Free Markets, Free People


Krugman attempts to redefine the “social contract”

That Paul Krugman can be relied on to carry the Democrats water is no longer a point of argument.  He is in the tank with them up to his neck.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s decided the “social contract” now requires that the rich pay more in taxes than they are presently.  It is this redefinition of the social contract that allows him, one supposes, to claim that it isn’t class warfare that’s being proposed but simply the fulfilling of that contract.

And, of course, not days after the “Warren Buffet Tax” premise was completely and thoroughly destroyed, it is that upon which he begins to base his premise:

This week President Obama said the obvious: that wealthy Americans, many of whom pay remarkably little in taxes, should bear part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit.

That is such a loaded line one could spend the day just unpacking it.

A) In Krugman’s world what does “remarkably little” mean?  Compared to what, the bottom 50%?  I mean it is a ludicrous statement to anyone who knows the amount of taxes and the percentage of taxes the so-called rich pay.  Never mind the fact that the premise that they pay less than middle class secretaries is nonsense.  But that’s the scary part – leaving it up to people like Krugman to make policy that effects your life with contextless terms like “remarkably little” and wave away your right to what you earned.

B) Are the rich not bearing “part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit” now with the taxes they pay? Of course they are.   In fact, they’re bearing more than anyone else.  But to read that sentence you’d think they weren’t bearing any of it.  Again, pure nonsense.

C) Did they get us in this mess financially?  No.  It was government spending above and beyond the revenue coming in.  Actually it was government borrowing and spending above and beyond the revenue coming in.  Was that done at the behest of the rich?  If not why is it up to them to bear the burden?  Why isn’t it up to the institution that made this mess to change its ways and live within its means?  Doesn’t that mean reduction in the size of government and cuts in spending?  Of course it does.  But that is never mentioned in Krugman’s piece.

Krugman goes through a convoluted rationalization process involving income redistribution and comparisons that are, frankly, irrelevant to the point, all to finally end up with this as the basis of his argument (such that it is) for taxing the rich more:

Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer who is now running for the United States Senate in Massachusetts, recently made some eloquent remarks to this effect that are, rightly, getting a lot of attention. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,” she declared, pointing out that the rich can only get rich thanks to the “social contract” that provides a decent, functioning society in which they can prosper.

That’s right, this is owed because if it wasn’t for government  – Krugman and apparently Warren’s new definition for a “decent, functioning society – none of the rich would be rich.

Seriously – do you actually believe that?  And since when is an institution that has managed to bury itself up to its neck in 14 trillion in debt define itself as a “decent, functioning” anything?  This government is dysfunctional and it is time that apologists like Warren and Krugman own up to that fact.  Instead they commit themselves to this twisted line of argument that claims that the rich are the rich because of a debt ridden government and because of that they owe it to the rest of us to pay that debt down.  The inference is the debt was partly (if not completely) the reason for their success.

There is nothing “eloquent” about that argument.  It is irrational and frankly, stupid.  The social contract as described by Rousseau, had nothing to do with paying down the debt of a profligate government.  It is about the voluntary association of people to their mutual benefit and the voluntary assumption of some social obligations in order to foster that society of mutual benefit.

How that became twisted into this morass of nonsense where those that have become “rich” owe their good fortune to government is just beyond me.  Obviously the society has much to do with it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean government for heaven sake.  Sure, it may have been part of it, but that part was paid for and has been paid for centuries without going into 14 trillion dollars of debt.

And it also must ignore the fact that those who are rich must have done something right to get to that state beside being in a particular society.  If it were just the society, i.e. government, we’d all be rich according to this line of reasoning.  So why is it that they only can find 1% who fit that particular bill?

This is all nonsense on a stick using the usual liberal trick of redefining words.  They attempt to create new axioms by changing the words or concepts over time.  The social contract as a concept was envisioned as a voluntary association in which free people took on voluntary obligations in an effort to indeed set up a “decent, functioning society”.  Note the key word: “voluntary”.  What they didn’t conceive is any sort of involuntary servitude which required certain of them to be treated differently based on their success (or lack thereof if appropriate) within that society they’ve formed.

But that is precisely what Warren and Krugman are trying to sell.  And it is never more obvious than in Krugman’s closing paragraph.  There he speaks of the GOP trying to stop the attempt to raise taxes on only one part of society and, of course, condemns it as something it just isn’t:

Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.

A portion of the populace that pays 38% of the freight but comprises only 1% of it is “exempted for the social contract that applies to everyone else?”  In what world, Mr. Krugman?  Certainly not in the one where sane people are able to apply critical thinking to the sloppy nonsense you seem to delight in dishing out.

