The perfect society: A land without wealth?

The perfect society: A land without wealth?

Anthony W. Hager

Utopia! It’s the holy grail of egalitarian busybodies far and wide. If only outcomes were equal, as defined by the egalitarians themselves, the world would become a place of balanced chi and seamless harmony. These societal engineers have long believed in their unique intellects and superlative abilities, which qualify them to distribute wealth and contentment to a longing world. Sadly, there’s no shortage of these do-gooders.

A New York State Assemblyman envisions an increased millionaire tax. If passed, high income earners–who already bear a disproportionate share of New York’s tax burden–will pitch in an additional 11-percent. The broken record known as Hillary Clinton still laments how “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. Oregon, too, has joined the chorus.

Earlier this year Oregon voters passed Measures 66 and 67, raising taxes on individuals and businesses that wealth redistributors, in their profundity, have deemed excessive winners in life’s lottery. Typical class envy tactics preceded that electoral outcome. Proponents argued that education, public safety and health would suffer if the initiatives failed. The poor, naturally, would take it on the chin.

The entire premise of a perceived “fair share” is ambiguous at best. Would the egalitarian consider taxation equitable if the “rich” surrender, say, 75-percent of their income to government? Hillary Clinton, Oregon voters and New York assemblymen might think so. But anyone with a toehold on reality understands that productive people shoulder the tax burden now. The top one-percent of earners pays 28-percent of federal income taxes. Additionally, over the last 30 years the taxation on incomes above $75,000 has steadily increased while declining on incomes below that threshold.

Arguing that wealthier Americans pay little or no taxes is misleading. No, make that an outright lie. And that’s not the only mischaracterization offered by the “soak the rich” crowd.

In promoting Measures 66 and 67 the Oregon Center for Public Policy claimed that “asking” Oregonians to “contribute” more in taxes would improve the state’s fiscal structure. Certainly some taxation is necessary for governments to execute legitimate functions. But referring to tax increases as “asking” people to “contribute” is unadulterated spin, sufficient to strain even the strongest gastronomical constitution. And it’s so typical of the egalitarian social engineer.

Charitable organizations solicit contributions, and contributors alone determine their level of participation. No such choice exists with taxation. Tax levies aren’t a request on government’s part, and taxes aren’t contributed sans duress. Taxes are compulsory and their collection is ultimately a matter of force.
 
Sadly, there’s little to be achieved in arguing taxation with egalitarians. Redistributionists are so devoted to equalizing all incomes and imposing their Marxist vision on society that debate has become futile. Equally futile are the protests of the productive, whose incomes are sacrificed upon the perverse altar of egalitarianism. The producer’s right to their production will never match the needs of the oppressed when it comes to conjuring empathy. Therefore the “rich” are safely marginalized, demonized and dismissed.

What would happen if busybodies like Hillary Clinton, New York legislators and Oregon voters fulfill their collectivist dreams? If there were no private wealth the economy would become void of capital investment. Innovation and production would decelerate, with a corresponding decline in employment and living standards. The resulting misery would create greater demand on government, which puts the do-gooders in position to distribute the remaining wealth as they so determine. They will achieve their socialist dreams, but only for a season.

Such idealism has no foundation upon which to build. Since government produces little, and that which is produced is a case study in inefficiency, the egalitarian society is doomed to failure. Only the most influential busybodies will benefit from their societal and economic transformation. The rank and file do-gooder will be destined to impoverished servitude alongside their once-wealthy neighbors, whose property they helped confiscate.

So goes the nation without private wealth. Utopia? I think not.


Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 200 published articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. He can be reached through his website, www.therightslant.com

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

 Glenn Beck reviews FDR’s agencies created under the New Deal and then lists the agencies created under Obama. He preludes this by referring to how FDR and Obama both talked about how they were for the small business owner, when in fact, they actually only cared/care about big business and big government.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l42aCY1BBeI

Obama Threatens GOP: “America Will Be Watching” to See If You’ll Cooperate

Posted by Jim Hoft on Saturday, June 19, 2010, 12:08 PM

President Disaster threatened the GOP today to go along with his radical agenda, or else.
The radical former community organizer is upset that Republicans voted against his latest round of spending bills.
The Hill reported:

President Barack Obama went on the attack against Republicans on Saturday, accusing the GOP of obstructing a litany of his legislative priorities in Congress.

