Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Equality at All Costs: Obama's Long March Downward

Politicians, pundits, academics, and journalists speak about "equality" as if it were something to be proud of, something good! Well, it is possible to achieve equality. Writer Kurt Vonnegut showed the way back in 1961:
In that brave, new world, the government forced each individual to wear “handicaps” to offset any advantage they had, so that everyone could be truly and fully equal. Beautiful people had to wear ugly masks to hide their good looks. The strong had to wear compensating weights to slow them down. Graceful dancers were burdened with bags of birdshot. Those with above average intelligence had to wear government transmitters in their ears that would emit sharp noises every 20 seconds, shattering their thoughts “to keep them… from taking unfair advantage of their brains.” _Forbes
This is not so very different from the approach that Obama's regime has been taking toward achieving an American equality.
...in all those societies that have tried to enforce the more extreme vision of mandatory equality, totalitarian governments have emerged, trying to enforce that vision on all. A thoroughgoing government structure must develop to impose and enforce social control on the most productive, or on any potential outbreak of “excess” productivity.

We can see as well that this vision of equality is not actually fair. It is not fair to the beautiful to force them to wear ugly masks. It is not fair to the productive to deprive them of what they have produced, merely to make them equal to others who have produced less. As Vonnegut’s story shows, putting social limits on the success that people are allowed to achieve with their own talents and abilities makes for an ugly society, harshly restrictive on its best lights who have the most actually to give to the benefit of all.

Finally, this vision of equality as a social goal, with equal incomes and wealth for all, is severely counterproductive economically, and so makes for a poor society as well. Pursuing such a vision would require very high marginal tax rates on anyone with above average production, income and wealth, which experience as well as theory shows us leads to less production.

If income and wealth is going to be equalized, why would anyone save or invest? Savings and investment just adds to wealth, and wealth is anti-social under a social justice regime of equal wealth for all. Indeed, the only rational strategy for everyone under such a regime is to consume all income and not save or invest anything. For anyone who saves and invests more than others will see that savings and investment expropriated, and anyone who saves and invests less than others will be rewarded with a grant from the government to make their savings equal to all others.

The only difference between the prosperity of modern industrial society and the subsistence living of cavemen is savings and investment. All the tools and equipment that enable us to produce more than what was enjoyed during caveman days come from investment, made possible by savings.

Under a social justice regime of equal income and wealth for all, there would be no reason for anyone even to work. If you work more than others, and earn more income as a result, the above average results of all that work would be expropriated. If you don’t work at all, then you would receive a grant from whatever government might possibly be functioning so that you still consumed the same average amount of goods and services as everyone else. _Forbes
Many modern-day US government policies are almost identical to Kurt Vonnegut's depictions of forced equality in "Harrison Bergeron." Under a regime such as Obama's, such policies only tend to grow more draconian and vampirish -- sucking a society's underlying strengths dry, until it is incapable of propelling itself without the dictates of its government overlords.

Mr. Obama has been most friendly toward the governments of China, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. He has been most unfriendly toward the UK, Israel, Europe in general, Australia, Canada, and the private sector of the US.

You can tell a lot about where a leader wants to take his country from those he admires (and wishes to imitate) and those he openly despises.

1 comment:

horos22 said...

oh come on guys..

Sure, it's not 'fair to force the beautiful to wear ugly masks', but just look at the status of wealth in america:


It is ridiculous to think that the top 1% of americans got over 50% of the stocks, bonds, and mutual funds due to sheer acumen.

What's more likely is that money accumulates naturally around certain people, like nodes in a graph. If there are policies that make positive reinforcement loops in the nodes on a graph (ie: make certain nodes 'collectors'), then people will make money simply because they have money and are in the right place on that graph.

So, yeah I think that it is time for the people who have fared *very* well to give back to the infrastructure of this country (which they have been using, like walmart, as a way to shove costs from private hands into the public - tragedy of the commons writ large), and to allow the poorer of us to have a safety net.

Oh yeah, and whilst we are at it, I see that this site hasn't mentioned the 4 trillion dollar spending cuts that obama has proposed.

Doesn't quite fit the narrative, eh? I personally think - aside from energy issues (and yes, that's a big aside) - president obama is stuck in a situation that has been rotting in washington over the last 30 years, and that NO ONE will be able to intervene to save America's hegemon.

And frankly, I think we deserve it. For most americans are a bunch of entitled, selfish idiots, and that a slap on the backside is what we need. It truly sucks though that we are going to have to live through it though, the next 20 years aren't going to be pretty.