In the book In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage, a great story is told about historian Robert Conquest. He wrote a book in the 1980s about the abuses of Stalinism, and got the usual roasting from Soviet apologists in academia. They accused him of cherry-picking data, failing to see Stalin’s supposed good points – the usual blather of Marxist-friendly social science academics.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, opened archives showed that Conquest not only had it right, but was actually a bit conservative is his assertions. His publisher suggested an updated edition of the book incorporating that information, and asked Conquest if he wanted to change the title.
Conquest responded “How about ‘I told you so, you f*cking fools’”? *
I’m feeling that same impulse after reviewing the cascade of scandals over the last few weeks.** Anyone who wasn’t mesmerized by Obama and actually paying attention already knew that:
1. Benghazi was not just a tragedy. It was one of the most massive screw-ups ever perpetrated by the State Department, and there was clearly a cover-up to keep the rest of us from finding out the what, where, when, how, and why.
Various folks on the right could see all this, yet our supposed smart media pundits at major organizations are still expressing surprise at every new revelation. In other words, we told you so, you f*cking fools. And we were ignored, or even ridiculed as paranoid and obsessive.
I learned a valuable lesson in my first job out of graduate school. The software company I worked for was acquired by a giant corporation. The executives from that giant corporation came down for meetings after the acquisition. After listening to them for a day, I concluded that they were incompetent fools.
But I had some doubt. How could they have reached such a position of authority and still be such fools?
Yet, in the ensuing years, under their leadership, the giant corporation lost tens of millions of dollars running that small software company into the ground. They ended up selling it after five years for about five percent of what they paid for it. So yeah, those guys really were the incompetent fools I thought they were.
I now assume that if I have good reasons to believe something, the assertions of powerful or influential people don’t change my mind. I assume they are simply ignorant, willfully blind, or actively deceptive. This round of scandalous outrages by the Obama administration is just another confirmation of that assumption. If media types and establishment politicians didn’t realize these problems existed before last month, then they are f*cking fools, no matter how high they have risen in the political class.
On the other hand, if they knew the problems existed and did nothing, they are despicable villains and not fit to be in the job they hold. Not in their own eyes, of course. As Robert Conquest found out, to those on the left, even Josef Stalin isn’t really a villain.
* I first saw the anecdote about Conquest in a review of the book in Reason Magazine, Fools for Communism. I got the book, which is a concise, good read. If you want examples of willful blindness by lefties, In Denial is a great source.
** Many writers predicted Obama scandals early in his term. I’m pretty sure they feel the same lack of surprise, even if they don’t express it in such a vulgar way.
Over at Cold Fury, Mike is discussing the spectacle of Lois Lerner taking the 5th before Congress. He
observedquoted DrewM at Ace of Spades:
What a smug SOB she is. She sat there like she’d done nothing wrong and was above it all.
That is not due to any intended deception on her part. She believes that she did nothing wrong, all the way to her core of her being.
First, as Heinlein said, no one is a villain in their own eyes. They always manage to rationalize why their immoral or unethical actions were actually just peachy if everyone knew the whole story about them.
But it goes beyond that with today’s leftists. They are steeped in post-modern philosophy, so steeped in fact that they can’t even think outside the patterns imposed by that philosophy. There are axioms that they believe cannot be violated, and that reality can never falsify.
One axiom is that leftists are wise, beneficent people who are eminently qualified to boss everyone else around by virtue of their superior intellect and good intentions. The direct corollary to this axiom is that any time they fail in the real world, the fault must be ascribed to someone not on the left.
Reality doesn’t matter here. Any non-left group will do as the scapegoat, even squishy establishment Republicans. Any excuse (non-doctored "doctored" emails, non-hacked "hacked" Twitter accounts) will do.
That leads to another axiom: anyone who opposes the left deserves whatever the left can inflict on them. Anyone opposing the left has shown by that very fact that they are morally deficient, have bad intentions, and are possibly less than human.
So it’s not wrong to discriminate against them, violate the law to deny them access to the political process, throw them in jail for non-existent or flimsy reasons (such as carrying a perfectly legal gun in the trunk of their car), tax them until their ears bleed, seize their property because someone else happened to be parked there with a joint, seize their property because they changed the course of a creek that only runs once every three years, throw them out of college for inoffensive remarks that accidentally offend another hyper-sensitive leftist, take their children away from them for indoctrination by the state, and prohibit them from doing a thousand things that used to be perfectly legal and have no demonstrated harm or ill effects.
