Saturday, October 22, 2011

Economics 101: Bernard Goldberg on Wealth Re-Distribution

Bernard Goldberg comments on the Occupy movement, and states the obvious. It bears repeating for all those people who think government is the solution to poverty:

A man says, “There’s a class war going on in this country. We’re the richest country in the world, and we have the most inequality between the rich and the working people and the poor.” Well, yes. Of course. That is an inevitable byproduct of a society where a man is allowed to rise as high as his abilities and talents will take him. Some people will always do better than others, and because becoming rich is hard work, there will always be many more poor than rich. How else would they like it to be?

Glad you asked. Our friends in Oakland would have you believe that if government brought the rich down to the level of the poor, and redistributed the pilfered cash among the proletariat, the distribution of wealth would finally become fair. More questions: (1) For how many years do they think this is possible? Once you’re in the business of collecting all excess wealth, what is the incentive to create a dollar above the level deemed excessive? In the name of brotherhood we’ll say that some of the formerly rich will stick out for awhile, but at some point you’re going to bump up against diminishing returns, and then what do you do, when there’s nothing left to redistribute?

Make more money? You can't if people are discouraged from making profit.

I remember my days in the NDP. One of the big casse-tĂȘte was wealth creation. I remember sitting around with my fellow comrades trying to come up with ways to create wealth without relying on the capitalist system. The only other alternative appeared to be co-ops.

The problem with co-ops if you don't get to do things your way. Do you want to put in ridiculous hours into a business where you don't control the profits or the agenda? Maybe you might want to do it out of social engagement-- and I think that's fine. But most people start businesses to make money off and implement their own vision.

Capitalism has its disadvantages, but economic freedom is still the best thing going, notwithstanding its flaws.

And oh yeah:

Sooner or later, our Oakland classists would get to the ugly truth: Poor people don’t make the world work. There are plenty of countries that behave exactly as they would like America to behave; they could live in one, if they really wanted.

You want to make the world work? Start your own business and do things better than your competition.