The Politics of Envy

politics of envy.jpg


It has been awhile since I’ve written for AL but I was struck with inspiration recently while listening to an audiobook, and decided to opine. Since about the age of 25, I’ve been on a journey of self improvement. I read books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars, and visit speakers to improve every aspect of my life from relationships to sales to health and everything in between. I recently purchased The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone to listen to in the car or in the gym. Basically the book is for people wanting to achieve more success in their lives and outlines the necessary work and actions one needs to commit to in order to attain it. It’s definitely a bit rah-rah, but it speaks universal truths about the relationship between success and hard work that any entrepreneur/employee/athlete/coach/etc has come to discover.

What struck me most about the book was that Cardone describes success as not only desirable, but as an ethical RESPONSIBILITY. It is people’s responsibility to achieve success for themselves, their families, and their communities. Without continuing to succeed, people, families, communities, and nations regress and fail. Success is CRITICAL for SURVIVAL. Without entrepreneurs chasing dreams of financial and business success, the economy would rapidly decline, jobs would be lost, and America as a nation would weaken and potentially die. As such, people should cheer on those in the world that accumulate massive amounts of wealth. As Cardone puts it, “If a Wall Street banker earns $400 million, that should be an inspiration to anyone that wants $400 million!” They are a shining beacon of what one can achieve in this country with enough determination. The same can be said for those that go one to create massive businesses, even those dastardly Koch brothers. Their massive accumulation of wealth has employed thousands of people, improved the lives of the consumer with their product, and donated countless millions of dollars to charities all over the country. None of this has impacted anyone’s ability to achieve their own success. In some cases, those rich families success has led to amounts of personal success, even if just a little by societal standards, that otherwise wouldn’t have been achievable to certain individuals.

As Libertarians and Capitalists, this is hardly news to us. We all know that financial success and wealth creation is not a zero sum game. A rising tide lifts all ships, as they say. However, in this political climate, people are not only NOT happy for the immense success of others, but they actively DEMONIZE it. They treat others financial success and wealth accumulation almost as an act of theft. It’s as if their gaining of wealth somehow limits their potential to accumulate wealth for themselves. But why is this? class warfare

The answer lies in the narrative people are fed from those that benefit from them believing this myth. Progressive politicians and pundits have told people for over a century now that the reason so many are in poverty is because a few people are rich. You are poor because Mitt Romney or any of the countless boogeymen that progressives create are rich beyond their “needs” (a limit conveniently determined by them while somehow being undefined. Where is the cutoff? Is $1million dollars more than one needs but $999,999 is ok? I digress).  The point is, the progressives have a vested interest in people believing that they are poor not only because of the 1% of wealthy people, but also because of racial, gender, sexual, or other prejudices that keep the common man down. eat_the_rich

Progressive politicians, both on the right and left, NEED victims. Period. It is a fact. They need you to be a victim for their very survival. Progressive not only DON’T have an interest in helping you get ahead, they actively pursue laws and rhetoric that keep you poor and pissed off. They need a perpetual dependent voting block. If every person in America was gainfully employed and happy, government would barely be needed (ah, what a dream). Therefore, liberal progressives gin up economic discontent, I.E. envy, to get people to vote for them. People need a reason for their own shortcomings. It’s human nature to point the finger at everyone else when you haven’t achieved your desired outcomes or goals, be it for a deadline at work you missed or not having the type of financial success you thought you’d have at this stage in your life. It’s always everyone elses fault or it’s because of external forces beyond your control. Progressives FEED off of this. It quite literally gives them life. Progressives don’t exist if you believe you have the power to control your own destiny and take ownership of your success. They know this, and in an act of self-preservation, they engage in creating envy and resentment between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

The progressive manipulation doesn’t stop with wealth gap nonsense. They of course also use race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and any other possible identity group they can to create their useful victims. “It’s not your fault that you’re not wealthy”, they’ll say, “It’s rich, white, cis, hetero, males hogging up all the wealth for themselves and leaving nothing for the rest of us!” This is, of course, hogwash of the highest degree, but it WORKS because people would rather be victims than do the necessary work to gain success for themselves. It is infinitely easier to be a victim than to get up early every morning with a good attitude and go out into the world and do the things you know you need to do to be successful. Here is a harsh truth: everyone, from the lowest beggar to the wealthiest hedge fund manager, is responsible for their own lot in life. For all of its flaws, The USA is still a bastion of freedom wherein anyone with a dream and willpower can grow wealthy and successful beyond their wildest dreams. It’s cliché, but it’s true. But it comes at a cost, and that cost is hard work. Likely, 10 times more hard work than you ever thought it would take. 10 times more work than most people would put up with. And as such, you have a block that would rather Demand universal debt forgiveness ‘just because’ and demand a ‘living wage regardless of employment’, than go out into the world and find meaningful work that also brings them financial success. And these useful victims will keep in power progressive politicians that will wave at their occupy rally out the window of their bulletproof limo, on the way to the bank.

