Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Marxism of Wealth Re-distribution

Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher became famous last night during the third presidential debate when his name was mentioned more than twenty times by the two presidential candidates. Joe may be the actual cause of change in this country -- not just the person campaigning with a slogan of change.

Joe had the audacity to personally question Barack Obama about Obama's plan for wealth re-distribution. Thank goodness someone had a camera rolling during their exchange. We get to hear from Obama's own lips how he intends to implement his own form of Robin Hood -- except that Robin Hood stole from the corrupt government to give back to the oppressed public. In Obama's case, he wants to act as our bank so he can decide who is worthy of his charitable endowments.

Right now Obama states that he will only take from those who make more than $250,000, but how do we know that he won't change his mind down the road and boldly tax those who make more than $100,000, or $50,000? Where does it end? Regardless of the politician, Democrat or Republican, why would anyone give their government that kind of power with their money? And why would we want or allow any president to be the bank for our charitable donations?

Obama is basically telling us that we can be successful, but there is a $250,000 cap on that success. More than that is, apparently, too much for us to handle. So much for pursuing the American dream.

He's also telling us that he can't trust us to take care of ourselves or each other, so he has to implement a nanny-state welfare system to take care of us simple-minded, drooling Americans. Worse than that, though, is that once he has us accustomed to the government hand-outs, he can turn around and use it against us at any time by threatening to take the hand-outs away.

Our church leaders and our parents always taught us to be self-reliant -- the government is the last place to go for assistance. Not only does that seem like good advice now, it may be the very key to our future survival.

The below articles provide further information.


October 15, 2008 Posted by Scott

"When Barack Obama responded to the Ohio plumber who didn't want his taxes raised that Obama wanted to 'spread the wealth around,' I wanted to tell him to spread his own wealth around. It was in any event a rare moment of candor on the part of Senator Obama. Obama all but told the plumber that his wealth should be seized in the name of equity. The encounter played out one of the old themes of democratic politics: the appeal to the many to take from the few. It's traditionally an easy sell in democratic regimes.

"Despite Obama's implication to the contrary, however, it doesn't represent much in the way of change. According to the most recent (2006) data released by the IRS, the top 1 percent of filers paid nearly 40 percent of all income taxes; the top 5 percent paid 60 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent paid virtually no income taxes (3 percent of all income taxes paid).
The personal income tax, the federal government's main source of revenue, is collected overwhelmingly from a relative handful of Americans. The large majority of all Americans pay little or no income tax.

"Given that poorer citizens always outnumber the rich, political philosophers have long worried that government based on majority rule could lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. 'If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city,' warns Aristotle.

"The founders of the United States were deep students of politics and history, and they shared Aristotle's worry. Up through their time, history had shown all known democracies to be 'incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.' James Madison and others therefore made it a 'first object of government' to protect personal property from unjust confiscation. Numerous provisions were included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect the property rights of citizens.

"Given that one of the causes of the American Revolution was a tax, the founders understood very well that taxation could become a way for one group to prey on another. So while the Constitution empowered the federal government to levy taxes, it limited this power mostly to indirect taxes like tariffs, duties, and excise taxes. For much of American history the federal government subsisted solely on those fees.

"So why hasn't the majority in America helped itself to more of the minority's wealth, as Aristotle and our founders feared? Partly because the protections for individual property erected by the founders have worked. Partly, too, because many Americans' political convictions are (thankfully) based on principle rather than immediate economic self-interest. And partly because the fraction of Americans who think of themselves as rich, or likely to become rich in the future, is quite large, undercutting the incentive for bashing the rich.

"Obama's appeal for higher taxes to 'spread the wealth around' nevertheless harks back to an old theme in political philosophy and American politics. You can believe in it, but it's not exactly change, and it is more to be worried about than hoped for."

From National Review Online

Thursday, October 16, 2008

John Needs Joe, Now More than Ever - Lisa Schiffren

"Joe Wurzelbacher, who is a plumber, not a candidate for high office, or even, probably, a college graduate, is much clearer about the economy and how job creation actually works in a real life, micro-economic way than either man who might be president. John McCain understands what Joe expresses, but cannot articulate it. Barack Obama has no clue that there is an economically and socially valuable stratum of our society that is comprised of millions of guys (and women) like Joe, who didn't need a handout to get started; were willing to work hard for their piece of the pie; will "redistribute" their earnings far more effectively by expanding their businesses and hiring new employees than by handing over money to the state to give to the non-productive.Or maybe Obama understands the argument, but holds the usual Marxist contempt for the 'petite bourgeois,' of whom Joe is surely one.

"Last week, on Geraldo Rivera's weekend show, I had the pleasure of debating with a professor of law at Temple University, which has become a great bastion of ambient academic Marxism. The professor, an educated, urban black man who did not think it was offensive to refer to Sarah Palin's supporters and the crowds that came out to hear her as 'trailer trash,' (though he was highly offended by their clear and obvious racism), began to make the tired old argument that these benighted, none too well off white people 'had voted against their economic self-interest' (i.e. suffered from the Marxian condition of 'false consciousness'), for decades, and now would be led to see the error of their ways by the new Obamain order.

"Luckily for most of us that old work ethic, and the sturdy yeoman independence that has been part of the cultural fabric of America since the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock, hasn't been utterly eradicated yet. Joe, for instance, is pretty clear about it. He is also clear about the temptation of taking the money, when you are younger and haven't yet reaped the rewards of your work. Joe explains, beautifully, that for most of us there is a natural economic trajectory, in which you start off earning little, your salary rises over time, and if you are resourceful, in middle age you are at your economic peak and maybe in a position to buy the business. This combination of effort and personal choice, exercised by millions of Americans of their own volition, created the great economy we have all known (until the government pushed the bankers to distort the rules . . .)

"Now President Obama is sorry that he will have to 'punish' (his word) the hard workers, in particular the successful ones, but the wealth must be spread around.It was only a decade ago that this country did away with 'welfare as we knew it,' because it had become all too evident that it functioned more as a trap than as a safety net. The group of 'spreading the wealth' policies known as the Great Society should have demonstrated conclusively, for all time, that if you could make poor people rich just by giving them money, they would all be comfortable enough. Did we not learn that welfare undermines the kind of ambition, personal discipline, and habits of mind needed to expend the effort to educate oneself, earn money, save, invest, and accomplish things?

"If this nation elects someone who is promising (or lying about his intentions) to socialize much of the economy, it will merely verify what Hegel had to say on the subject: 'What experience and history teach is this — that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles.' Except, of course, Joe and the rest of us who believe those old, free market, small government, individual liberty principles. In an election campaign that might come straight from the pages of an Alan Drury novel, (or Fletcher Knebel, my early favorite), Joe the plumber may well become John McCain's most effective surrogate."

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