The president struck a decidedly partisan note in his address, castigating Senate Republicans in particular for using their 41-vote bloc to slow down and filibuster a number of pieces of legislation.

“What we need is a willingness in Washington to put the public’s interests first – a willingness to score fewer political points so that we can start solving more problems,” Obama said. “That’s why I was disappointed this week to see a dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.”

Obama took aim in particular at the Senate’s failure to end debate and pass legislation containing a series of extensions to unemployment benefits, tax credits, and other benefits.

The Senate voted 56-40 on Thursday night to end debate, four short of the 60 senators needed on such a vote. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), joined with the GOP on the vote.

President Obama has a lot of gall to point at Republicans for playing politics.
He hasn’t stopped his campaigning since he entered office.

Economic Cluelessness

Economic Cluelessness

Posted By Larry Elder On June 11, 2010 @ 12:20 am In FrontPage | 14 Comments

While in high school, I was standing at a bus stop next to a gas station. A kid tossed a candy wrapper on the station lot. Somebody yelled, “Hey, pick that up.” The kid, with a straight face, defended himself. He said, “I just created a job.” Someone would be hired, he explained, to pick up the trash, and this would be good for the economy.

Don’t laugh. The kid probably works for the Obama administration.

Congress is now considering yet another “stimulus” package. But did the administration’s previous one work? Of the $787 billion stimulus package, President Obama said it would “save or create” 3.5 million new jobs. Has it?

The National Association for Business Economics polled 68 private-sector members. Seventy-three percent said the employment at their companies was neither higher nor lower as a result of the stimulus package.

What about the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office? A February 2009 Washington Times article said:

“President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

“CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.”

What do normal, regular, real-world people think? In December 2009, a Rasmussen poll asked likely voters whether the “stimulus” helped, hurt or did nothing.

They agreed with the private-sector economists and the CBO — the stimulus did not work. And more felt it did damage than thought it helped: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30 percent of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38 percent believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.”

Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and commentator Ed we-need-health-care-reform-and-I-don’t-care-how-much-it-costs Schultz think one way. Believers in the free market and limited government think another. As between these two camps, which one better understands how the real world works?

Zogby International asked questions about economics of nearly 5,000 people. George Mason University economist Dan Klein co-authored a report on the responses given to eight basic economic questions.

(Correct answers and “not sure” responses were ignored — only flatly incorrect responses were counted.) Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes. Whether the restrictions are good or bad is a separate issue. But restrictions on any good increase the price of that good — whether houses or horseshoes. Do minimum wages increase unemployment? The answer is yes. Whether one accepts this as a worthy trade-off is a separate question. Is our standard of living higher than it was 30 years ago? It is. Whether we are “addicted” to oil or facing cataclysmic “global warming” is a separate issue. The other questions involved licensing, rent control, the definition of a monopoly, the definition of exploitation, and whether free trade leads to unemployment.

Respondents self-identified as progressive/very liberal, liberal, moderate, conservative, very conservative, or libertarian. Who did better?

“On every question,” wrote Klein, “the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31 percent) was more than twice that of conservatives (13 percent) and more than four times that of libertarians (7 percent). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61 percent) was more than four times that of conservatives (13 percent) and almost three times that of libertarians (21 percent).”

Maybe those with more education performed better? No, the report said. “We work with three levels of schooling: (1) high school or less; (2) some college (but not a degree); (3) a college degree or more. In our data, economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college.”

The left blames the financial collapse on “greed,” ignoring the role played by government involvement — Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, the Community Reinvestment Act and elsewhere. Leftists point to “insufficient regulation” on Wall Street for reckless behavior, rather than to the players’ assumption that too-big-to-fail would protect them.

