Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat the Rich?

Todd Frankel asks, Do the rich deserve what they get?

It’s a provocative question, especially in egalitarian America. I also have a problem with “deserve,” as I do with almost all of the article, but it’s a fairly cogent argument for “social justice.”
As you have greater inequality, you have a greater and greater risk of distorting democracy. If only a small group of people hold more and more resources and money, they're really able to put a lot of pressure on the system to play out their agenda alone. So widening inequality really is detrimental to the principles of democracy. (STL Today)
Progressives forged a social contract over 100 years ago

The wealthy were feeling increasingly threatened by the grimy hordes of unschooled hayseeds and boisterous immigrants crowding east coast cities to work the factories. The kids needed education and the adults needed economic security. There really was generalized fear of peasant revolts or worse, a growing permanent underclass given over to a life of crime.  Gangs of uneducated poor marauding rich neighborhoods like packs of feral beasts was a specter that haunted the nation into governmental noblesse oblige.

This has turned into a crass form of “fire insurance.” Keep the money flowing, and they won’t burn the place down. While I disagree with the class warfare rhetoric, we are facing conditions ripe for community troublemakers to mobilize millions demanding their “fair share.” We’ve built an entitlement culture and you can’t blame the entitled. Government has encouraged them.

People don’t need handouts and grand social programs. We need schools that teach useful skills, economic opportunity, and a strong dollar that holds its value so that life savings are still worth something when we get to our old age. Those three things will not guarantee equal outcomes (nothing will), but they will give everyone an equal shot in this most prosperous, egalitarian, and upwardly mobile country in the history of the world.

25 comments:

Fredd said...

I keep sayin' it, but Toqueville saw this coming almost 200 years ago. Paraphrasing here, he foresaw that once the electorate figured out that they could vote themselves money from the public trough, the end of our grand American experiment would ensue.

The recent statistic that around 35% of Americans derive their income from their fellow Americans: welfare, unemployment, social security, Medicare/Medicaid and public service employment. In other words, eating food right off of the table of their fellow man. 35%. That's a lot of mooching freeloaders, if you ask me.

Divine Theatre said...

The schools have failed greatly. Kids don't know how to read but they DO know how to demand their "fair share".
Ultimately those who created this mess will have to account for it. The F*cking "progressives" who filled the ghettos with wretched, iresponsible criminals who prey on the rest of us. The F*CKING "progressives" who took guns out of the hands of Americans. The F*CKING namby pamby, effeminate "progressives" who keep putting criminals back on the street so thay can commit more crimes. The F*CKING "progressives" who have destroyed this great country and devalued our currency WILL pay. The time is coming.
They dare threaten freedom lovers, ARMED freedom lovers? Not a man among them, they are drunk on the estrogen laced Kool Aid they have been drinking since birth.
It should be fun.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

@ Divine,,I don't know about the "fun" part but it will be long overdue.

Jersey McJones said...

Most people would rather do without any assistance. They would rather be free and clear and self-sufficient. When you see large swaths of the population asking for assitance, that tells you nothing about them and everything about the conditions around them. Neo-liberal, laizzez faire economics have failed and failed miserably. For thirty years now we've had a stagnant middle and working class struggling more and more every day to make ends meet. This is "Reaganomics." This is the "Republican Revolution." This is "Devolution." This is what you get when you let "conservative" rule the day. We need smarter government, not just stupid, childish, simplistic, anti-American hatred of government.

JMJ

Divine Theatre said...

Jersey, poor misguided jersey, thinks that loving your nanny government makes you a good American. Dumb kid.
I got news for you, girly boy...there are thousands upon thousands of people who BRAG about living off the hard earned money of American taxpayers. I pity you, jersey. I really do.

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks for the comic relief, Jersey. Reaganomics, continued by President Clinton produced the longest economic boom in the history of the nation. Progressive "houses for everybody" and "safety nets for wall street" are what wrecked the economy.

What's your solution? The alternative to free markets (Which we DO NOT have) is a soviet-style demand economy. Is that what you're advocating?

@ Divine: Not a man among them, they are drunk on the estrogen laced Kool Aid they have been drinking since birth.

Classic line!

Old Man Bump said...

