Sunday, July 20, 2014
Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
Remember when John Edwards was campaigning for President and stated that there were "two Americas?" Edwards was stating that there were "haves" and "have nots" and that we needed more equality in this country.
That theme was picked up by President Obama, who after his re-election vowed to fight income inequality. His premise was based on the fact that some people make more money than others, and that is just not fair.
At its core, the fight against income inequality amounts to a rationale for thievery. Someone has more than someone else, so you have the government take it and re-distribute it to those that have less.
Never mind that those who have more may have worked harder, got a better education, or engaged in specialized training to get what they have. They have more, that's not "fair" and it should be taken away for no other reason than it doesn't satisfy someone's notion of fairness.
This premise that you can reduce income inequality by debasing the successful denies the consequences of their efforts and spares the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.
Economic success generally follows the choices that individuals make. As mentioned, those that have worked hard, sacrificed, and maximized their education are more often than not the beneficiaries of higher incomes than those that did not do those things.
And what is unfair about that?
There are those that decry the inequality of income while ignoring the inequality of effort.
My orthopedic surgeon makes more than I do. I do not begrudge that fact. He spent many more years getting an education and in specialized training than I did.
Should I be angry that he makes more than I do?
His years of study and training have enabled him to earn the income he enjoys, and he should be rewarded for his efforts.
Yet there are those in this country that would punish him because he makes more than most. Rather than award those who achieve through their efforts, they would seek to negate his efforts and take away his income.
A free society allows people to make choices and to succeed or fail based on those choices. That freedom can and does lead to different outcomes. As a society, we need to realize that there is no real option for success if there is no real option for failure.
It is a lie to say that one man's success happens because of the victimization of another man. That philosophy foments division, class warfare, and saps the productivity of those that put forth the effort to succeed. it pits one group of Americans against another for political purposes.
John Edwards was right: there are two Americas.
It is an America divided not by differences in outcomes, but in efforts.
Equalizing income is not a solution. It is Marxist class warfare cloaked in flowery language.
As a country, we must unequivocally be a nation that provides equality in opportunity. Our educational system must be one that equips ALL to function in the modern global economy. Laws and their application must be equal. The workplace must equally honor the efforts of both men and women.
But in no way should outcomes be equalized or guaranteed.
That denigrates the efforts of those that choose to work harder than those that do not.
Right now, the two Americas are pitted against each other.
And we as a nation run the risk of proving the truth spoken over a century ago by Abraham Lincoln.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
And that my friends, is my view.