Talk:Redistribution of income and wealth

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Outside thoughts on this article.[edit]

Hi, I am just a regularly reader, and have never made an edit like this before. My apologies if I am doing it incorrectly. I read this article, and must say, it has a very leftist feel to it. The studies cited only seem to support redistribution, and the positive implications of doing so. As an independent who has mixed views, but tends to fall in the middle, I felt there was great bias in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

  • There is no known penultimate study to support re-distribution of income, using economics, not politics, as a basis. The only economics supportive of redistribution of income tend to fall on the liberal to socialist-leaning political economists side of the fence. 10stone5 (talk) 21:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Template added today and later blanked.[edit]

I blanked the template recently added to this page because it seemed to me to be potentially highly contentious. There should be a good reason for adding this kind of template because there are already categories and related links as a way of getting further information.

I'd be grateful if editors would take a look at the template as it was before I delted it and also at the discussion I started at the template's talk page and provide some feedback.

I just have a sense that visuality of the template and some of the subcategories could have had a politically unbalanced presentation not in the spirit of Wikipedia. For instance the linking with articles about the negative side of the welfare state (fraud, dependency, etc.) without equal linking to articles on the positive side (alleviation of stress, social cohesion, etc.). Also some of the articles where the template was placed seem to me to have very little to do with the welfare state per se. --Hauskalainen (talk) 18:33, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Still needs better citations; POV questioned[edit]

The template warning about lack of references/citations has been on this article since January of 2009. It needs much better citation, including for the assertions/definitions made in the introductory paragraph. Many of the statements made in this article, some of which I have tagged, are obviously from a socialistic perspective. It needs balance.

Without serious improvement in this article, I suggest this article be a candidate for deletion. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:14, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The conservative bias needs to be removed. Most redistribution of wealth is from the poor to the wealthy, especially in the last 40 years. That is not covered. (talk) 00:36, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Dear conservative bias: you are an idiot. The Marxist fallacy will continue as long as there are simpletons like you who want something for nothing. This entire article is a farce and can be summed in a single paragraph: The notion of "wealth redistribution" is the morally reprehensible act of legalized extortion. No amount of Marxist talking points, gymnastic sophistry or pretzel logic can change this fact. C.Q.W. (talk) 15:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC) Your the ones who want something for nothing — Preceding unsigned comment added by Irishfrisian (talkcontribs) 23:34, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Move Parsecboy (talk) 15:01, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Redistribution (economics)Redistribution of wealth — The full phrase, "Redistribution of wealth" is more commonly used to refer to this topic than is just the term, "redistribution".

NOTE: Redistribution of wealth has been a redirect to this article since Feb 15 2009, though it has a history of being a separate article prior to that date. Born2cycle (talk) 19:21, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. As requester. Anyone else? --Born2cycle (talk) 21:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Propaniac (talk) 16:55, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Natural" redistribution[edit]

I'm uncertain regarding the nature of this article or even the application of the term "Redistribution of wealth." From my understanding, redistribution also occurs naturally, for example, through transitions in the economy and laws not related to taxation. This article only addresses "artificial" change, such as tax laws and social welfare programs.

One of the greatest redistributions of modern times occurred between the late 1920s and 1970. In 1928, 1% of the population held 23% of the wealth in the U.S. By 1970, the top 1%'s share shrank to 9%. The major difference wasn't FDR's social programs but the legalization of unions in the 1930s. A similar redistribution occurred over the next 37 years. By 2007, the top 1% held exactly the same percentage it did in 1928, due largely to technological changes that transformed the economy.

The source is former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's new book After-Shock: The Next Economy and America's Future, which was discussed in an interview with Reich today on NPR's Fresh Air. I'd appreciate a response as to whether this kind of material is appropriate to the article. Thanks. Allreet (talk) 23:30, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

"Types of Redistribution"[edit]

The first sentence of the "Types of Redistribution" section states a type of redistribution and then the author injects a clear POV about "why" the type of redistribution is used, which is an unsupported biased statement. Also clarification is needed as to whether "progressive income redistribution" is simply referring to "progressive income taxation". There also is a grammatical error; it does not read right. Here is the original. I highlighted the POV statement.

          Progressive income redistribution the amount of income that individuals are permitted to receive, 
           in order to correct the ineffectiveness of a market economy to remunerate based on the amount 
           of labor expended by an individual.