Silverfiddle . . . People came here to find a little freedom and reward for individual initiative. They didn't expect a handout and they figured if left alone they would manage a decent life if they worked for it. Without earnings we could purchase old age insurance. Social Security was not part of the deal. It got installed anyway and the government forgot to figure out how to pay for it. Now that it's got roots it can't be erased or changed much. So what do we do. Get a bigger credit card. Then Medicare. Same story. Now need even bigger credit card. Then government employee pensions. Again passed with no way to pay for it. Still another monster credit card. Meanwhile America carries on several very expensive Wars. How to we pay for them? You got it. More and bigger credit cards. Now we are in trouble. The credit card guy has gone to the Bahamas with a big smile and we can't get another. Oh boy. What a mess. I'll be a dirty bird before this is fixed.

Bump

Jersey McJones said...

Divine,

Are you capable of speaking like a respectable adult?

Silver,

I disagree with you about the ccauses of the recession and mortgage meldown. We can agree to disagree on that. But do you really believe I espouse Soviet-style totalitarian communism? Do you really believe that is the only alternative to what we have now? Really???

Bump,

We live in a civilization, not some mythical frontier Utopia.

JMJ

Leticia said...

First the responsibility falls on the parents teaching their children about education and having high moral standards.

Then the schools need to stick with the curriculum and not brain wash kids to their own political agenda, as we have seen in Wisconsin. Mindless little kids chanting about someone they don't even know or understand what they are chanting.

No more entitlements to anyone. You have to work hard to make the grade. Fail and start over.

Divine Theatre said...

Jersey,
I respect those who deserve it. You do not. I am disgusted by your utter lack of logic coupled with your arrogance. YOU are what is wrong with this country. My disdain for you is no secret.
No one cares what your opinion of the meltdown is, because you are wrong. Period.
Get a job. Schmuck.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

The very first thing our children should be taught is to obey God's Laws.

The second thing is respect. Respect for their parents, respect for their elders, respect for each other, and last but not least, self-respect.

The third thing they need to learn is that we are NOT a democracy, we were NOT founded as a democracy. Once they learn these two lessons, everything else will fall into place.

Self-sufficiency, morality, ethics and trust will then become second nature. Liberalism, socialism, communism are NOT the answer. Never were and never will be.

Mustang said...

I don’t buy into the social justice, level playing field pap. Our form of government, our culture guarantees but one thing: equal opportunity. No one gave me a hand up … but many people were willing to mentor me when I began my climb out of adolescence. Why, we even have a mentality now that suggests we somehow deserve a long life …

Some of us may need a hand up from time to time, and I’m personally willing to do my part. I prefer doing that within the community where I live—where I can see the result of my charitable donations. I don’t think that people in NJ should have to pay for a local shelter for unwed mothers. Moreover, charity is a responsibility of my Christian faith. How dare the government interfere with the relationship I have with God?

This crass “class warfare” business must to stop. It is hateful when any government would rather enslave its people to government dependency than offer self-confidence through achievement. What comes from human liberty is human responsibility; if you decide to quit school, then you shouldn’t get a check from the government as your reward for making a stupid decision. Should such morons starve to death? We call this natural selection; if you don’t like being hungry, find work, go back to school, and stop hanging out with losers.

Look around … every single government program you find is an abject failure. Oh, it might make some people happy if they get something for nothing, but that is NOT what made America great. What it will do is destroy our country —I often think this is exactly what motivates Progressives.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Central planning is the obvious alternative to a free market economy.

Everyone: I hope no one thinks I am supporting "social justice." I just like to feature progressive thought when it is cogent and thought provoking (which is so rare!)

Nobody suffers the consequences of their stupidity anymore, not dropouts and not hedge fund managers. That is what's wrong with America.

~Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Leslie said...

Having worked extensively with people who take advantage of social programs (also known as "entitlements") I have met more people willing to take hand outs, who want more hand outs, and who are willing to rely completely on the government for their livlihood than those who would rather work hard, be personally responsible and be self sufficient.

This would include people having more and more children in order to get more government money through child-tax credits, welfare, and food stamps. And yes, this does happen. I see it every day. Not to mention the attitude from people who get food stamps, TANF, WIC, Welfare, SSI checks and then have the gall to make the statement: "The government doesn't do shit to help the poor." and then complain about 'rich' people being rich, regardless of the fact that most have worked for their gains.

These things are more prevelent in our society and it is becoming the majority of our population.

Louis H. said...

I am new to this country, but I have a good knowledge of US history. Did not the founding fathers warn citizens to be dis-trustful of government? So, I don’t know what it means … “Anti-American hatred of government.”

