11 Mar 2011

So Much For Socialism

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Mary Katherine Ham performs the math and demonstrates that total confiscation of all the assets of the rich would not, in fact, solve the federal entitlement spending problem.

This week, Michael Moore offered a simple and elegant solution to our debt problem.

Calling the assets of wealthy Americans a “national resource,” he suggested our problems would all be solved if we could just have access to all that money.

“What’s happened is that we’ve allowed the vast majority of that cash to be concentrated in the hands of just a few people, and they’re not circulating that cash. They’re sitting on the money,” Moore said. “That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours. We all have this… we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it.”

“America’s not broke,” he told a cheering crowd of pro-union protesters in Wisconsin. …

The United States of America has about 400 billionaires. Moore calls them “400 little Mubaraks.” About half of those have less than $2 billion each, and those with a net worth in the double-digit billions is an exclusive club of about 30.

Still, as Moore says, “there’s a ton of cash out there.”

The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.

That’s before we even get to dealing with the long-term debt of $14 trillion, which if you’re keeping score at home, is between 10 to 14 times the entire net worth of all of the country’s billionaires, combined. That includes the all-powerful Koch brothers ($40 billion between them), the all-powerful George Soros ($14.5 billion), all the Walton family (of the Wal-Mart fortune), Steve Jobs, Oprah (at a paltry $2.7 billion), the Google Founders, Michael Bloomberg, and the Mars family (of the candy bar empire).

Contrary to the left’s favorite talking point, our economic problems do not have anything to do with inequality. The problem is actually the reverse: government is taking away from its rightful owners (and redistributing) so large a portion of this country’s economy that investment, enterprise, opportunity, and economic confidence have been depressed.

The real solution is for government to restrain its appetite and stand aside in order to allow the economy to function and to grow, increasing the general prosperity, lowering costs of goods and services, and making everybody better off.

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SDD

Michael Moore vividly illustrates the underlying assumption of liberals — that the assets of wealthy Americans are a “national resource”. You know, just like the great aquifers or the Mesabi Iron range. All those assets just magically appeared and now our major task is to decide what to do with them. And if we confiscate the assets of the wealthy, they will simply regenerate more for Michael to direct as he sees fit. Life as a liberal must be wonderful when you can simply wish away all the realities of human behavior and economics that don’t conform with the outcomes you desire.



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