Tea Party of Scottsdale, AZ
Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values: Personal Freedom, Economic Freedom and a Debt-Free Future


 

 

Income Equality: Economic Slavery vs Economic Freedom

  • ©by George Squyres

A political drumbeat that will grow louder as we approach the 2016 elections is the noble progressive mantra of income equality as being morally necessary and the only way to a socially just and equal society.  It's already become almost a litmus test for whether you are a true progressive or not, that a moral society not only treats everyone equally, but pays them equally.  Grass roots progressives still don't seem to notice however, that the guys at the top, the ruling elite "doing the good work", are far more  equal than everyone else, especially when it comes to paychecks and perks.  Nor have they figured out that the corrupt sale of political power to private interests- cronyism- is more enabled by Progressive Big Government than by anything the right could ever hope to pull off.

 Tea Party and its candidates will find themselves 

facing opponents claiming the moral high ground, claiming to be the noble warriors fighting injustice for the good of all, and that Tea Party is only greedy, mean and racist.  What in fact they seek is nothing short of economic slavery, yet few today seem to see through the rhetoric to what is in fact advocated.  Economic freedom is not about how much money is in your pocket, which is properly called empowerment.  Economic slavery is not about having to work and scrape while others don't.  The issue isn't about who has what and who doesn't, it's about how they got it.  Economic individual rights demands individual responsibilities as to how any results are produced: did they honestly earn it or is it the result of wrong doing?

 Progressives insist that wealth is necessarily a result of privilege or criminal behavior at some level, denying that in a free society, such things as individual talent, effort and perseverance are the deciding difference.  If you have more than the other worker bees, you must have done something wrong.  In demanding income equality, they are not demanding the equality of opportunity enshrined in the Constitution, they are demanding equality of results, forcibly imposed.  Ultimately they are not at war with the Constitution, they are at war with nature, which doesn't concern itself with equality but with diversity.  No matter what legislation is ever considered, nature will always bring forth guys like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson who will play basketball far better than my sorry ass could ever hope to.  Unless progressives plan to dictate that everyone be made genetically identical they are stuck with diversity of outcome.  In the immortal words of Don Henley, "Get Over It!"  

 "No", progressives will scream in response, "we only want everyone to have a decent paycheck.  We only want everyone to have the basic minimum so that their needs are met."  The first problem with that is, whose opinion of the "basic minimum"  is so enlightened as to be made the law to which everyone's lives must conform?  But far more crucially, if control over what everyone receives is taken out of the hands of individuals and given to government, government is then totalitarian: do what you're told or you don't eat.  Where totalitarian government has worked for income equality, such as Russia or China, it has inevitably produced splendidly equal destitution for all but those at the top.  Not surprisingly, most of the improvement in income in the last six years of progressive economics has been in the jobs that are held by the public sector.  It is for this reason that America's Constitution was written to severely limit the government's power over its citizens, the Founders knowing first hand what was expressed by Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964 when he said, "Freedom is freedom from government."  

 The essence of economic freedom is the right to work without constraint by others- whether it be a mobster requiring allegiance, or a government requiring a license- and to keep the fruits of your own labor, rather than have them taken from you by force- whether it's a shakedown by the mob or a bill from the IRS.  Classically, property is the result of mixing your labor with that which is unowned in nature, and since you own your own labor, you own the property of which it is a part.  The right to keep the fruits of your own labor as property includes the right to exchange that property with another, also known as a free market.  However, the right to property includes no right to the property of others, as Progressives claim.  The right to own property is one of the essential tenets of economic freedom and political freedom, and the denial of that right was one of the chief tools of the Soviet Union in controlling its people.  

 If, instead of owning the fruits of your own labor, what you produce is taken from you by force and enjoyed by others, then you are in fact made a slave of those others, whether they are Chicago gangsters or Washington bureaucrats.  Economic slavery then, is defined as being forced to work for the benefit of another without compensation. If a certain amount of what you earn is taken from you by force, as it is in taxation, to that same extent you are the slave of those who receive your wages.  Progressive "equality" denies you any right to keep the fruits of your own labor, as what you have produced belongs to everyone- or at least to those in power- and until there is a chicken in every pot, no one gets any more than that.  If income equality is to be achieved, it can only happen by forcibly taking money from those who earned it and giving it to those who didn't.  The fundamental premise that individual rights are the basis of a free society, the ground upon which America was built, is thus completely denied by the Progressive Left.

