In Paul Krugman’s recent column (NY Times link here) he makes the point that the Occupy Wall Street crowd should be going after an even smaller slice of the population, the top 0.1% – maybe he figured out he’s in the 1.0%, huh? He wants to tax the sh^* out of the super rich so as to make economic outcomes and wealth/income distribution more balanced and fair.
I’m not sure how a journalist with access to the vast research capabilities of the NY Times could fail to investigate the mathematics of such a loony idea, but we’ll address that another time.
Instead, consider this. One assumes that Mr. Krugman’s well documented support of more government spending (how else to dispense with all that money he wants to confiscate from evil rich fat-cats) would be one of the methods he would employ to generate income balance and fairness. How does he conclude that concentrating more economic power in the hands of the federal government – 535 men & women + the POTUS – would accomplish that objective? (Isn’t 536/300,000,000 smaller than 1.0%?) Can Mr. Krugman name one example in all of human history where concentration of that much power in the hands of government (or any other group) did not lead to totalitarian, tyrannical control of the population. Has it ever happened that way – has giving more power to government ever benefited the ‘weak’ or does it invariably entrench the powerful?
The answer? Disperse power AWAY from government and into the hands of as many free people as possible, and you make men and women more free. And, free men and women, in turn, do enormously good things with the fruits of their labor. More to the point, the government, unlike free men and women, has no heart and no mind. Government is merely an instrument or tool of power and the powerful – nothing else. It can not do good things, it can only do what the politically powerful want it to do, and only occasionally, and even then only incidentally, are those things good.
I posit that only vile men want to control the lives of other men. Further, notwithstanding conventional wisdom, it is not possible to outsource your compassion, your acts of charity, to the government. To imbue the government with human traits, feelings and motives is the first step toward totalitarian rule. A government empowered to do ‘good’ things can have no practical or logical limits on its powers. The power to do good must, by its nature, be absolute. In time, good will come to mean whatever the the invariably vile men in charge tell you it means.
Which men and women do you trust to define “good” for you? I am free to define it myself. Are you?