Sharing the wealth around

Can it really be 'shared prosperity' if it's directed by force?

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In the understandable hubbub of Joe Biden’s goofiness and outrageousness this week, a more important story quickly came and went in the breakneck news cycle.

President Obama recently asked, “Do we go forward towards a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared?”

In the 2008 campaign, candidate Barack Obama talked to “Joe the plumber” about “spreading the wealth around.” Now, he uses the more innocent, gentle, sweet-sounding term “shared prosperity.”

The rhetoric has changed, but the belief system is the same. And it is every bit the socialist argument it sounds.

“We’ve got news for him: Prosperity is always shared,” Investor’s Business Daily writes.

Indeed. When entrepreneurs risk their capital, or risk borrowed funds, to create businesses that produce goods or services, and hire people to do the producing, that’s sharing the prosperity. Anytime you get a paycheck, the prosperity has just been shared.

The thing is, it’s sharing it voluntarily, the American way: asking people to pitch in and earn it.

Mr. Obama’s rhetoric, and certainly his policies, reflect a belief that the government should be used to forcibly spread – or “share” if you prefer – the wealth around. This is why he’s after Mitt Romney’s tax returns; he wants to prove that other people have too much of your money.

This is not the American model, the one that has historically created the most prosperity for the most people. Instead, it is the failed, top-down, centrally planned model of socialist and communist houses of cards.

That doomed model, which fails to respect basic human freedom, tacitly espouses a goal of “equal outcomes” rather than the more reasonable “equality of opportunity.”

No one, not even government, can or should try to guarantee outcomes, or artificially “share the wealth around” for us. “Sharing” the wealth around first requires that wealth be created by someone – and then that the wealth be forcibly removed from the person who created it and be given to someone else.

This is the fount of Mr. Obama’s tax-the-rich class warfare that he is hoping sounds good enough to warrant his unwarranted re-election.

The next step in sharing the wealth around is giving it to someone without the first regard to the recipient’s effort, or the level of responsibility he has shown in life. It is telling, for instance, that the share-the-wealth-around crowd opposes drug testing for welfare recipients.

This scenario benefits neither the “giver” nor the receiver – at least for very long. It is neither constructive nor compassionate to give someone money who is otherwise able to earn it himself; it is a temporary fix at best, and discourages the kind of enterprise and initiative that teaches one self-reliance and independence.

Nor is it moral to take what someone has earned and give it to someone else, particularly without accountability for how those funds are used.

Sadly, the bizarre arc of the news this week served to
obscure Mr. Obama’s new spread-the-wealth-around
moment.

But it is especially noteworthy, owing to Mr. Obama’s unique contribution to the nation’s vocabulary: We may now “share” the wealth around.

Or, more to the point, have it done for us.

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Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 08/18/12 - 05:31 am
11
3
A rose is a rose is a rose

An editorialist, a conservative, I usually agree with said we were going overboard by calling Obama and his minions socialists. But how else can you describe their programs and focus? The reeducation camps of other socialist takeovers are the media in this country that are in bed with the White House.

The net effect of Obama’s programs has the same consequences we saw under Communism. Belittle capitalism while distributing the profits of the earned efforts of those who have worked harder. If we haven’t learned by now that socialism doesn’t work, we are simply burying our heads in the sand, believing government can create a Shangri-La that doesn’t require work ethics and careful management of our personal money. About the only place in the world that still espouses full blown socialism is North Korea where the people lack food and are actually starving to death. The choice is clear in November.

Rhetor
1007
Points
Rhetor 08/18/12 - 06:24 am
8
8
Let me suggest an alternate

Let me suggest an alternate scenario, which is that the Republicans are engaged in a massive and complex scheme to redistribute wealth away from the people who create it--American workers--and toward a very small group of the super-rich. By manipulating the tax code and other aspects of the economy, they are trying to ensure that wealth is funneled to people who don't need any more, while the hard-working people who make America great are getting as little as possible.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 08/18/12 - 07:18 am
5
10
IBD vs Stephen Hawking

Investor's Business Daily- "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

Stephen Hawking- "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS.
I have received a large amount of high quality treatment without which I would not have survived."

