How can we make sure prosperity is widely shared?
Prosperity is more widespread than ever before, but we can still do better.
How do governments try to expand prosperity?
- Tax-funded government transfer programs.
- Too much wealth redistribution can take away some of the incentive to pursue new ideas, take on new projects, or start companies. As a consequence, less overall wealth is created.
Stop giving special government favors
- When businesses lobby the government for subsidies to increase their own returns, they make other people poorer.
- Some businesses also encourage regulations that restrict or eliminate their competitors, which reduces opportunities for others.
Rent-seeking: Behavior by which individuals get rich not by creating more value and improving lives, but by gaming the system at others’ expense
In countries where the government has more economic control, rent-seeking is much more common.
- How could wealth distribution discourage innovation?
- What kinds of government policies can prevent exploitation?
- What is “rent-seeking”, in your own words?