Eugene Robinson Misapprehends Free Market, Capitalism
Holy cow, Eugene Robinson’s uninformed, ignorant screed in today’s Washington Post has got ‘Puter hotter than a fat guy in a sauna. Mr. Robinson is so gravely wrong on so many items, but ‘Puter’s going to limit himself to a few overall observation and close with a direct quote from Mr. Robinson’s piece, as its inanity speaks for itself.
First, the overall critique. Mr. Robinson assumes facts not in evidence. Mr. Robinson leads with his conclusion. The “rich” have seen a greater income increase than the poor, and the only possible explanation is Republican redistributionist policy (“trickle up,” if you will), bought and paid for by the corrupt “rich.”
Here are a few of ‘Puter’s thoughts.
Mr. Robinson blames the income increase gap on Republican policy without any support for his position whatsoever. ‘Puter calls this the “round up the usual suspects” argument, a favorite of Lefties. “The poor make less money than the rich, so it’s got to be a nefarious Republican scheme. I don’t have to show my work, because everyone I know thinks so.” ‘Puter didn’t realize that Mr. Robinson was Pauline Kael’s doppelganger.
Additionally, Mr. Robinson commits an unforced error, assuming that there is a fixed pool of money to be divided among everyone. That is simply not true. Generally, the rich earn more because they create new wealth (more pie, for Mr. Robinson and his cohort) and get all or a portion of what they create. Generally, the poor earn less because they are (1) unskilled, (2) uneducated, (3) unemployable or some combination thereof. This is not some nefarious Republican scheme. It’s American capitalism and market forces. The rich earn more because the markets think they are worth more. The poor earn less because any contributions they can make to the market are inherently less valuable to the market.
Mr. Robinson’s argument is that of the Occupy Wall Street morons: toss out capitalism because it doesn’t value my skills properly. Au contraire, Lefties. ‘Puter finds it far more plausible that the market, within a range, has accurately assessed your worth. The functionally illiterate are essentially worthless, except for brutal manual labor and crappy, dangerous jobs. Harvard educated Wymyn’s Stydys majors who wrote their senior theses on “If Andrea Dworkin Visited The Tribes of The Kalahari, Boy Would She Be Pissed” are worthless because they spent years learning something that provides absolutely no value to others. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is a luxury only the truly wealthy (see, e.g., the Kennedy family) can afford. The rest of us have to learn a useful skill, or join Occupy Wall Street to bitch about how life is unfair. Sorry, Mr. Robinson. The market has in all likelihood accurately assessed the value of the poor and the Occupy Wall Street folks, which is to repeat ‘Puter’s self. If you think otherwise, please show the valuable contributions the poor offer society.
Mr. Robinson’s weak argument is yet another example of the Left’s attempt to cram a moral judgment into law. Put more simply, you have enough money for yourself, so we’re forcibly depriving you of some and giving it to the poor, who we deem worthy. These smug, self-satisfied, would-be thieves would blanch if ‘Puter were to say we need legislation to outlaw abortion because it purposely destroys human life. It’s the same argument, from the other side of the aisle. Liberals will piously tell you that it is always wrong to legislate morals. The unspoken modifying clause is “unless they’re liberal morals.” If you think ‘Puter’s wrong, prove it.
Mr. Robinson never once shows that the poorest quintile’s 18% inflation-adjusted increase is insufficient for them to lead a livable life. If Mr. Robinson has proof, he should provide it. It seems to ‘Puter that most of the bottom quintile likely have microwaves, cable television, housing, food and transportation. Sure, they likely live in crappy neighborhoods, but it’s not the government’s job to pay the poor unearned other people’s money to lift them to a middle class standard of living. If the poor want that, they need to get some skills and get a job.
Next, the three exemplary paragraphs. Here is the dogma of the Left, as related by Mr. Robinson. The fundamental ignorance of economics, American history, the free market, capitalism, private property rights and the rule of law shines for all to see, yet the Left worships at its altar anyway.
Indeed, the CBO report says that even the poorest households saw at least a little income growth. Why is it any of their business that the high-earners in the top 1 percent saw astronomical income growth? Isn’t this just sour grapes?
No, for two reasons. First, the system is rigged. Wealthy individuals and corporations have disproportionate influence over public policy because of the often decisive role that money plays in elections. If the rich and powerful act in their self-interest, as conservative ideologues believe we all should do, then the rich and powerful’s share of income will continue to soar.
Second, and more broadly, the real issue is what kind of nation we want to be. Thomas Jefferson’s “All men are created equal” is properly understood as calling for equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. But the more we become a nation of rich and poor, the less we can pretend to be offering the same opportunities to every American. As polarization increases, mobility declines. The whole point of the American Dream is that it is available to everyone, not just those who awaken from their slumbers on down-filled pillows and 800-thread-count sheets.
Mr. Robinson, the American Dream is available to all. But you have to take it. It’s not a Republican plot preventing the poor from advancing. Sadly, it’s themselves. As noted above, most poor folks are poor through their own faults. It’s not ‘Puter’s job, or the government’s job, to bestow the American Dream on anyone. Nor is it our job to pick winners and losers. Get up, man up and go get your own danged self a piece of the American Dream. All it takes are skills, knowledge and a work ethic.
The Left believes in government as handicapper, the correcter of any injustice or slight, no matter how small. Big government is the Left’s god, and Mr. Robinson is worshipping it from the front pew.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.