Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On redistribution, free markets, and government handouts

I posted the picture at right to Facebook. A high school friend called Obama a "commie pig" in the comments. When rebuked for his words, he wrote this, and then liked his own comment:

People need to learn to fail. Free market means working hard for your money. Let the rich get richer - they earned it, and some day, so will I. I will earn my money from taking from the poor if need be - if they just consume and not contribute themselves. Envy is the character of the left. You all hate the rich, until you are rich yourselves. Fairness and wealth redistribution simply means misery together. Since you all probably rely on government payouts anyway, Obama has already bought your vote. Go ahead and be the middle class, I plan on making millions.
Here was my response:

We don't have a free market in this country - not when the biggest corporations can house profits off shore, get tax incentives that start-ups don't get, buy up the media to decide what consumers learn and what they don't, and receive government protection for their losses while their profits are private. The American free market is a nice idea, but also a myth.

I don't envy Romney's wealth, but I do think that a man who thinks six times the median American income is "not very much" and assumes most parents can afford to pay for their kids' college lacks the perspective on the country's reality that he would need to run that country.

I'm all for the rich getting richer, when they earn it, as many do - but when I'm paying a higher tax rate than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett, they're not earning all of it anymore, they are indeed engaging in the "redistribution" you otherwise claim to hate so much. Same for when the banks crash the economy and don't pay a penalty for it - their failure, our punishment, they didn't earn that wealth. But no, I don't hate the rich, I just despise certain aspects of the system that bankrupts our country - the system that doesn't ask them to pay the same share to the nation that made them wealthy as the rest of us do. If you think the center-left hates the rich, it's because you refuse to let the left define their own beliefs, and just believe what the right tells you about them. I'm glad taxes aren't where they were under Nixon, Ford, Carter - but they should be where they were under Clinton.

Yeah, we've all gotten government payouts - just like we've made government payins. The government paid me out just tonight, when I drove home on several public roads and pulled over for a public fire truck. It also paid me out when I went to a *public* high school with you. It'll pay out again when I'm old and collecting Social Security and Medicare, to which I'm paying in now. Something tells me that if you do make those millions that you - and every other American - plan on making, you won't stop driving on those roads, refuse those Social Security checks, hire only home-schooled employees without college degrees who want the job because it means they can finally get off EBT or unemployment, or tell the government's military they can let AL-Qaeda into your place.

I'll leave you with this quote from the commie pig - er, excuse me, inventor of capitalism - Adam Smith. "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor... The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

And also this about the poor who accept help when offered, those whom Christ reminds us to love, not scorn."[Romney's] a guy who sold his dad’s stock to pay for college, who built an elevator to ensure easier access to his multiple cars and who was able to support his wife’s decision to be a stay-at-home mom. That’s great! That’s the dream. The problem is that he doesn’t seem to realize how difficult it is to focus on college when you’re also working full time, how much planning it takes to reliably commute to work without a car, or the agonizing choices faced by families in which both parents work and a child falls ill. The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it."

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