IBD:"the poor man's WSJ" (RationalWiki) Founded because William O'Neil thought editorial in the WSJ leaned too far to the left. In other words, an extremely right wing rag that goes big on conspiracy theories and info from right wing think tanks. Acccuracy, however, is not in their business model.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 08/18/12 - 08:00 am
6
3
Funny Way to Go About It

Rhetor said, "Let me suggest an alternate scenario, which is that the Republicans are engaged in a massive and complex scheme to redistribute wealth away from the people who create it--American workers--and toward a very small group of the super-rich."

If that's true, the rich are sure going about it in an inverse way.
From USA Today: “The 10% of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70% of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office….The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46% of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year.”

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/18/12 - 08:21 am
0
0
Obama is a Marxist/communist
Unpublished

There is no doubt in my mind that Obama is a Marxist/communist. He has spent most of his life around racist radicals that hate white America. Frank Marshall Davis and the Rev. Wright are just a couple.

JRC2024
8854
Points
JRC2024 08/18/12 - 08:30 am
6
1
Just ask a person who gets a

Just ask a person who gets a welfare, SSI, food stamps or any kind of government assistance at the taxpayers expense and they will tell you "I pay my taxes" and they believe that, even though they may have paid nothing. The democrat plan to share the wealth taken from the taxpayer sure is working. It sure would be nice if they were made to do clean up labor for the money they receive. Meanwhile all the social security money I and all workers paid in is now called an entitlement benifit. Phooey on that, we paid into the plan. The politicians have just made it too easy for people to raid the coffers. Time to stop.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/18/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
What group of morons
Unpublished

was in charge of the house and senate from Jan. 2007 until Jan. 2011? Got any answers hemocrats? Blood sucking pond scum.

allhans
23620
Points
allhans 08/18/12 - 08:57 am
5
1
Taking from the working man

Taking from the working man and giving to those too lazy to work, those who have two cars in their garage while the working stiff has only one clunker is not by any means called fair in my book.

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 08/18/12 - 10:01 am
2
3
The PTB sure are flailing.

Calling out the rich using the government to redistribute wealth to them is lambasted as doing the very opposite.

Doublespeak at its best.

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 08/18/12 - 10:10 am
2
4
@Riverman1

And what percentage of all income and wealth does that same 10% have?

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 08/18/12 - 10:12 am
2
5
@Riverman1

And since when do conservatives hate the idea of low taxes? Shouldn't the fact that half of Americans pay no federal income tax be applauded?

Is there perhaps some other reason why it isn't? Hmmm...

dichotomy
32850
Points
dichotomy 08/18/12 - 10:15 am
3
2
Let's do some math.

"Republicans are engaged in a massive and complex scheme to redistribute wealth away from the people who create it--American workers--and toward a very small group of the super-rich."

Do some math people. If the "super-rich" only compromise 1%-3% of the country, and half of those are Democrats (and they are), then the "super-rich" are only about 1%-3% of Republicans.

The people who vote Republican are NOT doing so in order to give rich people more tax breaks. The people who vote Republican are mainly concerned with CUTTING SPENDING, downsizing government, limiting federal government intrusion into every aspect of American life, and yes, revamping the tax code to lower the tax rate on all people who currently PAY taxes and getting the 49% of the people who DON'T pay federal income taxes to start putting a little something in the kitty.

So don't believe the Democrat chant that "Republicans want to give the super-rich another tax break". It's a blantant lie intended for stupid people who cannot do basic math. There are just as many rich Democrats as rich Republicans so, if you do the math, they are a very small part of the number of people who vote Republican. People who vote Republican are more concerned with the direction of our government and the fact that half of the people, most of whom are NOT RICH, are paying 100% of the bills while the other half are getting a free ride and whining for MORE.

If you took 100% of the income from the "super-rich" it is already proven and admitted that it would not make a dent in our debt. So the "super-rich" are totally inconsequential in this debate over nanny state socialism. The REAL issue here is do we get a grip on our spending or do we become Greece sometime in the next 10 years or so.

KSL
129199
Points
KSL 08/18/12 - 10:55 am
4
2
Key words, O, low taxes,

Key words, O, low taxes, not no taxes.

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 08/18/12 - 11:40 am
3
1
Not shared but created.

