Making Too Much Money?

In an interview in Investor's Business Daily on August 13, 2012, Mitch McConnell said: "We have an administration that believes if you are making a profit you are up to no good. You must be cheating your customers or mistreating your employees or both.

"I just met a guy who was running a medium-size business. He said, 'We never had much to do with regulators, but we had one show up recently.' He said they came out just fine, which caused the business owner to ask, 'Why are you here?' And (the regulator) said, 'Mister, you are making too much money.'"

Making too much money?  I'll bet there's no such thing as too much money when the administration asks for campaign contributions, or for the worker who wants a raise, or for the church that asks for donations.  Funny how that works.

The notion that a business is making too much money is disgusting, but it is not at all surprising.  Americans have long bought into the notion that money is evil, so is it any wonder that our government is now working to rid us of it?  But money is good.  It is simply a medium of exchange used when men trade with each other.  If someone has earned a lot of money, it means that he produced a product or a service that a lot of other people wanted.  What is wrong with that?

Wealth doesn't just spring out of nowhere; it has to be created.  The wealth of a country is measured in the products and services that have been produced.  It isn't measured in dollars.  It wouldn't matter how much money I had; I could bring millions of dollars to the moon, and I wouldn't be wealthy.  What would I buy with all that money?

What about people who obtain their money through theft or deceit?  Isn't money evil in that case?  No.  Just like guns are not the cause of mass murders, neither is money the cause of thieves or crooks.  It is the action that is evil.  Behind every action, there is a person responsible for that action.

In order to restore our great country, we have to not only defend the correct principles upon which it was founded, but also challenge the bad philosophical premises that are undermining it -- that people who take risks, work hard, and provide good products and services are making too much money.

Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota.  She has been involved in the study of philosophy since 1970.