Movement Based on Envy
by Tom Donelson on November 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM
Envy is a destructive force that undermines society for it doesn’t engender growth or progress but is a bureaucratization of society to enforce a false equality of results. America was designed and still is considered a land of opportunity, but there has been a debate on what is equality. Do we have an equality of opportunity, or do we strive for equality of results? The latter is based on an envious notion that wealth is stolen and must be restored whereas the former is based on the premise that a society is filled with people with different gifts and allow those gifts to be explored and developed.
The problem with Occupy Wall Street is that unlike its counterparts in the Tea Party, the movement is based on an aspect of nothing more than envy that their plight in life is not their responsibility and their life has been stolen by the 1%. The debate over the taxes represents this debate in its fullest.
I have mentioned numerous times, but it is worth repeating a hundred more, the debate over taxes is ending in the favor of free market advocates, namely tax rates matter and a more efficient tax system would be one that reduces or eliminates deduction in exchange for a lower tax rates for capital, businesses and individuals. The intellectual debate is over, but the political debate is not. When the President Deficit commission gave their report, they repudiated Obamanomics and Keynesian theories on steroids in favor of a 21st century of Reaganomics.
The real issue behind the debate is class warfare and the politics of envy. Obama's own theories have reflected that when he answered a question by Charles Gibson on capital gain taxes in the 2008 elections when he stated it was about fairness. After being confronted with the reality that lowering capital gain tax in the Clinton years resulted in tax revenues increasing; Obama answered that it was about fairness. He never even challenged the premise of the question that lowerering the capital gains tax raised revenues, but accepted it. (Yes, lefties of the world, Clinton cut capital gains tax significantly and revenues from capital taxes went up!)
For Obama, raising tax rates on the wealthy is not about taxing efficiency or even raising additional revenues since it is debatable proposition that you raised the revenues predicted. It is about class envy and punishing the wealthy, an attitude that Obama carried with him from his community organizing days.
The Tea Party was based on the premise that government has become too big and is interfering with our freedoms and their attack on Wall Street centered on the cozy relationship that big business had with big government. The Tea Party has become the Party of Main Street and the struggling middle class wanting opportunity to move up. The Tea Party comprehended correctly that much of Wall Street has aligned themselves with big government while many of Wall Street power players have supported the leftist agenda with money. For the Tea Party, tax policy resides not around revenging Main Street but making the tax system more receptive to market forces, not market manipulation. The appeal of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 represents a return of a tax system in which the skills of the entrepreneur takes precedence and not who you know.
Occupy Wall Street complains about the market manipulators, but they don’t see or understand the connection between the collaboration between Wall Street and big government, in particular this administration. The high tax rates with liberal deductions work for the established business since they can influence results through lobbying which is why General Electric's political pull has allowed it to avoid taxes and get tax deductions for much of its green technology.
The Tea Party's goal is be the Party of opportunity, which is America at its best, whereas Occupy wants equality of results guaranteed by government, but the problem is moral for should government force equality of results through legislation? Who defines what is fair? In life, equality of results is a virtual impossibility. Not everyone can play basketball like Michael Jordan could or Kobe Bryant does today, nor does everyone have equal talents or equal desires to pursue similar goals. Some purposely pursue a lifestyle that may lead to charitable pursuit whereas others are wealth creators. To enforce equality of results means big government, whereas seeking an Opportunity state simply means a government that governs by the rule of law and minimal regulation to ensure that all play be the same rules.
Obama and the Democrats have made it clear; they will fight on a class warfare in which government determines who are the winners and who are the losers while the producer class will be punished; or least those who don’t cooperate with the grand vision. Republicans and conservatives have an opportunity to make more than a mere numerical cases that Obamanomics doesn’t work but a moral case, do we want a government who determines what is fairn and a government who punishes the wealthy or those wealthy who don’t fund the machine or produce the right goods? Or do we want a government that simply enforces the law and allows entrepreneur to produce goods and services consumers want and simply allow free or the freest entry into the marketplace as possible? This is an election about freedom and what kind of future we hand our children and grandchildren.
The left has no intellectual argument to make and the politics of envy is not designed to make an economy grow but institute power for the ruling class who gets to determine the winners of life’s lottery or the loser. This is why free market economics is not just superior in economic terms but morally as well.