From each according to their ability to each according to their need was the hollow promise of the Soviet Union. It was long known to be merely the cover for a ruthless Communist Party that pretended to build a worker’s paradise while in fact enslaving a nation for its own gain.
Today this infamous lie has been resurrected in America as the war against income inequality.
The war on poverty has failed. After decades of propaganda, trillions of dollars, and tens of thousands of regulations there is no less poverty in America than when LBJ sounded the charge of the contrite brigade. Of course it was a shell game all along. The idea that you could take money out of one pocket and put it in another while dropping some along the way aptly describes the effort to tax the rich to alleviate poverty. If all the money that has been expropriated to end poverty had been given directly to the poor we would have ended poverty.
However this isn’t what happened. It was never what was intended to happen. It will never happen because instead of a direct wealth transfer the loot is filtered through politicians, programs and bureaucrats who all siphon off enough to make sure the pennies that eventually dribble out of the welfare pipeline have little resemblance to the dollars that went in. They certainly don’t want to actually eliminate the poor since their campaign slogans and their jobs would evaporate with them.
Anyone who has ever stood hat-in-hand at a welfare office knows the scorn dished out with the meager fare always makes the meal a little less satisfying than imagined. Jesus told us that “The poor will always be with you.” Yet somehow the political savants who hold sway are always able to convince the low information voters that they will end poverty, or as we call it today, income inequality.
The only equality that is compatible with freedom is equality before the law. By this I mean that whenever society, as expressed through government, makes rules they should apply to everyone the same. In other words if a millionaire commits murder and a homeless person commits murder they should both stand before the same tribunal charged with the same crime. Or if a tax is passed everyone should pay the same percentage. We know that in the first case the difference between a dream team of lawyers and a public defender may mitigate the equality just as in the second case a progressive tax system will distort it. However, this goal of equality before the law is the only one where actual equality is what is required to make it work.
All other types of equality, of income or opportunity or outcome require inequality. If this sounds like circular thinking don’t be surprised; it is.
Since people are obviously not equal in talents, abilities, resources or nature the only way to make everyone start in the same place and end up in the same place is to treat them differently. Some must be slowed down and some must be artificially pushed forward. Some must get less than they earn so that some can get more. This is the dirty little secret hidden behind the campaign slogan to end income inequality. In reality it is just another way to describe income redistribution or as our president calls it, “Spread the wealth around.”
Those who make their living selling these illusions are supported by those who make their livings distributing the loot and by all those who think they will get something for nothing. Unfortunately after generations of Progressive education, incremental socialism, and the sloth that is the bread by the bread and circus culture of the couch potato this may now be a majority of the votes counted.
Having sunk beneath the contempt of the Russian people and drown in the red capitalism of the Chinese it seems as if the infection of class envy co-joined to state power has emerged from the faculty lounge and fastened its death grip on America. In the 2012 election the campaign slogan, “GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead” trumped a devastated economy to re-elect the inspiration of the IRS and the excuser of Benghazi. If the war against income inequality proves the media enhanced key to return Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership and retain Harry Reid as the agenda setting leader of the Senate the Progressives will know they have two years to seal the deal.
We will still call it the United States of America. We will still tell ourselves we are free, prosperous, and powerful however we may all be whistling in the wind. Our politicians may win their war to end income inequality as they seek an American version of a worker’s paradise. The comatose voters may even notice that things aren’t quite like they used to be, but then half-time will be over and that will be that.
Look at the results of the 2012 election. GM is moving overseas after ripping off the American tax payers. Al-Qaeda is marching to victory. Think about the pledge that gained passage for Obamacare, “If you like you plan you can keep your plan. Period.” Reflect on this swindle and ask yourself how equal will anything be if we swallow the next big lie: ending income inequality. Ask yourself who will win the war against income inequality. The answer is those who distribute the loot will keep the lion’s share.
As an added bonus this war against income inequality as a campaign tool to fool the masses is leading us further into the unconstitutional waters our president has sailed for so long. Brazenly saying, “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,”
The question here is, “Will anyone in the House have the courage to do something about it?”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens