Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sorry Spidey, Your Uncle Was Wrong

A good friend of mine is fond of quoting this line from Spiderman comics:  "With great power comes great responsibility."  He does this in the context of supporting a call for mandatory government seizure of assets and redistribution to those who are both less able and less willing to work for their own livelihood.  The government doesn't do a good job of discerning between the two and oftentimes doesn't care.  Putting aside the question of who truly has the power in this situation and whether or not wealth redistribution is "responsible" I think there is a fundamental flaw with this situation.  Even assuming that my ability to earn is the true power, how is supporting a mandatory redistribution of those earnings a responsible exercise of that power.  Additionally, I question whether or not you can consider that which is coerced to be a "responsibility."  It seems to me to be more in the lines of a consequence. 

No, instead I think we should be saying "With great freedom comes great responsibility."  Your responsibility is to ensure that you live wisely, making good decisions that allow you to care for yourself.  It is your responsibility to care for your fellow man.  Most importantly it is your responsibility to protect your fellow man's freedoms as you would protect your own.  Without this equality under the law we do not have freedom, only an illusion.

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