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Friday, March 15, 2013

The case for capitalism

Today class we're going to we’ll examine why greed is good, otherwise known as enlightened self interest.
Liberals often complain those evil Rich Folks have too much money, and worse they’re hoarding it.
Liberals often tend to make this mistake.
First in defining Rich Folks. To my mind a guy who makes say $250,000 a year is not rich. And I say this as a guy who makes FAR less than that. But the current administration has set this as the threshold at which point it is OK to raise taxes. Leaving aside the wisdom or lack thereof in raising taxes in a recession, let’s try to define “rich.”
Someone with say, $1 million in assets could possibly be defined as rich, and many would do so. Those people, of course, would not live in a rural community. Most farmers have far in excess of $1 million in assets. Of course they tend to have a lot of debt to go with that. Most small business owners also have in excess of $1 million in assets. Again, they often have the almost crushing debt load that goes with it. So for the sake of argument, let’s define “rich” as someone with little to no debt, at least $5 million in assets and an annual income in excess of $1 million.
Now he may have inherited this wealth, but in this country he most likely worked very hard for it. This person will likely be in early to late middle age, worked his entire life invested wisely probably owns a business, employs anywhere from 10 to 100 people and pays them a good wage as well.
Often enough this guy started out broke.
Now to a liberal, this poor schmuck, (who, by the way, is already paying something like 40 percent of the tax burden) is a cow to be milked. He’s evil, he has too much money.
He probably is holding on to his money right now because he’s scared. Why is he scared? Well the president keeps saying he’s going to raise Rich Guy’s taxes. He’s also looking at all the new regulations coming down the pike from health care “reform” and the banking “reform” and the Wall Street “reform.” New EPA regulations, Homeland Security regulations, FCC regulations, FTC regulations and probably new regulations from the Regulatory Commission on Regulations.
He doesn’t quite know what all this means, but he does know it’s liable to cost him money -- so he’s sitting on his. He’s not hiring, because minimum wage keeps going up so he doesn’t know what he’s going to have to pay or what the new regulations are going to cost him. He’d like to keep his people employed so he’s got to save money to be ready for it.
Now the liberal answer to this is to tax the nuts off this poor guy and then give the money out to whomever strikes their fancy. This is known as “redistributing the wealth,” and the rest of us call “equalizing misery.”
Now all this brings us back to our fledgling conservative who has been brought up to think everyone has a right to health care, a house, food, clothing and a 64-foot flat screen TV in every room.
Since everyone has a right to these things it’s obviously the job of the government to provide them and since the money has to come from somewhere, (until such time as we reach that great worker’s paradise and everything’s free, ‘cause you know that’s worked out so well everywhere else it’s been tried -- not,) obviously the solution is to soak the rich.
Our young darksider has been nibbling the cookies and is starting to realize this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He (or she, I must not be sexist) has come to realize that perhaps we don’t have a right to those things. We have these rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the rights further enshrined in the Constitution make those things possible.
But we don’t have any guarantees. Capitalism is inherently risky, liberals at their core are afraid of their own shadows, they have no self confidence and are highly risk averse.
In a capitalist society you have the opportunity to become the Rich Guy and possibly have your dangley bits taxed off -- but no guarantees.
Our new conservative is also realizing that contrary to what he (or she) has been taught, businesses do not exist in order to provide their employees with jobs. Businesses exist to make money, in the process of that they provide jobs, which provide more jobs which provide more jobs and so on.
In point of fact, it’s impossible to make money or spend money without creating more wealth for other people as well.
Anytime you do either of those functions someone is going to benefit from it. Only in the case of government can you spend money without creating wealth. In that particular case the government has had to take wealth from someone else, without giving them anything of value in return, in order to give it to a third person.
And this is where liberals tend to get confused. They see wealth as a finite resource so that one person cannot become wealthy without forcing someone else to be poor.
This is not true. Wealth creates more of the same.
This brings us back to enlightened self interest, or greed is good.
If I earn more money, I spend more money, which means the person I paid has more money, which means they spend more money and so on and so on.
The best thing we can do for this economy and to help the poor is to give Rich Guy his dangley bits back, remove the uncertainty that keeps him from investing and hiring. Ease burdensome regulations and make it OK for him to look out for number one.
Do that and the economy will get running again, more people will move into the middle class, more people in the middle class will move up and the cycle will repeat -- and maybe I can get that big screen I’ve been wanting.

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