Sunday, April 5, 2009

Obama's Re-Distribution - Part 2

The argument made by progressives for the government’s “caring” for people is nothing more than a smoke screen that has kept people sacrificing their life blood for decades in our country. It is a false argument and we should reject it because “caring” is not what happens when the government redistributes income. But more importantly, the idea of the government “caring” is what justifies the violation of individual and property rights; it justifies re-distribution and turns “caring” into theft. I’ve always thought that if you can’t get a citizen to agree to give up his income or property for others, then you should not force him to do so.

To illustrate this point, let’s strip the issue to its bare essentials. Let’s assume there is a society of three people living in a country on a tropic island. I am the government whose job it is to keep Citizen 1 from harming Citizen 2 and vice versa. My job is to keep the peace and the only way I can do it is to intervene should one party attack the other or try to steal from him. Everything works pretty well, except when it is discovered that Citizen 1 has built a nicer home and has amassed more fruit and meat through his own hard work. He has an arrangement with Citizen 2 to trade him food in return for arrow heads and blades that Citizen 2 makes from flint rock. They develop a division of labor where Citizen 2 does not have to hunt; he just needs to stay in his hut making the tools for which Citizen 1 pays him.

Citizen 2 decides that he is pretty secure in this arrangement and he comes to believe that he need not pay too much attention to the details of making the arrowheads and blades he is trading with Citizen 1. Eventually, Citizen 1 starts losing catches in the hunt because of broken arrowheads and he asks Citizen 2 to improve the quality of his product. Citizen 2 complains that his quality is good enough. Citizen 1 decides to make his own higher quality arrowheads and he stops trading with Citizen 2.

When Citizen 2 sees that he is running out of food he must decide whether to improve the quality of his arrowheads. He notices that Citizen 1 is now using superior arrowheads and that his store of food is growing. He becomes angry at Citizen 1 and considers that he is deliberately trying to starve him. He realizes that he must find a way to get the extra food that Citizen 1 has.

He comes to me, the government, with an idea. He tells me that in his opinion we are all in this together and we should work together to survive. He declares that it should be my job to convince Citizen 1 to give up some of his food to help him? Don’t I care about what happens to him, he asks.

At this point, I have a choice. I look at the contract we signed when we started our nation and it says that my job is to protect each citizen equally from being encroached upon by the other citizen. It also says that I cannot change the contract without all citizens agreeing to the change. I tell him it is not my job to take the production of any citizen – even his.

He responds by telling me that he has a bold new idea, "change" that will make things better for everyone. Why can’t I extend my contractual mandate unilaterally, since I control the government? I can make things better by working for the sake of the collective good and just order Citizen 1 to give some food to him. This would be good for everyone. As long as I’m acting for the collective good, I am showing that I care for everyone.

But, I ask, if I am making a law that cares for Citizen 2 and takes away from Citizen 1, does that mean that I don’t care for Citizen 1? He responds that Citizen 1 has more than he needs and will not be harmed in any way. Yes, but I would be making a law of which Citizen 1 does not approve. He answers that we are both two against his one and that the majority should rule.

I think to myself, I’m not convinced, but, just to get rid of his lobbying for a while, I tell him I’ll think about it. I walk over to Citizen 2’s side of the island and ask him what he thought about giving Citizen 1 part of his production. Citizen 2 said that my asking such a question was a threat of force, since I am the government. I realized he was correct and apologized, but the damage was done. He informed me that he had previously talked with Citizen 1 about the poor quality of the arrowheads he was trading. He had offered to show him how to improve his product and was told by Citizen 2 that he was too busy to learn and since his arrowheads were good enough it would be a waste of time. Citizen 1 then suggested to me, the government, that unless I could get everyone on the island to authorize taking production from him, I had better not violate my contract. I told him I took my contract very seriously and I would defend his rights and freedom.

I walked back to Citizen 2’s part of the island and told him that I could not violate my contract and take food from Citizen 1. Citizen 2 was very angry and made me feel uncomfortable. I told him that he should take it up with Citizen 1 and work it out between them peacefully. Citizen 2 told me that I did not understand the principle of economic justice. He said that this island would be much better if everyone was equal in terms of food and that my refusal to help him only proved that I advocated injustice and did not care for him. He said that a government that does not care for its citizens is a mean government.

I told him that our nation worked better when all citizens engaged in voluntary trade and that my taking something from Citizen 1 by force would violate that principle. I told him that the solution to the problem would be the production of a better arrowhead by him so that Citizen 1 could resume trading with him. Unless he could do so, he was destroying his own prosperity as well as the principle of division of labor. He had proven to me that he was not willing to trade value for value. I could do nothing more for him.

He responded that I should not have been allowed to be the government. He told me that I should be replaced by someone who understood what economic justice meant. I told him to hope for a ship wreck and survivors.