The main problem is the statement that the redistribbuttholeution is used "in order to correct the ineffectiveness of a market economy to remunerate based on the amount of labor expended by an individual". This is a POV statement stating someones belief that the market economy is ineffective, and because of this, redistribution is needed to compensate individuals that should have received more pay for the labor they performed. This is a blatantly anti-capitalist statement and the should not be in the description butthole of the "Types of Redistribution", but rather in the "Arguments in Favor" section. Regardless, the statement about the market economy not compensating an individual for their labor is not accurate. Sure, you could point out cases here and there, but overall the participant structure of the market economy that creates myriad of market forces works very well to compensate labor well. Labor is butthole such a broad term as well. You must take all the relevant factors into consideration when talking about labor, and correct market remuneration. For example, many people seem to think that a neurosurgeon should not make so much more than say a worker doing hard labor, because the neurosurgeon does not have to exert himself physically and only does a few surgeries a week, while the laborer exerts himself for hours tirelessly and earns far less. The problem is many people do not butthole take into account the 20 years of medical training and extreme hard work it took the neurosurgeon to obtain that title and be able to perform his surgeries safely and effectively. In other words, you can't really take a snapshot of a situation at a specific time, such as a hard laborer vs. a neurosurgeon, and base your opinions on that. When you do that, it is easy to think the laborer should earn more, and the neurosurgeon less. One reason this doesn't work is that neurosurgery is a very complex surgery and exact precision is crucial, and if the incentive to become a neurosurgeon was reduced below what the market demand was, namely someone with immense expertise in the specialty so to not kill people or put them in a persistent vegetative state while performing surgery, then you would end up with people that are capable and motivated to become a neurosurgeon choosing other paths, and ultimately you are left with unqualified, sub par neurosurgeons, which the public, or market, would not be comfortable with, hence why the market currently compensates neurosurgeons highly. The laborer may have put more time into physical labor, but the neurosurgeon most likely put much, much more in mental labor, not to mention the financial exertion committed in order to pursue that path. What should be made more aware is that all labor is NOT equal, but any human being with no disabilities and in decent health CAN work toward the goal of performing the labor of their choice. Notice how I said someone has to WORK towards the goal of performing the LABOR they want to. The market is you, me, everyone. Disregarding disabilities, anyone can perform physical labor without putting much WORK into obtaining a job doing physical labor, thus high supply, remuneration down. On the other hand, it takes a better part of ones life of consistent hard work, diligence, and sacrifice to become a neurosurgeon. In that case you must work hard from childhood in your education to gain admission to a university, which in general requires a sacrifices to attend(debt). You must work hard in college(sacrifice social life) to earn very high marks, and then hopefully be accepted to medical school, which requires another sacrifice in the form of debt. In medical school you must sacrifice your social/free life to work hard to learn medicine and be accepted to the specialty you want. If you get the neurosurgery specialty in which you wanted, then you must start from scratch working extremely hard mentally challenging yourself for hours upon hours(hard mind labor) over the course of 12-15 years (sacrifice), all while under intense stress. To put it in perspective, compared to someone that simply ended their education at high school, a neurosurgeon had to take on half a million dollars in debt and sacrifice about 20 years of their life working endlessly learning vast amounts of info as well as learning how to perform brain surgeries. I am NOT saying physical labor is not tough, but rather that it is far harder to commit oneself to 20 years of extensive training(no social life, barely any free time, high stress, giving up chance to have a family until later), consistently be a top academic student, and the motivation to take on half a million in debt to do it all, which is a huge risk in itself if for example you did not reach the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon, which could mean taking a job with far less pay, and living with the reality that you sacrificed so much for nothing and have to live paying off debt in your latter years after already giving up half of your life. The ease of obtaining a job performing physical labor, and the fact that it does not take much training at all to be able to perform physical labor makes the supply high, and compensation generally lower. The fact that in many ways it is very demanding and tough to become a neurosurgeon(sacrifice with debt and quality of life, diligence, tremendous effort..ect) means that many people will not want to undergo the training and/or their current education record is not good enough to pursue a medical career translates into the reality that there will be a small supply of neurosurgeons, which when coupled with the demand for a skilled neurosurgeons increases the level of compensation. Adrianw61 (talk) 01:34, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Public opinion[edit]

I'd like to see a section on public opinion, however, the current section cited only one source, which isn't usable as a source for public opinion. The poll is not a poll about public opinion, but is a part of a paper studying psychology. Of the three three different redistributions they got presented to them, the only one that was a real was the US one, which was presented as an extreme, while is is in fact was the only distribution that was realistic and practically possible. Using it to say anything about public opinion is as such a misunderstanding and falls under both WP:OR and WP:POV.

