R eal freedom is when every child has the opportunity to develop his or her talents; when every sick person has access to healthcare, and every family has a roof over their head. Do you honestly think that the most important freedom right now is the freedom for millionaires to throw their weight around? Just how concerned should we be with the freedom for millionaires to abuse employees and bribe politicians? Having freedom to stomp on innocent people may be one kind of perverse freedom, but what about the freedom of the underclass? What about the freedom of the poor kids born in American ghettos, or the freedom of the laid-off worker replaced by Chinese slaves? What about the freedom of those Chinese, working for almost no pay at all? Rigging markets, buying slave labor, selling snake oil, getting away with murder—these aren’t legitimate freedoms! Freedom doesn’t just mean letting millionaires do whatever!
Shouting “More Freedom for Millionaires!” while children are literally dying of malnutrition is completely immoral. Worry about Donald Trump’s quality of life when New York’s mentally ill are not living on the streets. How can anyone concern themselves with the refined liberties of Goldman Sachs executives, when their millionaire’s liberty was used to cause a famine in the 1990s by gambling with food prices? What kind of a moral universe must someone live in for the key freedom in question to be the freedom of Goldman Sachs executives to starve people? What kind of person focuses on millionaires’ freedom while treating the loss of freedom felt by the dead and hungry as irrelevant? How can millionaires’ freedom ever be a relevant issue? Whatever policies our society implements to solve social problems, we must consider everyone’s welfare as equally important. Since millionaires have zero actual problems in this world, their welfare is not on the agenda.