I saw this at Ace’s a long time ago:
I admire just about everything Thomas Sowell has ever written, and when first saw this I thought “Bingo, touche!” But then I started thinking about it and realized it’s not as good as I’d first imagined.
Many liberals would be likely to dismiss it, answering that greed isn’t what they’re exhibiting when they advocate income redistribution. They would say that they’re just trying to limit the greed of other people, while at the same time asking that the poor and needy receive just enough to get by.
In other words, they would claim that the rich already have “more than their share,” or “more than they need,” and that that is the definition of greed—having or wanting more then you need, whereas the poor just want to be able to live decently.
But for liberals, who defines how much is just enough and how much is way too much? For many people, the definition of “just enough but not too much” tends to be “what I want” or “what I have,” and “too much” tends to be “what the other guy has that is more than what I have.” And of course, some people who want to take some of the money of the rich aren’t greedy, because they’re already rich themselves and want to take some of their own money plus that of another rich guy, and give it to the poor one—and to compel the giving rather than let it be voluntary.
The Christian seven deadly sins are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Wrath, sloth, pride, and lust have sort of fallen off the sin wagon these days, at least with a lot of people. But gluttony is often still considered bad (maybe worse than ever). Greed is still bad, but is usually defined as something other rich guys demonstrate. The sin of envy of the material goods that others have—that is, the covetousness forbidden by one of the Ten Commandments—is actually sometimes encouraged by liberal philosophy. And it’s certainly encouraged by society in general.
So for the most part the left retains only two of the sins, one relatively minor (gluttony) and one of enormous importance to the left: greed. The sinful nature of greed is part of their justification for wanting to take away from some people defined as greedy (the rich), in the unspoken advocacy of another formerly deadly sin: envy.