Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

I Hate Poverty, Not Its Victims. Or, Let Capitalism Win

In Opinion on January 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Of late, I’ve heard a lot of commentary about entitlements and the dependency it engenders. There is also a rising level of resentment among the benefactors, a.k.a. tax-payers, a.k.a. the rich who are not ‘paying their fair share.’ Some of those free-loading tax-payers are expressing their resentment vocally and with vitriol – STOP TAKING MY HARD-EARNED MONEY AND GIVING IT TO A BUNCH OF DEADBEATS.  I WANT TO PAY LESS TAXES!!!!

This way of stating a public policy position insinuates that the payers hate the beneficiaries of government largesse. Then the ‘other side’ spreads that misconstrued message, spreads that lie, so the payers get dismissed from the discussion as greedy bastards or some other lowly, evil being like a TeaBagger or a Fox News fan. That leaves the beneficent government takers in a monologue version of campaigning, and with their monopoly over the message and policy making, they buy votes with handouts we hate, paid for with the tax money they confiscate.

Clearly, we’re losing the debate; free Americans need to rethink our approach. Free Americans don’t hate the poor; we hate poverty and it’s effects, direct and consequential, on life and lives.  Further, we know that the direction the governing elite is taking us invariably results in more poverty, so we’re pissed. (Oh, and being pissed looks horrible on TV, so then we’re really, really the fat-cats who don’t deserve a voice, because we are the idiots who caused the mess in the first place with the bonuses and the private jets and the stock options and the derivatives and the vulture capital firms and and and. “THEY GOT THE BAIL-OUTS, NOW IT’S OUR TURN!! TAX THE RICH!”)

The people who are paying for the entitlement programs are not devoid of compassion, they just don’t want Harry Reid and John Boehner deciding what is or isn’t a good way to dispose of their goodwill. Free men and women love life. They do not seek to create more poverty, while yearning for the day when they’ve bested an ever-increasing number of downtrodden souls, standing astride a pile of corpses declaring “At last, no more poor people to bother me.” Free men and women want the poor to be lifted out of poverty, just not by way of a government hand-out.  They want them to thrive, to live, to produce.

That desire to improve lives is not driven by compassion alone. It is also driven by an abiding, innate and profound love of LIFE and what those productive LIVERs can do. We love what they can do for themselves and, in turn, for US. I realized recently that everyone else’s freedom and success are at least as important to me as my own (see also Frederick HayekThe Constitution of Liberty). I would never have thought to create FedEx, cheeseburgers or the iPad. I’m very glad other free men did, since no government bureaucrat would have thought to requisition any of those miracles into existence.  (See also Post Office.)

I think there’s a better way to conduct this discussion. Let’s try. It’s only a fight if two sides are fighting, and there are few Americans I want to beat and not a one that I will hate, ever. I won’t agree with, say, Barack Obama, because then we’d both be wrong, but I can win without there ever being a loser or someone to pity.

We can win with the truth. We win by assuming victory and living our lives accordingly – without subsidizing theirs. We will shun the collectivists, socialists and progressives. If they choose to organize their lives around those -isms, then they will either starve or soon join us, our welcoming arms open, since they will have learned the evil, inhumane, destructive nature of their philosophies. Eventually they join us because the only men who ever voluntarily gave their lives for a cause, died for freedom or for the love of someone without whom they could not bear to live. No one ever fought or died for a lie.

The solution is not a political one, it’s this: Let Capitalism Save Capitalism.

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