By P. J. O’ROURKE [Wall Street Journal] – I would argue that the world doesn’t need more encouragement to think in zero-sum terms or act in redistributive ways.
Western Europe has done such a good job redistributing its assets that the European Union now has a Spanish economy, a Swedish foreign policy, an Italian army, and Irish gigolos.
Redistributionist political ideologies, in decline since the fall of the Soviet bloc, are on the rise again. Will you help the neo-Marxists of Latin America redistribute stupidity to their continent?
The Janjaweed are trying to redistribute themselves in Darfur. The Serbs would like to do the same in Kosovo. The Chinese have already done it in Tibet. Al Qaeda offshoots are doing their best to redistribute violence to places that didn’t have enough.
And Russia and China would like the global balance of power to be redistributed. Since China has plenty of money to lend and Russia has plenty of oil to sell, your debt and energy policies should go a long way toward making the balance of power fairer for the Russians and Chinese.
While redistribution—or “plagiarism,” as we writers call it—is a bad idea, zero-sum is even worse. Zero-sum assumptions mean that a country that doesn’t pursue a policy of taking things from other countries is letting its citizens down. That’s pretty much the story of all recorded history, none of which needs to be repeated.