Green Room

Wealth Does Not Come From the Wealth Faeries

posted at 3:32 pm on July 3, 2010 by

After reading (or watching) several comments from prominent progressives over the past couple days, I’ve been asking myself if they have any idea where wealth comes from. Notice I didn’t say “money” because, really, anything that can has value and can be traded is wealth though not all of it is money (for instance, you could make furniture and trade what you make for food or a car or what have you). Nancy Pelosi got the ball running with the ridiculous statement that the unemployment benefit program “creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name”. Now, here’s Hillary Clinton musing on where we get economics wrong.

It’s important, too, that we look at how to promote broadly-based prosperity. One of the problems in societies around the world today is that too much of the productivity of the economies are going to too few. Too few people, the political and economic elite, are realizing the vast majority of benefits from economic activity.

Now, those of us who get the origin of wealth understand that prosperity only happens when people own the fruits of their labor. The principle that what you produce belongs to you and you have the absolute right to dispose of it as you wish is the cornerstone of all the wealth and wonders created in America for well over 230 years. If you noodle it through, you can easily figure out why this has so. Economic freedom is the first, and most important freedom we have. From it stems all the others (including the freedom of speech, which runs a very close second).

The reason the economic “elite” get the vast majority of benefits is because they produce the largest amount of the wealth. In other words, the man who works hard and builds a business building furniture, who has countless hours of time invested in that business, will realize a greater benefit from his investment than the man he hires to deliver the furniture to customers. That’s the way it is supposed to be. The business owner is withdrawing from the vast account of effort he has built up over the years. Why shouldn’t he benefit from his efforts more than someone who has not invested as much as he?

For most of our country’s history this has been a guiding principle of taxation and government spending. Legislators remembered that when they took your money, they were taking your time and your labor, and they considered each rise in tax and spending carefully. However, in the last 60 years or so the countervailing belief has taken over the Democratic Party and is taking hold in the Republican party as well. Here is that belief in a nutshell:

What you produce is not yours but rather goes into a vast pool of resources that must be apportioned out evenly by a handful of concerned experts, each of whom is compensated lavishly.

Do you see how egregious this belief really is? Do you see the eventual end of such a belief (hint: it ends with benign slavery)? Do you see how the well being of everyone in this country is threatened by such a belief?

Wealth does not simply appear from the thin air. It has to be created by human beings who act out of their own self-interest and have the freedom to create as much as they desire. That’s the only way it works. Without that freedom, wealth dries up and we end up like Zimbabwe.

(Cross-posted at The Sundries Shack)

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Good point, Jimmie. This is why I object to the expression “redistribution of wealth” — because wealth doesn’t “come to people” through “distribution” in the first place. Wealth is only created and earned.

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Progressives think it’s a zero-sum game. They’re only interested in carving up the existing pie differently and giving bigger slices to favored constituencies instead of growing the pie.

PatMac on July 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Zimbabwe’s economic crisis started a lot sooner than 1998.

Skandia Recluse on July 3, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Do you see the eventual end of such a belief (hint: it ends with benign slavery)?

Actually, that’s the second-to-last step.

RINO in Name Only on July 3, 2010 at 8:40 PM

“Too few people, the political and economic elite, are realizing the vast majority of benefits from economic activity.”

Oh, you mean YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND who made over 100 MILLION post presidency?”

SHUT YER PIE HOLE and give it all away to the folks who “aren’t getting any” then!

If you aren’t able to that then STFU!

You want OTHERS to give THEIRS away or else STATISTS like you and this buffoon we call president and his thug friends will confiscate it and “redistribute” it away to his “chosen people”.

FU!

Opposite Day on July 4, 2010 at 3:57 AM

This post has been promoted to HotAir.com.

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2010 at 1:01 PM


HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

Fixing crime in America is a complicated issue

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 8:31 PM
Top Pick

Cops alone won’t solve it.

Top Pick

Victim’s father was President Maduro’s supervisor back when he was a bus driver.

Democrats forgot all about the “era of good feelings”

“Bernie and Jane Sanders have lawyered up.”

“the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey.”

Winning isn’t everything. It is the only thing

Trump signs VA reform bill into law

John Sexton Jun 23, 2017 2:41 PM

“What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls.”

A new era of something.

“…died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S.”

The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve”

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 12:11 PM

Pragmatism for the sake of pragmatism doesn’t always work.

Perhaps if you threw in a new car?

Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 10:31 AM

More, but not as quickly.

Should’ve stuck with the pirate gig. It was working for him

The battle for the rubble of Raqqa is underway

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 8:51 AM

Won’t be much left.

Your list of demands is a publicity stunt

“what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives…”

“The jobs are still leaving. Nothing has stopped.”

Bad vendor. Bad! No cookie!

“The Corps is just starting to grapple with the issues the court has identified.”

“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying?”

Why would we possibly want that?

“I mean he sold our country to The Russians.”

I could think of someone else you might want to ask about…

“You can ask a hundred people what hate speech is and you get a thousand different answers”

Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey

Allahpundit Jun 22, 2017 2:01 PM

Bluff.

Hackers stole private data from election databases

John Sexton Jun 22, 2017 1:21 PM

“90,000 records stolen by Russian state actors contained drivers license numbers”

Failure to protect the city

Big man on the Middle Eastern campus

Biased Americans see media as biased.

Tough times down on the liberal ranch

Will Nancy Pelosi survive this latest Dem disaster?

Andrew Malcolm Jun 22, 2017 8:41 AM

Eat quick, before it’s gone.

Slow your roll, boss

“I’m bothered by the lack of emerging evidence…”

FIrst look at the Senate health bill

John Sexton Jun 21, 2017 9:21 PM

“the Senate bill would go farther than the House version in its approach to cutting Medicaid spending.”

Divide and conquer?