Maybe somebody knows something about any *actual* polls on the topic? I'm convinced they will say pretty much the same thing (ie that US people want more redistribution than they already have). --OpenFuture (talk) 05:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

This is, in fact, a poll of US public opinion, with estimates valid for the entire US of actual choice preferences among hypothetical redistributions of wealth. The researchers are well known for rigorous methodology. -Trift (talk) 18:15, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
No, it is not. Only one of the hypothetical distributions was even a realistically possible distribution, as I mentioned above. It is not an opinion poll, the purpose is to show that people vote differently than they think their opinions are, not to make an opinion poll. It's is a paper about psychology, not opinion on economical policy. --OpenFuture (talk) 20:04, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
One by one: They are certainly "realistically possible" having already occurred, albeit some elsewhere. The two concepts (opinion poll vs. opinion poll that may run contrary to voting behavior) are not mutually exclusive. BTW, all scientifically conducted opinion polls have a purpose: Reject Ho or not. It determines whether the results are significant or not and in the nature of doing science, nowadays. A paper about psychology can discuss and refer to opinion on economical policy, and vice versa. -Trift (talk) 17:03, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
No, only one of them have already occurred. Only one of the three options are actual distributions of wealth. The others are not. Have you even read the paper? No-one claimed they are mutually exclusive. This paper does not discuss or refer to opinion on political policy. --OpenFuture (talk) 18:19, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
They could be distributions of income from growing bananas in the Balkans. What matters is that they represent distributions of wealth (income is wealth accumulated within a time period). Yes, I've read the paper, but, more importantly, have you discussed its methodology with anyone competent to pass judgment upon them? The paper had to go through that rigorous process to be published as it was. It is you who seems to claim a paper about psychology can't discuss or refer to an opinion poll on economical policy, or vice versa. Which, of course, is wrong. That fact that the paper shows people prefer something, in the abstract, that is far from their reality is the point of the paper. As such, it is a perfectly valid opinion poll, as would be any opinion poll about any counter-fact conditional, if properly done. This last point is an important criticism of the poorly translated Czech(?) opinion piece you cited to me in opposition. -Trift (talk) 18:53, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
You seem to not understand that income distribution and wealth distribution are two very different things. Of the three distributions presented, only one was a real distribution of wealth. The paper does not show what you claim it shows. --OpenFuture (talk) 19:46, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
One by one: No, I do. It doesn't matter. Since that is one of its conclusions, it never would have been published if it did not show that in a formal and verifiable way. -Trift (talk) 20:14, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Let's summarize this again, in a clear way: The proposed section is... 1. Based on one single paper which contains a poll made up by... 2. Presenting untrue data and in that way making the poll... 3. Very misleading, leading to a... 4. Highly biased result... This biased conclusion based on one single poll done by psychologists in what can only be described as an intentionally misleading manner, in order to prove a point, but *not* with the intention of actually figuring out peoples true opinion, is something you think Wikipedia should present as representing peoples true opinion. Seriously? (See also) --OpenFuture (talk) 19:31, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

1. "made up by" is inappropriate language to describe a highly respected researcher. 2. "untrue data" is completely unsubstantiated and puts WP in a libelous position. 3. "Very misleading" ditto. 4. "Highly biased result" also ditto. These wild accusations could never have any basis in fact for the paper to be published. -Trift (talk) 22:18, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
No, it is not unsubstantiated. They even say so in the paper, which you obviously still haven't read. Heck, it is even in the text you restored. You are now just claiming that what I say are lies (and therefore, that the text you restored contains a lie). So, I say that the three distributions are 1. The US wealth distribution, 2. Swedens *income* distribution and 3. a perfectly even distribution. You are in fact now calling me a liar. So then, tell me, the three distributions that they presented, what distributions were they? --OpenFuture (talk) 22:29, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request ( Dispute about whether to include a section based on a single paper or not. ):
I am responding to a third opinion request for this page. I have made no previous edits on Redistribution of wealth and have no known association with the editors involved in this discussion. The third opinion process is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes.

