Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Robert Reich Still Pushing the Populist “Equality” Argument(Idealize Envy)
QandO.com ^ | June 4, 2012 | Bruce McQuain

Posted on 06/05/2012 10:42:03 AM PDT by Son House

And it continues to get sillier and sillier:

The richest 1 percent of Americans save about half their incomes, while most of the rest of us save between 6 and 10 percent. Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need. Each additional acquisition yields a sharply declining level of satisfaction: That second yacht isn’t nearly as exciting as the first.

So when the top 1 percent rakes in more than 20 percent of total income – twice the share it had 30 years ago – there’s insufficient demand for all the goods and services the economy is capable of producing at or near full employment. Without enough demand, the economy can’t grow or generate nearly enough jobs.

So what can we take from that?

Here’s my interpretation -  the top 1% is taking in 20% of the income and burying half in coffee cans in the back yard.  Or said another way, none of it is invested and pushed back out in the economy to entrepreneurs, businesses or other pro-economic growth activities.  They just keep it, stuff mattresses with it or burn it to light their big fat cigars, or something.   Well, at least in Reich’s version of the economy.450px-Share_top_1_percent

And they have this declining level of satisfaction because they have everything they want.   Other than an excuse to take their money, what is relevant about that (even if true)?  Not much.  But back to that excuse business.  We can save them from the disappointment they’re bound to have when they buy that second yacht (which, btw, will provide good jobs and pay for those who build it) and screw the yacht workers.

Finally, when the rich take that 20%, there’s less for everyone else to spend, so there’s insufficient demand.   Really?  That’s why?  Or could it have to do with the awful economy, over regulating state, massive unemployment and business uncertainty driven by those three things?  Could that possibly be responsible for “insufficient demand”?

Anyway, the apparent Reich argument is that if we just made them (the 1%) give up most of that 20% (I assume, given his usual preferences, he’d like to see that via taxes so the government can do the great job it has done up till now spending it – couldn’t trust the proles to spend it properly you know), why there’d be more money to go around and thus somehow magically more demand and everyone would live happily ever after.  And we’d be able to put those yacht workers on extended unemployment and food stamps.  Yahoo!

300px-IncomeInequality7.svgThe end.

The end of sanity perhaps. 

The richest 1% are taking 20% of what size income pool?  Oh, context!  Reich never says.  Nor does he mention the standard of living and comparable income levels of 30 years ago.  Or the fact that much of what cost a lot of money 30 years ago is relatively cheap now in comparison.  Because, you know, that doesn’t help his argument.

And why 30 years ago?  Check out the chart 80, 90 or 100 years ago.

Additionally, the Reich economy is also apparently a zero sum game.  If the rich take it the “poor” don’t get it since there is presumably a defined pot of money available.  Oh, there’s not.  So that again brings us to the question, “20% of what”?

This is just another attempt by a committed collectivist to reignite the class warfare meme.  It’s desperation time in the old political sphere and Reich is counting on economic ignorance and envy to do it’s thing.  Screw the truth (and history) – it’s never been this bad and it is the root of all our ills.

What guys like Reich, Obama, Axlerod and the Occupy crowd don’t seem to understand is this basic truth:

Successful populists such as Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt did not allow their championing of “the little guy” to devolve into class warfare.

They realized that Americans tend to view the United States as a land of opportunity and do not begrudge anyone for becoming wealthy.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said it best:

I have no respect for the passion for equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.

And that’s exactly what that bunch is trying to do.  Idealize envy.

I don’t think, unless the America character has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, it’s going to succeed.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: argument; equality; populist; reich
And it's none of Robert Reich's business how much money anyone earns.
1 posted on 06/05/2012 10:42:11 AM PDT by Son House
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Son House

Everyone should be made the same height, shorty.


2 posted on 06/05/2012 10:44:39 AM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House

Revolutions are always won by those who have the best charts and graphs. /sarc


3 posted on 06/05/2012 10:46:58 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House

“Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need.”

Is it really any of this little moron lib’s business, what the rich need?