This story illustrates the basic principles that should guide a proper society and Constitutional government. When you strip society down to stark essentials you can see that the idea of re-distribution is unfair. When people are able to produce in a division of labor society, they can live in peace and prosper. When the division of labor is attacked and citizens attempt to loot each other, there can be no peace or prosperity. In such a situation, there is no reason for the productive citizen to want to participate in that division of labor.

Yet, just as Citizen 2 tried to do, some people attempt to justify re-distribution by accusing the productive citizens of being exploitive and greedy. Attacks against self-sufficiency, self-interest and property rights are the tools of deception that progressives use in order to steal that production and violate individual rights. Appeals by the government to collective solutions and sacrifice on the part of the productive are indications that the society will soon deteriorate to looting and exploitation. Is Obama trying to destroy this country? Yes, just like any progressive who wants to change the mandate of government from protection and toward expropriation.

If we turn the story in another direction and, let’s say, I, the government, decide to point the spear he made at Citizen 1 and demand that he give me some food for Citizen 2, I have destroyed the basis of our society and turned it toward internal warfare, otherwise known as “class warfare.” Worse than this, I have not only destroyed Citizen 1’s motivation for working and producing, I’ve destroyed the economy of the island because I've corrupted the possibility of a fair division of labor; and I’ve destroyed Citizen 2 who now knows that he need not work hard in the future; that the precedent has been set. Where will Citizen 2 be when the producer in the society decides to go elsewhere? Will he demand that I put Citizen 1 in a cage? Will he demand that Citizen 1 be forced to work for the sake of Citizen 2 with me holding a spear to his back at all times?

When a government pretends to “care” for citizens, it must violate the rights of some citizens who are made the losers. These losers were the winners in a fair division of labor society. The winners are now those who were the losers in a division of labor society and since they are not offering society competitive labor, the entire social structure will decline. What rational citizen would participate in a society moving toward plunder?

The idea of re-distribution as an expression of “justice” is a violation of justice. A proper government can never be allowed to pick winners and losers and the way to prevent this is to have a complete separation of economy and state, to forbid the government from creating any program, regulation or agency that takes from one citizen and gives to another. If you look at virtually every problem we have had for over 100 years in this country, it was the violation of this principle that has caused it. This includes political corruption, campaign finance scandals, progressive taxation, government regulations, trade tariffs, the welfare state, boondoggles, corrupt lobbyists, bribery, extortion, destroyed neighborhoods, destroyed families, voter fraud and pork. None of these would have existed had it not been for the government’s ability to regulate the economy and re-distribute income.

So we arrive where we started. My original comments about Obama were made because I can see that we are in a dangerous situation because of the massive size of the expropriation being done today. Obama and his professional parasites will take everything away without a second thought. The young lady with whom I was talking does not realize that what is happening today is not mere “giving” or “helping”; it is the most massive transfer of wealth in the history of the world. We will have to produce our way out of it and it may take several decades, if we ever get back to a free economy again. If things keep going the way Obama has designed, we will be a third world country very soon. This may be hard to believe for people who have always had a good life; today’s generation, most of whom have never been to a third world country. But when the people who work realize that everything above bare subsistence will be taken away, they will only work for bare subsistence. Look at the former Soviet Union that lived like this for over 60 years.

Obama wants prosperity but he wants it in a society in which he controls the productive people. Some call it socialism and others call it fascism. What it amounts to is the destruction of the productive citizen. He wants to control business activity rather than leave it alone. Control is the opposite of freedom and it is only freedom that brings prosperity. Freedom enables people to make their own economic decisions, keep the product of their labor and engage in an efficient division of labor. Control destroys the division of labor and stifles freedom.

Is it mere money that Obama wants to re-distribute? Is it merely things, paper printed in green that you can easily create by turning up the presses? No, what Obama wants to re-distribute is time and energy, precious time and energy. Every dollar Obama prints is a dollar taken away from the time and energy of the citizen who produced it. Each individual only has so much of these values. A proper government would respect the choice of each citizen to be productive and leave him or her alone. To re-distribute income is to tell the productive citizen that his time and energy do not belong to him. Don't ask the citizen, then, to plan for the future, to work hard, to save, to invest and to think about doing better. When the productive citizen sees that he is working harder to take care of people who do not work hard, he will make the choice to slow down. Do you blame him?

Obama hates capitalism. He hates business people. He was raised and educated by people who want to overthrow the U.S. government and hand over power to radicals, most of whom have spent their lives in universities living off of government grants and tenured teaching positions - in other words, unproductive people providing low-quality products, living off of re-distributed income. Now they run things and we are going to suffer greatly…unfortunately.

Only the people can stop this madness.

No comments:

Post a Comment