Pooling Our Collective Ignorance
How did Bill Gates get his fortune? Not by someone deciding how much Bill Gates was worth to "society," but by innumerable people around the world deciding whether what Microsoft offered them was worth what Microsoft charged.
What all those sales added up to -- Microsoft's income and Gates' fortune -- nobody decided. Nor is there any reason why they should have, even aside from the fact that nobody is qualified to make such a decision.
We can each decide for ourselves whether what Microsoft offers is worth it to us. That is all we are competent to decide -- and only for ourselves individually, when spending our own money.
The idea that we should pool our collective ignorance and then decide how much it is "fair" for Gates or anybody else to earn in total income is as ridiculous as it is dangerous, for it means arming politicians with the arbitrary power to decide everyone's economic fate.
From economist Thomas Sowell's latest column.