Monday, July 16, 2012

Mr. Quarter Holds Forth on Fairness and Inequality

For the life of me I cannot understand the political scene today and how the voters come to form opinions. The worst economy in my lifetime was in the period 1978-1980, the Carter years. The real cost of living was extraordinary, gas prices through the roof, interest rates and inflation in double digits. But it was over quickly too. Reagan hit the brakes, pushed us into recession and we were recovering in a matter of a year or so. But today’s dismal economic conditions just seem to keep going down and down with no real promise of an end in sight. This president doesn’t know how to fix it and, if he were candid with the electorate, doesn’t want to fix it because it provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally transform America in his own vision.

If ever there was a clear signaling of someone’s ideology and intent, of their over-arching philosophy of the social construct, Barack Obama’s has certainly been writ large. He has explicitly proclaimed in unambiguous language that he thinks it is better to spread wealth around. His clear meaning was to take wealth from those that have it and re-distribute it to those that don’t have wealth. He has further signaled his intentions by attacking the very notion that you cannot be wealthy or successful in this country without blame or sin. Just yesterday he again posed (borrowing from Cherokee Elizabeth Warren) that no one that is wealthy or successful today got that way by their hard work and ingenuity. No, Obama claims that somewhere along the way someone had gave you a break, taught you something, or government paved the roads, laid the water pipes, or otherwise helped you. His intended implication was that as a result anyone that is wealthy or successful doesn’t actually deserve to keep that wealth and success to themselves and should therefore share it with those in the country that are not wealthy or successful.

What springs from this perverted view? Obamacare. The foundational notions that none can be turned away regardless of pre-existing conditions and mandatory coverage by all is now reduced by Supreme Court decision to insurance companies going bankrupt because they have to provide coverage without regard to risk, while no one has to buy unless they are actually sick. Penalty/tax? Pay it, it’s less than the premium until you need the insurance. Net effect, take from the insurance companies until they are bankrupt, take from the young and healthy until they are enslaved, and give to everyone else.

What springs from this perverted view? That you can have too much. Barack Obama and others sharing his views will decide how much you really need or are entitled to have. If you have a combined income of greater than $250,000 you are a millionaire in their eyes. You are not paying your fair share of taxes and should pay more. If you are paying taxes at a rate that was lowered like everyone else’s, you are not paying your fair share of taxes and should pay more. If you don’t pay any income tax at all? Well, you already pay your fair share because you also pay a wage tax.

I have read two articles in the last two days on fairness and equality that sicken me. The first expounded on the inequality of income between two “classes” of people. The first a single mother with children, the second a married mother with children. One income versus two combined incomes. The unfairness and injustice of this inequality was the focus. The take away was that we should make laws so that a single mother makes the same income as two people combined, or that we should take from the two people combined so that they made no more than the single mother. Sounds familiar – to each according to their needs? The second article concerned the unfairness of income inequality between a person who spends the time, money and effort to obtain a college degree and one who drops out of high school. Again, sounds familiar – from each according to their means. The thesis of each of these commentaries was essentially that as human beings, we are entitled by right to have parity with each other economically and that we have no right to excel and reap the rewards of higher levels of effort, higher levels of achievement, and higher levels of risk taking.

I feel helpless because so much of what ails this country and the solution is right in front of our faces. Straight forward commonsense, not liberal elite pedantries but old school and no nonsense. No one seems to have the fortitude to point it out. No one has the courage to step up and say that equality of outcome was never a part of the bargain. Fairness is subjective and exists only in the eye of the person being judged. If you have what you want it is fair but if you are still wanting then it is unfair. There is no objective standard of fairness that will satisfy all. Most importantly, this republic stands for the proposition that all have the same opportunity to succeed or to fail. It is up to each of us to step up and make what we can of that opportunity and stop claiming victimhood if we fail to reach the goal that we set for ourselves. The world is filled with losers and wannabees and is getting more crowded. So we are all individually responsible for our own path in life and we will all rise to the level that God intended for us to reach, and the sole reason any of us fail is lack of ambition, effort, or luck. It is not nor has it ever been for lack of opportunity.

No comments: