Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why -- The Rich – The Poor

It seems that everyday we are regaled by some well meaning liberal about the evils of the rich, the unfairness of wealth, the unfairness of poverty, and demands that the government do something to eliminate poverty.  What seems to be lacking is any question regarding the poor and how they got to be poor.  Certainly there are the “haves” and the “have not’s” in America but to classify these as those who have and those who don’t is a mistake.  The proper classifications are those that work and those that don’t, those that do and those that don’t.   We have those who obey the law, who support themselves and their families, and those who don’t.  The discussion shouldn’t be about income inequality but about personal and civic responsibility.

The political left focus on what they see as “income inequality” because some people make a great deal more than others and that isn’t “fair”.  For them the government should act as referee and level the playing field in effect the government should play Robin Hood and take from the rich and give to the poor, even though the poor have done nothing to earn it.  For the political left people should not be held accountable for their decisions if those decisions leave them in poverty, instead the government should redistribute the wealth more equitably. 

There is an irony here because this is a philosophy that is destroying America but the irony is that rather than helping the poor, it is actually locking them into a life of poverty and dependence on the government.  In effect this effort at redistribution of wealth does not benefit the poor but instead benefits the politicians and their power base.  It is a deviation of the basic value system that built America and simple common sense because it promises a level of material success that in not only not earned but cannot realistically be achieved.

The well meaning liberals have not empowered the poor as intended but have enslaved and trapped them into a life of dependence and entitlement, a life as a victim of society without hope of things ever getting better.  The idea that income equality can be achieved by taking from the successful and giving it to the poor is flawed at the outset.  It penalizes the hardworking successful individual who has made good life decisions while rewarding those who have made poor choices and decisions.  The reality is that each of us leads a life built upon choices and decisions.  When we make good decisions and choices these lead to rewards but when we choose poorly the results lead to failure and disappointment.  Of course through hard work and effort the effects of these poor choices and decisions can be reversed, but when the government steps in and attempts to mitigate the consequences of these bad decisions, dependence, disappointment, and poverty are the result.

It only requires a minimum effort to see that success and failure manifest themselves in family income.  Those who choose to drop out of high school, who have children prematurely and out of wedlock, have a greater possibility of living a life marked by failures, low incomes, and disappointment.  But those who finish high school, finish college, and dedicate themselves to work and self improvement have higher incomes and success.  The fact is that our futures are determined by our choices.

There is no doubt but that there is income inequality.  Income is tied directly to effort with those making the most effort having the highest incomes and those with the least having the lowest.  However, it is the effort and sacrifice that is the determinant not the education.  A bus boy at 16 can – through hard work become a waiter, then perhaps a co-owner of the restaurant, and eventually the owner of multiple restaurants and wealthy.  Another boy at 16 might choose to study and aim for a top university and a medical degree leading to a specialty and a high income.  Both boys become wealthy and successful husbands and fathers whose success was determined by their effort and dedication to a goal.  But another boy goofs off in school, doesn’t continue his education, gets a job as a laborer, has a couple of kids by different women, cannot maintain child support payments, and never seems able to get ahead and becomes dependent on the government. The inequality was in effort which led to negative outcomes and inequality of income.

The question then becomes “does the government have the moral right to take the wealth from the successful and distribute it to the unsuccessful in the form of government handouts?  While those who wish to take care of the poor by taking the wealth from one group and giving it to another may make them think they are doing the right thing, the reality is they are taking away the dignity, motivation, and freedom from those they wish to help.  The inequality of income is tied directly to the inequality of effort.  Government programs designed compensate for this inequality of effort fail because they make no demands on those they wish to help.  In effect they offset the lack of effort by making no attempt to motivate those they wish to help by motivating them to make greater efforts to become independent and self-sufficient. 

There is no easy path to success but there is an easy path to failure.  Everyone has the freedom to succeed just as through decisions and choices they have the freedom to fail.  The stark reality is that the harder you work the greater the rewards and government programs intended to thwart that simple fact, do not work and instead lock those they intend to help into a life of poverty.













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