Protecting the Rich?
One of the more enduring political fairy tales is the one about how Republicans are protecting the "rich." Every time tax cuts are mentioned, in any context, or any congressional questioning of regulations that might reduce drilling for oil (just as one isolated example), this fatuous untruth is dusted off and trotted out by the Liberal-Progressive-Democrat anointed establishment.
The new term of art currently being used to describe the useful idiots who support the Democrat Party and Barack Obama is "low-information" voters. The question has to be asked: how little information must such people possess to believe this nonsense?
Does anyone, anyone at all, think that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett or T. Boone Pickens, Donald Trump or anyone else on the Forbes magazine list of the richest Americans is unable to fend for himself? Or might a reasonable person think that billionaires are fully capable of taking care of themselves? A reasonable person might also wonder what exactly such people are being protected from by Republicans. Do Republicans confer with such people and then move to destroy any competition that they might face?
Is there any evidence at all that there is political chicanery that might result in the destruction of competition to benefit a political donor?
As a matter of fact, there is at least circumstantial evidence of that very thing.
How else would you describe the repeated attempts of the Obama administration to minimize, hinder, obstruct, or even shut down the fossil fuel industry to raise the price of fossil fuel energy for the benefit of new entrants into the energy field? Take General Electric, a prime producer of wind turbines, for instance. In a truly free market, General Electric would have a hard time giving those turbines away, even if GE could stuff them into a Cracker Jack box as a prize.
That attitude permeates the government beyond the Washington Beltway as well. Many recall the episode when the police of Coralville, Iowa shut down 4-year-old Abigail Krustinger's lemonade stand after it had been up for half an hour. Are Republicans not to defend such budding entrepreneurship? Apparently, according to the defenders of massive government overreach, young Abigail is one of those "rich" who need to be regulated out of existence.
What Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and anyone else who is more interested in a strong, growing, and vibrant economy should be working to protect is not the rich, but rather, those who want to be rich. The rich-wannabes. The entrepreneur who has a new idea, just as Jobs and Gates did. The risk-takers like Buffett and Pickens.
Or perhaps Frederick W. Smith, the fellow who founded Federal Express, because he saw a need that wasn't being met, figured out a way to meet it, and is now no longer worried about his personal bills. For those who might say that Mr. Smith didn't build FedEx himself, it should be noted that no government funds were used in the start-up of Smith's enterprise. Further, in the face of any claim that the government could do an even better job than FedEx, it should also be noted that FedEx, since 2001, has handled all Express Mail and Priority Mail for the U.S. Postal Service itself. Their current contract for that service with the USPS ends in 2013. I suppose Obama will cancel that contract and replace it with the new ObamaMail that (he will explain in a major address) will be faster, cost less, and reduce the deficit, not to mention being based in Chicago and being managed by the IRS.
These are the people with ideas that can be put to use. Ideas such as those of Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. It's not always necessary that these ideas ultimately revolutionize the world. After all, someone had the idea for a hula hoop or for silly putty. Someone came up with the game Monopoly. And because of these small ideas, businesses started, people were hired, and the economy grew.
And before anyone thinks that you have to create something that has never existed before to create a successful business, let me point out that there are three things that all businesses are judged on: price, delivery, and quality. These are competition variables. When every competing business in any industry is about equal in those three areas, then the personal preferences of consumers comes into play. But there are people who look at those three variables and, even when they are told by "experts" that this is the way the business model is supposed to run, think that they have a better, smarter way to do it.
Does anyone think that Ray Kroc actually invented the hamburger and that was how he started McDonald's? Can anyone imagine that William Rosenberg was the actual inventor of the donut and that was why he started Dunkin' Donuts? How about Glen Bell, the fellow who started Taco Bell? Or Nate Sherman, who opened the first Midas Muffler shop in 1956?
Each of these individuals thought he had a better way to offer an existing product or service with either better prices, superior quality, or faster and more convenient delivery. Each of them also made history and is now among those who certainly don't need Republican politicians to protect them.
We, as a nation, as a culture, as a society, need to encourage people who have an idea and are willing to risk everything they have in order to make it work.
Taxing them for making it work, to reward those who don't have ideas, don't strive to be successful, who sometimes just can't be bothered to get out of bed and find a job, is hardly an incentive. That sort of "incentive" normally results in an attitude that could be summed up as: Why bother?
What it the result of that "Why bother?" attitude? The result is the Obama economy.
Good job, Barry.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran, and an independent voter. Jim blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.