It is the opinion of this editor that the section should be removed in its entirety as it gives that one poll undue weight. Furthermore its validity has been contested.—RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:15, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Trift (talk) 18:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC): So be it for now, but it makes WP look bad to reject a perfectly valid scientific conclusion, merely (apparently) because it's counter-intuitive (hence subject to false accusations of being, itself "untrue", "misleading", "biased", etc.) Here it is for people more knowledgeable in social science methods to read and render opinions:
== Public opinion ==

In an American survey done in December 2005 regarding wealth distribution, three pie charts showing different degrees of wealth distribution were shown to 5,522 respondents. Those who conducted the study described it as, "asking a nationally representative online panel to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to 'build a better America' by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality". The results of those surveyed were:

"All demographic groups – even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy – desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo", with "92% of Americans preferring the Sweden distribution to (that of) the United States".[1]

The authors of the survey noted that they used the distribution of income when representing Sweden as opposed to the distribution of wealth.[1] (restoring comment stealth deleted by User:Trift (talk))

It is neither counter-intuitive, nor scientifically valid. I suggest you read up more on the topics involved, ie maths, economics, psychology and how to make unbiased scientifically valid opinion polls. --OpenFuture (talk) 22:54, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Sigh... I've taught applied math and methods of the other two, indirectly as examples, at two major research-oriented universities. We really need to get other people to look at this who know these subjects well. -Trift (talk) 22:11, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
The dismal state of education on all levels in all countries saddens me. But if you have taught this, that at least explains why respected professors haven't got a clue on how to make a basic reliable opinion poll. --OpenFuture (talk) 05:59, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Your objections sound like gross POV. What's wrong with this: "A nationally representative online sample of respondents (N = 5,522, 51% female, mean age = 44.1), randomly drawn from a panel of more than 1 million Americans, completed the survey in December, 2005. [We used the survey organization Survey Sampling International ( to conduct this survey. As a result, we do not have direct access to panelist response rates.]" (...but it's both a notable and reliable source) or "...we created three unlabeled pie charts of wealth distributions, one of which depicted a perfectly equal distribution of wealth. Unbeknownst to respondents, a second distribution reflected the wealth distribution in the United States; in order to create a distribution with a level of inequality that clearly fell in between these two charts, we constructed a third pie chart from the income distribution of Sweden (Fig. 1). [We used Sweden’s income rather than wealth distribution because it provided a clearer contrast to the other two wealth distribution examples; although more equal than the United States’ wealth distribution, Sweden’s wealth distribution is still extremely top heavy.]"? Only people who know these subjects, in detail, should respond. -Trift (talk) 20:12, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Redistribution of Wealth is a Political Assertion, Not a Neutral Observation[edit]

The myth of wealth redistribution is used to politically attack government welfare programs. It implies that government intends to make wealth more equal by taking from the "rich" and giving to the "poor". However, that is never the case.

A progressive tax system distributes the costs of all government programs according to wealth. Each program has it's own purpose, such as building and maintaining public roads, providing a public education system, or assuring those living in poverty have adequate food, clothing, and shelter. There is no government program that intends to redistribute wealth.

The "wealth redistribution" concept is used to imply government is following some nefarious plan to equalize the rich with the poor. The claim is false. Yet it plays into a rhetoric that may sway some voters.

The article on "redistribution of wealth" needs to cast the concept in a neutral fashion, noting its context within political myth.

The above is irrelevant and has no sources[edit]

The above has no sources, and is just a stream of irrelevant opinions and unsupported claims. The section is trying to push a political agenda, and that does not seem appropriate for wikipedia.

Clarification of topic needed[edit]

This article should really be exclusively for the involuntary expropriation and redistribution of wealth by the state. The topic is confused by including "charity" and "tort law" in the topic sentence. "Social mechanisms" is also very misleading terminology. This article deserves extensive rewriting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:06, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Rename to redistribution of wealth in the United States?[edit]

This article doesn't seem to fit the purpose of a general subject article on the redistribution of wealth, instead it seems to be almost exclusively about this subject in the United States. All examples, all graphs and criticism and effects are exclusively about US affairs. Perhaps an article move is in order, so that it may inspire others to begin writing a general article on the subject? --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:33, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Employment growth by top tax rate image[edit]

I've started a centralised discussion here regarding File:Employment growth by top tax rate.jpg, which is used in this article. Gabbe (talk) 09:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Title change to "Redistribution of income and wealth"?[edit]

I propose changing the article title to "Redistribution of income and wealth". There a big difference between income and wealth in economics. The current title obscures that difference, and the beginning of the first sentence of the article (Redistribution of wealth is the transfer of income, wealth...) makes clear that the article is more than about redistribution only of wealth. The proposed title is in line with the recently added fn. 2 reference: F.A. Cowell ([1987] 2008). "redistribution of income and wealth," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition, TOC. IMO these considerations warrant a change in title. Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:32, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