George Washington warned about the evil of government. I think the founding fathers wanted Americans to love their country, and hate their government. This was the lesson of the founding fathers. So I do not think it is anti-American at all.

Thank you

Silverfiddle said...

Leslie: It must try your patience...
I don't think I'd last long in your line of work.

Louis: You are correct, although I don't think Washington used the word "hate," but he did warn us to be distrustful of it.

The founders were wise men well-steeped in classical thought and they knew human nature well. They realized there is no perfect form of government. The next best thing was to divide up the power and set the various groups, offices and interests against one another in a friendly, mutually-beneficial counter-balance.

We have become unbalanced. Uncle Sam doesn't just have his thumb in the scales, he has plopped his fat ass down on them and is gorging himself on taxpayers.

maggie@Maggiesnotebook said...

If we had any respect for the Rule of Law in this country, none of these scenarios would be reality, including Unions robbing the taxpayer. We have a chance to change some of this in the 2012 elections.

If we don't fully understand today, the goal of Democrats, then all hope of a shining city on the hill is lost.

"Social Justice." so completely inane.

Jersey McJones said...

Wow.

Divine, I have a job and work very hard. I am proud of my work, and it keeps me in shape. I'd be surprised if you, or any of you Christian Objectivists, have ever done hards days work in your life.

JMJ

MK said...

Your average garden variety liberal doesn't hate the rich, but the hardcore leftist despises them, particularly the ones who don't feel guilty of their own success.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Central planning is the obvious alternative to a free market economy."

Well, believe me I am as much a free market person as anyone, being one who advocates Rand's philosophy of politics, ethics, and philosophy.

My concern is a totally free market in todays environment, without ANY controlling ethical guidelines whatsoever, or retribution for unethical behavior or conduct, would likely result in something quite ugly. People, and businessmen are people, seem to somehow get corrupted. Just look at Wall Street.

That, and the idea that tariff's may not be such a bad thing to keep American jobs. Sure it would "cost" more for American families. But what's the cost of not having a job.

In looking at the present realities I am troubled. Troubled equally that what is called American capitalism {and free market}is not really capitalism or free market at all.

Just saying.

Old Man Bump said...

Silverfiddle/Jersey McJones
I didn't think "Eat The Rich" would get so many comments. Surprise! And Jersey, on my earlier (7th) comment I made a typo. In the 4th sentence "without" should have been "with". Sorry. As to your mention of "civilization" I can't figure out what you mean to say? Generally speaking I think America's founders somehow knew that too many free lunches would spoil the broth and "entitlements" need to be designed with great care. Our entire society has let abundant credit purchases become altogether too easily obtained. . . Bump

Mustang said...

We do not now, nor have we ever had a purely free market system. At any time government interferes in economics, then you have some aspects of a command economy. We have this government interest because prior to 1860, Laissez-faire economic policy did nothing to inhibit periodic recessions and inflationary periods, nor even limit government protectionism.

Government economic policy is not limited to the House of Representatives, even if the House is responsible for the budget. The people we elect to Congress too often have emotional reactions to market fluctuations, and this causes them to want to interfere in the free market —many times, even before they understand what is happening, and why. This is why the founding fathers gave us a Senate, intended to provide the House with some adult leadership. Sadly, now that senators no longer represent state legislators, we’ve elected a host of moronic ideologues to the Senate and they, if anything, only make matters worse. Nor does it help to have a largely ignorant population, or a communist in the White House.

Rob said...

@Divine, maybe I've misunderstood your statement - and I certainly don't deny that Gen Y is (generally) a massive pile of self-entitled, latte-sipping, n'er-do-wells - but those snot-noses are NOT who's sinking the ship.

Boomers are the bastards who're pillaging & burning massive corporations and walking away millionaires. If I ran MY company into the ground, there'd be no bailouts and I'd be in the street right along with the rest of them. So, why have all of these "suits" who've catastrophically mismanaged their megacompanies still going on cruises on their gold-plated yachts?

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this is the old "Make yourself heard - cast your vote" rhetoric. So, my only source of power to do anything about the mess we're in is to cast a crappy vote that my elector will simply ignore is he so chooses? Hells yeah, I feel awfully empowered.

Makes me wanna grab up my torch & pitchfork...

Divine Theatre said...

Rob,
I think at this point there are more monsters than peasants with pitchforks..