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OK, kids, it’s time for some truth and common sense about capitalism

July 17, 2012

These comments are partially prompted by the latest half-truth from The Current Occupant of the White House:

First, the truth: He’s right – we couldn’t be successful without the efforts of others. Since way back when Ugh invented the wheel, it has takes civilization to build civilization. I couldn’t be typing this without the discoveries of hundreds or thousands of scientists, the work of thousands of engineers, miners, chemists, and so forth just to have a computer to use.

Take a couple of minutes and listen to this commentary by Mark Levin:

Or read the original by Leonard Reed, here.

OK. You’re back? I will continue.

If you can understand what it requires to create a single pencil, you get the whole point of the truth half of Obama’s statement. But let’s use the pencil analogy a bit longer.

If you are three years old, you can use it to draw your first picture of Mommy. If you are six, you can use it to write – and learn the tremendous power of the written word. If you are sixteen, you can write your first love letter. (I hope it’s not before!) If you are twenty-two, you can write a sonnet, or calculate the wing loading of an aircraft, or record critical information about a crime that brings the perpetrator to justice, or craft a symphony.

Of course, today, we have more sophisticated tools. But I have a pencil cup on the shelf above my computer, and I use one practically every day. It is a good analogy – and Reed’s piece is much better at getting the point across than Obama.

But of course, Mr. Obama gets it wrong in how he uses these relationships in successful capitalism. He says that your hard work doesn’t matter – not that it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have the structure of modern civilization, but that it doesn’t matter – nor does your intelligence. He wants you to believe you are completely and utterly dependent upon others, particularly the government, and that without them, you would be sitting naked in a cave, cold, starving and alone.

Read any post-apocalyptic novel that shows people trying to rebuild civilization and you will understand these relationships far better. I enjoyed the Conrad Stargard series of novels by Leo Frankowski, but I understood that in reality no one man, no matter how brilliant, could lift medieval Poland into 19th-century technology in a few decades.

We stand on the shoulders of giants. What we do while we are standing there is the important thing.Obama says you can’t do anything important, so you might as well not try. You’re stupid for thinking you can, alone, make a difference. Listen to his tone in the video clip. He is not inspiring. He makes you want to hang your head and agree with him ruefully, not hold your head high and say “I can do it!”

He is attempting to build a constituency of drones – people who will blindly follow him, take the government handouts, and not cause trouble. All he needs to accomplish his aims is enough drones, misguided liberals and people who believe the country owes them something to get the thinnest of majorities, and in the electoral college, not in the popular vote.

He is working to undermine free markets, individual property rights, and individual liberty, and his disdain for all of those can be found in this one short clip.

Now the truth? Our right to owning our own property is the most important right we possess. David Upham, in this article, points out that the the protection of ownership of private property was one of the primary reasons for the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by the Constitution, as well as for the American Revolution in the first place. (Please follow the link; the importance of what Mr. Upham says to what is going on in America today cannot be exaggerated.)

Ownership of property does not just mean owning land – it means all of the fruits of our labors, whether they be land, money gained through the sale of a product or service to another, or intellectual property. The last is most likely the least understood and least preserved today, unfortunately. Yet, the intellectual property is that which can be created more by a single person than the others, by far. A novelist doesn’t need extensive tools – while a word processor is helpful, most of the greatest works of history were created using relatively much cruder tools. It is what springs from the mind of the individual, and how he can use his mind, that determines how successful he might be.

“Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.”
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

But Mr. Obama, in the clip above and in many other speeches, and it in policies he has promoted and established, has argued that this is not true. The rational mind of man is not important, only his feelings are. If you create/acquire property, the “people” in the guise of the government have a right to take of it what they deem sufficient. How much property you should have is not based on your own efforts or talents, but on restrictions placed upon you by others. The amount of property taken by the “people” is not just what is needed to maintain civilization through those efforts best accomplished by a government, but by determining how much you deserve to keep and taking all the rest. Do not believe for a moment, dear friends, that Obama’s use of the term “fair share” means anything other than punitive denial of your private property. This is more than mere Marxian socialism, and carries itself all the way to punishment for personal success, both as a means of taking more for the government’s use, but to demonstrate to the drones that the government is making life “fair.” The ability of a government to take the property of an individual at its whim is akin to slavery, friends!

The Libertarian Party – yes, them – says that once all taxes are taken into account – not just those you pay directly, but those passed on to you by the companies from which you buy – you are paying well over fifty per cent of your income in taxes. (I have read estimates as high as 80 per cent!)

This is not an anti-tax rant. I am writing to make the point that each tax and regulation passed by any government continues to erode our private property rights. Using such funds for an interstate highway system, for example, can be considered “promoting the general welfare” for defense (the reason it was built). Taking my property for any but reasons very strictly spelled out in the Constitution is theft. We have all been seduced by the prospect of getting something for nothing. Over time we have helped to erode our own rights so that finally, we have lost control of our own government.

If we wish to maintain control of our own property rights, and our own freedom, we need to make our governments more accountable. We need to vote for candidates not because of what they will give us but because of what they refuse to take away from us. Because of the freedom we have enjoyed, our economy has been able to absorb a ridiculous amount of taxation and for fifty years we have happily asked it to give us more and more. There is a limit. The goose can only lay so many golden eggs, and forcing the goose won’t help and will most likely kill the goose.

And if we kill this goose, where will we find another?



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