The traditional liberal defense of redistribution, of course, is that a lot of what passes for economic success derives not only from hard work or ingenuity but also from good fortune — the good fortune to be born with the right genes and to the right parents, to grow up in the right community, to attend the right schools, to meet and be helped by the right people, or simply to be at the right place at the right time.
Notice what's missing here? The entire concept of redistribution as effective economic policy. In any market system that "thrives on unequal outcomes," you are going to get concentration of wealth. This concentration is, in and of itself, harmful to the market system, as he notes elsewhere in his article. Yet the simple conclusion - that redistribution is thus necessary for the health of the market system - completely escapes him. This is how you know you're reading a Conservative author: when simple conclusions are invisible because they contradict with ideology. Not just rejected, condemned, or argued against, but invisible.
He also states:
A useful debate about the morality of capitalism... should also acknowledge that there is no moral imperative to redistribute income and opportunity until everyone has secured a berth in a middle class free from economic worries.
There is, in fact, a strong moral imperative to free everyone from economic worries, starting with The Golden Rule and running straight through"If a man asks you for coat, give him your cloak as well," and "What you do for the least of those among you, you do for me." Yet another way you know you're reading a Conservative author: Jesus' moral imperatives are invisible.
But that's not what prompted this post. That's all par for the course. The sentence that prompted me to look out the window to verify that the sky was still blue, intact, and not full of aeronautic swine, was this:
How much income redistribution is enough? Must we keep redistributing until we reach the equality levels of the 1950s, which liberals seem to consider the golden years?
And there you have it. Conservativism has now reached the point of blasting Liberals for being too traditional.
Irony cannot exist without self-awareness; irony is dead.