On the BP Gulf oil spill, Obama wants to find “whose ass to kick.” He’s called for a moratorium on new offshore drilling. But why do we drill offshore for oil more than a mile deep? Is it that on-land and safer, shallow water areas are off-limits — thus pushing companies to extract oil from more dangerous places? Have the restrictions on clean nuclear power altered how and where we obtain energy?

Republicans, in the eight-question economics poll, averaged 1.61 incorrect answers. Democrats averaged 4.59 wrong answers. So in the President’s search for “ass to kick,” start here.

Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, “What’s Race Got to Do with It?” is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at http://www.WeveGotACountryToSave.com.

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Posted By Israel Ortega On June 11, 2010 @ 9:11 am In Education |

[1]

In perhaps President Obama’s most stealth campaign to date, the federal government has been slowly tightening its grip on the education sector to little fanfare. Rather than working through the democratic legislative process, this Administration has circumvented Congress to enact an ill-conceived education agenda that will weaken accountability, reduce transparency and minimize choice while only adding to the national deficit.

For close to four decades, the federal government has operated under the seemingly simple premise that increased spending on education will translate into academic achievement. This line of thinking has resulted in inflation-adjusted federal expenditures on education increasing 138 percent since 1985 [2]. Per-pupil expenditures have ballooned to over $11,000 per student [3], and are even higher in most urban areas including the District of Columbia where the government spends $14,500 on each child [4]. Billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into our public school system because the federal government, backed by powerful teachers unions, is convinced that it is best suited to administer our country’s education system. Unfortunately, this approach has been a miserable failure. [2]

The high school drop out rate continues to skyrocket and academic achievement continues to be stagnant despite decades of increased federal spending and involvement in education. Of course, the consequences for our failures threaten our future as we hopelessly watch other countries outpace us in math and the sciences.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remain impervious to the education crisis and are committed to strengthening the federal stranglehold over our country’s education system. Just months after taking office, President Obama signed into a law the gargantuan “stimulus bill” stuffed with wasteful spending adding to the federal government’s girth. The Department of Education received an unprecedented $100 billion in additional money through the stimulus [5]. But months after the bill’s passage, two things are clear: the stimulus bill is not growing our economy and more federal money towards education is not improving our schools.

Undaunted by the obvious, liberal lawmakers in the House are planning on making yet another push this week to include an additional $23 billion dollars for emergency education spending to prevent “catastrophic” public education layoffs [3]. But for decades, states have continued to bloat their staff rolls, particularly non-teaching staff positions. Since 1970 for instance, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Another bailout from Washington could exacerbate states’ fiscal problems by creating disincentives for states to tackle out-of-control spending and make the difficult budgetary decisions necessary to produce long-term education reforms.

But unlike the federal takeover of the banking and health care industry, this time around Obama and his liberal allies are shrewdly avoiding another public fight by moving their education agenda forward without even going through Congress. The administration is supporting a move to implement national education standards, using the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program to secure those ends. National standards will give the federal government – not parents – more power over education. Now, instead of petitioning their local schools boards for curriculum changes, parents will have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats for input in the content taught at their children’s school [6].

Progressives dream of making us more and more dependent on big government, and that has never looked so promising after Obama victories in widening government’s hold in health care, banking and now education. If this past year and a half is any indication of what’s to come, two things are clear: (a) we will see more and more of our freedoms diminish and (b) the girth of our federal government’s waist-line will surely grow.

Quick Hits:

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

June 9th, 2010

By Bob Unruh, WND

 Maj. Gen. Paul Valley calls for Obama to resign

A retired U.S. military leader who now is a presence on the Internet with his Stand Up For America and Veterans Defenders websites has issued a call for President Obama’s resignation and a new election to replace him.

The call comes from Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, who served in Vietnam and retired in 1991 from the U.S. Army as deputy commanding general for the Pacific.