A bit more. The Journal of Economic Literature JEL classification codes has code:
JEL: 23: Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies (embedded in JEL classification codes#Public economics JEL: H Subcategories
which can be drilled to via of the online JEL Classification Codes Guide at (JEL) J230, which has the following Guideline:
Covers studies about issues related to ... the redistributive effects of taxes and subsidies, and environmental taxes. Studies about intergenerational effects of taxes and subsidies are classified here as redistributive effects. Keywords: ... Income Transfer, Lump Sum Transfer, Negative Income Tax, Pigouvian Tax, Redistribution, Redistributive Effects, Tax Externalities, Tax Shifting
That code corresponds to the WP category for this article of Category:Taxation and redistribution, there also designated as JEL: J23. There is nothing in the JEL code guide about restricting redistribution to wealth only. Arguably, neither should the article title restrict itself to wealth. Rather it should allow for the more comprehensive term "income and wealth", just as the JEL codes do elsewhere, for example at:
JEL: D31 – Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
JEL: E01 – Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth.
Thanks. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:18, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Change to proposed title above successfully completed. Thank you. --TM. 16:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Should the emphasis be on redistribution of income or redistribution of wealth? They are not necessarily the same thing. In some countries there is the concept of eminent domain where all property is ultimately owned by the state and can be taken from private owners and redistributed to special interests.Some examples might be transportation authorities taking lands for highways, railroads, airports, seaports, mass transit systems, utility rights of way and easements; the defense department taking land for military bases, states taking lands for universities, hospitals, scientific research, disposal of hazardous wastes, landfills. Similarly industries might receive bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks, or be nationalized. When lands are redistributed this is often a redistribution of wealth that goes beyond money to include some individuals quality of life. In some places populations are relocated to refugee camps in times of war or disaster, or to new homes and communities in the case of a watershed being dammed to control flooding or create power. Urban renewal projects sometimes take whole sections of cities, neighborhoods that have been established for generations, label them slums and bulldoze them to build convention centers, sports stadiums, green belts of open space such as parks, or new housing projects. If you start there and imagine wealth as a part of the eminent domain of the state, then it would seem the state might take private wealth and redistribute it to where it can be more effectively used by all its citizens with taxes or tax breaks, subsidies, regulations regarding wages, workplace safety, environmental protection, minimum standards for health, education and employment except for the entrenched special interests of groups powerful enough to afford lobbyists, political contributions, media blitzes, and lawyers. Those interests effectively prevent the redistribution of wealth necessary to achieve climate change mediation and as a result endanger the lives of all of us. The costs of protecting or rebuilding shore front housing may become prohibitive due to rising sea levels so the eminent domain of the state may be better served by taking all property within a certain elevation above sea level or river level and zoning it flood plain. Along the East and Gulf coasts of the United States there are more than 100 cities with populations of more than 100,000 that may need to be abandoned in place and relocated to higher ground before 2100 because sea walls, jetties and replacement of erosion are inadequate to save them. Presumably in addition to the relocation costs there would be the costs of compensation for the property, but it may not be possible to find the money for both. (talk) 08:36, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Graph removal[edit]

Of any of the articles, File:US_high-income_effective_tax_rates.png is probably the most appropriate here. The scope may be different for this article (the others were more high level), but the graph's use is being discussed in Talk:Taxation_in_the_United_States#Employment_Graphs. The graph was highly criticized, redacted, non-peer reviewed and partisan (created by an Obama campaign donor in the hight of election). That's not to say its use here is not appropriate, so long as balance and weight is applied and the criticism of the graph is included. It seems many of these partisan graphs got inserted and no one really questioned their inclusion. For the moment, it made sense to remove such a graph until consensus is achieved for actually adding it or a new graph found that is more neutral. Sorry if my edit caused disruption - I was just trying to work through the listed articles. Feel free to discuss here or at the Taxation in the United States article. Morphh (talk) 14:39, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree, so I will carry out the removal, due to a lack of objection over a year and a half. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 23:24, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Although a diagram of progressive tax brackets will help illustrate, better than showing the effects of taxes on the rich. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 00:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Request revisions to "Supporting Arguments", "Economic Effects" and "Prospect for Upward Mobility" Sections[edit]

The Supporting Arguments section does mention "utility" it does not highlight that term so that those without an economics background can click through it to find a definition and its applicability. The section might do better by starting off with a description of the two primary sides of the pro/con argument (possibly moving portions of the "Criticism" section into this to make it a more useful section.