 When demagogues demand that everyone "get their share of the pie", they conveniently omit that the pie didn't grow on a tree and that someone had to make it.  When they speak of how much money we have in this country, they don't explain who the "we" is and how "those others" got "their" share and "we" didn't get "our" share.  The demand for a share of what others produce, as a right, is a demand that they be made economic slaves, that they work without pay.  What about their right to have what they need?  Why don't they have a right to what you produce?  Progressives claim this is justified by the fact that we are all equal, and therefore no individuality or effort is recognized, only "equal contributions from all".  This is why everyone in the game should get a trophy, not just the winner.

 This relies on denying the fact that Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson didn't exactly sit on their butts all those years: it wasn't what they were born with, it was what they did with it.  Michael Schumacher had to do a bit more to win seven world driving championships than just show up on Sundays with a helmet.    When Obama denies the individual is responsible for the success of his business, when Hillary claims businesses don't create jobs or wealth, their efforts are to deny that any individual is ever responsible for success and to deny therefore any basis for individual reward.  If it is to keep us all equal, it must make sure that no one knows it was you who came up with that great idea.  Like individual rights, individual responsibility is another foundational premise of America denied by Progressives. 

 We recognize that equality of results is not only impossible and undesirable, but morally wrong as well.  If so, we still haven't answered the question of what is the most moral and equitable method of paying people, so that even an unequal distribution is still a moral one?  We recognize that since it cannot be based on what one is, then it must based on what one does.  The redistribution of wealth is not something that Tea Party opposes, it is entirely a matter of how it is done.  The progressive method of forced redistribution by the public sector according to some person or group's opinion of who is most deserving, again fails completely to recognize individual rights and responsibility.  And it strongly resembles the crony capitalist system of distribution that we have now.

 If instead we appeal to the more democratic method of the free market, then everyone votes directly on who does the best work and makes the best or cheapest product, as their needs dictate.  Those who get the most votes (dollars) from the most people have been democratically chosen to receive a larger share than others. If someone has advanced society in a dramatic, life-changing way such as putting America on wheels or putting America online, the American people may just vote to make them filthy, stinking rich, as they did Ford and Gates. And if some jobs don't get as many votes... that too is democracy.  But as long as we live in economic freedom we can choose to do what it takes to get a different job that gets more votes.  Or not.

 This assumes genuinely free markets, something America has not had in quite a few years.  The essence of Tea party is to return to the economic freedom that built this country, and to return America to the prosperous nation economic freedom built.  John F. Kennedy, an advocate of free markets, recognized that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that the best way to pull people out of poverty was a job.  Unfortunately, today's Progressive Democratic Left is not your father's Democratic Party, the one that elected John F. Kennedy.  Today's Progressive Left didn't lead the Free Speech Movement, rather it is a totalitarian movement working to ban language it decides is politically incorrect.  The Progressive economics of the last six years have been  devoted to the economic enslavement of America, with progressive ruling elites as the beneficiaries.

 Tea Party and its candidates must recognize clearly and publicly that in truly free markets achieving wealth is not the mark of Cain as Progressives intimate, that it is a badge of having served your fellow men in a way that they genuinely needed and appreciated.  Tea Party must not shrink from getting in someone's face and saying loudly that in truly free markets the only way one makes a profit is to serve the public's needs at a price it can afford.  Candidates must say just as loudly that the economic freedom that Tea Party advocates is truly free markets, not the crony capitalism of the Progressive Left.  Tea Party and its candidates must recognize loudly and publicly that Progressive Big Government enables the corrupt crony capitalism that small government disrupts.  In accusing Tea Party of what they themselves are doing, the Progressive Left may make Saul Alinsky proud and win street fights, but they demonstrate clearly they are unconcerned with genuine solutions to genuine problems, only with wielding power.

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published this page in The Lighter Side 2015-02-05 08:42:53 -0700