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Who Will Win the War Against Income Inequality? January 17, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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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 drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Why Does Affirmative Action End at the Gridiron? October 19, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Have you ever pondered the fact that everyone being endowed with equal rights by our creator works out so naturally while the equality of outcome that our Progressive would-b-masters seek to impose is impossible to achieve without treating people differently?  Have you ever noticed that whenever the government wishes to give anyone anything they have to first take it from someone else?

Since everyone obviously has different skills, talents, and ambitions people inevitably perform and produce at different levels.  Therefore to make everyone end up in the same place it is necessary to hold some back and artificially advance others.

For example if we wanted to treat everyone equally with regard to taxes we would have a flat tax with no deductions as in everyone pays 10%.  If you make one million dollars or one thousand dollars you pay 10%.  That would be equal treatment before the law and in my opinion that would be fair.  However in the Progressives version of a fair tax system designed to promote equality, people who earn different amounts are taxed at different rates.  If you earn more you pay more.  That may sound good to some, but how is it fair?

In education if equality was really the desired result everyone would be judged by the same standards for admission regardless of race, creed, color or any other mitigating factor.  Everyone would take the same tests and everyone would be graded exactly the same with admission based upon the score.  In the world of American Academia as administrated by the Progressives categories of people are judged by different standards and they call this fairness.

Look at the bewildering array of social programs that have been implemented to ensure equality and fairness in the Progressive utopia.  From food stamps and free cell phones to state subsidized education in criminal justice for convicted felons, these ill-conceived and often abused programs turn the safety net into a hammock  that beg the question Ayn Rand was known to ask, “At whose expense?”  If someone gets free food, free education; free anything the question we should ask is, at whose expense?   The next question should be, do those who are paying the freight for this pleasure cruise do so voluntarily or are they being coerced?  If they are being coerced into paying for someone else’s benefits what makes this any different than theft?

It’s as if the Progressives have tried to change our original national motto from” E Pluribus Unum” to “Stand and Deliver” or have they changed our present national motto “In God We Trust” to “You Can’t Fight City Hall.”  Or as if the new national anthem should be, “Happy Days Are Here Again – Unless You Work For a Living.”

One of the most often quoted and misquoted statements concerning History tells us, those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it and today we are seeing the fruits of this truism.  The two great revolutions of the eighteenth century, the American and the French, were mirror images of each other in several important ways.  The American Revolution made a declaration to the entire world that the rights they sought were endowed upon all men by their creator.  The French in the Declaration of the Rights of Man placed government as the source of these rights.  The American Revolution sought to rid themselves of an all-powerful government with a limited government so that individuals could be free to prosper on their own.  The French sought to replace an all-powerful government based upon birth with an all-powerful government based on merit believing that where the former one wanted to maintain the status quo with elites on top while the latter one would promote equality with elites on top.

The American experiment created the freest, richest, most powerful country in the History of the world.  In France after the Terror, after the Triumvirate, and after the Empire the people saw that they had merely replaced one elite group with another.  Then the Kings came back.

In America today our federally controlled education has led to generations of people who have never learned History or Civics.  Now the progressive Pied Pipers are leading the uninformed to exchange the equality of opportunity our Founders established for the equality of outcome Europe has chased after since the French Revolution.  With a public not knowing enough to know the difference these bait and switch tactics seem to be working, and after one hundred years of a living constitution the Constitution is nearly dead.

We have one more election to stem the tide as we look for a chance to reverse the flow and return America to limited government, individual freedom, and economic opportunity.  If we miss this opportunity we may soon experience the equality of mediocrity as we descend into the collectivist pit of self-immolation.  This pit is typified by big government programs meant to redress some perceived inequality.  Redressing inequality sounds good.  The problem lies in the fact that to do so you need a big enough government to enforce the desired result, and governments are made up of fallible people who all have their own prejudices and desires.

James Madison, in Federalist 51 reflected that, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”  Men aren’t angels.  Which is why he continued, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

One program which serves as a fitting example of the impossibility of living a consistent life when trained, framed and constrained by the attempts to impose an artificial man-made, government enforced equality is Affirmative Action.  Which some may argue has now reached the White House.

