American Elephants

Soak the Rich, Bash Business, Cripple Confidence and Create Jobs? by The Elephant's Child
September 10, 2010, 7:15 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Liberalism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

There is a lot of confusion out there about “the rich.” Politicians want to tax the rich and give to the poor — on the theory that everybody loves Robin Hood. Politicians do so want to be loved.

Americans don’t naturally think of the rich with envy.  Americans have always believed that America is a place where everyone has the opportunity to get rich, or at least richer.  And they have always believed that their children can do better than they did.  One of our national characteristics is a distinct lack of envy.  Listen to the voices of immigrants and the children of immigrants. They find America a magical place full of opportunity for everyone.  Listen to Marco Rubio’s story.

Liberals worry politically about the poor. But they don’t worry much about them when they aren’t campaigning.  Thomas Sowell noted back in 2000:

What do the poor most need?  They need to stop being poor.  And how can that be done on a mass scale, except by an economy that creates more wealth?  Yet the political left has long had a remarkable lack of interest in how wealth is created.  As far as they are concerned, wealth exists “somehow” and the only interesting question is how to re-distribute it.

The re-distributors have an excellent record of making everybody poor, but that was not what they intended.  Even Fidel Castro just admitted that the Cuban social model doesn’t work.  It apparently did make Fidel one of the world’s richest people— at least on Forbes list — as Cuban soap and food money went into Fidel’s own bank account.  This is a frequent side-effect of re-distribution.

Barack Obama said in the Labor Day speech he gave in Milwaukee:

Anyone who thinks we can move this economy forward with a few doing well at the top, hoping it’ll trickle down to working folks running faster and faster just to keep up—they just haven’t studied our history.

Mr. Obama’s economic messages have consistently focused on the idea that the “well off”, the “special interests”, the fat-cats”, the “well-connected” have somehow screwed the middle class.  He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding in how market economies operate. Entrepreneurs are non-existent,  and ideas come from the inventiveness of government bureaucrats.

The president believes that the middle class owes everything it has to the government, rather than to wealth-creating entrepreneurs or businesses or their own efforts.  He does not grasp the difference between a  truly free market where individuals decide where  to invest their resources and energies, and a government-directed economy that sets collective priorities which require individuals to follow specific policy objectives defined by the political class.

This is a president that supposedly has an economics meeting every morning. Yet he suggests that private business should be focused on pursuing non-economic objectives.  You don’t restore business confidence by bashing business.  Does this sound like a clear definition of business in a market economy?

That means making sure corporations live up to their responsibilities to treat consumers fairly and play by the same rules as everyone else.  Their responsibility is to look out for their workers, as well as their shareholders, and create jobs here at home.

Ah, and how are those jobs created?  There is the problem.  Apparently nobody knows.


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