“We now must call for the immediate resignation of Barry Soetero (AKA President Barack Hussein Obama) … based on incompetence, deceit, fraud, corruption, dishonesty and violation of the U.S. oath of office and the Constitution,” he said in remarks delivered to a Lincoln Reagan dinner in Virginia City, Mont., last week and published today on the Stand Up America website.

“And a call for a national petition for new elections to select the next president of the United States of America must be initiated,” he continued. “We can wait no longer for a traditional change of power and new government.”

A number of retired military members have sought the removal of Obama from office. They mostly have tried to utilize the courts to challenge his eligibility based on claims he fails to meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.” Few have asserted Obama needs to walk away from the Oval Office for the best of the nation.

Read More:

Lincoln Won With Anti-Union Message

Lincoln Won With Anti-Union Message

June 9th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

APTOPIX Arkansas Primary

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln survived a bruising Democratic runoff thanks to former President Bill Clinton’s starpower and her argument that labor unions were trying to interfere in state politics.

In winning the Senate primary Tuesday, Lincoln overcame a flood of outside money from labor unions and liberal groups that had backed Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s challenge. She’ll fight for her seat against Republican Rep. John Boozman in the fall.

“I think this race became bigger than me and bigger than Bill Halter,” Lincoln told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “It became about whether or not the people of Arkansas, who are great people, were going to continue to be hammered by special interest groups that simply wanted to manipulate them and their vote.”

Playing off that theme, national Democrats pivoted to the fall campaign by casting her as a free-thinking champion of her state. Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine hailed her victory, calling her “a strong, independent voice who fights for what she believes in.”

In the final days of the campaign, Lincoln’s campaign increasingly relied on an ad from Clinton, the former governor who remains popular in his home state, that warned about special interests.

“This is about using you and manipulating your votes,” Clinton said in ad, which featured a clip of a speech the former president made at a rally for Lincoln last month.

Lincoln’s campaign said it believed the former president’s clout helped further an argument that Lincoln had made for weeks, that outside groups and labor unions were trying to buy Arkansans’ votes.

“It really did help frame the race,” Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said last week. “Coming from our campaign, it wasn’t quite as resounding and I think it was viewed by people in your profession as whining.”

Lincoln’s next-to-last ad also featured the incumbent senator telling voters she heard their anger at Washington when they sent her into a runoff with Halter on May 18. She added: “I’d rather lose this election fighting for what’s right than win by turning my back on Arkansas.”

“I think she pulled it out because I think people realize, one, what she meant to Arkansas and that she had been a fighter for Arkansas and she was willing to tell them, ‘I’m willing to lose this race rather than turn my back on Arkansas,’” Lincoln strategist Jim Duffy said Tuesday. “She made it clear she got the (anti-Washington) message from the primary. And I think Clinton framing the race in the sense that the unions were making her a poster child. Those two messages made all the difference.”

Lincoln also used the clout she had gained in Washington as one of her chief selling points, reminding voters in the farm-heavy state that she was the first Arkansan to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee.

That argument sealed the deal with some voters.

“She’s head of the Agriculture Committee, which is one of the most important committees we have in Washington,” Lori Ritchie said after voting in the library of an elementary school west of Little Rock. “It’s all about power and what committee you’re on. It will take Halter eight to 11 years to get to the position Blanche is at now.”

Added Stephanie Jackson, who cast a vote for Lincoln in Little Rock: “She’s been up there and knows how it works. But she’s not too much Washington.”

After months of distancing herself from the Obama administration and national Democrats, Lincoln tacked left in the runoff campaign. She ran ads portraying herself as a parter with Obama on health care reform, and another showing a liberal talk show host talking about the financial overhaul legislation she worked on.

Lincoln said Tuesday that she hoped the labor unions and other groups backing Halter would now support her in the general election, but it remained unclear if they would do so. Labor leaders said they hoped the incumbent senator learned a lesson from the pressure they applied in the 14-week campaign.

“Tonight, Senator Lincoln won a narrow victory after a bruising runoff election where each and every day she was reminded that her success is only measured by doing right by working people and their families,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union