If I were publishing a newspaper the above would be today’s headline. The accompanying story would explain that the popular thinking of the day, the idea that some among us can continue to demand a constantly increasing share of what other people earn, is misguided and damaging. Readers would be stunned to learn that no one has a right to demand a greater share in the bounty of another and the sooner we grasp that truth the better off we will become.
Society has developed a lust for ever increasing portions of other people’s wealth and we’re not talking opulence levels. We want to redistribute more of what others have even if it is only modest worth.
The liberal definition of wealth is – anyone with a few dollars more than you – and there exists no shortage of people who believe you should share it with them.
Unions have been doing this for decades. When the company does better the value of the job somehow increases during negotiations for the next mugging. . .sorry, I meant contract. The job, in truth, has not changed one iota. It has not become any more arduous, certainly no more valuable. The job is what it is. The union mentality though says, “Give us more and more or we’ll stop producing”. Interestingly, when hard times hit, the union is last in line to offer some relief. Where is the fairness in that?
While the idea of sharing the wealth got a boost from early unionists it is now firmly entrenched in our psyche and in mainstream political discourse. While campaigning for the presidency, Barack Obama let slip to a small business owner (remember Joe the plumber?) that he just believed “when we spread the wealth around it is good for everybody”. Really? With admissions such as that, it should be no surprise that the voter feels entitled to some level of handout from every level of government. What few understand or care about is that no government can give to one until it takes from another. Hence the unfortunate battle cry of the left, “Tax the rich”.
They are being taxed. The top one percent pay more in taxes than the bottom ninety-five percent combined (IRS data – 2007). In the US, 1.4 million taxpayers shoulder more of the income tax burden than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined. Still the takers want more and those elected to power have difficulty saying no.
Not many who eye elected office do so without a vision for higher taxes to fund bigger dependency programs. Even when a politician claims to favor tax cuts it is difficult to believe. It is just not in their DNA. It was President George Bush (sr.) who famously said, “Read my lips, no new taxes” and then gave in to pressure from the Democrats, broke his promise and raised taxes. The latest example of let down is Speaker of the House John Boehner (R – Ohio) failing to deliver on the promised $100 billion in spending cuts. It is not surprising that Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook for the US credit rating to negative from stable. Such a downgrade would mean the US would no longer be the world’s most powerful economy and the American dollar would be further shaken.
France, Germany, Britain and Canada would have higher ratings.
So who is responsible for deficit spending and unmanageable debt? We all are. The unions that continue to demand more and more for doing less and less, the takers who lust after a bigger slice of someone else’s pie and those who continue to support confiscation of wealth for redistribution purposes are all culpable.
From Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933 to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in 1965 to Barack Obama’s current disastrous fiscal failings, the left has tried to improve the lot of the “less fortunate” by legislating great intentions and expecting equally great outcomes.
History has yet to record one time when it has worked.