In fact, it’s not simply that it’s not wrong to do those things. It’s virtuous to do such things to those who oppose the left. Lois Lerner can sit there and be smug in the face of Republican questions because she’s positive in her heart and soul that she was doing good to impede and harass the Tea Party organizations. It was a virtuous act, as far as she is concerned, and she does not feel the least shame or guilt over it.
It’s an inconvenience that she and the rest of the oppressive leftists who love government got caught, of course. They have to manufacture narrative, dance around those bumbling Republicans who have to put up a show for the people back home, and, perhaps worst of all, they’ll have to suspend their oppression of their political enemies during a short cosmetic period before they get back to business.
But never, ever expect today’s left to show remorse for any act they undertake, no matter how illegal, immoral, or unethical it might be. For them, whatever behavior benefits the left is, by definition, virtuous.
*** Update 11:40 CST ***
The very next article I read is an excellent example of one of the points above. Kirsten Powers in USA Today is doing her best to defend the indefensible.
A synopsis of her article is:
“These scandals can’t possibly be blamed on liberalism because liberals are good, virtuous people. Therefore the Republicans who are claiming these scandals indicate flaws in big government are unfairly twisting the truth for political advantage. Big government is clearly wonderful when run by virtuous liberals.”
Notice how this dovetails into the idea that the left is never at fault when things go wrong, and thus a scapegoat must be found. It was big-government advocates who put the tax system in place, appointed people with the willingness to suppress opposing viewpoints with the power of the IRS, and covered up those actions as long as possible. Nevertheless, the real villain in the investigation is small government advocates!
She dismisses those who actually did the political oppression as aberrations and peripheral to the entire debate. But those who indict big government using the very actions of big government are somehow bad actors.
There’s no debating people who will simply deny the facts sitting on the table because their worldview does not permit them to think liberalism/leftism has any flaws.
Look, I know the flaws of free market economics. Some abuses will occur, usually transient and corrected in the long term by the market, but real for a time. I know allowing radical freedom means some people will make bad choices.
I don’t claim limited government is without flaw, nor that everyone on the right is a saint. But history and our internal desire for freedom tell us that limited government is the best system we can get.
At least it has feedback built in to correct flaws. Perhaps the biggest indictment of today’s leftism is demonstrated by Kirsten’s column: she and her ilk are incapable of taking feedback on the flaws of the political system she prefers. All she can do is blame problems on the other side, and keep maintaining against all evidence that her side does not have the flaws that it so evidently does have.
*** Update 15:00 CST ***
Looks like Congressman Issa wasn’t any more impressed with Lerner’s smug “I’m so, so innocent” performance than the rest of us. He’s hauling her back and telling her that her opening statement claiming innocence means she waived 5th Amendment rights. (Via Drudge)
To be fair, they don’t understand how most things work, especially when there’s math involved, but this particular quirk is quite annoying.
I remember the first time I came across this general ignorance (see the comments), in a West Wing episode:
Actual dialog from a recent West Wing rerun:
Josh: What do I say to people who ask why we subsidize farmers when we don’t subsidize plumbers?
Farmer’s daughter 1: Tell ’em they can pay seven dollars for a potato.
Yes, I know it’s a TV show, but do people actually think like this? I always assumed that the reason we couldn’t get rid of farm subsidies was rent seeking by the farmers, but if people actually believe this, that could be part of the problem.
GOP meat eaters aren’t free market – they want everyone to subsidize their eating via taxes that fund meat subsidies.
Among best ways to reduce meat consumption is to end ag subsidies so that the cost of meat is a true free market price – think: $9 burgers
David also makes the correct point that some GOP congressmen vote to keep these subsidies in place (particularly those in states with farms that benefit the most from them), but that doesn’t alleviate the complete misunderstanding of what these subsidies do.
In short: agricultural subsidies don’t reduce consumer prices, but instead raise them.
In fact, the entire point of these subsidies is to set minimum price levels (often called “price supports”) or trade barriers that create an artificial monopoly. The entire milk industry, as an example, is propped up with such subsidies. Why else do you think it costs about as much for a gallon of milk as does for a gallon of gas?
