I should set a threshold — five e-mails, or a dozen Facebook posts, and a response will be given.
But then some idiot would work to make the threshold.
You’ve seen this, of course:
“5 Truths You CANNOT Disagree With”
It was past the threshold, so I responded:
- You cannot legislate poverty away by laws that send all the wealth generated by the working poor, to the rich.
- What one person receives without working for in capital gains, or productivity increases, another person worked for, without receiving. It is unjust to give the benefits of the sweat of one woman, to another man.
- Government subsidies create wealth in nations; most great enterprises have found their roots in government funding, from irrigation in Babylon, to farming along the Yellow River, through Columbus’s voyage of (accidental) discovery, the Transcontinental Railroad, and settlement of America.
- When opportunities exist for the poor, hard work makes much wealth. A society is wealthy, and an economy is sound, when the poor spend money. Rich guys spending money doesn’t work — there are not enough rich guys.
- When the rich tiny percentage of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, but that the work of others is ALSO their property and the poor will take care of them, then we have conditions for financial collapse (see the Panic of 1908, or 1837, or the Great Depression — or any other); those conditions often lead to revolution, sometimes violent (see Russia in 1917, Germany in 1922, Shay’s Rebellion, the French Revolution — when the rich get the rewards the hard-working man created, it is the beginning of the end of any nation. Some smart nations fix those problems when they occur.
When hard work no longer gets you ahead, and when hard work no longer will feed, clothe and educate your family, you may get angry.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable,” John Kennedy said. He was pretty smart for a young, rich guy.
(Links added above, other than the YouTube video; I hope the JFK Library has video of Kennedy actually saying that.)
People who post these “5 truths” without irony must have slept through ALL of economics in high school, and forgotten everything they may have ever learned about American history in the 20th century. Income distribution is a serious issue — maldistribution and misdistribution of wealth leads to trouble, either economic calamity, or violent revolution, or both.
It’s fun to say that no person should get ahead on the earnings of another person; it’s more realistic when we understand that a system rigged to give financial players yachts, and working people debt, is the unfairness that those worriers should worry about.
Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy waves to a crowd in front of Cobo Hall, in Detroit, during the 1960 American Legion Convention. Image from Walter Reuther Library