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Tuesday Rant September 6, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Lots of economic doomsday stuff out there right now and for good reason. I believe the USA is simply heading for the cliff. No matter how you try to parse it, we are spending too much and eventually we are going to crash and burn.  Now depending on who you read/listen to, that cliff is either right in front of us or simply a chimera that, if we wish real hard, will go away. Well, I’m tired of the smoke and mirrors.  We need the truth to be told. Unfortunately the truth means our lives are going to get a whole lot tougher before they get better.

The country cannot take baby steps out of this mess. We waited too long and ignored the problems until they passed the point of being able to be corrected with gentle tweaks. Now it’s going to take big, bold action—tax reform that affects everyone and by everyone I mean the people who have not been paying. The country cannot afford to rely on the backs of the producing class anymore. Progressive taxation is unfair and now it simply cannot save us no matter how much we soak the wealthy. As unfair as it sounds to many, every American paying the same percentage of their income to the government is the absolute fairest way. I am so done with the argument that that hurts the poor more than the rich. If you believe in capitalism and wish to live under its rules then everyone must have skin in the game.

Yes it sucks to be poor. The simple answer to that is, “don’t be poor!” I’ll hear all kinds of yelping from the liberals that that just isn’t possible. Well I disagree, if we treat everyone the same in regards to taxation the cream will rise to the top and we will finally expose society’s losers.

American society has gotten way too soft. We have messed with Mother Nature by creating entitlements. The natural order of things has been disrupted. Throughout history mankind has been controlled by the environment’s ability to sustain it. When resources were scarce mankind adapted. Population growth slowed to live within its means. When resources were bountiful, populations grew. By creating entitlements we are artificially supporting an entire class of people who are dooming us all. We must return to the natural order until only the truly needy are left (people born with issues that require social intervention or become truly needy due to accidents or illnesses).

The social safety net needed to deal with this new radically reduced group will be more than met with the increase in tax payers and reduction in those receiving social benefits.

This means judging people. We must make the hard choice to say who does and who does not qualify. The rules have to change.  You cannot continue to receive unemployment for 99 weeks! Some people are going to live worse off than they used to…tough!

We are in a transformational period in the world right now. The same thing has happened throughout history. The difference is back then there was not this mindset that ‘nobody can lose’. One hundred years ago we didn’t have unemployment compensation. If you lost a job you got another one or starved. How the idea of healthcare as a right ever got a foothold in this country is beyond me. Doctors provide a service, just like a plumber. Should I expect subsidized plumbing if I can’t afford it? I’m not saying we should ban the indigent from seeking health care, I’m just saying they don’t get the level of care that I would get if I can pay for it.

There are more than enough private social service providers in this country to handle the truly needy. If I wasn’t forced to give my money to a ridiculously inefficient government I’d be much more inclined to share more of it with productive, effective private organizations. And so would most of America.

Capitalism vs Socialism November 12, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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The recent draft recommendations released yesterday by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bolles on how to reduce the country’s budget deficit has lit up the political airwaves. The bi-partisan committee, appointed by Obama, has made some stunning proposals to address the financial fiasco our country is facing.

Both the Left and the Right are howling over much of what was proposed but for very different reasons. The Left sees it as a direct attack on sacrosanct entitlements and the Right feels it doesn’t begin to go far enough in tackling the problems. As a Conservative I am amazed to even see an attempt to address the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security. I am also tickled to death that the Administration is looking like it is about to capitulate on not letting the Bush tax cuts expire on January 1.

One of the reasons I think we have had so much difficulty with the latter is how the discussion has been allowed to be framed by the Left. Their perception that people of means can afford to pay more is wrong in so many ways. To begin with, the notion that just because you earn (key word) lots of money you should be taxed progressively is absurd. To think like that attacks Capitalism at its very foundation. Money is a reward. With very few exceptions if you make a lot of money you are either making someone else a lot of money or providing a good or service that others are willing to pay you handsomely for. In either situation your reward is lots of money.

To penalize anyone for their abilities defies logic and screams of unfairness in its most blatant form unless of course you’re agenda is to destroy Capitalism.

Before the arguments can be debated on the ‘fairness’ issue we have to set the ground rules for the entire debate. Of course, once that is done, the argument for progressive taxation crumples like an old suit. Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the market rather than by central planning by the government; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies.

A key sentence is: …are made by private actors in the market… The market sets the arena in which everything occurs. If a good or service is popular people pay for it and the producer is rewarded financially. If it is not, the producer is not rewarded. Smart people who invent things or develop better ways of doing them should and do become wealthy. They have earned a reward and it is theirs to do with as they see fit – period. The notion they must surrender a greater portion of their reward just because they have more to give is insane. I would argue that the richest man in the US (and world) derives the exact same benefits from his taxes as does the guy making minimum wage.

Every bureaucrat in Washington, every soldier serving this country, every government paid employee in whatever state you choose serves both of these men equally. They drive on the same roads, are served by the same postal service; the list goes on and on. So why should one pay more for the same services? To make one man pay more because he makes more is wrong. It attacks Capitalism and supports Socialism.

I had a conversation a few months back with a guy who told me with the utmost conviction that if we don’t force rich conservatives to give up their money they will never do it. I pointed out the fact that conservatives do in fact give more to charity than liberals by an overwhelming majority. He scoffed and said that couldn’t possibly be true. My conversation proved once again there is no way to argue with an idiot.

We need to paint this argument in the context of Capitalism vs Socialism. In that way we can begin defending the inevitable attack from the Left that “if we don’t take it from the rich, we will never get our fair share”. We will also call out all those libs who are really Socialists which is helpful since they just upped the bag limit on commies to two a day.