Monday, August 24, 2009

Spreading The Wealth - Not So Much

While perusing other blogs I enjoy reading the comments. In many cases we are really just preaching to the choir, but every now and then we get the real treat of hearing opposing opinions. Sadly, sometimes they are not opposing opinions, but the comments are outright mean-spirited. While reading a post on a blog I read often; Left Coast Rebel I came across one such comment.

This is a comment left by Anonymous:

I find it far more elitist to think that the poor deserve to die starving, diseased, and ignorant while the those who happen to be born with talents the market happens to be seeking at the time are rewarded with opulence and excess beyond measure

Now, this comment is placed on a post about MSNBC’s deception of showing a picture of a man who came to a town hall meeting with guns. During the showing of this picture they were having a discussion about racists possibly taking a shot at a black president. The problem was the man with the guns was also black, but they cropped the picture in such a way that you wouldn’t know that.

I will be the first to admit that bloggers on both sides of the aisle can be, let’s just say, not very tolerant of other views. I sometimes cringe when I read some of the things that are posted. I recently hid someone on facebook because I found the postings to be vile and unproductive. This particular person epitomizes what is wrong with the political landscape in this country. The posts have racial undertones that I find very uncomfortable. But I digress here. What exactly is the correlation here?

I have been reading LCR’s blog for a while now. I have yet to find anything on there that would warrant such a charge. There is a stereotypical view of conservatives; we have outright disdain of the poor. The facts just don’t bear out that conclusion.

Studies have shown that conservatives/republicans/Christians give more money to charity than the leftwing/democrats/atheists’ of the world. One has to look no further than Vice President Biden. This is a man that has the audacity to go on television and talk about paying higher taxes as a patriotic duty as we need to help the vulnerable of our nation; yet he gives a mere pittance of his yearly salary to help these people. I give a larger percentage of my salary to charity than he does.

Recently I came across a very interesting tidbit. Regular readers of my blogs know that I love little tidbits, and post them regularly. So here is one that should make anonymous think. I may be incorrect here, but I have this feeling that (s)he believes in the president’s view of “spreading the wealth”. Economists call the total global wealth supply the M3 value. We will take the entire world’s wealth and put into one large pot and “spread” out equally among every person on earth we would each get $9000. Does this still sound like a good idea? If you live in say North Korea or the poorest sections of South Africa I guess the answer would be yes. But if you are living in America, you will be thinking this is not such a good deal.

So, let us take this one step further. Does anyone believe that after making everything equal financially that it will stay that way in say 18 months? There is no way a logical thinking person can conclude that it will. One needs to look no further than Chris Gardner. This is a man who against all odds succeeded. He is far from the only person who makes a very successful life for himself after having virtually nothing. There are plenty of people who don’t make that type of wealth, but still make a decent life for themselves and their families. Yes, luck is sometimes a factor, but almost always hard work is involved.

It just irks me that people feel like some sort of Utopia actually exists. It doesn’t. It would be nice if that were true, maybe it would be more “fair”. The reality is life is not fair. No government or human being can make it so. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. All we can do is work hard and help others along the way.


Jason said...

This is a great site that you have here. I have a site myself where people can freely express their opinions towards controversial debate topics. After looking at your site, I see that you have some valuable insight you can provide us. This is why I left this comment.

Keep up the good work. Maybe we can do a link exchange.


Left Coast Rebel said...

Consgirl - Thanks for the plug. I couldn't believe Anon's assertion as well, so scripted. Sometimes our best thoughts come to us when we are engaged in debated, (even against name-callers). Keep it up!

Jason said...

Thanks for responding. I'm going to add you right now to my page. A simple link to the homepage would be sufficient with the title "DEBATEitOUT". I'm trying to let as many people as I can know about the site because I believe this is another step we can take to have our opinions heard. I don't have to tell you what it's like to be left in the dust, because that's what politicans have been doing to us our whole lives. Let this be one step forward.


Anonymous said...

good post. I remember my Ethics prof in college lecturing me right after Hurricane Katrina that she and her husband don't give one penny to charity/united way because "that is what we pay taxes for". Liberals truly do not believe in individual responsibility and charity. Frustrating.

Just a conservative girl said...

Anony - That is true in Europe as well. Europeans give virtually nothing to charity. That is the government's responsibility. Yet, they still have people living in poverty there as well. The government cannot care for us cradle to grave. It just doesn't work.

LCR - I need to stop siting your blog, people will start to talk.

Carl Wicklander said...

Very interesting insights. I read that anonymous comment, too and my first thought was what they thought it should be like. Punish people for having talents?

The idea of equality in money is flawed. It might sound nice at first, but the only way to guarantee that sort of equality is through force. If somebody accidentally accumulates $9010, well, somebody's got to show up and take it away because it would be elitist to have more than your allotted share.

CJ said...

All things being equal, we would like to spread the wealth equally, since the marginal utility of each dollar you have decreases with wealth. In other words, you buy the most important things in life with the first dollars you have. Then you buy less important, less useful things. This is all just philosophy because there's no way to do it, certainly no way without destroying wealth in the process. I agree with all the statements in your post about wealth coming from hard work in open markets and everyone just having to do what she can knowing that we will not reach utopia.

It's hilarious that "Joe the Plumber" is your spokesperson on this issue: someone who's not a plumber and not affected by taxes on the wealthy. It comes off as the most phony argument, as if the people crafting it don't believe it and think their audience are dolts.

Just a conservative girl said...

The sad reality is some people are completely irresponsible with thier money. You cannot deny that the reason that spreading the wealth wouldn't work is because someone like a Bill Gates will take that $9000 and invest it and turn into more money while someone else will go buy a flat screen tv and just have less money.

I used Joe the Plumber because he was just known for the "spread the wealth". All the man did was ask a question. His personal life is none of our business. Obama was doing a walking tour of his neighborhood. He didn't go to Obama. He asked a question and got a response that made some people uncomfortable; in return he was investigated. That is what should make people upset. The man did nothing illegal or wrong and he was attacked by a left leaning media bias. So what that at the time he was hoping/dreaming that one day he would own a business that would put him a higher tax bracket. There is nothing wrong with looking towards a rosier future.

JT said...

First of all, after reading the article and the comments, I think you guys all got trolled. The subject of welfare had next to nothing to do with the article itself.

Second, one can see where this anonymous commentator is coming from if you look at it first through a sociological standpoint (I realize that most conservatives don't believe in sociology), and second, from a political philosophy standpoint, specifically involving the concepts of positive and negative liberty.

Aaaaand, before I continue, I just realized what I'm getting myself into here; I tend to go on long discussions about stuff I'm interested in, and I would rather do that on my own blog.

The short version: It's the governments duty to provide welfare (though how much is up for debate - they do too much right now) for the same reasons it's their duty to uphold human rights. Providing welfare is an example of what is called "positive liberty" in political philosophy, and it means people have the freedom to have opportunities to live their lives and contribute to the country.

The idea behind welfare, as it ought to be, is that it is used for the desperate who are down trodden for reasons beyond their control. This is where the sociologists step in, but I won't get into that now.

Come to think of it, I think I'll write about that today. Thanks for the idea, conservative girl!

P.S. - No, I'm not a liberal. I have to include that so you conservatives won't ignore me or yell at me automatically. (that was a joke, I do the same thing to liberals)

Just a conservative girl said...

I don't yell at people. I believe in free speech and open debate. I get a little frustrated when people can't see facts that are in right in the front of their face :}

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