Monday, September 28, 2015

Myth Buster: All rich people, corporations, nations are greedy

Quite often my liberal friends say things like, "Donald Trump is greedy," "It's a rich, greedy corporation." They refer to any rich person as greedy, not just Trump.  Any corporation that makes money is greedy, such as, "Greedy pharmaceuticals" set their prices too high. I think It's frustrating to me when they say stuff like this, but I think I understand why they do: it's based on a fallacy.

It almost seems as if liberals hate success, as they are often trying to punish people who succeed. They falsely believe, that left to their own devices, people will not give to charity; they will not help the poor. I attempted to allay this myth in my post, "Pope Francis Wrong About Capitalism."  Capitalism creates opportunities, and people under capitalistic societies donate more to charity than people under any other form of government.

I think the big misconception, the big fallacy of progressives, is that they believe there is only so much money in the world, and if one person, or one corporation, becomes wealthy, that this comes at the expense of everyone else, especially the poor.  In other words, if one person makes a million dollars, this is a million dollars that will not help the poor; in fact, it hurts the poor.  That's why they refer to rich people like Donald Trump as greedy and selfish.

The truth is that there is plenty of money to go around so that everyone can get rich.  This what Trump is saying when he says, "I'm rich, and I will make you rich too."  There is no shortage of money in the world. Rather than trashing people like Trump who succeed, we ought to put them up on a pedestal with an inscription under saying, "You can be like Trump: You can get rich too."

That's the whole point of American exceptionalism.  It's not that we are better than other nations, it's that, before American, 90% of people lived in poverty. America -- more specifically: American Exceptionalism -- has made it so that anyone can rise up to be as rich as kings or queens or totalitarian leaders. This was never possible before America.

People like Trump are a rare breed who sacrifice all to succeed.  Trump had to sacrifice years and money on educating himself, and he had to take great risks to succeed.  In fact, he was so focussed on succeeding that he risked his first marriage to Ivana. I don't mean to ramp up Trump here, I'm just trying to give an example of how getting rich is not bad.  Trump got rich by creating hundreds if not thousands of jobs. As Trump rose to the top he took many people with him.

That's the whole purpose of unfettered capitalism or capitalism.  Some call it supply side economics.  As Jack Kemp used to say, "A rising tide lifts all ships."  During the 1980s, when regulations and taxes were cut, people of every class rose to a higher class. In fact, when regulations, taxes, and government programs were cut in the 1920s, there was no unemployment (it was 2%, while most economists consider 4.5% no unemployment as there will always be people between jobs).

It's not only just individuals and corporations that are greedy, it's America. There are literally people, even within our own country, who think this is unfair; it's unfair that Americans are so rich, because they get rich at the expense of every other nation. They think we are the reason other nations are poor because we absorb all the money in the world.  They think it's not fair that we have all the wealth and no one else does.

What they fail to see is that 99.9% of the world was poor prior to America. Before America, there was no place in the world you could go to be free; there was no place in the world where you could worship what are religion you wanted; there was no place in the world you could go to take an idea you had and prosper.

Again, what they should do is put America on a pedestal and teach rulers of other nations how to accomplish what America has accomplished. Instead of saying Americans are greedy, they ought to ask: What made America so great? What made Americans so prosperous? Why does everyone want to go to America? How can I do that for my country?

Let me word this another way. People who really care for the poor, for the little guy, should want the little guy to have an improved life: more contentment, more happiness, more stuff.  If this is true, then they should want to emulate the United States. You certainly wouldn't want to tear it down.  If you truly cared about the poor, you would create a nation just like the United States.  You wouldn't teach them that America is selfish and greedy and rich at the expense of everyone else.

America is about freedom, liberty, and prosperity.  So if you want people to succeed, you should teach American principles, not deride them. Because before America there was no prosperity. The people who teach that America is rich and greedy try to make things fair by punishing and penalizing people at the top. Then when those people are gone, there are no jobs. This is substituted for government checks, which will disappear when the U.S. is gone. Then everyone will be equally poor. That is the utopia they seek -- fairness, equality of poverty.

It doesn't make sense. Why try to destroy the one beacon of hope, the one shining city on a hill, where every person has an equal opportunity to succeed.  Why destroy that by telling people that those people are greedy in their materialism? Why, if you truly love the poor and want to help them, wouldn't you teach them how to get it too? Why not teach your people how to prosper?

You have a special place, you want it to stay special, you better learn how it got special. Otherwise, you are going to have people want to destroy it, and you won't have a reason to stop them. Or, if someone were to come into our nation (as progressives have) and try to tear it down one piece at a time, and you didn't know why it was great in the first place, you might just stand by and let it happen.  In fact, you might even be willing to give up your liberties for the cause. You might be convinced to do just that.

And that's what's wrong with our country today, is our schools are not teaching the answers to these questions, so kids are growing up in the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, and yet they think it has always been this way. They think people were always free. They don't understand that 99.9% of people lived under totalitarian dictatorships or monarchies before the U.S. came about, and that freedom had to be fought for. They aren't taught this, so they don't feel the need to protect and defend it against the onslaught of liberalism.

That's why they can so easily be taught that anyone who succeeds in life is greedy and selfish; that anyone who gets rich does so at the expense of the poor; that capitalism breeds poverty. When the truth is that everyone was poor before the Unisted States, and capitalism creates prosperity not poverty.

Anyway, America is special, and to keep it special we must know how we got to where we are.  Once we know that, it will be easy to see how capitalism creates jobs; capitalism creates prosperity.  Capitalism makes life better for the poor, not worse.  If you really, truly love the poor, then you will tell them that they can have it too if they want.  And that's why Trump says, "I am rich, and I want to make you rich too."