by FJ Rocca 7/16/15
The Liberal Democrats encourage class warfare among the rich and the poor. They treat these groups as though they were collective masses of humanity, one mass poised against another. Their battle mantra is “Income Inequality” and the story they tell is a lie. The reason we do not understand it is because our system of free capitalism and individual initiative makes the issue of class moot. We have no class structure in the sense of a nobility, an aristocracy or a landed gentry. Here anyone and everyone has equality in the sense that they are free to pursue their goals, and, if they work hard enough they can achieve enough wealth to live a happy life.
But the Progressive Liberals, to buy votes, encourage the existence of a class of welfare recipients, distinct from those who work and pay taxes. In imitation of the very romantic but totally mythical motives of Robin Hood, who was an outlaw not merely for opposing King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham, but for being an outright criminal, stealing from the rich to keep what he stole, the Liberal Democrats have created a bloated structure of imagined entitlements to keep that class of welfare recipients voting for Democrats. But here is a flaw in their plan which is so glaring it is difficult to ignore, although Margaret Thatcher spoke it clearly. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” They rob from the right to buy votes from the poor.
In a meritocracy such as ours in which free enterprise provides individuals with motivation to pursue their own life goals, the Liberal Democrats have recreated class structure to suit their aims. Now there exist three distinct classes; (1) those who produce wealth, (2) those who receive a portion of that wealth taken from the producers, and (3) a political bureaucracy to seize wealth from the producers and decide how to redistribute that seized wealth to the so-called underclass.
There is several problems inherent in all systems where classes are established. Movement upward in society is more difficult to negotiate when class membership is required for upward mobility, and eventually society stagnates from a lack of progress.
Welfare destroys motivation in both those who perceive it as an entitlement and in those from whom the wealth is stolen to redistribute. The first group is encouraged not to work because they get free wealth, while the latter group is also discouraged from continuing to produce just to have vast amounts if it stolen. Moreover, the bureaucracy must be funded in order to continue its own existence, so a large portion of the wealth seized remains to fund the bureaucracy. Today, as in centuries past, royal interests always precede those of the common people. In fact, it was once common for the King to seize lands and treasure owned by his subjects to fund his own projects. Sound familiar?
Government today acts like a royal body, especially with the Obamas living in the Palace. It is so big and pervasive that it now regularly neutralizes individual rights for its own interests. The difference is that in the US, government must seek re-election at regular intervals, so it is necessary to secure enough votes to remain in power. The most effective tool for securing that power is to pay for votes. Hence, welfare. Lyndon Johnson was no slouch when it came to political cunning. He said he would ensure the votes of black for two centuries through a gigantic welfare program that would become, and has become, generational.
The problem with redistribution is that it kills initiative among vast numbers of people, first of those on the dole because they are not required to work, consequently their motivation stagnates; and second among those who produce the wealth that is seized. Neither party gains and grows as a result. Only the bureaucracy benefits. Thus, the system eventually stagnates and collapse of its own weight.
The reason our nation became great was that class did not exist as a means to success. The poorest person from the poorest family in the poorest rural area could grow up, educate himself and become President Abraham Lincoln. At this moment, we seem to have forgotten that that our system of free capitalism and individual initiative makes the issue of class moot. We have no class structure in the sense a nobility, an aristocracy or a landed gentry. Here anyone and everyone has equality in the sense that they are free to pursue their goals, and, if they work hard enough they can achieve enough wealth to live a happy life.
Our problem now is that government has become so big and pervasive in almost everything it does, every economic manipulation and every effort at addressing the false problem of income inequality neutralizes individual initiative among vast numbers of people, both productive and unproductive. Soon enough, those providing the stolen wealth will stop producing and those who are dependent upon the dole will crash out of their own inertia. So will government collapse because there will be no one producing the wealth for them to seize.
There is a children’s story to illustrate this. When my sons were children I used to read Dr. Seuss aloud to them at bed time. One story in particular caught my fancy and has stayed with me for the past five decades. It is entitled Thidwick the Moose and is a kind of morality tale. Thidwick has impressive antlers of which he is duly proud. Other creatures in the forest also admire the antlers and see them as a spectacularly inviting place to make their homes. Thidwick, being a kind and generous fellow, gives permission to a bug to hitch a ride on his antlers. The bug takes up residence as a self-appointed guest and invites friends to join him. Eventually, several creatures are living in Thidwick’s antlers making various demands that tenants make on a meek landlord. Thidwick endures these indignities with a generous spirit, but is eventually ousted from his Moose herd because the other moose do not want to endure the same difficulties. Thidwick is so encumbered by his “guests” that he is barely able to escape the gun sights of hunters bent on mounting his head as a trophy on the Harvard Club wall, but, just as he is about to meet his demise, he remembers that it is time to shed his antlers and grow new ones. He casts off the old ones, with the guests still in residence. The hunters seize the antlers, stuff the guests and mount the whole thing on the Harvard Club wall.
The moral of this tale is too obvious. Unless we take measures to stanch the awful flow of our economic lifeblood and restore good old individual American initiative, the time will come when it happens, not to Thidwick, but to America.
FJ Rocca was born the day after Pearl Harbor in the same hometown as Johnny Appleseed. He is a trained classical musician, a published illustrator and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. His website is candiddiscourse.com.