The war between makers and takers

Thomas Lifson
Modern autocrats love the idea of high taxes on those who produce wealth, and income redistribution to those who don't. The reason is simple: dependence on a check from the government breeds support for an ever-bigger, ever higher-taxing government. Robbing Peter to pay Paul makes Paul a loyal supporter. President Obama understands this very well.

An earlier democratically elected president of another country also understood this very well. Juan Peron, who promised to improve the lot of the poor in Argentina, managed to tax and spend Argentina from one of the richest countries in the world in the early 20th century into borderline third world status, warping its politics for decades, unto the present.

Historian Arthur Herman examines the supermarket riots that have wracked Argentina, and sees grim implication for America:

Consider this story from the Wall Street Journal a few days before Christmas:

"Thousands of people in several Argentine cities ransacked supermarkets for a second day in the latest challenge to President Chistina Kirchner, who is struggling to revive a weak economy...In the central city Rosario, two people were killed during the incidents and 137 people arrested.

 "The violence puts Mrs. Kirchner in a difficult position as the poor are [her] core constituents...Her government spends billions of dollars a year to help low income families, including free health care...[Yet] Argentine activists who claim to represent the poor traditionally block access to supermarkets in the month of December to demand free food and other items...The latest events were some of the worst acts of looting and vandalism in years.... Local media showed dozens of men, women, and children hauling away televisions, refrigerators, and food."

Some have said my warnings about a coming civil war between makers and takers are exaggerated. It's true that Argentina's politicians have been waging class warfare since Juan and Eva Peron-and they aren't fazed when it turns bloody. Obama and the Democrats are relative newcomers to the game. But Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation's wealth get mugged by those who spend it-as just happened this week in Washington.

While the 47% of Americans receioving government checks are far from revolutionaries (my colleague Rick Moran rightly points out most are retired makers who vote Republican), the forces of autocracy do not need the support of an arithmetical majority. For them, a revolutionary vanguard of people willing to riot and take what they want because they reject the legitimacy of property itself is enough.

The path of bleeding the makers to feed the takers leads to a future that looks very much like Argentina. Is that really what most Oama voters want?

Modern autocrats love the idea of high taxes on those who produce wealth, and income redistribution to those who don't. The reason is simple: dependence on a check from the government breeds support for an ever-bigger, ever higher-taxing government. Robbing Peter to pay Paul makes Paul a loyal supporter. President Obama understands this very well.

An earlier democratically elected president of another country also understood this very well. Juan Peron, who promised to improve the lot of the poor in Argentina, managed to tax and spend Argentina from one of the richest countries in the world in the early 20th century into borderline third world status, warping its politics for decades, unto the present.

Historian Arthur Herman examines the supermarket riots that have wracked Argentina, and sees grim implication for America:

Consider this story from the Wall Street Journal a few days before Christmas:

"Thousands of people in several Argentine cities ransacked supermarkets for a second day in the latest challenge to President Chistina Kirchner, who is struggling to revive a weak economy...In the central city Rosario, two people were killed during the incidents and 137 people arrested.

 "The violence puts Mrs. Kirchner in a difficult position as the poor are [her] core constituents...Her government spends billions of dollars a year to help low income families, including free health care...[Yet] Argentine activists who claim to represent the poor traditionally block access to supermarkets in the month of December to demand free food and other items...The latest events were some of the worst acts of looting and vandalism in years.... Local media showed dozens of men, women, and children hauling away televisions, refrigerators, and food."

Some have said my warnings about a coming civil war between makers and takers are exaggerated. It's true that Argentina's politicians have been waging class warfare since Juan and Eva Peron-and they aren't fazed when it turns bloody. Obama and the Democrats are relative newcomers to the game. But Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation's wealth get mugged by those who spend it-as just happened this week in Washington.

While the 47% of Americans receioving government checks are far from revolutionaries (my colleague Rick Moran rightly points out most are retired makers who vote Republican), the forces of autocracy do not need the support of an arithmetical majority. For them, a revolutionary vanguard of people willing to riot and take what they want because they reject the legitimacy of property itself is enough.

The path of bleeding the makers to feed the takers leads to a future that looks very much like Argentina. Is that really what most Oama voters want?