The Economic Effects section is unfortunately, badly tilted in favor of the concept of wealth redistribution, so it ignores economic studies and theories that tend to argue against income / wealth redistribution and market efficiencies.

The "Prospect for Upward Mobility" ignores arguments regarding unfairness. It is a common understanding that, when income inequality is not known, most Americans tend to dislike income redistribution via governmental mechanisms. It is considered an aspect of human nature that we are compassionate for others and will favor giving to the poor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CoachEmile (talkcontribs) 22:46, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

  • There are too many logical difficulties in that argument. Unfairness is not part of any economic argument, it is a distinctly political argument, generally invoked by the left side of the political spectrum. Economists generally acknowledge that as a rule, economic distribution is "unfair", that is there is a random distribution, a bell curve associated with it. Americans don't like or dislike redistribution in any quantifiable measure. Redistribution is part and parcel of the federal system of taxes and spending being initiated in the House. In certain cases Americans support these redistribution efforts, in others instances Americans can get shut out of the redistribution effort. Whether or not one has compassion for others and so look favorably on providing, through the government, to support the poor -- is an entirely different subject (maybe, human philosophy) and shouldn't really be part of this article. 10stone5 (talk) 21:13, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Modern Interpretation[edit]

I think it's nigh time for a modern interpretation of income redistribution, and a refactoring of this page, to include redistribution from the poor to the rich via:

taxation policies, subsidies/incentives, bailouts, national debt, insurance schemes, and simply wealth itself which has a tendency to concentrate at the upper tiers.

boardroom deals, golden parachutes, speculators, conflicts of interest, cartels, healthcare (dental, medical, lawyers associations), etc... i have a laundry list...

everything on this page seems to indicate these policies are geared towards redistribution to the poor, not vice versa. that will be the economics lesson for today. (talk) 05:31, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Chamley-Judd theorem[edit]

Would anyone be willing to integrate the Chamley-Judd theorem (its assumptions, consequences, implications, etc.) into the content of this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

That assumes that people never die, or somewhat equivalently, that the children of the rich have the same investment acumen as their parents. In fact, the children of the rich are often below average investors, make terrible asset allocation decisions, and perform very far below average in corporate governance responsibilities. That finding is one of the reasons for the recent increase in the popularity of charity among billionaires while it has lost favor among millionaires. EllenCT (talk) 04:52, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
If so, would you be willing to incorporate this discussion into the article? (talk) 03:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Scope of article - difference between wealth and income[edit]

This page needs to narrow its scope because wealth and income are different concepts and redistribution of one does not necessarily imply the redistribution of the other. Wealth redistribution (or property redistribution) is sometimes championed as a means to change an economic system, while income redistribution is not about changing an economic system but is a normal function that is in continuous operation in modern economies.

This page needs to be split into "income redistribution" and "wealth redistribution". -Battlecry 02:50, 9 September 2015 (UTC)


This article needs a history section. Reading this article leaves the impression that wealth redistribution is somehow a new idea, when in fact it is very old. Progressingamerica (talk) 18:58, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

I started an attempt to build a history section for older forms of redistribution. The wiki page on Palace Economies is already well established, and I also inserted information about the attempt made by early American settlers at Plymouth Colony to use redistribution and a community of common wealth. Here is what Bradford actually wrote about this: History of Plymouth Plantation, page 135

The experience that was had in this comone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Platos & other ancients, applauded by some of later times; - that ye taking away of propertie, and bringing in comunitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much imploymet that would have been to their benefite and comforte. For ye yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour & service did repine that they should spend their time & streingth to worke for other mens wives and children, without any recompence. The string, or man of parts, had no more in devission of victails & cloaths, then he that was weake and not able to doe a quarter ye other could; this was thought injuestice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and [97] equalised in labours, and victails, cloaths, &c., with ye meaner & yonger sorte, thought it some indignite & disrespect unto them. And for mens wives to be commanded to doe servise for other men, as dresing their meate, washing their cloaths, &c., they deemd it a kind of slaverie, neither could many husbands well brooke it.

Hopefully others will help build the section, there is a lot to write about. Progressingamerica (talk) 19:07, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
A history section would indeed be useful but you need secondary not primary sources to write it.
As far as this "palace economy" goes, it does seem like original research or at least unrepresentative. Any kind of human society of sufficient complexity had some form of wealth/income redistribution. Volunteer Marek  20:38, 29 November 2015 (UTC)