individual successful. While the left would like you to believe 'you didn't build that' so, therefore, it is entirely acceptable to redistribute the wealth, the truth is people should be able to take credit and reap the rewards of what they have done.
"The truth is: If you look at almost all successful people in this country, from the time they were young they played with the right kids, studied in school, make good grades, get a job, get a lot of education, be productive at work everyday, save their money, start a business, hire people, invest - they made good choices," Michael said. "If you don't [do those things], I would hope you are not able to be as successful as the people that do."
Playing devil's advocate, Glenn questioned the potential dangers of income inequality, in which a group of people amass so much wealth they continue to have influence from beyond the grave. Yaron, Michael, and George agreed, however, that the capitalist system is the only economic system in the world that has prevented the wealthiest from having complete, unchecked control. Look no further than the former Soviet Union, communist Cuba, or North Korea as examples of countries in which the wealthy enjoy autonomous control.
As Yaron explained, we need to make sure our children understand how wealth is created. In a free society, wealth is not gained off the backs of the poor, but rather wealth is earned through hard work.
"People don't know how wealth is created, what it means to create wealth. We still have this mentality of a zero-sum world, in which some people make money, therefore, it is taken from others," Yaron said. "No, the reason they have so much wealth is because they created so much wealth… Put aside cronyism - under the assumption of true freedom - and the fact is half the population in the world has not created any wealth."