Although there had been several different forms of subsidies in the U.S. prior to the 1930’s, most were simple tariffs. When the Great Depression began, the Roosevelt Administration sought to prop up the nation’s farmers by raising their incomes. How did they propose to do that? Mainly by setting minimum prices and production quotas (remember Wickard v. Filburn?):
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president in 1933, he called Congress into special session to introduce a record number of legislative proposals under what he dubbed the New Deal. One of the first to be introduced and enacted was the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The intent of the AAA was to restore the purchasing power of American farmers to pre-World War I levels. The money to pay the farmers for cutting back production by about 30 percent was raised by a tax on companies that bought farm products and processed them into food and clothing.
The AAA evened the balance of supply and demand for farm commodities so that prices would support a decent purchasing power for farmers. This concept was known as “parity.”
AAA controlled the supply of seven “basic crops” — corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco, and milk — by offering payments to farmers in return for farmers not planting those crops.
The AAA also became involved in assisting farmers ruined by the advent of the Dust Bowl in 1934.
In 1936 the Supreme Court, ruling in United States v. Butler, declared the AAA unconstitutional. Writing for the majority, Justice Owen Roberts stated that by regulating agriculture, the federal government was invading areas of jurisdiction reserved by the constitution to the states, and thus violated the Tenth Amendment. Judge Harlan Stone responded for the minority that, “Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern.”
Further legislation by Congress restored some of the act`s provisions, encouraging conservation, maintaining balanced prices, and establishing food reserves for periods of shortages.
Congress also adopted the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, which encouraged conservation by paying benefits for planting soil-building crops instead of staple crops. The rewritten statutes were declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in Mulford v. Smith (1939) and Wickard v. Filburn (1942).
During World War II, the AAA turned its attention to increasing food production to meet war needs. The AAA did not end the Great Depression and drought, but the legislation remained the basis for all farm programs in the following 70 years.
The entire point of these subsidies is to increase the incomes of farmers. It has never had anything to do with making the price of a potato or a hamburger cheaper for consumers. By design, these programs intend to raise the price for agricultural products, as well as to transfer dollars from taxpayers to farmers.
How liberals like David Sirota and Aaron Sorkin came to think the exact opposite is puzzling. As Ronald Reagan said: “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
If ever there was a load of crap on toast, it can be found today in Michael Lind’s atrocious piece in Salon.
He calls it “Southern Poverty Pimps”. I see a more apt name to be “Southern Cliches R Us”.
It is probably one of the more absurd attempts to make the economic success in Texas look bad that I’ve seen in quite some time. You would almost feel it was something Paul Krugman would hack out. One of my bets, concerning all the negative stereotypes Lind uses, is he’s rarely if ever been in the South.
Needless to say, private sector unions that pool worker bargaining power are anathema to today’s suave metropolitan successors to the slave-owning plantocracy. The whole point of the Southern model of economic development is to create a non-union region from Virginia to Texas, to which companies can be induced to move from states with unionized workforces. Besides, unions engage in collective bargaining, in violation of the Southern ideal of employer-worker relations, in which the master gives orders and the fearful worker obeys without question.
Of course the fact that in the great North unions are losing members like water through a sieve would never see the light of day in a Lind expose, one assumes. That would run contradictory to his whole premise that the South has just shifted from racial slavery to economic slavery. No mention of the thousands upon thousands fleeing the horrible economic conditions of Blue states, no mention of Detroit, no mention of the rust belt. No mention of the urban blight found in Blue states or their failing economies.
You see, if the “Southern model”, aka the Red State Model” is allowed to exist, if it isn’t demonized and condemned, if all stops aren’t pulled out to include the usual racial and ethnic accusations the left loves to fling around, well, it might make people think that the Red States are on to something.
Of course, we already know they are, don’t we?
And so does Texas. You see, Texas’ success terrifies them.
Thus Lind’s pitiful attempt to use the divisive language of which the left is so fond. It couldn’t be that people actually are fine with their wages and tired of unions who take their money and really don’t produce much of anything but fat-cat union officials could it?
It’s all about “economic slavery”.
Leave it to former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rham Emanuel to provide us with the example. George Will tells the sorry story:
Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality.
Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states with mammoth unfunded pension liabilities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has hectored a $5 billion pension fund into divesting its holdings in companies that manufacture firearms. Now he is urging two large banks to deny financing to such companies “that profit from gun violence.” TD Bank provides a $60 million credit line to Smith & Wesson, and Bank of America provides a $25 million line to Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Chicago’s current and retired public employees might wish the city had invested more in both companies. Barack Obama, for whom Emanuel was chief of staff, has become a potent gun salesman because of suspicions that he wants to make gun ownership more difficult. Since he was inaugurated four years ago, there have been 65 million requests for background checks of gun purchasers. Four years ago, the price of Smith & Wesson stock was $2.45. Last week it was $8.76, up 258 percent. Four years ago, the price of Sturm Ruger stock was $6.46. Last week it was $51.09, up 691 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that even before “a $1.2 billion balloon payment for pensions comes due” in 2015, “Chicago’s pension funds, which are projected to run dry by the end of the decade, are scraping the bottoms of their barrels.”
So we have the Mayor of Chicago using, well, Chicago style “politics”, to make a “moral statement” that likely few of his citizens agree with and hurting an already failing retirement system by demanding stocks that are doing well be dropped. We call that “moral preening” and, of course, it’s no skin off his back – he’s not the one losing the money – retirees are. Screw serving the public welfare – his job. He’s all about hurting the public welfare to make a private moral statement.
As for the false moral equivalency? Here you go:
Nevertheless, liberals are feeling good about themselves — the usual point of liberalism — because New York state’s public pension fund and California’s fund for teachers have, the New York Times says, “frozen or divested” gun holdings, and Calpers, the fund for other California public employees, may join this gesture jamboree this month. All this is being compared to the use of divestment to pressure South Africa to dismantle apartheid in the 1980s.
Guns are as evil as “apartheid” and thus should be dealt with the same way. Because everyone knows that owning a gun is precisely the same as being an oppressive racist using the power of government to enforce your racism. Or moralism.
Never mind the fact that:
Guns are legal products in America, legally sold under federal, state and local regulations. Most of the guns sold to Americans are made by Americans. Americans have a right — a constitutional right — to own guns, and 47 percent of U.S. households exercise that portion of the Bill of Rights by possessing at least one firearm.
The left, as it usually does, is going to demonize an industry just as they have the fossile fuel industry. Amusingly, that too is one of the left’s “apartheid divestment” moves.
Moral grandstanding, however, offers steady work, and the Chronicle of Higher Education reports a new front in “the battle against climate change”: “Student groups at almost 200 colleges and universities are calling on boards of trustees to divest their colleges’ holdings in large fossil-fuel companies.” Of course, not one share of those companies’ stock will go unsold because academia is so righteous. Others will profit handsomely from such holdings and from being complicit in supplying what the world needs. Fossil fuels, the basis of modern life, supply 82 percent of U.S. energy, and it is projected that they will supply 78 percent of the global increase in energy demand between 2009 and 2035, by which time the number of cars and trucks on the planet will have doubled to 1.7 billion.
Of course, that’s not a problem for fossile fuel companies because their stocks aren’t going to go without a buyer. Institutional investors who actually are interested in helping build wealth in a portfolio will snap them up. What will suffer? University endowment funds, that’s what. Most people would call that sort of moral preening a “self-inflicted wound”. It won’t change a thing, it’s moral relativisim at its worst and someone else will be happy to take the dividend income those boobs are foregoing.
Institutions of higher education will, presumably, warn donors that their endowments will be wielded in support of the political agenda du jour, which might include divesting from any company having anything to do with corn, source of the sweetener in many of the sodas that make some people fat and New York’s mayor cranky. Or anything to do with red meat, sugar, salt, trans fats, chickens not lovingly raised . . . .
Really, no words from me needed:
Chicago safer than anywhere? C-section babies? And that old inconvenient Constitution and stuff. Yes indeed, let’s all go for this more “modern” way of living, okay?
You’d almost think it was a parody but it isn’t. Just a “proud Democrat”.
So much for an informed (and semi-intelligent) electorate (and yeah, some Republicans don’t get off much easier – just ask a few running for office about rape).
If you’ve ever wondered how extreme the gun grabbers can get, here’s a nice little example:
The thing missing from the debate so far is anger — anger that we live in a society where something like the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre can happen and our main concern is not offending the NRA’s sensibilities.
That’s obscene. Here, then, is my “madder-than-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” program for ending gun violence in America:
• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.
• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.
• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures. None of that is going to happen, of course. But I’ll bet gun sales will rise.
Yes friends, they are out there. I’m sure if asked this yahoo would tell you that much of this is simply venting. You know the new “civility “. What’s “obscene”, to use the writer’s language, is as profound and studied stupidity. Here’s a man who makes comparisons that are dubious at best, and if he weren’t so serious, would be laughable. But he’s serious about comparing the NRA to the Communist Party. He thinks he’s clever. He thinks he has an argument.
And he is certainly serious about repealing the Second Amendment. The Constitution continues to get in the way of gun grabbers like this. So a simple, “let’s revoke the right and outlaw the organization that guards it” is the sum total of his argument. And he claims that it is the NRA that is like the Communist Party?
Yes, we call this “projection”.
It must be true. None other than Politico has noticed:
A crabby, negative campaign that has been more about misleading and marginal controversies than the major challenges facing the country? Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can both claim parenthood of this ugly child.
But there is a particular category of the 2012 race to the low road in which the two sides are not competing on equal terms: Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.
Nice to see Obama has “changed politics as we know it”.
Another promise abandoned.
A video that claims “the government is the only thing we all belong too” is being disowned by the Obama Campaign, saying it was a video produced by the host city committee and not the DNC.
But, of course, it carries a Democratic National Convention banner in the lower left corner (another case of incompetence or refusing to be held accountable).
However I’m not so much concerned with who did it than I am with the implication of the message. It serves as a reminder of the premise under which most of the left works.
I don’t belong to any government. Government is my employee. It works for me. It is supposed to do my bidding in a democratic system, and not the other way around.
Now I’m sure that there are those who will listen to this and claim that the speaker is talking about a unity of effort or the uniting effect of government. I.e. regardless of party or ideology we all work under the same government.
But that’s not what he said. “Belong” has a very specific meaning. While talking about why the meme “you didn’t build that” isn’t going away, Rachel Larimore tells us why:
Many moons ago, I spent a couple of years in a fiction-writing program at a local university. I never finished the novel I aspired to write, but I did learn some valuable lessons. The most important: “It doesn’t matter what you meant. What matters is what you conveyed.” In the context of class, that meant when we were sharing our work and listening to feedback, we couldn’t butt in and say that we’d meant something else. We needed to take ourselves out of our own head and try to understand what our readers had heard.
What was conveyed was a message that, to me, is anti-liberty. Sorry to blunt about it, but it reflects a belonging that I reject. I’m not an American because of my government. I don’t belong to any group because of my government. My government exits at my forbearance. It exists solely to serve mine and other American’s needs.
And while we might disagree on is what those needs are and how much government is necessary, I don’t “belong” to the government in any sense whatsoever?
But what this short segment highlights is the very large philosophical gulf that exists between those who believe in individualism and those who are statists. The statement is a statement that glorifies the state while attempting to lump all of us as collectively “owned” by it. Whether or not that’s what the speaker meant, it is what he said and conveyed by using the word “belong”.
It might not be such a big deal if it wasn’t so obviously the usually unspoken belief of so many on the left. What we’re going to see in Charlotte is a celebration of big government and that sort of “belonging”.
I want no part of it.
Sometimes the mask slips a little on the left and you get a peek at the real collectivist agenda at work there. Other times a leftist will just take the mask off completely and show you the collectivist behind it.
It is one of the reasons I find the left to be the most potentially totalitarian side of the spectrum … because their basic premise, the premise that spawns all others, is indeed collectivism.
For instance, this Gawker screed by some nimrod named Hamilton Nolan:
Let’s have a maximum annual income of, oh, $5 million, pegged to inflation. All income above that would be taxed at 99 percent. Our precious national sports stars, celebrities, and corporate executives could still be fabulously wealthy. The daydreaming poor could still have a nice big number about which to hopelessly dream. Five million dollars a year. Five million! Anyone with $5 million can invest it conservatively enough to earn 5 percent a year and still be making $250K per year without lifting a finger. In other words, $5 million provides you with the means to live as a member of the one percent without ever touching the principal. It’s everything that any reasonable person could ask for, financially speaking.
