Our View: Country embraces poverty mentality
"Liberals" — who once stood for individual autonomy and freedom from the governments of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Baines Johnson — embrace confiscation schemes in which authorities decide who gets what. They favor government control of health care, which will result in authorities telling us what we can and cannot smoke, drink or eat. President Barack Obama demands that the rich pay their fair share.
"Conservatives," who once valued limited government and prosperity, want interventionist wars to "spread democracy," and all assortment of restrictions on free trade. They want less immigration, not more, for fear of foreigners consuming portions of a fixed amount of wealth that cannot grow.
Our country has embraced a poverty mentality. Freedom is seldom championed and is considered a radical idea that belongs only to the Ron Paul crowd.
The right and the left are merely in a battle over which aspects of our lives government should control. Leaders in each movement seem to believe that our nation's wealth is limited and maxed out, and redistribution is the way to get a chunk. Both sides of the political spectrum seem unaware of the fact that wealth is created by human endeavors and has no limits. Freedom, which involves the prospect of riches or failure, is the fuel of prosperity. That means freedom for immigrants to invent, produce, or harvest lettuce. It means freedom from government dictates to buy health insurance products we may not want. It means the freedom to keep most of the fruits of our endeavors without being chastised as evil, greedy rich people who are responsible for the plight of the poor.
The mentality of redistribution distracts us from innovation and production. Few have explained this more eloquently than James Robison, author of "Individible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late." Glenn Beck interviewed him recently, mostly to discuss one paragraph:
"When we talk about poverty, we often compare the poverty of some with the wealth of others, as if the wealth of some causes the poverty of others. The problem with our international global economy, argues Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, is that the wealth of the world goes from the poor to the rich. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and poorer. But the gap between the rich and the poor does not automatically mean that wealth is just transferred from the poor to the rich. In a market economy, it is as wrong to say — as saying that the health of some causes the illness of others, or the intelligence of some leads to the ignorance of others. Steve Jobs and his many well-paid employees didn't get rich by stealing iPads from homeless people. In fact, this 'gap' thinking can actually prevent us from helping the poor."
Pull that one out the next time someone tells you the rich harm the poor. Ask them to explain how that works. They won't have a clue.