These Libs act as if there is a finite amount of wealth like a big pile of rock candy that is divided amongst who ever needs a piece. Wealth is created....not distributed....The left wants to "redistribute" larger pieces of that fictional finite pie while capitalists want to increase the size of the pie that DOES exist....Thereby making everyones piece a little bigger....
Bottom line...it's not a zero sum game.....

allhans
23620
Points
allhans 08/18/12 - 01:39 pm
2
2
The Democrats know who they

The Democrats know who they are talking to, they know those who will fall for whatever they say (e.i. Biden-Chains)
...so...NOW, We the people who listen and understand have to outnumber those who foolishly follow whatever crumbs are tossed to them, and WIN this election in November.
Take everyone you know and get them registered if they aren't already. Your 18 year olds, etc..

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/18/12 - 04:28 pm
5
2
The System DOES Favor

the very wealthy. So? What can you do about it?

I'm not sure. But one thing is certain: sitting behind a computer and whining is not a good starting point.

Plenty of us who came from the worst of backgrounds who still believe in the American Dream. Whiners please step aside - you're holding up progress.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL!

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 08/18/12 - 04:45 pm
4
5
Cow Pasture Politics

GREED is the prevailing train of thought that defines sharing what you have with others as something that is wrong. GREED says that I have mine, tough luck if you don't get yours. GREED hoards as much as possible, even while you witness the suffering of others.

GREED keeps people impoverished, starved and hopeless.

We are told in the Scriptures that it is almost impossible for a rich man to get into heaven; his love for money is his bondage. Contrast this with the one who gives freely, without expectation of a return - he is called BLESSED.

The whole purpose of having wealth is to be able to help someone else. That's it. If you are a person who was born into wealth, created a successful business or made wise investments, the master plan is for you to bless someone else. GREED says hoard it. God says GIVE IT. The contrast couldn't be more different.

GREED has infiltrated every system in this society. Workers are paid abysmal wages to make corporations wealthier. Banks charge questionable fees to enhance their billion-dollar profits. Food manufactures package smaller portions and charge the same price, hoping you won't notice. Retailers get by with skeleton crews, reducing any hope of customer service, in order to boost their bottom line.

Sharing the wealth? I would offer that the opposite is policy in America - hoarding the wealth through GREEDY conservative mandates that take from the poorest among us and give to the richest few. Even a child can understand that a trickle-down money theory is pure cow manure.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/18/12 - 04:55 pm
4
3
Greed is good

It's better than good - it's awesome.

We would not be where we are as a country if not for the profit motive.

I look to the African American hip hop moguls who rose out of the ghetto to attain glory. Those guys are awesome! And greedy....LOL!

allhans
23620
Points
allhans 08/18/12 - 05:04 pm
3
2
specta..I call those who are

specta..I call those who are able bodied but still take from the working class greedy.
GREED:..It cuts both ways. I know many so-called poor who are greedy enough to take everything you have, everything you worked hard for, and laugh while doing it..

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/18/12 - 05:11 pm
5
2
Preach It, Allhans

The greediest, most self centered people that I have ever known were those who were dirt poor. They'd cut your throat for a joint and a 5 dollar bill. Full of hate and dangerous to boot.

And yet I have known some poor people who were very rich in pure character, only too happy to give the shirt off their backs.

Gage Creed
17203
Points
Gage Creed 08/18/12 - 05:24 pm
4
2
SLOTH is the prevailing train

SLOTH is the prevailing train of thought that defines living off of the sweat of others as something that is GOOD. SLOTH says that whatever YOU have is mine, tough luck if YOU worked for it and I didn’t. Sloth covets as much as possible, even while you chose not to participate in bettering your circumstance.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/18/12 - 07:31 pm
4
1
Gage Creed

You are exactly right.

Free is never "free". Reciprocity is expected.

Once a person begins to take a hand out from the gov, there is a very high possibility that the person will lose all drive and initiative needed to be successful.The person who takes that money will lose his/her very soul.

Despise the free lunch. Those things worth having are worth paying for.

The real non conformist does not believe in selling out to the government. Pride and freedom are too important.

carcraft
25787
Points
carcraft 08/18/12 - 07:48 pm
3
1
Specstra Giving money to the

Specstra Giving money to the poor because the government puts a gun to your head and threatens your freedom and liberty is hardly virtuous.

carcraft
25787
Points
carcraft 08/18/12 - 07:49 pm
4
1
America should insure equal

America should insure equal opertunities, it can not insure equal out comes!

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 08/18/12 - 08:15 pm
4
1
North Korea Is Not....