4 posted on 06/05/2012 10:52:25 AM PDT by duckman (Go Newt...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: duckman
Is it really any of this little moron lib’s business, what the rich need?

Or, what ANYONE needs for that matter. Why don't they define: need?

This is America. Land of Equal Opportunity....NOT Equal Outcome.

How I LOATHE the left.

5 posted on 06/05/2012 10:55:47 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

We all should be equally big.

And equally long.

As well as (of course) equally high.

Mr. Reich has my support for a constitutional amendment to that effect. Big government should supply the prosthetics that height-challenged, size-challenged, and length-challenged citizens need for a normal, healthy, and productive life!

:-)


6 posted on 06/05/2012 10:59:07 AM PDT by SteveH (First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Son House

In one thing Reich has a point, but for the wrong reasons. That is, the wealthiest *are* saving more of their money, but the reason for this is both Obama created financial insecurity, inspiring just about everyone who can to build up their reserves as “insurance”; combined with an absence of investments yielding enough to make investment worthwhile.

And this applies to everyone from the lower middle class terrified of unemployment, to the wealthy Wall Street financial corporation, terrified that the FED will just march in and take control of their assets so that the government will have more money to waste.

In short, in the days of W. Bush, American investors might have experienced “irrational exuberance”, investing in everything and anything; but in the days of Obama, investors live in fear and distrust of government and anyone who wants their money.

The solution to this problem, oddly enough, is not “more government”. Nor is it a government-backed push for “equality”, which is little more than “stealing from the rich and keeping it, while giving the growing number of poor an I.O.U.”


7 posted on 06/05/2012 11:02:08 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House

Here’s an idea, Bob. You are worth $300M. How about giving 2% of that to Navy and Marine Corps Relief? I’m sorry, Bob; I can’t hear you.


8 posted on 06/05/2012 11:03:32 AM PDT by pabianice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House
In the post-industrial city where I live, 50% of the kids do not finish high school and are functionally illiterate and innumerate. They are still equal in that they can still pursue education and culture (meaning in the non-ghetto sense) and advance themselves. Of course they won't because they are lazy and brainwashed by the “thug” culture and thus they blame successful people for their lack of success. My kids went to the same city schools and are both college graduates and working on careers ( I remember touring the high school and looking in on an honors chemistry class - two Asians and one white kid). You cast pearls before swine and these are the results you get.
9 posted on 06/05/2012 11:10:08 AM PDT by oncebitten (Obama: couldnÂ’t get a clue if he were covered in clue musk and standing in a field of horny clues.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

Maybe Robert should just try out for that little fella’s role on Game of Thrones...or maybe his cousin or something...


10 posted on 06/05/2012 11:21:28 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Son House

Those complaining about equality rant about what one gets and invariably fail to address what one gives.

Multimillion dollar salaries? Most on 5 digit salaries complaining about not making 100 times as much fail to consider, and would fail to perform at, what entails 100 times as much effort & stress & risk. You want that millionaire to give you 10% of his income because “that would be fair”? are you going to, in fairness, exert twice the hours, twice the effort, and twice the risk - to wit 100 hour work weeks, double the productivity per hour, and face prolonged job/wealth loss every few years? No, most people will bitch about putting in a real 40 hour work week (breaks not included), whine “you want better of me, pay me more” to the powerless, and demand job security forever.

This “equality” thing struck me a couple days ago as I watched someone freaking lose it over a mild case of being cut off while driving (more an inconsiderate lane change). If someone can’t handle mundane irritations without flipping out for a half hour afterwards, no way they can handle the stress of managing large-dollar projects. Very few people can, with reliable success, handle “here’s a million dollars to do X; don’t **** it up.” Those who can, earn more.

It’s not what you get. It’s what you’re willing to give to get it. Most won’t do much more than whine.


11 posted on 06/05/2012 11:23:58 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

That little creep is hogging up a space in the shortest 1%.


12 posted on 06/05/2012 11:24:13 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Son House

Mandate height equality. Get reich on the rack or spagettify him by sending him near a black hole.


