I am writing this in response to a letter from Ms. Beverly Smith regarding the redistribution of wealth. In it, she falsely equivocates the redistribution of wealth to a college student potentially sharing a point of her GPA with a friend who isn't doing so well (and a subtle dig at the stereotypical "liberal" college student).
The reason this a weak equivocation is because clearly the student's friend isn't trying to get her grades up. This is based on the tired, worn out assumption from establishment folks that simple hard work will get you ahead, and that's all you need. With the campaign of Bernie Sanders behind us, large swaths of the American people no longer believe that hard work will get you ahead. And they're right, it doesn't necessarily. Starting with the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the rich with trickle-down economics in the 1980s, the gap between rich and poor has been growing and growing ever since. This generation of millenials feel it with a hard job market and high college tuition. I can understand the bewilderment from people like Ms. Smith who don't necessarily know the full extent of the problems that the younger generations are facing. Our issues are vastly different from the issue of previous generations.
However, I do think the brushing off of the "liberal" youth rooting for wealth redistribution is a serious error, as it fuels what I call the "age gap", younger voters largely voted for Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, and Gary Johnson, while older voters largely voted for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The belittling of this yearning for democratic socialism will only cause resentment, as the younger generations will have to live with the decisions Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will make, while the older generations will not. The decisions they will make will affect several issues, but for the purpose of this letter, I will stick to wealth distribution.
The system of this country at the moment is actually socialism for the rich and this "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality for everyone else. As we saw with Mr. Trump, people like him are given many ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, while average Americans would likely be charged with tax evasion. People like Trump will only cut taxes for the benefit of the moneyed class, it will never trickle-down on anyone. We are repeatedly told by politicians to simply work hard and everything will work out in the end, even though it doesn't for everyone. We simply want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes so we can improve our infrastructure and make public college completely free like every other first world democracy from Europe to Australia. We want hard work to truly pay off. That is wealth redistribution.