Mr Pete 
Member since Mar 2, 2009

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Re: “Lathen misses the point

Ms Bliss misses the key issue in Obamas quote, is appalled by a fiction, and confuses correlation with causation. The key question about Obamas statement is who is you? Who is the you who gets to spread the wealth around? Bliss also fails to recognize the many areas of agreement between liberals and conservatives. We actually agree that everyone needs an opportunity for prosperity. We agree that anyones good hard work should be rewarded, trash collectors, teachers and hair dressers and more. We agree that those unable to work should get a hand up. Where we disagree is how that should be accomplished. Obama (and Ms Bliss), like good socialists, believe you is the governmentthat government should spread the peoples wealth around, and that people should be dependent on government for solutions rather than other people. Obama demonstrates this in his personal life: he donates very little of his own income but is quick to take from others. Conservatives believe you is the peoplethat people should be free to spread their own wealth around, and that government is the most inefficient and inhumane way to accomplish most public good. Government handed out $500 money cards to victims of hurricane Katrina, giving them ability to purchase goods and services, as Ms Bliss wanted. Did that create jobs? No. Jobs are created when people are empowered to spend what they have earned, and people are empowered to build profitable business that require more workers. Freedom creates jobs, not government taxation and rules. Bliss is wrong about exorbitant salaries. Taxes do not affect salaries, they affect jobs. (You never heard about a rock star, actress, or ceo negotiating still more millions in salary because of the Reagan or Bush tax cuts. But companies shed employees any time their profitability is too low to sustain employment.) Bliss apparently believes it is not elitist to think government knows best who should receive charity, while labeling the American people as elitist in their own charitable giving decisions. Shes got it backwards. Her confusion extends to the economic downturn as well. Bliss believes workers are bearing the brunt of poor decisions by overpaid, prima donna CEOs. She fails to note the long-term cause of the problem: ham-handed government decisions in the mid-1990s forced banks to make home-purchase loans to people who could only afford to rent. Those programs (CRA etc) produced unrealistic housing demand resulting in housing price growth well beyond the inflation rate. Now we have people in houses they could never afford. Its the same as if the government forced banks to make yacht-loans to people who couldnt afford it. Now what to do when people cant afford the payments, and what to do with all those yachts? The government caused this mess; why should we trust government to fix it? Bliss complains about government spying and other excesses. These things have long been part of many administrations. The media have a filter such that we hear about some (like Bush or McCarthy) but do not hear about others (like the excesses of progressive presidents during WWI and WWII, far beyond internment camps.) More government programs and more government spending are not going to help. Were in a mess, and its going to require real sacrifice, creativity and hard work to get out. And yes, people who are in homes they cannot afford just may have to move out. Finally, Bliss complaint about excessive salaries is an ethical rather than economic issue. It could be addressed if we followed a well-known businessmans proposal. Peter Drucker recommended there should be no more than a 20:1 salary spread between highest and lowest paid workers in any company. An interesting proposal, never seriously attempted.

Posted by Mr Pete on 03/02/2009 at 6:28 AM

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