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May 25, 2010

Got Enough Money?

Posted by The MaryHunter at May 25, 2010 12:51 PM

So, our president tells us that, "at some point, you've made enough money" (follow link for Mark Levin audio). But there's a certain kind of moral bankruptcy that goes along with this anti-capitalist mentality, not to mention a dose of complete economic illiteracy. Explains Thomas Sowell:

The key word in this statement, made recently by Pres. Barack Obama, is "you." There is nothing wrong with my deciding how much money is enough for me or your deciding how much money is enough for you, but when politicians think that they should be deciding how much money is enough for other people, that is starting down a very slippery slope.
Politicians with the power to determine each citizen's income are no longer public servants. They are public masters.

No sufficient arguments exist in a free society for the imposition of undue limitations or restrictions on the public. When you do limit rights for some -- e.g., through excessive taxation of, and discrimination against, the wealthy -- then where does it stop?

Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy -- quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody's rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can't tell the water where to go.
The moral bankruptcy of the notion that third parties can decide when somebody else has "enough" money is matched by its economic illiteracy. The rest of the country is not poorer by the amount of Bill Gates's fortune today and was not poorer by the amount of John D. Rockefeller's fortune a century ago.

Indeed, ideas and accomplishments of Rockefeller's, such as moving crude oil by train tank car and increasing production and marketing of kerosine (replacing whale oil), increased Rockefeller's wealth even as they increased both our young nation's wealth (through much lower prices) and productivity (through expanding access to oil and its byproducts, essential fuel and raw materials for a growing nation). In fact, one could also argue that Rockefeller inaugurated the first "save the whales" campaign.

And I haven't even mentioned his philanthropic activities that brought us (for better or worse) the University of Chicago. If Rockefeller and others like him had been prevented by government from earning any more money above some arbitrary amount, through astronomical marginal tax rates, then we might have never grown to be a world industrial and cultural superpower. Concludes Sowell:

But that is wholly different from having politicians make such decisions [how much money citizens can make] for other people. Politicians who take on that role stifle economic progress and drain away other people's money in order to hand out goodies that will help get themselves reelected. Some people call that "social justice," even when it is anti-social politics.

If you put a cap on economic achievement, inevitably you will squelch economic and societal advancement. Communism has taught us as much.

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Did anyone ever tell Al Gore that he'd earned enough money?