Saturday, January 05, 2019

Will Atlas Shrug in 2020? Michael Smith guest blogger

Michael Smith, who admits he voted for Mitt Romney rather than the Democrat for Senate:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory... " Senator Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Democrat Presidential Candidate (2011)
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." President Barack Obama, Democrat (2012)
"The President states a simple truth here. Business owners across America do not build their own roads and bridges, sewers and water systems; they do not single-handedly maintain the health of their employees; they do not finance their own court system; and they did not build their own Internet to market and sell their products. The public provides these things, together. The government manages our shared financial resources to make these things happen. That’s the government’s job." George P. Lakoff, cognitive linguist and progressive philosopher (2012)
The common fallacy in these quotes is that business owners across America did build that - they pay taxes specifically to support the creation and maintenance of roads and bridges, sewers and water systems, they pay for insurance to provide health care for their employees and they do pay for court systems from those very same taxes. The fact that other individual citizens in American are compelled to contribute through coercive taxation is immaterial. These arguments are like the crowing of the Obama administration about the number of "successful signups" for Obamacare and the subsequent fawning coverage by the media - shocker of all shockers - people who were commanded to sign up under penalty of law signed up! Excelsior! The program is so popular it had to be made mandatory.

Want to see evidence of what happens to coercive participation when it is no longer coercive?
Just have a look at that right to work laws and the removal of confiscatory union dues has done to union membership.

It is also notable that government seldom does such work itself, it hires businesses from the private sector to do it. For example, the Hoover Dam, cast as a great accomplishment of progressive government, was actually built by capitalist private contractors - the very independent businesses that progressives love to hate.

The idea that the individual owes his success to the collective and therefore should pay the collective with his productivity is nothing new. Here's he very same idea that preceded the above statements by over 50 years:
"The man in Bedroom A, Car No. 1, was a professor of sociology who taught that individual ability is of no consequence, that individual effort is futile, that an individual conscience is a useless luxury, that there is no individual mind or character or achievement, that everything is achieved collectively, and that it's masses that count, not men."  ~ Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged" (1957)
We now have a House controlled once again by Randian looters - but this time, there are a batch of newbies who eschew the custom of hiding their true motives and desires. The Democrats are going to have a train car load of radical leftists running for president. The next two years is going to be as interesting on the Democrat side as 2015 and 2016 were on the GOP side.

One wonders if 2020 will be the year Atlas actually shrugs.

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