The constant attacks on the wealthy are neither just nor logical and they are certainly not helpful. In a healthy society there will be wealthy people at one extreme and poor at the other. In the middle will be the majority ranging from “upper” middle class to “lower” middle class. I would like to point out that we celebrate all sorts of sports celebrity. We admire football players, cyclist, skiers, Olympic athletes of all sorts. We quite often raise them to god-like status, showering upon them huge wealth for their genius, skills and expertise. There are musicians, authors and other artists, who are also treated in a similar fashion. But, when it comes to business, it seems, none of these accolades applies. The titans of business are portrayed as crooks and thieves; taking from the poor and middle class to enrich themselves.
The left would like us to believe that it is impossible to achieve a place among the wealthy. However, this has not really been borne out in the historical record once capitalism rose up out of earlier mercantile systems. Capitalism is an example of that one-to-one transactional system that creates and sustains healthy societies. It is so because we have individuals striving to “win,” to succeed and struggling to get ahead.
In strong capitalist societies entrepreneurs have level playing fields, limited restrictions and are free to innovate. As our societies entered the industrial revolution – I know there were growing pains – we escaped the landed gentry (wealthy) controlling the means of labor. This produces much greater access to goods and services and labor markets. When we introduce socialism that access is restricted, and the innovative drives of individuals are bound up by the power structure of the state. These activities by the state often drag the economic systems down to the lowest common denominator.
The constant mantra beating down the wealthy is neither beneficial nor valid. The great prosperity and strength of the United States derived from our great innovation. And innovation drives our industry. We understand that the constant beat down of a team seldom raises it to championship level. We certainly don’t single out the quarterbacks or pitchers. No, we celebrate and honor their effort and courage. Yet, the opposite is true for business! This is self-defeating, and frankly, disturbing. How have we gotten to this place in our society that we allow such nonsense to be taught in our schools and colleges. Recent polls show that nearly half of college students embrace socialism! A system that has failed every time, in every place, throughout its history. That is the very definition of insanity! Let’s keep trying the same thing, expecting a different outcome.
Progressive governments want to tax the wealthy in a punitive fashion claiming that they have taken the goods of others to produce their wealth and therefore do not deserve it. As a result this mentality becomes a zero-sum argument and produces great harm for the society as a whole. Nearly all western societies (industrial nations) are beyond zero-sum. Zero-sum is the concept that if I get something – that something is no longer available to you. There are very few situations in western societies that produce a zero-sum game. We are beyond zero-sum in western societies and could be globally with better education and mores, norms and standards.
Our intelligence sets us apart from all the other animals. What is wrong in various locations around the globe is knowledge based, a lack of strong law systems, poor economics, ethics and morals. A perfect example is Haiti. An island country in the western hemisphere that shares about half of an island with the Dominican Republic. Haiti’s GDP in 2017 was $8.41 billion USD which produces a per capita income of about $730! The Dominican Republic on the other side of the island $75.96 billion USD or about $7150 per capita. There is no material difference between the two countries. There is, however, a significant difference in how the governments are run and the norms and standards of each of the societies.
Capitalism (true capitalism – not the crony capitalism that exists broadly throughout western societies) has shown throughout its existence that a large healthy middle class can be created and sustained. There will be wealthy at one end of the social spectrum and poor at the other. This is life! We have evolved to find our comfort zone and dwell within it. Most of us will occupy the middle class! That is how it works. It’s called a “bell curve” for heaven’s sake. People were once taught that in school… In the United States, as in most industrial nations, we still have the ability strive for greatness in many different ways, as I identified above.
The Golden Rule is a foundational guiding principle. Therefore, it represents the law of reciprocity in social systems. It is not dependent on religion, it works because it is a law of the universe. Humans function in a reciprocal fashion in our societies because we are wired that way. We strive for liberty of opportunity. Our societies are in harmony when that is the modus operandi. Understanding history, with broad spectrum, shows that we have been moving towards that end from the time we left the caves. We rise and fall with these attitudinal changes in our ideologies, but this embracing an ideology that has consistently failed and destroyed millions in the process is just plain stupid! My friend’s mom always used to say, “Stupid is, as stupid does!” This is just plain stupid…
Consequently, how can we be smart about this? I speak about the Golden Rule, but also discuss five supporting principles that I found helped me decipher the constant noise surrounding us every day. I’ll run through them on this topic.
First Wisdom: What do we know about socialism from its history – it has never worked! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
Second Justice: Is socialism fair or just? In its execution, socialism has proven to foil liberty of opportunity within the societies where it exists. It has done this consistently regardless of time, culture, language or race. It destroys opportunity equally but unfairly sets the bureaucrats apart with special privileges. Therefore, we can say socialism is not just or fair.
Third Moderation: The middle way – socialism disrupts a strong vibrant middle class. Socialism has shown that most often the system leads to tyranny and great harm to the general population. What normally results is a broad base of low income (poor) and a very small elite with very special privileges and great wealth.
In the first three tests we have shown that a simple search of history clearly shows that socialism doesn’t work, isn’t fair or just and leads to a breakdown of social value systems which disrupts harmony within the society.
My forth principle: Courage; says that we must be able to rationally review all information available, make reasonable decisions and then have the courage to stand up for that rational conclusion. Therefore, our conclusion is that socialism is wrong and very destructive to valuable social systems. It does more harm than good. The proof borne out time and again over numerous attempts. I will not be silent about the harm it creates everywhere it is tried. To not speak out about it is just as bad as supporting it.
Discipline, my last supporting principle, says we are disciplined enough to continue to set aside claims that the wealthy harm society. That wealth creation can only happen with the state’s help. That capitalism doesn’t create wealth with equal opportunity in modern societies. Wealth drives innovation in societies. Entrepreneurs are delivering the goods and services desired by those with the money to invest in those innovations.
Wealth is not the problem; certain power-hungry individuals are!