A while ago I found myself in desperate financial stress. I had unpaid bills, an overdue mortgage, and the city was threatening to turn my electricity off. To be honest I was in trouble because I had lived beyond my means and lost my job because of poor performance. Oh yes, I almost forgot about the little drug problem I had.
I noticed my next door neighbor had been doing well. In fact he had just gotten a promotion and a big raise. I decided I would go to his house, hold a gun to his head and demand he share some of his money with me. I knew that would be both illegal and immoral, but I was desperate.
Fortunately I didn’t have to rob my neighbor. The government tax man came to his house and demanded part of his money. If he refused the government would put him in jail, so he complied. The government took his money, skimmed off 20-30% in administrative fees, and sent me a nice check with what was left. I also got Food Stamps, a voucher for children’s needs, and was eligible for subsidized housing. Since I lost my telephone service, the government gave me a free cell phone. Getting money from my neighbor in this manner was considered both legal and moral.
Because the government confiscated so much of his salary, my neighbor didn’t feel he was properly rewarded for his efforts at his job. He quit working so hard. He didn’t like giving 40% of the fruit of his labor to me and others. It made him resentful. So at his job, he filled his desk and did little more. His efficiency fell as did the efficiency of his entire company. Innovation declined.
This story was not true, but it illustrates what is going on in America and much of the west. A few days ago Mitt Romney remarked tat 47% of Americans do not pay income tax, and therefore are more or less lost to a candidate who wants to decrease the size of government, thereby lowering dependency on it.
The corrupt media and his political opponents jumped all over his remark, saying he was heartless and didn’t care about the poor. This is untrue, but that didn’t stop the dishonest commentators and misleading ads running on TV. In fact Romney wants to help the poor by lessening their dependence on the government. He wants to re-establish the American values of independence, hard work, and self reliance. His opponents want to increase dependence and are not at all shy about using class warfare to do so.
Once being rich and successful like Romney was considered a good thing in America. The rich were admired. Children wanted to grow up to become rich. In America it was possible to become successful with hard work and good habits. Some of our recent presidents like Kennedy and Roosevelt were rich, and it was never considered a negative. Under the great divider Obama, being rich is somehow being evil.
Now equality of outcome is becoming more impotent than equality of opportunity. This is not a good way to go. The government can not make a stupid or lazy person smart or ambitious. But it can kill the initiative of the ambition of others by taking away the rewards of their labors. This is Barack Obama’s vision for America. He is intent on making as many people as possible wards of the state in return for their votes.
His now famous “Julia” campaign ad Obama pictures a woman who depends on government assistance from birth until death. She gets assistance from her pre-school years until her retirement. In no stage of her life was she completely responsible for herself. The government happily helped her through her life.
Julia had a good life thanks to the government. The fly in the ointment was that the government has no money or resources of its own. The government generates no revenue, the government produces nothing. The only money the government has is extracted from its citizens. So in other words, Julia is living from the labors of her fellow citizens. She uses the government as an instrument to take resources from some and give them to her. This works out well for the takers like Julia. Not so much for the givers, and not so much for society as a whole