The Left's Bogeyman

One of the lefts' favorite aspirations is to increase taxes on the "wealthy" out of "fairness." They say the current astronomical deficits being run by the government need additional taxes to help solve. As has been pointed out repeatedly, there is no amount of additional taxation that would make a dent in the size of the federal current deficit, never mind the national debt. But from the left's perspective, that's beside the point. They believe that it's government's job to enforce equality by making people more or less equal in wealth. Income redistribution is, they believe, the tool that will confiscate money from the haves and give it to the have less's. They believe that you only need a certain amount of money and any amount after that should be taken from you on principle and given away, preferably to someone who will vote Democrat.

Consider the case of the housing price bubble. As housing prices boomed, most homeowners could not realize a profit unless they sold the house or tapped into the rising equity. Not so the government. As assessments rose, so did the property tax. It didn't matter if a homeowner realized no profit from the rise in equity because the house wasn't sold, the government raised the property taxes on the home anyway. You might say the government benefited from a windfall profit. Of course, the housing bubble burst, but have property taxes decreased? Or has government decided they "need" the extra money to meet the inflated expenses incurred when a larger revenue stream was pouring in?

The difference between corporate greed and government greed is that corporations depend on providing a quality good or service that you voluntarily purchase. To make more money, a corporation has to satisfy more of your wants and needs while keeping costs low. If it can't deliver a decent product, some other corporation will. The government, on the other hand, may or may not deliver a product worth the taxes taken to pay for it. Nor does the government have to ask you to buy their product. It's mandatory. And if the government fails to deliver, there is no other government you can go to instead. It's a greedy monopoly that even a leftist should be able to recognize.

The left feels no inhibitions about taking the money from anyone who has it for redistribution to those who don't. This is deemed to be morally positive since, in Biblical terms, we are our brothers' keepers. The socialist can feel good knowing that he has improved the state of society despite that fact that if a private person took money from one person by force and gave it to another, it would be termed robbery and seen as immoral. But, then, most of what government does would be considered immoral if done by the individual. Taxes are theft. Mandatory national service is indentured servitude. Monetary policy is counterfeiting. State lotteries are gambling. And so it goes. Victimizing the individual is moral if done for the "common good" because that's what they believe government should do, sacrifice the individual for the good of the collective.

The governments need for greed, however, has three problems. One is to ensure that its edicts and policies are obeyed, especially by those who are victimized by them. Bureaucracies are typically heavy handed and lead to ever increasing onerous regulations and penalties. Sometimes they exceed even a soft tyranny and become quite repressive. The next is how to administer and manage millions of transactions that are easily made between economic units (citizens) at the lowest level. How does the state gain sufficient knowledge to create and adjust production appropriately. After all, with profits, if something isn't producing a benefit to society, profits disappear and in creative destruction, production ceases, resources are conserved, and investments are made into something with more promise. What's more, if the idea doesn't work, nobody but the investors are hurt. When a government creates a disastrous economic or other policy, the entire country suffers. The last problem is how to pay for the welfare state. The two are linked because if you consistently steal from the productive person to give to the unproductive person, the producer shuts down, and then your programs decline. You can only squeeze so much money out of those who actually, through their investments and entrepreneurship, keep the engine of the economy running.

So, destroying corporations or absorbing them into the borg, aka, the government, would and always has, resulted in economic disaster. Anyone with even a modicum of awareness knows that socialistic states are repressive, lack economic vitality, and generate poverty because of their desire to equalize all economic outcomes. Yet, the left does have a valid point that state capitalism, aka, crony capitalism or fascism does lead to distorted and sometimes dangerous policies. But rather than destroying the economic system to rein in corporate abuses, the answer may be, instead, to sever the connection between government and corporations by abrogating the state's role in managing the economy. A minimum level of regulation necessary to prevent fraud and ensure safety is all that is required of good government. More government greed results in a reduction of liberty, a distortion of the market and a diminishing of our prosperity.

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