Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Schadenfreude Masquerades as Moral Action

It’s true that one’s perspective, one’s framework, limits one’s thinking.

For the life of me, I have not been able to understand how the “liberals” – many of them my friends – are not bothered by the exploding of government expenditure, deficits and national debt that we are witnessing. It seems self-evident to me that this is not only economically catastrophic, but also patently immoral. Why do they not share my concern and my moral outrage at the shouldering of future workers and future generations with mountains of debt? What am I missing?

I think it's not only stupidity on my part, it’s basically a lack of imagination. I don’t see things the way they do because I do not share their framework of resentment, their commitment to the notion of “equality of outcomes” – commitment to the eradication of social disparities – of gaps. An editorial in today’s WSJ suggested to me the answer.

Unconsciously or consciously this may be a strategy to increase taxation. First you lead with spending, then you follow with the unavoidable requirement to raise taxes to pay for it. “Don’t worry, government will take care of it. As long as the right people are in charge. They will tax the rich to pay for the these important social programs. Taxing the rich is a good thing!” Where I feel moral outrage, they feel the assuaging of their resentment against wealth. Taxing the rich brings a nice warm feeling. Schadenfreude masquerades as moral action.

It's maddening, but it’s also stupid. The “rich” are the only ones who really create jobs – by creating value. Government creation of jobs is an illusion. Government is a parasite. It cannot exist unless the private sector creates value that can be taxed. Taxation is the manifestation of the parasitic relationship. What happens when the parasite grows too big? Yes, Johnny it kills or debilitates the host. Not rocket science.

The evidence is overwhelming, despite those of you who want to deny it. Those economies with high levels of taxation have low rates or growth, high rates of unemployment, low rates of innovation, high rates of welfare-dependency and poverty, low levels of direct capital inflow, etc. High levels of taxation nearly destroyed the British economy prior to Thatcher and threatens to do so again. High levels of taxation WILL destroy the American economy as we know it. For God’s sake wake up!! This is no small matter.

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