It is easy to desire and recommend freedom when everyone is equal. When the United States started, most everyone started from scratch, and came over on a boat to build a new life and country. Since everyone started poor, the recognition of the value of freedom to allow some to succeed, for everyone to be able to mix it up, was pure and great.
However when people start from an unequal setting, freedom does not seem as important. The United States has gotten to the point where the people born today are not all poor, are not all starting from scratch. The poorer people now point at the rich and say, ‘I am not free, because they are rich and have taken all of the power’. Because the poorer feel not free themselves, it is easy to demand that the freedom of the rich be taken away in order to make the playing field more equal. Of course taking away the freedom of the rich also takes away freedom from the poor, for example if the poor ever became rich, but this seems like a fair trade to the powerless. And so the cycle towards less freedom and more demanded equality continues and more powerlessness continues.
Should we wipe the slate clean, and make everyone poor again, so that true freedom is recognized as a good and pure thing? No, probably not, but that is perhaps the only good outcome from revolution or anarchy. We must recognize that freedom is a good and pure thing, no matter how unequal the playing field. Freedom is either good or it is not. Freedom allows the upward mobility and the right to mix it up which gave rise to the riches to begin with. The super wealthy will of course become more super wealthy. They will do crazy things like develop spaceships to the stars or try to cure malaria in all of Africa. People starting poor may never be able to rise to the top of the richest people. But that’s ok, for as long as there’s freedom the poor can improve their lot, do deals, and better themselves. The rich do not take away from the poor, only the reduction of freedom does. Wealth is not a zero sum game. Wealth is created in proportion to how much humanity produces as a whole, and the amount of economic transactions that occur.
When the rich become rich, and the starting place of peoples lives is in-equality as a people we must remember the lack of freedom is not going to solve this. Freedom is what allowed the previously poor to rise, the United States to prosper, and for innovation to occur.