Why Does Affirmative Action End at the Gridiron?

Even the Colleges that are the most rapid in their interpretation and enforcement of Affirmative Action seem to forget these artificial standards when it comes to their sports teams.  Have you ever wondered why that is so?  Because they want the best players on the field no matter what the ratios of black, white, yellow, red, straight, gay or other.

Don’t fall for the siren song of something for nothing, for affirmative this, and equality that.  Don’t let the perpetually re-elected hucksters fool you with their promise of a fair shot, a square deal, or of making someone else pay their fair share.  When everything is put in one pot and it is supposed to be divided equally it always seems that those who do the dividing get the fairest share of all.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

 

Does Equality Mean We Are All The Same April 26, 2010

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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In the Declaration of Independence a new thing entered the world, a country founded upon the idea of equality. The Old World consisted of societies built upon hereditary class and entrenched privilege. Beginning with words that still burn within the breast of Patriots, this great document proclaims two types of equality.
Based upon the first clause, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” the first type is equality before the law. We all stand before the bar of justice on the same footing. There aren’t different laws for different classes. The definition of murder is the same for the homeless person, the mechanic and the billionaire. This equality, a natural part of our creation proclaims that neither classes nor other artificial divisions will ever be recognized in law or enshrined through legislation.
Based upon the second clause, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the second type is equality of opportunity. Everyone is entitled to their life and the fruits of it. Each of us has an equal right to the liberty of action, the freedom to choose our life’s path and to make our own decisions. And each of us has the right to pursue happiness. In almost all other lists such as this from the period, many of them written into state constitutions by the same people who wrote the Declaration, this is the right to own property and the happiness here is assumed to mean the right to use our own talents and the things they gain for us for our own benefit as long as we do not injure nor hinder others.
These rights and the equality they express were later protected by the Constitution. Congress shall not confer titles of nobility. Congress shall not pass bills of attainder convicting groups or individuals without a trial. Through the use of these and other negatives the Framers sought to secure Americans the possession of the equality proclaimed by the Declaration. The Bill of Rights went even further in declaring what Congress could not do in the attempt to guarantee the continued exercise of the equality granted by our Creator. The mechanism the Framers used to keep freedom alive was limiting government for they knew governments gain power by subtracting freedom from individuals.
However, it needs to be noted that the limitations placed upon government as a means of securing the equal rights of citizens in no way states that there should be a leveling of all people or that there will not continue to be distinctions and differences among them. This was never stated and never intended for the belief in or vision of a population with standardized talents, inclinations and goals does not match reality. There are as many different sets of these as there are people. In each individual, life should be open to choice. The only boundaries being that we do no harm nor proscribe the choice of others. This is the level playing field of creation, a pure equality of opportunity to be harvested in proportion to the Creator’s gift of talents and our investment of time and effort.
As long as the role of government is limited, and as long people are free to operate within the informal social arrangements of a non-regimented, non-stratified society there’s no tension between equality of opportunity and liberty. This quest for equality of outcome has become a social goal adopted as a reason for destroying society as it is in the name of society as a small cadre of radicals thinks it should be. In the aftermath of economic or societal collapse, revolutionaries, or in the case of the American Progressives “Evolutionaries,” will seek to erect in the place of popular government a bureaucratic tyranny devoted to leveling all to the lowest common denominator. Except of course for the levelers themselves who rise by deciding who gets what, and it’s the deciders who always seem to get the most. For, some perceive that equality of all is not the same as the equality of some, or as the ruling pigs in George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm declare, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This reflects the subversion of equality of opportunity into equality of outcome or as it’s termed by Progressives equal opportunity.
To build this monument to mediocrity the philosophers of progressivism subtly change the meaning of equality. Instead of the opportunity for all to succeed it becomes the certainty of everyone getting a trophy for showing up, a diploma for attendance or a check for not working. Built upon the premise that if all are created equal all should end up equal thus denying the goal of equality the chance to go as far and as fast as talent and hard work can lead.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net

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