I’m no opponent of wealth. I’ve tried to accumulate some of my own from what’s left after the tax collector’s cut. Perhaps, as one who started without any, I have a greater appreciation for those who earn it than the Kennedys. And that’s the fatal flaw of those afflicted with the Kennedy Syndrome. As compassionate do- gooders, they sympathize with the needy. That’s commendable. But they have a blind spot in their inability to empathize with hard-working, industrious, risk- taking, entrepreneurial Americans who are the driving force behind our market economy and the creators of new wealth…

The Kennedy Syndrome isn’t wholly altruistic. It’s also marked by a self-indulgent need to feel good about oneself and a compulsion to regulate and compel the behavior of others, infringing on their personal freedom in the process. As Mark Twain said, “To be good is noble. To tell other people to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.” And whatever its good intentions, the Kennedy Syndrome has things backwards. You can’t consume or redistribute what hasn’t been produced. The creation of income and societal wealth must come first. Charity for the needy or social spending programs for the middle class are derived from that. In its preoccupation with those who need, the Kennedy Syndrome neglects, penalizes and discourages those who produce.

The appetite of do-gooders to dispense public largesse with the property of others is insatiable.