Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Moral Value of Effort

By Tom Rhodes, 12/7/2011

Imagine you are a mildly disabled couple with no employment, if you apply you are currently eligible to receive more than $1,200 a month in public housing vouchers, plus state and government disability checks and food stamps. Not only is there is no requirement to show your net worth and assets, but they are not considered, the only thing considered to be eligible is your income. Wages not wealth are what we tax, and use measure a person's ability to pay.

Wages are not considered a person's own but your labor is considered the government's who determines what part of those wages you are allowed to keep. Our whole system is based on taxing the labor of those who work; it is assumed if you don't work you have no access to money. This is why the average person living on welfare has color TV, Cable, AC and Heat, Microwaves, a car, and lives in an apartment or house with more square feet per person than the average middle class European. Significant numbers of people on welfare are better off living on the dole than trying to live on the wages commensurate with their skills, and can and do live without working better than if they worked, the incentive to work and increase their skills is not there. We reward those with no skills or ambition. This is not to say that there are not people truly in need, but that number is far less than the numbers of people who actually live on the dole.

Actually being needy is not a requirement for government "charity." Consider this couple, they live in a million dollar mansion, etc, and have huge amounts of accumulated wealth, can afford to give to charity and travel the world, yet receive tens of thousands of dollars from the government a year because their income indicates that they live in poverty. No not everybody is abusing the system this much, but why are we giving money to anybody who can support themselves but won't. Our current welfare system is immoral.

The reason why the US and Germany are arguably the most successful in the world, is they share as societies a basic moral value. These values can be summed up as follows: Effort should lead to reward as often as possible. People who work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at prosperity but not a guarantee. People should be rewarded monetarily based on enterprise, merit, and effort. People should be rewarded for exercising self-control while sloth and envy should not be rewarded. Our government and other institutions should nurture responsibility and fairness and shame irresponsibility and favoritism.

However there are a large group of people who see things through poorly shaded lenses that cloud their vision with an image of a permanent class war. They do not think it matters how people conduct themselves, they only consider the final outcome of who has and does not have wealth. Rather than expect a person to be self-reliant they assume any person who does not have wealth is poor because a person of wealth purposefully withheld either opportunity or property. They do not consider the effort put into creating and accumulating wealth to have any more value than breathing. These people are generally liberals, progressives, leftists, socialists, etc, and all firmly believe that resistance to redistribution of wealth is greed and avarice and treated with outrage.

Our current financial crisis came from bankers buying off politicians and both getting rich off of securing mortgages to people who were not qualified to repay them. Even now the government is requiring banks to grant loans to people who cannot repay them, in order to be "fair." We still reward sloth and envy those who legally acquire wealth. We know this yet, the left, our press, the government, and the banks refuse to even talk about letting the people who caused the crisis to be held responsible. Our massive debt is the problem, not a lack of taxes, yet the left never even considers any strategy to unwind the gigantic debt buildup. Because the basic structural problems plaguing our economy are not attended to, nor does our current leadership, regardless of party, appear to be willing to address them, as we currently see, the result is that the United States suffering from a horrible crisis of trust. The result of this lack of trust is crippling slowdown in growth, a paralyzed government, and the strangest direction of politics in modern history.

Business is sitting on massive wealth, but will not invest it because the uncertainty of whether they will be allowed to grow those investments. If investment and labor cannot be reasonably assured to produce prosperity, while government cronyism and theft are visibly rewarded and while we routinely provide for those who can but don't provide for themselves, you cannot expect people to work and invest with such uncertainty and obvious moral corruption. The very moral fabric that created the most prosperous and generous country the world has ever seen is being torn apart by power hungry collectivists who seek to redistribute the wealth of this nation not based on the idea that effort should lead to reward as often as possible, but based on the idea that regardless of effort everybody should receive the same rewards, and the ruling elite should receive a lot more.

We cannot subsidize behaviors that make us poorer, and penalize behaviors that make us richer and expect people to choose to behave in a manner that enriches themselves and the country. If you want people who have legally acquired wealth, to invest that wealth (not hoard and protect it), you cannot penalize the profits from investing and take away the fruits of their labor to such an extent that they are better off doing nothing with their labor and wealth than they are to exploit both for their and their communities betterment. Why would a person or company make an investment whose efforts are taxed to such an extent that if they simply purchased gold or other commodity and did nothing, they would make more off the increase in value due to inflation, than the profits from investing?

Here is an example; we need massive expansion to our aging power grid. Power companies are regulated extensively but guaranteed a profit (about 10%). If you have money to invest and after you pay the taxes on your dividends the real profit from investing in a power company is a modest but because power companies are government protected monopolies such investments are fairly safe. This investment would allow the power company to expand and make improvements. Now if you invested that same money in gold, you have an even safer haven for your wealth and the return is greater than the investing in a power company. There is not growth, but the wealth is protected against inflation; the growth and payout from the power company doesn't even cover real inflation. Obviously the incentive is no longer to invest but to protect wealth and assets. It is the government regulation that severely restricts the profit that can be made by power companies, and takes the profit that can be made by investors, and inflates the value of dollars, which has made conditions such that those with wealth are better off sitting on it that putting it to work. Since we now punish people who invest and work hard, and reward hoarding wealth and doing nothing, people are no longer investing and working hard, but are doing everything they can to protect what assets (wealth) they have.

Eliminating those who would protect the very moral fabric of our society is essential for liberals and the Wall Street - Government Complex. The ruling elite do not garner wealth through effort but by graft. They make the less fortunate dependent upon the largess of the ruling elite to buy their votes so they may remain in power and suck the wealth and labor from those who labor. Explain why congress and its employees are exempt from insider trading laws. Explain why the ruling elite guaranteed known bad mortgages, and rewarded bankers and themselves with massive amounts of money at the expense of the taxpayer. Explain why it is acceptable to have generations of people living on the dole. Explain why with more and more spending and more and more government control that the actual output of government education continues to get worse not better, especially for those who live dependent upon the government for their every need. Explain why they have restructured and tried to change the purpose of government to supply the needs of everybody, rather than provide protection for the rights of all individuals equally. Explain why we reward sloth and envy and punish self-reliance and effort. Obviously those who would return the US to a system where effort, enterprise, productivity, and self-discipline were rewarded and bad governance, sloth, and envy were not rewarding, would result in the ruling elite losing both wealth and power. The protection of individual liberty, although historically prove to enhancing a societies overall wealth and well being, diminishes central control and power, the ruling elite would rather all lose liberty than they have less power.

It took a little while longer than I expected but the ruling elite in DC have succeeded in eliminating or silencing all the presidential candidates who are willing to address the true problems facing this country. Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, and all the third party candidates have effectively been disqualified by the media and ruling elite in Washington. Even though Ron Paul, is still taking 2nd place in polls, and the people resonate with his message, the press and ruling elite will not address the issues he and others running who represent half of Americans who don't live off the government. All these candidates the collectivists don't want you exposed to share a common belief. They believe it is moral and just, and have a willingness, to hold the government accountable for its spending and seek to reestablish the basic moral formula that made this country great, based on moral values that has historically proven to provide the highest standard of living for the most people, a moral formula that so called progressives hate and refuse to acknowledge or address. That moral formula is simple, Effort should lead to reward as often as possible.

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