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The Class Warfare Game Never Ends Well

The Class Warfare Game Never Ends Well - El American

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This may sound like a rant, but I have to get it off my chest. People who lust for political power and create strife and conflict to get it really bug me. And they should bug you too because it’s your pocketbook, your liberties, and your children’s future they’re playing games with.

For a country built on private property, risk-taking entrepreneurship, and respect for success, America sure produces a lot of envious people these days. Our expensive welfare state is fueled, to paraphrase the great economist Thomas Sowell, by the destructive notion that “greed” is when you want to keep your own money but “compassion” is when you want to take somebody else’s.

In his must-read book, The Vision of the Anointed, Sowell notes the remarkable degree of upward mobility in free economies:

What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given ‘class’ labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing ‘class’ makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.

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We have a president who shamelessly appeals to the worst in us. He says we should pull ourselves up by dragging others (namely, “the rich”) down. We’re supposed to look with disdain upon those who have more and trust big spenders like him to seize our fair share of it, which really translates to whatever he wants to swipe and squander on his friends and their pet causes. No wonder all he can do is propose to divide up a shrinking pie: He’s never in his life shown that he knows how to bake one himself. He’s just the latest in a long string of demagogues and snake-oil salesmen who parrot the Democratic Party’s class warfare playbook.

58 % de los votantes americanos creen que Biden no puede proteger los oleoductos
Washington (United States), 07/05/2021.- US President Joe Biden. EFE/EPA/TASOS KATOPODIS / POOL

Leftist “progressives” like Biden, architects of endless schemes that impoverish people (from rotten government schools to mindless regulation), tell us that too many Americans have too little wealth and too few have too much. The “solution” is always the same: even more schemes to rob Peter to pay Paul while making sure Paul stays dependent on politicians for his salvation.

Imagine that. The same government that can’t responsibly manage its own fiscal affairs, that squanders billions of other people’s dollars in subsidies for corporations and foreign regimes, that wasted trillions in a counterproductive war on poverty, that now wants to blow trillions more on God-knows-what in the name of “infrastructure,” wants to preside over a sweeping expansion of the nanny state. And the wherewithal to do this will supposedly come from class warfare-style tax hikes that will make the rich “pay their fair share.”

It reminds me of something the philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said: “If I knew for certain that a man was coming to my home to do me good, I would run for my life.”

Economist Daniel Mitchell pointed out a few months ago that the top 20 percent of income earners in America already pay about 70 percent of the taxes. My guess is that if the top 20 percent paid all of the country’s taxes, Biden and the class warriors would still prattle about how the evil rich should pay more.

This is what class warriors do. For their own political advantage and to empower themselves, they pit people against each other. They manufacture villains and victims and then posture as the white knights who will save one group from the other. We should be asking, who will save all of us from them?

Government deficits drain off more than a trillion dollars of productive capital each year. Taxes, regulations, and bureaucratic red tape keep many aspiring entrepreneurs from getting a start and employing others who need work. Welfare policies pay millions to stay in poverty. The government education monopoly spends a fortune and all too often guarantees that children are ill-prepared for a productive future. I don’t know about you, but the government does not inspire any confidence in me that it knows who ought to own what.

For starters, our “leaders” in the federal government have a knack for refusing to take responsibility for their own handiwork. They propose A and when it fails, they propose B to deal with the problems that A created. B, of course, is yet another crackpot scheme and when it flops, they propose intervention C, and on and on. Enough already!

The fallacies in the class warfare gospel would be laughable if they weren’t so inevitably tragic in their ultimate outcome. Check out this four-minute video to see how Thomas Sowell dismisses them.

A society can either create wealth or plunder and redistribute it. Which side are you on?

Lawrence writes a weekly op-ed for El American. He is President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in Atlanta, Georgia; and is the author of “Real heroes: inspiring true stories of courage, character, and conviction“ and the best-seller “Was Jesus a Socialist?“ //
Lawrence escribe un artículo de opinión semanal para El American. Es presidente emérito de la Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) en Atlanta, Georgia; y es el autor de “Héroes reales: inspirando historias reales de coraje, carácter y convicción” y el best-seller “¿Fue Jesús un socialista?”

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