The Right has long looked to lower taxes, especially for rich people, out of a belief that rich people deserve to keep their money because they earned it. In other words, taxes impinge on their freedom. Mike McCarthy argues this is the wrong way to think both about taxation and about freedom.

Mike McCarthy is a sociologist at Marquette University in Milwaukee and the author of Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions Since the New Deal. He has a chapter in The ABCs of Socialism called “Don’t the rich deserve to keep most of their money?”

The ABCS of Socialism is available for only $5 on Jacobin’s web site. You can get it at Also, be sure to listen to the other podcasts in our ABCs series, which tackle questions that include Why do socialists talk so much about workers? Doesn’t human nature make socialism impossible? Is socialism a western, Eurocentric concept? And isn’t the United States already king of socialist?