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Sultan Knish blog ^ | Saturday, February 15, 2014 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on 02/16/2014 10:41:35 AM PST by Louis Foxwell

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Inequality of Access

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

A day after Bill de Blasio's Tale of Two Cities address in which the wealthy Park Slope resident once again made inequality his focus, the radical pol intervened to spring one of his biggest supporters from prison. The New York Post, a tabloid that unlike the Daily News is much less enamored with the lefty dreamboat of the moment, responded with a cover page reading, "A Jail of Two Cities."

Aside from being the commonplace corruption that one ought to expect from a politician trying to ban horses in Central Park because a wealthy real estate magnate wants to seize their stables, the Jail of Two Cities also reveals the fallacy of government wars against inequality.

When government is big, then true inequality is not of wealth, but of political access. Money can buy you access, or as the recently released Orlando Findlayter discovered, so can being an activist who bets on the right horse-hating politician. The rich can write a check, but the poor can vote early and often. Access isn't about money; it's about becoming useful to those in power.

There are two cities and two countries in America; the land of the politically connected who are part of a network that can score anything from millions in cash to open door prisons and the land of the politically unconnected who don't understand why the government won't leave them alone. It won't leave them alone because in a corrupt system, being left alone is a special political favor.

Government should not be concerned with the inequality of income, which isn't in its purview, but with the inequality of access, which is. It's not the job of government to even out how much money everyone makes, but it is its job to ensure that everyone has equal access to government.

In a city or a country run by income inequality campaigners like Barack Obama or Bill de Blasio, the inequality of wealth takes a back seat to the inequality of access. Pledges of income equality put the equalizers in charge of moving huge amounts of money around and determining who gets to wet his beak and who doesn't.

Battling income inequality leads directly to inequality of access by putting the equalizers in charge of picking winners and losers through the agency of an expanding government that promises to fill in the gaps in income while instead creating gaps in access. The equalizers promise to fix the unfairness of the marketplace and replace it with the ideologically determined unfairness of government.

The bigger government gets, the less sense it makes to invest in business and the more sense it makes to invest in politicians. Powerful politicians are a much less riskier investment than millions of customers whose behavior is hard to predict. The unpredictability of the public makes competition possible and reduces income inequality while the predictability of politicians is a monopoly that increases income inequality as political monopolies become economic monopolies.

Obama handed out hundreds of millions to the Green Energy tycoons who supported him and dispenses ambassadorships to unqualified bundlers who barely know the name of the major country they have been assigned to. Voters who came out in collective groups for Obama got wealth redistribution paydays. Everyone else got taxed.

There is no equality of access even within the ranks of his supporters. The Obama voter was rewarded with ObamaCare, but the ObamaCare website was outsourced to an incompetent company whose top executive was a pal of Michelle Obama. The company got a six hundred million dollar contract and the ObamaPhone voters got a broken website and hours on hold with operators and navigators.

Government works when it's held accountable. Inequality campaigners avoid accountability by assembling a base of enthusiastic voters who come out in large percentages to score special access. Those voters are hard to beat because, like the politicians they vote for, they take bribes, using their votes to gain insider access in a corrupt system while ruining it for everyone else.

They take the bribes and then complain that nothing works. And they're the reason why. Their corrupt choices are why the sidewalks are cracked, the streetlights don't turn on at night, the firefighters don't show up and the pension fund is empty. They have become complicit in a corrupt system that encourages them to take advantage of others even as it takes advantage of them.

A thief is still a thief whether he wears a mask, a suit or a t-shirt with a social justice slogan. When people appoint thieves to steal for them, they shouldn't be surprised when the thieves also steal from them. As the scorpion said to the frog, “You knew what I was when you let me ride.”

The voters who most depend on government vote to break it far more thoroughly than any Tea Party politicians could. No Republicans could have done to Detroit what Detroit did to Detroit. Not even the most extreme Tea Party politician could have done as much damage to the Federal government as Obama did.

Corruption and ineptitude are far more of a threat to the progressive vision than any number of people waving Gadsden flags. Republicans can shut down or slow a progressive program, but only progressives can discredit it from the inside the way that Obama has managed to do with ObamaCare by taking it apart piece by piece to cover for his incompetence and appease pieces of his coalition..

The urban and rural political centers of the Democratic Party are places where the progressive vision lies dead and buried with a stake through its rotten heart while its zombie policy corpse shambles around decaying streets moaning, "Money, money, money."

It doesn't take the Koch Brothers to kill the left. Letting the left have what it wants does it much more devastatingly, but with more collateral damage.

Campaigns against income inequality invariably become mandates for corruption as aggrieved voters convinced that the system is rigged against them embrace the unfair advantage that they believe they are owed and politicians who pocket nine tenths of the take and leave the crumbs for their supporters escape accountability from their own corrupt voters because every crime they commit is officially for the benefit of the underclass.

Class warfare leads to a culture of thievery even inside the most Socialist systems. The Soviet Union's class warfare produced Homo Sovieticus, a disgusting and pathetic creature who believed that  "Everything belongs to the collective, everything belongs to me" and accordingly stole everything that he could get his hands on leading to a broken system where nothing was available in stores and everything was available on the black market.