A million and a quarter per year? Far more than anyone should be earning, in a world with so much poverty and want, but not so much that someone could consider themselves set for life. It’s a number at which the go-getting rich person is still aspirational. They hope to double or triple that salary before their earning days are done. So a hefty 75 percent tax, though completely just, will not only spook them enough to flee, but allow them to retain a modicum of dignity while doing so, at least among the more affluent segments of their peer group.
But $5 million? I defy the slickest PR firm in America to explain to a nation of struggling, underemployed working class people with a median household income of just over $50,000 why an already-wealthy person felt the need to leave the country—taking money out of the taxpayers’ pockets in a very literal sense—rather than donate, to the common good, earnings over one hundred times the nation’s median household income. This requires an already-wealthy person who is, by definition, being paid a wage that far outstrips any measure of fairness or good sense, to stand up in front of a nation (to which he has no doubt paid ample lip service during his rise to the top) of people far, far less fortunate than he and declare: "I have far more than I need. But I would rather abandon you all than help you."
If someone is willing to do that, let them take their shame and go. Good riddance.
You have to read the whole thing to ensure its not a spoof. It’s not. This knucklehead is serious.
Note how blithely he decides what is proper for you to have. “It’s everything that any reasonable person could ask for, financially speaking”.
Is it? What if you’re trying to build a business that requires, oh, I don’t know, 10 million?
Well, you can’t have that. Because Hamilton Nolan has arbitrarily decided that 5 mil is it. It’s a bit like the crowd that decides that at a minimum, labor is worth, oh I don’t know, how about $7.25 an hour?
Sound good? Let’s go with it and prosecute anyone that tries pay below that. What do you mean that causes unemployment because wage payers aren’t willing to pay more than what the labor on a job is worth? Why would some of them rather automate than pay that wage to a real person? How does a minimum wage kick up the price of a product?
See it’s these little niggling questions that are never entertained by economic rubes like Nolan that blow their little collectivist theories all to blazes.
Things like “well if I can only earn 5 mil in the US but I can earn 10 mil in Russia, I’ll just move to Russia”, also known as human nature, simply don’t register.
Dingbat’s reaction to such a move? “Good riddance”.
Really? Good riddance?
Someone ought to ask this economic idiot if he got his job at Gawker from a poor person? And when he got that job did he believe he got it because:
America has provided all of the opportunity necessary for these people to earn their fortunes. That opportunity is paid for with tax dollars.
Because that’s what he wrote. Seriously Mr. Nolan, did “America” provide all the opportunity necessary, paid for by the taxpayers, for you to land at Gawker? Or did your work and effort perhaps ‘earn’ you the job (although reading this hash one might be led to believe that Gawker has very low standards of employment)?
How does our collectivist plan on “rewarding” the high earners who remain and government coercively fleeces, taking most of what they’ve produced (note that the word “produced” never is used in Nolan’s rant)?
Newspaper articles. No. Seriously.
The wealthy could still earn as much as they want. It’s not that they don’t get anything for their earnings above $5 million; they get the distinct privilege of making a huge and helpful contribution to their fellow countrymen. Give them awards. Lavish them with praise. Publish the names of the highest taxpayers in laudatory newspaper columns. Allow them to bask in civic pride. But take their money. They have plenty.
Because Mr. Nolan and the mob, er collective, believe they have first claim on the money anyone earns. They just have to vote for it (“hey, that’s democracy!”). And that my friends is the basic difference between the left and right in this country. They believe it is“their” money or the government’s money. They have no idea of how wealth is produced. They have no idea of the concept of what it takes to earn something. Instead, it’s real simple: you get to keep what they deem appropriate, because wealth doesn’t belong to the producer, in their world it belongs to the collective.
This is not primarily about raising our total national tax revenue. That’s a far broader issue. This is about inequality. It’s about what type of nation we want to be—what level of inequality we are willing to tolerate in order to protect a vague and twisted notion of "freedom" that most people cannot even fully articulate, and that was created by the rich to serve themselves. This is a baby step. But it’s one that would make us, fundamentally, a better and more just country.
And if the rich people don’t like it, fine.
It’s not at all about “raising our total national tax revenue”.
It’s about nascent totalitarianism masquerading as “fairness”. Fairness is one of those code words on the left that is used to rationalize removing choice, using coercion and claiming their actions are justified because otherwise the status quo is “unfair”.
There is no worse of a sin in the collective than being ‘unfair’.
And screw you if you don’t like it.