Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spread The Wealth Around--Take Two

I'm still nagged by Obama's comment that he wants to "spread the wealth around". Thinking about it, I find it a very scary concept. Indeed, the whole idea that the government could say that someone, including me, is making too much money and needs to give it to someone who isn't, is downright repulsive. First, it plays into the class envy and class hatred that is doing nothing productive in this country and needs to be stopped. Second, it is based upon the false idea that income production is a zero sum game. It most certainly is not. There simply is not amount X that we all draw from and if I get more that means that there is less for you. Income--wealth--is fluid. There is always more. It just has to be produced. So, if you have more than I do, there is nothing economically that prevents me from going out and producing just as much as you, if not more. Believe it or not, it is still happening every day in this country. Third, who gets to say whether the wealth that you or I have or have earned is too much? What standard will be applied and who will judge whether that standard is just, fair, and correct? To whom would we appeal if we have been wronged? What if we don't like who gets the wealth that we generated but was taken from us because it is too much? How do we as a society benefit if we impede wealth production?
More than anything else, what benefit to society is there when we punish wealth production? If the level of taxation skyrockets at $250K, what incentive is there for me to go past that amount? If expanding my business and hiring more workers moves me to the level where government has determined that I make too much money so that they must confiscate it and give it to others, then I'm not going to expand my business, people won't get hired, and more income won't be entering the overall economy.
Yet, that is exactly what The One told Joe the Plumber that he wants to do.
And it is why I'm pretty certain that his four years in office will amount to a redux of the economic stagnation of the 1970's. Drag out your leisure suits and polyester shirts! We're headed to the disco!

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