Even after the fall of the USSR, $400 billion in bribes are paid out annually. It's easy to sneer at the Russians, but their system has only more formally codified an arrangement that in the United States is more informal and assigned to political campaigns. Russians bribe their officials for access. Americans bundle donations to them. The more power a government has over its people, the more people are willing to pay for access to those who hold power over them.

The cycle of corruption follows its own inevitable momentum. The more people come to believe that a system is corrupt, the fewer will vote for honest politicians over the crooks who promise them special benefits. Everyone becomes cynical and complicit in the corruption. Politicians play divide and conquer, redistributing wealth from some groups to other groups. Trust vanishes from government and financial institutions. Everyone suspects everyone else... and everyone steals.

That is the formula for a failed nation, a failed city and a failed community. That is as true of the United States as it is of Russia, Cuba or Nigeria.

A society is built on confidence in its institutions and its people. When that confidence falls apart, savagery takes its place. And then every man's hand is raised against his neighbor, children are taught to steal, men make excessive outward displays of honor and generosity while having no more conscience than a snake, women fear husbands, daughters fear their brothers, rulers fear everyone and everyone fears the rulers, informers proliferate, the secret police are everywhere, nothing works and everyone has someone to blame. That is what a failed society looks like and it is where we are bound.

Social justice politicians begin by telling a tale of two cities and end by locking up everyone in a jail of two cities to which they hold the key.

TOPICS: Government; History; Politics; Religion
KEYWORDS: corruptpoliticians; failedstate; greenfield; socialjustice; sultanknish

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1 posted on 02/16/2014 10:41:36 AM PST by Louis Foxwell
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To: daisy mae for the usa; AdvisorB; wizardoz; free-in-nyc; Vendome; Georgia Girl 2; blaveda; ...

Obam is the first president elected in the US for the purpose of taking advantage of corruption. Nothing about him or his administration is legitimate. With this president we have achieved the very goal he claimed. We have changed the nature of our republic from a Shining City on a Hill to a Garbage Dump.

2 posted on 02/16/2014 10:45:54 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell
Daniel is managing a blog at some personal expense.

I see he's cut back so much that he can't even afford a title for the piece.

3 posted on 02/16/2014 10:52:54 AM PST by humblegunner
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To: Louis Foxwell
Free market economies may not be completely fair, but centralized planning economies are far worse.
4 posted on 02/16/2014 11:05:09 AM PST by oldbrowser (Obamacare is Obama's Great Leap Forward)
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To: All

My apologies. I failed to enter the article title in the title bloc.

5 posted on 02/16/2014 11:34:35 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Greenfield has tremendous insight.

6 posted on 02/16/2014 11:43:59 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Louis Foxwell
Thank you for posting these excellent columns.

The writer understands that there has been a "war" on "the People's" Constitution and its strict and certain limits on elected representatives' use of coercive power to "take" and "redistribute" the people's earnings, under the guise of "helping" some of them.

Democrats have been growing a voter base in order to retain power ceded to them by kind-hearted American citizens who could not distinguish between the merits of private individual enterprise, private charity and the dangers of coercive collective power held by imperfect people in government.

Such lack of understanding has brought us to today's debt, deficits and has endangered liberty for all citizens.

Perhaps a reading of Congressman Davy Crockett's (TN) experience might be a revealing exercise for those who don't see the dangers of turning over our individual responsibilities to those who promise to "help us."

The current Democrat terms of "income inequality," and appeals for "fair share" and "redistribution," rightly can be described as "slavery" by another name.

Government "masters" buy votes in exchange for retaining their "master redistributionist" status, while their "voters" yield up freedom for themselves and future generations.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis
Hear Samuel Adams:

"Is it now high time for the people of this country to explicitly declare whether they will be free men or slaves. It is an important question which ought to be decided. It concerns more than anything in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in this event. For wherever tyranny is established, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent, it is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice.” - Samuel Adams


“The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional.” - Samuel Adams

Early generations understood enough the nature of freedom, of tyranny, and the various "schemes" used to confuse the People that they might have seen through this "inequality of income" line Democrats are floating.

The following pursues the idea of equality in a republic, as published in The Founders' Constitution (See reference below).

Nathaniel Chipman, Sketches of the Principles of Government 177--82

Volume 1, Chapter 15, Document 51

Of the Nature of Equality in Republics.

Some of the most eminent writers on government, have supposed an equality of property, as well as of rights to be necessary in a republic. They have, therefore, prescribed limits to individual acquisition. The Reason given is, that riches give power to those who possess them, and that those who possess power, will always abuse it to the oppression of others. If this be a good reason for limiting the acquisition of riches, there is equal reason for limiting the improvement of bodily strength and mental abilities. Such a step would be an abridgement of the primary rights of man, and counteract almost all the laws of his nature. It would, perhaps, could it be reduced to practice, place the whole human race in a state of fearless quietude; but it would be a state of tasteless enjoyment, of stupid inactivity, not to be envied by the lowest tribes of the animal creation.

