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Reblogged:Why Wait, Mr. Hanauer?

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Venture anti-capitalist Nick Hanauer, whom Bernie Sanders might call a "good billionaire," has written an op-ed urging the Democrats to steal as much money as possible from "the rich." In the process, he claims it's a great way to "grow" "the economy."

I'm against the whole idea because stealing is wrong, no matter what the excuse, and it is particularly egregious when it is carried out by the government, whose job it is to protect our rights, including to property.

I don't care how used to this everyone is or how long it has been going on. Those things really just make it worse.

Why he has any more money in his bank account than whatever he doesn't consider wealthy is a fair question, and one he should be hounded with. Hanauer has a political right to his fortune, and he may well have earned it, but after this editorial, he has forfeited any moral claim to it.

Having said that, his hackneyed stereotype of "the rich" "hoarding" money -- as if what others do with what they own is anyone else's business and his predictable assertion -- that he knows better what to do with it than they do -- reminded me of the following quote by Ayn Rand, from her 1974 essay, "The Inverted Moral Priorities:"
Image by The Laura Flanders Show, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
In view of what they hear from the experts, the people cannot be blamed for their ignorance and their helpless confusion. If an average housewife struggles with her incomprehensibly shrinking budget and sees a tycoon in a resplendent limousine, she might well think that just one of his diamond cuff links would solve all her problems. She has no way of knowing that if all the personal luxuries of all the tycoons were expropriated, it would not feed her family -- and millions of other, similar families -- for one week; and that the entire country would starve on the first morning of the week to follow . . . . How would she know it, if all the voices she hears are telling her that we must soak the rich?

No one tells her that higher taxes imposed on the rich (and the semi-rich) will not come out of their consumption expenditures, but out of their investment capital (i.e., their savings); that such taxes will mean less investment, i.e., less production, fewer jobs, higher prices for scarcer goods; and that by the time the rich have to lower their standard of living, hers will be gone, along with her savings and her husband's job -- and no power in the world (no economic power) will be able to revive the dead industries (there will be no such power left). [bold added]
Hanauer tries to frame the confiscation he envisions as an "investment," but the first question anyone with any money left over should ask is this: What if my investment makes me rich?

The initiative-destroying example of the policy Hanauer wants means: I won't be rich for long.

Why bother? is a short logical and psychological step away for most, and To hell with a society that will reward me by robbing me! will come to our best and brightest. See Atlas Shrugged.

That said, Hanauer's immoral backing of Biden's proposed spending blowout brings up an interesting fact via the staggering amount of proposed looting: $3.5 trillion. (In this, he is either incredibly naive or dishonest: There is no such thing as enough of other people's money to a welfare state.)

Did you know -- I didn't until this morning -- that the total net worth of the 400 richest Americans is only $3.2 trillion? A few more of the 614 Americans who are (currently) billionaires would have to pitch in -- if we took everything from them.

It is disgraceful that Hanauer has chosen to stand with the looters, and hypocrtitically at that. But as galling as it is that he has so much as a pot to piss in, I hope he doesn't get the wish-fulfillment he deserves.

-- CAV

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