And note the dismissal of their status with “very lucky people” used to describe them as if what they’ve earned was undeserved. 

Makes you just want to throw up, doesn’t it?   And before I get the usual “Krugman is a putz and I don’t know why you read him”, the answer is two-fold: A) so you don’t have too and B) it is important to highlight his arguments because they are the arguments of the left and the ones they will continue to push unopposed if we don’t point them out.

I refuse to let them go unanswered.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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15 Responses to Krugman attempts to redefine the “social contract”

  • I’m impressed that this sort of mirrors the stupid bilge of Elizabeth Warren.
    “Nobody gets rich by themselves”.
    This is perversely…if taken alone…true.  But that isn’t what was meant.  Her thesis is that getting rich requires BIG GOVERNMENT.
    This is standing reality on its head.  You NEED rich people to pay for BIG GOVERNMENT as we understand it.  Even Lenin understood that Communism REQUIRED a mature capitalist society to pay for it.
    Just as Friedman taught me that nobody can make a simple lead pencil, we all know we don’t do things in a market economy in isolation.
    Here’s the actual difference: in a BIG GOVERNMENT setting, you are under compulsion.  Under a market, you are making…or not…choices.
    That is the cutting edge of the differing visions of a “social contract”.

  • Excellent commentary.
    I liked this piece from Bill Whittle about where taxing the rich to make them pay their fair share eventually leads.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ

  • Repeal the income tax; problem solved.

  • In Liberal Speak: “Lucky” and “undeserved” translate into “justified in stealing it from you”

    • Exactly.  This idiocy about “nobody gets rich by himself” is a pretty thin rational for theft.  “You didn’t get what you have through your own efforts.  Therefore, I can claim as much of it as I like because, really, it isn’t yours in the first place.”

      Sad thing is that there are people who believe this garbage. 

      • The was a clip of PJ O’Rourke in which he notes (paraphrasing)  – by definition, 50% of the electorate is below average intellegence.   Throw in the willfully ignorant,  and the misgudied,  and there is a big audience for this kind of pap.  

  • So it should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s decided the “social contract” now requires that the rich pay more in taxes than they are presently.  It is this redefinition of the social contract that allows him, one supposes, to claim that it isn’t class warfare that’s being proposed but simply the fulfilling of that contract

    >>>> Socialist Party (Democrats) to the country:  “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alterate it any further”

    I’m also interested to see what kind of royal spanking you’d all have to give to that twit Elizabeth “You built a factory? Good for you” Warren’s comments, because she’s just as horriffic as Krugman.

    These people really are enemies, in every sense of the word.  (OH NOES, INFLAMMATORY RHETORIC!)

    • sharkI’m also interested to see what kind of royal spanking you’d all have to give to that twit Elizabeth “You built a factory? Good for you” Warren’s comments, because she’s just as horriffic as Krugman.


      More, perhaps: Krugman seems to content with writing idiocy for the NYT; Warren wants to be a senator.  Given the state she’s running in, it’s reasonably likely that she’ll succeed, and join the other luminaries foisted on us by the people of Taxachusetts: Jean-Francois, Bawney, Ed Markey, etc.  That’s a state where it seems perfectly acceptable to be a filthy rich socialist: nobody will mind that Warren made a potfull of money as a government employee and a Harvard prof and kept it while calling for “rich” people (not including her) should pay more taxes.

  • Even Chinese party member don’t believe this stuff any more.
    Last year Ms Warren made $350,000 Harvard salary, plus $182,000 in royalties and consulting fees.  I’m sure she gave more than half to everybody who helped her get there.
    There is an issue going on about whether Harvard is allowed to keep paying her – since they aren’t supposed to be partisan.

  • “Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else.”

    And there’s the theme again, that it’s LUCK and FORTUNE that makes these people wealthy.

    • But so many Lefties would claim, without batting an eyelash, that they “stole it from the poor”

  • Can this logic be extrapolated?   Healthy people didn’t get that way by themselves, so they owe the rest of blood, kidney and cornea donations?  Smart people didn’t get that way by themselves, so they should provide us a free education?  Free people didn’t get that way by themselves, so they should serve a portion of their days in prison or slavery for someone else? 

    All of these things are fine and admirable when they are VOLUNTARY, but horribly wrong when they are COMPULSORY.

  • if we have to have a new social contract, can it also make rap music and baggy pants be unacceptable?

     

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