Paranoid Delusion About "The Rich"
by Larry Perrault on August 12, 2012 at 9:49 AM
I have an email correspondent who cuts loose with yet one more rant about the greedy, voracious and calloused rich suppressing and robbing the middle and lower classes. Of course, President Obama is pressing this angle right now, claiming that Mitt Romney wants to tax others to pay for “another tax cut” for the rich. One might speculate that as a leftist ideologue, he believes that the “cost” of tax cuts will eventually come out of the better interest of society, though growth, opportunity and increased revenue always follow tax cuts. But Obama knows very well that Romney has proposed raising taxes on no one.
Now of course, most everyone will try to maximize the productivity of whatever wealth they have. And they usually (though not always) will mind the interests of themselves and their families and maybe their communities, prior to charitable concerns; and especially before paying taxes, which particularly today conservatives find mostly unproductive if not wasteful. All of that is human nature. But human nature is also such that a free market will sanction and reward service to the market more fairly and surely than human force ever could. And the pre-rational assumption that the few are fleecing the masses in free markets is a psychological neurosis; and a particularly pathetic and socially destructive one. Here is my response to the latest screetch:
“I often see the irrational predisposition of conservatives who reflexively grouse about “they.” Of course, “they” is a non-specific pronoun onto which you can cast the blame for every presumed harmful influence on society. For blue-collar, 20th-century industrial city-stewed anti-management Dave, the evil bugaboo is “the rich.” Who the heck is “they?” And who the heck is “the rich?” The truth is that “they” is everyone on television or in print that this individual disagrees with. And “the rich” is an empty bucket into which you can caste the blame for any discomfort that is troubling you. People try to earn money and put what wealth they may have to productive use creating more wealth for the benefit of their families and for society. New commerce consists of work and earning potential for society as a whole. But most interestingly, there are plenty of liberals who are very “rich” compared to you or I. There are hordes of people in the world compared to who you are very rich. And it is my great fortune as a disabled man that I am rich compared to you or them.
You must know or have known people who were relatively very wealthy who you did not disparage as selfish and bad people. But they do with their money the same as everyone else. What are they supposed to do, liquidate it into currency or precious metal or stones and stuff it in a mattress? And why the constant talk about “taking from others to provide more for “rich buddies?” That is paranoid hallucination! Do people like you suppose that after somehow once again fooling the people to attain power, these people huddle in offices to plot: “OK, whatever we do, we have to make sure that millionaires are able to fleece the masses for more millions. The masses; who cares about the masses, anyway?” Questions arise to me when I read or hear people of a perception that is similarly corrupted to yours. Firstly, why are there presumably so few “rich,” but the Republican candidates that you presume they support (but often don’t) win approximately half of the elections. To win elections, you must win the votes of close to or most of half of decidedly middle-class people. In a national election, that’s tens of millions of people! What the heck is wrong with them?! I guess “the rich” fool these ignorant people with advertising, right?
And you deride someone like me for…what? We afford our everyday existence in relative comfort without excruciating deliberation most of the time. But as with the masses in similar situations, one or more people in the household works their fool tails off and may well have for decades. And likely, with what money they have earned, they have tended it; saving, investing and spending responsibly. So what’s going on? Why am I so deluded? Do I have some sick admiration for “the rich” and disdain for the others? If so…why?
In fact, the opposite is true. Thoughtful Republicans don’t favor wealthy people. We favor FREEDOM. And it is God’s design that maximizing freedom creates opportunity for everyone in the society, from top to bottom economically. Again, people who have already made a lot of money, will usually be all right and probably continue to make more, after the imposition of liberty-stealing leftward policy. It’s middle and lower income people who have the legs cut out from under them. The opportunities to progress will be restricted. I tell you again: finite man, especially with the corrupting element of power, cannot improve on the natural reward and sanction of human liberty, beyond protecting life, liberty and property from being involuntarily taken away. In a free market, people decide what they will give for something they want.”