....a socialist nation. It is a communist nation. Socialism is voluntary. Involuntary socialism communism. Communism is the natural next step from socialism because eventually, people stop working hard since there is no incentive for such hard work. You don't get any more for working hard than for not working at all. Production declines, people start moving out, and the communistic government is forced to seal the borders to keep people in (not out) and force those captured citizens to work at the point of a gun.

Europe is generally socialist. In some countries taxes approach 80 percent of income, for those that work. The numbers of workers is decreasing, so the demands on those taxpayers will continue to increase as the non-productive demand more and more and the governments appease them by taking more and more form the few paying taxes. European nations are headed for a cliff and democrats here at home want to follow them.

If we don't stop Obama and crew in the upcoming election, we will push ourselves over the edge during Obama's second term, if we aren't already falling.

Gage Creed
17203
Points
Gage Creed 08/18/12 - 08:34 pm
4
1
DMPerryJr...Isn't the "I'm

DMPerryJr...Isn't the "I'm owed" mentality of our liberal friends disheartening? Much like a spoiled child...they accept no responsiblity for their actions.

It's all the fault of those "GREEDY" conservatives. I think that is what is actually in the cow pasture!

Eugene Patrick Devany
4
Points
Eugene Patrick Devany 08/18/12 - 09:46 pm
2
0
New Wealth

The tax code redistributes income and over time it also redistributes wealth. Few people are aware of how the wealth distribution has changed over the last 15 years and how it is related to Great Recession and high unemployment. It helps to know the facts of how wealth has been redistributed before equating a healthy desire for, “shared prosperity” with a “belief system” that “is the same … and … every bit the socialist argument it sounds”.

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, in 1995 the top 10% of the country had 67.8% of the country’s wealth while the bottom 50% shared only 3.6% ($1,912 billion [in 2010 dollars]). The bottom share eroded to 2.5% a couple of years before the Great Recession of 2007 and by 2010 it had tumbled to 1.1% ($584 billion). The loss of wealth to the bottom half the country was offset by a 6.7% gain ($3,558 billion) for the top 10%. The data makes it clear that there was prosperity but it not shared. Half of America lost $1,333 billion over 15 years and have only $3 for every $10 they had before.

A wealth distribution of this extreme has not been seen in the U.S. since the Great Depression of 1929 (when unemployment was also as bad). Top income tax rates were increased from 24% to: 63%, 79%, 81%, 88% and finally to 94% in 1944 in order to correct the economic imbalance. Today job killing payroll taxes actually make conditions worse than in 1929 because they add 7 ½% to the cost of each job (business share) and further reduce consumer spending power by 7 ½% (employee share).

I am quite sure that Mr. Romney wants “shared prosperity” but I doubt the editors would suggest that he is a socialist. Mr. Romney has all tax reform options are on the table. He has shown the vision and guts to radically innovate by joining divergent ideas and ideologies (see Bain Capital, Romney Care, Salt Lake City). Perhaps it is just a coincidence that his most important primary endorsement came from net wealth tax supporter, Donald Trump (“The America We Deserve”, 2000) and his most important decision to date has been the selection of VAT supporter, Paul Ryan (“Roadmap for America’s Future” 2010). Unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney seems to be the kind of man that will treat job creation and our economy with the determination of the 1939 Manhattan Project (and likely with the same level of secrecy). He spent enough years in France to learn the shortcomings of how its tax blend has been implemented. France imposes a net wealth tax on top of a progressive income tax (“soak the reach” method) rather than using the wealth tax to reduce the income tax rates (“coerce productive investment” method).

We can “Create New Wealth by Taxing Net Wealth” and that is the name of my article now in Forbs.com.

carcraft
25787
Points
carcraft 08/18/12 - 09:55 pm
2
1
When Home Depot became

When Home Depot became prosperous it created over 1000 millionaires.that wasn't redistribution that was exploiting operatunity!

Gage Creed
17203
Points
Gage Creed 08/18/12 - 09:58 pm
0
1
2-4-8....9-9-9....36-24-36...

2-4-8....9-9-9....36-24-36.....pick one and let's do this!

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/18/12 - 11:08 pm
1
2
Yep, Petulant Children

Gage, I had written a long post, but decided that in lieu of a long post I'd opt to be more succinct.

I abhor the far left's pushing of genocide in the form of abortion. It's disheartening and very upsetting to know that so many people advocate the murder of children.

The rest of their idiocy I can deal with.

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