Are You Entitled To My Money? Part 3
Some of you may not have read Part 1 and 2. Please go back to review.
End of Part 2
“We seem to have all the basics covered. Yes, there are people that have more stuff than others – people that have better health care, eat better food, drive better cars, and have enough wealth to enjoy a better retirement. But, what business is it of yours. You shouldn’t just sit there being envious of everybody else. And you shouldn’t increase the power of a politician just because they promise to steal other people’s stuff for you. They aren’t “feeling your pain” – they are rich, and they want more power. And they are counting on your vote to aid them in their ascension.
Or maybe the real problem is that you’re not greedy enough. If you were, you would get off your tush and try to find some way make yourself useful to society so society will have a chance feed your appetite for greed in a more productive and civilized way.”
If you produce more, you will have more – Pure and simple. If at the end of the day, you are unable to point to one solitary productive act you’ve accomplished, what makes you think you have the right to steal the fruits of another man’s labor? What would you do if it weren’t for the rest of us? What if the farmers, truck drivers, businessmen, and cooks of the world spent their entire day as you spend yours? If it weren’t for us, you would have to spend your entire day hunting food, gathering fruits and mending clothes. But in truth, if it weren’t for the rest of working society, you would have starved to death years ago.
My apologies… I seem to have gotten off on a rant. I’ll try to get back on course.
But first I must take time to note the distinction between the true welfare cases and another group whom are commonly referred to as the “working poor”. The latter may lack the skills to do anything more than the most mundane tasks, but at least they are trying. They perform tasks which, although unappreciated, are still vital to society as a whole. I mean, I don’t know what I’d do if McDonald’s was ever unable to find enough people willing to flip burgers for minimum wage. If it weren’t for them, I’d have to eat bologna sandwiches for lunch everyday – ACK! Many of these people work very hard at these jobs, and for that I think society should cut them some slack.
The whole point is, when do we say, “enough is enough”? How much of our nation’s wealth do the unproductive and under-productive have a “right” to? How much government tax and spending will be necessary in order to “make it all better”.
Anybody have any idea?
Most people seem to want to find some “happy median” – generally, a free market society with a progressive tax system sprinkled with a few “welfare” programs that allows the government to assist those who fall through the cracks. Nobody wants to see their fellow man starving. But on the other hand, when you’re busy dodging rush-hour traffic on the way to your daily 9 to5, and you happen to pass by the projects and glimpse of people relaxing on the porch preparing them-self for an exciting day of not doing anything or people begging on the streets, one can’t help to get the urge to walk up to them, throw them from their EZ-chair or street corner, hand them your keys and make their tush, go to work while you enjoy a day off. Not that anybody would want to take their place permanently. I don’t mind working a little if it means that I get to live better than the welfare people of the world. Give me a decent house, a decent car, and a decent amount of stuff, and the fact that I have to wake up at 6:30 becomes almost bearable.
In the United States, we basically have a capitalistic society with a few “safety nets” thrown underneath. The Democrats believe that we need to add more of the welfare programs, and the Republicans believe we have too many. The Republicans complain that some people are using the “safety nets” as hammocks – using them to rest their overweight bodies while they sit around the “projects” all day watching Ricky Lake and Oprah. – While the rest of us a busy working – working to provide the goods and services that the lazy claim to have some “right” to.
We can argue these noble concepts back and forth until we are blue in the face, but we will not gain a clearer understanding of what exactly “fair” is. The liberal argues that people don’t have enough – so the question is…
How much money would everybody have to make in order for them to be happy?
What is a “fair” wage? Have you ever heard anybody put a dollar value on “fairness”?
Lets find out. First, let’s get an idea of how “fair” our current system is. You can get a good idea of how our nation’s wealth is being distributed simply by looking at how much each working man (and woman) takes home.
“Think of an individual’s income as a measure of how of our nation’s GDP that person is allowed to take home. It is important to remember that money, in and of itself, has no value. If congress were to pass a bill which forced employers to pay employees 10 times their current wages, people would have more money in their pockets but they wouldn’t be any richer. A person making $10,000 would now make $100,000, but if everybody’s wages went up, inflation would run rampant as everybody ripped all the consumer goods off the shelves. Prices would rise in order to put a restraint on demand. In the end, each person would still receive the same percentage of goods as they did before, even though they technically had more money.”
Money is more like a “share” of our nation’s output. The only way to make somebody in the lower class “richer” is by either increasing the total GDP of the nation (thereby giving everybody more), or by redistributing these shares so that those at the bottom receive a larger portion of the pie.
For right now, let’s concentrate on the latter. (This is an analysis of socialist theory, after all). And the most disturbing fact to a liberal is not the actual “Standard of living” of all the classes, it is the difference between the classes – the fact that some have more then others. Nobody would argue that the poor today have it better off than they did 50, 100, 300 years ago. Everybody’s standard of living has increased. But, the thing that bugs liberals is the fact that some people’s standard of living has increased faster than others. It has nothing to do with what the poor actually “have”. It has everything to do with the fact that they don’t have as much as everybody else.
So, let’s assume the only way to increase the wealth of the poor is by taking from the rich. Let’s assume that people will work just as hard as they are now, even though they have no hopes in getting any richer. (I know I’m asking a lot, but humor me)
Under these constraints, the only way to give a one person more “stuff” is by taking from another. In order to achieve equality, it will be necessary for some people’s wages to go down so that others can be raised. If the poor were to rise up against their masters and use government to place restraints on everybody’s pay, how much could each person reasonably expect to receive? Have you ever wondered exactly how much wealth is out there to be had?
Have you ever heard anybody explain exactly what our “fair share” is? Democrats argue that we need this program or that, but they never specify how many of these programs will be necessary to bring us to “equality”. What magic number are they shooting for? 30k a year? 50k? 80k?
If such a system were enacted, a CEO would make as much as a janitor – a construction worker would make as much as a senator – a bad artist would make as much as a good one – a 16-year-old living with his parents would make as much as a 30-year-old with three kids and a mortgage – an entry-level clerk would make much as accountant with 20 years of experience under his belt.
All that aside, any government that tried to enact a “Flat Pay” system would invariably run into certain difficulties. For one, it would be difficult to fill certain positions. Some jobs slots would remain empty because nobody would be willing to do certain types of work if they could make the same amount do something else. Nobody would want to take the “Dangerous” or “Dirty” jobs, when there are plenty of “cushy” jobs to be had. But somebody has to take these jobs. In order to fill all of these positions, it would be necessary to force people to take these jobs. With such a system in place, it would be government which would decide what career would be best for you. Want to be a nurse?… Too bad – We need clerical workers. Want to be a writer?… Too Bad, we need construction workers. Want to be a construction worker?… Too bad, we need policemen.
And what do you do with people that refuse to take these new jobs?… Imprison them? Kill them? Half our of population would be forced to become policeman — just to keep the other half of society working.
Are we getting the picture yet?
Watch for Part 4 Wall Street Marchers.