If such be the principles of a republican government, it is a government out of nature. Those have made a wiser choice, who have submitted to the less tyrannical principles of absolute monarchy. These are not the principles of a republic. They are the principles of anarchy, and of popular tyranny.

We have just now enquired into the nature of equality among men, and have seen in what it consists; a free and equal enjoyment of the primary rights, which are, the intellectual rights, and the right which men have of using their powers and faculties, under certain reciprocal modifications, for their own convenience and happiness. The equality necessary in a republic, requires nothing more, than this equality of primary rights. I shall here instance in the right of acquisition only, as being sufficient for my present purpose.

To the security of this right, certain regulations, as to the modes and conditions of enjoying the secondary rights, or in other words, of holding property, are necessary. Not, indeed, as to the quantity, but the freedom of acquisition, use, and disposal. To give to any individual, or class of men, a monopoly, an exclusive right of acquisition in those things, which nature has made the subjects of property, to perpetuate, and render them unalienable in their hands, is an exclusion of the rights of others. It is a violation of the equal rights of man. Of this nature are all exclusive privileges; all perpetuities of riches and honor, and all the pretended rights of primogeniture. Inequality of property, in the possession of individuals, is not directly, nor by inevitable consequence, subversive of genuine liberty. Those laws are, indeed, subversive of liberty, which, by establishing perpetuities, deprive the owner of a right of disposal, and others, so far as they extend, of the right of acquisition; which annex privileges to property, and by making it a qualification in government, create a powerful aristocracy.

Riches are the fruit of industry. Honor the fruit of merit. Both ought, as to their continuance, and the influence which attends them, to be left to the conduct of the possessor. If a man, who, by industry and economy, has acquired riches, become indolent, or profligate, let him sink into poverty. Let those who are still industrious and economical, succeed to his enjoyments, as to their just reward. If a man, who, by noble and virtuous actions, has acquired honor, the esteem of mankind, will behave infamously, let him sink into contempt. To exclude the meritorious from riches and honors, and to perpetuate either to the undeserving, are equally injurious to the rights of man in society. In both it is to counteract the laws of nature, which have, by the connection of cause and effect, annexed the proper rewards and punishments to the actions of men. Wealth, or at least, a competency, is the reward, provided by the laws of nature, for prudent industry; want, the punishment of idleness and profligacy.

If we make equality of property necessary in a society, we must employ force, against both the industrious and the indolent. On the one hand, the industrious must be restrained, from every exertion, which may exceed the power, or inclination of common capacities; on the other hand, the indolent must be forcibly stimulated to common exertions. This would be acting the fable of Procrustes, who, by stretching, or lopping to his iron bedstead, would reduce every man to his own standard length.

If this method should be deemed ineligible, the only alternative will be, either by open violence, or the secret fraud of the law, to turn a certain portion of the well-earned acquisitions of the vigilant and industrious, to the use of the indolent and neglectful.

Let us not, in a Republic, attempt the extreme of equality: It verges on the extreme of tyranny. Guarantee to every man, the full enjoyment of his natural rights. Banish all exclusive privileges; all perpetuities of riches and honors. Leave free the acquisition and disposal of property to supply the occasions of the owner, and to answer all claims of right, both of the society, and of individuals. To give a stimulus to industry, to provide solace and assistance, in the last helpless stages of life, and a reward for the attentions of humanity, confirm to the owner the power of directing, who shall succeed to his right of property after his death; but let it be without any limitation, or restraint upon the future use, or disposal. Divert not the consequences of actions, as to the individual actors, from their proper course. Let no preference be given to any one in government, but what his conduct can secure, from the sentiments of his fellow citizens. Of property, left to the disposal of the law, let a descent from parents to children, in equal portions, be held a sacred principle of the constitution. Secure but these, and every thing will flow in the channel intended by nature. The operation of the equal laws of nature, tend to exclude, or correct every dangerous excess.

Thus industry will be excited; arts will flourish, and virtuous conduct meet its just reward, the esteem and confidence of mankind. Am I deceived? or are these the true principles of equality in a democratic republic? Principles, which will secure its prosperity, and, if any thing in this stage of existence can be durable, its perpetual duration.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 15, Document 51
The University of Chicago Press

the term "inequality" that they would not have fallen for the so-called "progressive" ideas being spouted by Democrats today. An example:

7 posted on 02/16/2014 11:45:56 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

Sorry about that extra last line thrown in by gremlins! (Sarc)

8 posted on 02/16/2014 11:47:36 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Louis Foxwell
With this president we have achieved the very goal he claimed. We have changed the nature of our republic from a Shining City on a Hill to a Garbage Dump.

The glorified shoe salesmen who make up much of congress have done their share to turn our country from the Shining City on a Hill to the Garbage Dump... it's not just Obama. He's had help - from Congress, from NBC, from the New York Times...

9 posted on 02/16/2014 11:49:15 AM PST by GOPJ ( America's drifting into totalitarianism because of left's exploitation of social failures.Greenfie)
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