Consider the progressive dumpster fire that is California. Have the states absurd tax policies done anything to actually reduce poverty? 20% of residents live in poverty. This is by DESIGN. The progressives running the show in CA need a large portion of the population to be poor (outside of their Hollywood donors, of course) and they need them to believe they have no hope. Then they tax the most successful among the states residents at some of the highest rates in the country, to provide goodies to those they’ve told they can’t survive without the assistance from their friends at the government. It becomes self fulfilling. Progressive programs designed to ‘help the needy get out of poverty’ are a sham. They are designed to do nothing but foster dependence or at least, create a temporary vote. And how is California faring with this strategy? Not. Great.

The point of this is that victim mentality will get you nowhere, and it is absolutely a choice. You can choose to believe you can’t succeed because you were born poor, or black, or female, or gay, or any number of reasons. And if you believe that, then you wont. But blaming others and demanding wealth redistribution wont bring you wealth or happiness. However, it WILL keep those with the most to gain from you being poor and helpless in power.


Inside the Progressive Mind: Episode 1



*Author’s note: I used the word ‘Progressive’ over ‘Liberal’ in this post because I identify as a classical liberal, and there is a substantial difference between classical liberalism and the bastardized version of today. So to avoid confusion, we will just refer to them as progressives. 

As often as I am on social media, I tend to get into political discussions, no matter how hard I try to avoid them. I learned long ago that trying to argue with someone on Facebook is the biggest exercise in futility in which one can engage these days. But it is my crack. I cannot help but respond when I read something so egregious that I simply can not abide it. The Dude minds, man. This aggression will not stand. So I was struck with inspiration for a recurring piece within Authentic Liberty today after a cordial exchange with someone online: Each week (roughly, or as often as I encounter something worth writing about), I will take a progressive comment I have read in a social media post,  and break it down from a Classical Liberal/Libertarian perspective. Today’s winner is this gem, found in response to an article calling out Democratic Socialist Socialist hero Bernie Sanders for calling on “Millionaires and Billionaires to pay their fair share”, whilst raking in a seven figure income, and purchasing his third(!) house for the small, small price of $600,000. And I quote:

“A lot of speculation there saying he doesn’t do much for the poor… or that his ideology precludes him from being successful. He’s clearly willing to impose higher taxes on himself and his financial peers because he believes a better educated and healthier populace contributes more to the economy.” 

Learn how to be a Socialist! (for $16.99)

Bernie’s Ideology has far from precluded him from being successful. No one at this point that has even paid a modicum of attention would argue that Bernie is a pauper. The man has a talent for expressing a viewpoint, however misguided, in such a way that resonates with millenials, and the progressive socialists of yesterday. A talent, mind you, that he has parlayed into a seven-figure income thanks to the glorious, capitalistic freedom this country has afforded him to peddle his class warfare rhetoric in book form.

And for this, I cannot fault the man! The marketplace of ideas and products has rewarded him for his talent. I will not begrudge a man’s success. And subsequently, if Bernie wanted to impose a higher tax on himself (LOL), then he has every right to do so. As Dubya once so eloquently put it, “…I am pleased to report the the IRS accepts both checks and money orders, heh heh.” *Bush-giggle added for effect* 

No, what I take particular issue with from this valiant Bern-out is his insinuation that Bernie is somehow justified in imposing HIS view of what should be paid in taxes on anyone other than HIM. This Is Hardly unique to Senator Sanders. This is, of course, what most libertarians despise about politicians in general. Why should the federal government get to decide how much of MY money I get to keep after my state has already decided what their claim to MY money is, and in certain cities, how much of MY money I ‘get’ to contribute just for driving on #muhroadz or eating in one of the cities fine dining establishments.

The most basic, underlying question I have for my progressive brothers and sisters is why, WHYYYY do you place such high amounts of faith in these people to make decisions about the lives and money of your fellow Americans? Is it because they spend your money So Very Very Very Very Very wisely when they do get it in their greasy mits? Is it because they are So Very Very Very Very Very trustworthy? Why do you believe these people should be the arbiters that get to decide how much money you or I should make? Why should ANYONE vote to impose a limit on their potential earnings?

The reason for many Bernie fans feeling this way on this matter, is most likely, because  they are among the group of 45% of all Americans that need not concern themselves with the burden of a high income tax. Make the other guys pay for it. Those ‘millionaires and billionaires’ can foot the bill for all of our free healthcare and free college and free XYZ. Except they can’t. America’s won-ton, runaway spending would continue to expand our deficit, even if we taxed all income over $1mm at 100%. Which means that taxes on the middle class, under a Sanders-style tax-and-spend plan would have to increase, not just on those fat-cats on Wall Street. Main Street would be Feelin’ the Bern as well. But who cares? There’s a statistically significant chance that even a tax hike on the middle class wouldn’t affect majority of those who would hold the same viewpoint as the person to which this article is a response.

If wanting to maximize my earnings and keep as much income as I possibly can is greedy, then so be it. I’m greedy. But then, so is Bernie Sanders. The only difference is, I don’t run around preaching the Gospel of redistribution while participating in the same behavior in my private finances, that I lambast in the public space.

I’d leave you with this, my favorite clip from my boy, Milt, schooling Donahue over the exact same socialist propaganda that Bernie is spewing today. Milt doesn’t trust ANYONE, not even Donahue, as an Angel run a perfect “””Fair””” society for us. I don’t trust Bernie to, either.