For Good Times, Abolish Socialism, Not Billionaires

Why be a billionaire when you can be a millionaire?  Beyond a threshold that provides creature comforts, more money doesn't buy happiness, but it can induce stress.  Indeed, billionaires are rarely satisfied as they constantly strive to create more wealth.  Socialist threats to abolish them aren't nice, either.

Elizabeth Pocahontas-Warren described billionaires as freeloaders.  Bernie Sourpuss-Sanders accused them of "destroying the fabric of our country."  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says billionaires represent immorality, while one of her policy aides spouted, "Every billionaire is a policy failure."  Even Howard Schultz, ex-CEO of Starbucks and a champion of liberal causes, was denounced when he announced his presidential aspirations.

By contrast, millionaires are mollycoddled.  Since America has more millionaires than Sweden has people, they're less vilified less by sanctimonious socialists.  Presumably, millionaires represent policy success, especially since Pocahontas-Warren, Sourpuss-Sanders, Hollow-Beto, and Prickly-Pelosi are in that socioeconomic status.

Recent research demonstrates that the richer we get, the less happy we become, so I'm extra-grateful that brilliant billionaires continue to propel productivity.  Most are self-made; their industry and innovation have created a wealth creation gap.  According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, they realize just 3 percent of the value they create, while consumers reap the rest.  By imagineering new visions, by creating new products, new markets, and new jobs, they generate societal wealth that far exceeds their compensation, most of which is performance-based.

Rather than take huge salaries, the ultra-rich entrepreneurs choose to multiply their fortunes by risking capital and consummating investments in research and development.  Investments — isn't that what the spendthrift liberals are always touting?  The collective wisdom of free markets leverages capital deployment much better than the supercilious socialists and bilious bureaucrats who impose mandates.

With a modicum of self-awareness, the political purveyors of envy would quell their exuberant emotions and recognize that inequality is inherent in a system that still creates the maximum amount of prosperity for society at large.  Indeed, as this N.Y. Times op-ed points out, "[e]conomic growth pushes the rungs of the socioeconomic ladder further apart even as it lifts the ladder."  But you don't lift people up by abolishing billionaires, or tearing people at the top down; you lift people up by raising the ladder for all, and abolishing socialism.  Good times for all, indeed, but not the scurrilous socialists.

There's plenty of evidence this is happening; in fact, the ladder is darn near levitating.  Job openings are at all-time highs.  Recently, there were 7.3 million job openings but only 6.5 million people unemployed.  According to the BLS, wage growth in 2018 was 5 percent higher than 2017 and easily surpassed the consumer price index.  In particular, growth for the bottom decile is at high levels.

Contradicting the socialist mantra, lower-income Americans are particularly sanguine about economic expansion, with confidence rates at their highest since 2000.  According to the March 2019 Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey, all income groups were positive about the economy, but lower-income workers were by far the most positive as they climb the ladder.

Amid the incongruous doom of the socialist cabal, a recent Gallup poll indicates that a vast preponderance — 69% — of Americans see their finances improving during the next year.  That is corroborated by a recent Fox News poll showing that 63 percent are optimistic about the U.S. economy (compared to 49% during defeatist Obama's last full year in office).

Self-made billionaires, and unequal outcomes in general, are natural in a system that protects the exertions of talent and industry.  Nevertheless, as Edward Conrad, author of "The Upside of Inequality," points out, American middle-class incomes are 15–30% higher than the rest of the world, and America produces seven times more innovation than the rest of the world.

Initially, the Federal Reserve's easy money policies lifted assets more than workers' wages, which increased the disparity in wealth, but it was done to salvage the economy, which ultimately benefits all.  Business-friendly policies and gradual but inexorable wage growth are driving positive consumer sentiment among lower-income workers who are anticipating higher real incomes.

Now that wages are rising, the efforts by Senators Scheming-Schumer and Sourpuss-Sanders to impinge upon corporate finance by restricting stock buybacks and limiting dividends are misplaced.  Corporate interference by the real freeloaders, socialists, will ravage the large swatch of Americans who own stocks and receive dividends in their various retirement accounts.

Even as the socialists spew spurious claims about how bad things are, the U.S. consumer sentiment survey's chief economist explained the sentiment divergence between upper- and lower-income households: "The difference that accounted for the divergence was how households evaluated their personal finances, as lower income households expressed much more positive assessments."  This is not an aberration, but part of a trend going back several months as a tightening job market favors higher pay.

Perhaps to atone for monopolistic misdeeds, some billionaires seem to favor governmental interference now they've made it, but they weren't always so altruistic on their way up.  They just might be as hypocritical as their pandering political patrons.  Bill Gates, for example, projects an avuncular image now, but back in the day, Microsoft employed monopolistic practices to ruthlessly crush the competition.  Witness the Netscape browser.

Rationally, you'd think socialists would show more appreciation since the billionaires sacrifice their own contentment and leisure in search of that next increment of societal wealth.  Instead, they're irrationally consumed by envy; in the words of Margaret Thatcher, they'd "rather the poor were poorer, provided the rich were less rich."  Real policy success would be abolishing socialism.

So, why be a billionaire when you can be a mollycoddled millionaire?  If social justice warriors relished evidence-based research, they'd realize that economic growth lifts everybody in absolute terms.  It is spurred on by relentless entrepreneurs who aren't satisfied with merely being millionaires.  While the scurrilous sourpusses emphasize identity politics and demonize success, a series of economic reports and polls are decisive: our poorer workers are as optimistic about our economic growth as anyone.  Hooray, good times beckon!

Self-made billionaires are intensely competitive, and not many ever got better without competition.  We need to make high payments for success to distinguish our innovation and productivity from most of the world.  The companies they forge are also vilified, but as Oliver Munday points out in his enlightening article "Is Big Business Really That Bad?": a majority of industries remain highly competitive, the tax code has favored smaller firms, employment is steadier at larger businesses, big companies create more net jobs, they pay better and offer more time off, and they are more innovative and productive.

I'm grateful that self-made billionaires suffer persecution from the hypocritical limousine liberals.  Their wealth is mostly derived from activities, such as investments in companies and other long-term assets (taxed at lower rates than income), that are endemic to our free-market capitalism.  Meanwhile, since capitalism crushes socialism, it shouldn't take much to abolish socialism — once Millennials wake up and leave Mummy's nest.

If you experience technical problems, please write to