“It’s The Message, Stupid…”
There are two highly diverse messages being presented in the 2012 presidential campaigns.
- We don’t need no stinking budget
- The rich should pay for everything
- Individual accomplishment isn’t real, we’re all connected (as a Zen Buddhist, I take issue with this one, it’s a misapplication of the concept)
- Government should take over more businesses
- Congress isn’t necessary to make laws and the President is not bound to enforce laws passed by Congress
- There should be a federal budget and a debt cap
- Everyone should pay their fair share (thanks for that one, Bill Clinton)
- Prosperity should result from work, not from taking/redistribution of someone else’s effort
- The government has no right to take over lawfully operating private businesses
- A law is a law and should be either enforced or changed
So, which road map for America is going to get the majority of votes in November? Democrats assume that most Americans are willing to trade individual liberty for government hand-outs. Republicans think everyone wants the opportunity to work and earn based upon the level of their skill and effort. Both parties agree the country has to take care of those who can’t care for themselves (though the method for doing this is up for debate).
The winner of the Presidential election will be the candidate who most effectively presents their message to voters still listening to them (we’ll assume that a segment of the population will vote their party affiliation without regard for the candidate). The contrast is clear: tax the rich or work hard.
It’s easy to tax the rich. They obviously have more than they need (say the Democrats), so let’s stick it to them. They didn’t really earn all that cash, someone else did that, so it’s not as if we’re taking something from them that’s really theirs (says Barack Obama).
Success of private sector businesses creates low unemployment, personal wealth for everyone, and increases revenue to the government, say the Republicans. A balanced approach to growing the economy and spending within reasonable limits provides long term economic stability and creates opportunity for all with the ability to work. And whatever you create is yours – no one, especially the government, should be able to take it from you.
Let’s face it – it’s a lot easier to sit around collecting welfare checks and food stamps than it is to get out of bed every morning and earn a living. But at some point the riches will be gone. Those who produce will put up with the government taking from them for only so long before they either stop producing or find a friendlier place to do it (read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand).
So which message will the American people vote for? My prediction is that they’ll vote for the road map that is in their best interest, that allows them to see the short and long term benefits of the vote they cast. Are they willing to sacrifice their children’s and grandchildren’s financial future while they live off the temporary wealth of others? Are they ready to get up in the morning and work to create wealth for themselves, their heirs, and society? We’ll see in November.
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