13 posted on 06/05/2012 11:29:26 AM PDT by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est; zero sera dans l'enfer bientot.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: duckman

“Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need.”

The little weasel has a strange definition of rich. We are nowhere near rich and fit that description simply because we have been smart and frugal with our money.

He needs to shut up and go away.


14 posted on 06/05/2012 11:39:45 AM PDT by sheana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Son House
Nothing can be more socially destructive than the Egalitarian attack on success; the demands for redistribution of the achievements of the successful. And the greatest damage is not to the successful, but to those who are taught to demand, rather than achieve; to envy rather than emulate; to hate rather than respect.

See Blame & Envy--Demagogues' Path To Power; and The Greatest Mischief Ever Wrought.

Whether one's perspective is what actually works in human affairs; what is moral; what is consistent with Western theology; what conforms to the Constitutional intent in America; the answer is always the same. No two of us are completely alike; we achieve in different ways, at different levels. But what works best--really the only thing that truly works--is that each of us be responsible for how we conduct our lives, pursue our callings, deploy our resources.

William Flax

15 posted on 06/05/2012 11:42:44 AM PDT by Ohioan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House
The term "populist" can have many meanings. It does not nail down where anyone really stands, only that they appeal to the populace.

Redistributing other peoples' achievements, against their will, is a specialized case, that places the demagogue advocating it in the most reprehensible category--a proponent of organized banditry masked in pseudo legality.

William Flax

16 posted on 06/05/2012 12:29:46 PM PDT by Ohioan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

It used to be that Robert Reich & Paul Begala were the biggest LIARS in the USA. But Obama has pushed them into second and third place respectively.


17 posted on 06/05/2012 12:49:25 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

I think that maybe Reich has a point (not the one on top of his head), and that we should implement a pilot program for pay equity.

The simplest thing to do is implement it in both the entertainment industry and professional sports. Anyone doing the same job should get the same pay.

So, for instance, every shortstop in the minor leagues and MLB should be paid the same amount. And in basketball, Lebron James should make the same salary as any other small forward. And Tom Brady should make the same amount as any other quarterback in the NFL.

And how about actors. Will Smith should get the same pay as the actor with an “equity card” who can only get a job waiting tables while waiting for his big break.

Mark


18 posted on 06/05/2012 2:14:16 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House
The richest 1 percent of Americans save about half their incomes, while most of the rest of us save between 6 and 10 percent. Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need.

1)The amount of income consumed by a very rich person depends on the amount of their exchangeable wealth, which is their income plus accumulated capital, and not just on their income alone.

When there is an increase in income, there will be only a modest increase in consumption, because it will be consumed in proportion to the way they previously employed this exchangeable wealth in consumption. But the actual fraction of the income that is saved can increase dramatically and still be in accordance with this principle because what is not consumed out of a large increase in income is saved.This principle can explain why individuals with higher incomes tend to save larger fraction of their incomes than do those with lower incomes and, at the same time, why there is no tendency toward an ever rising proportion of saving out of income in the economic system as a whole, as the average level of real income rises.

2)The other principle that is involved with saving is that rich businessmen and capitalists with high rates of profit that are higher than the rate of net consumption for the economy as a whole will tend to have high rates of saving.

This helps to explain how large fortunes are built.They continuously earn high rates of profit by developing new or improved products or new or improved methods of production. Then because their rate of profit is higher than the net consumption rate,they continuously save and invest out of their income and accumulated capital.The high rate of profit provides both the incentive and the means for a high rate of saving, culminating in the possession of a fortune.

19 posted on 06/05/2012 2:49:45 PM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Son House

reiccccccchhhhhhhhh is a commie of the worst kind... he actually worships marx.

LLS


20 posted on 06/05/2012 3:24:55 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Don't Tread On Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ohioan
And the greatest damage is not to the successful, but to those who are taught to demand, rather than achieve; to envy rather than emulate; to hate rather than respect.

I see it now that you point it out.
21 posted on 06/05/2012 5:07:25 PM PDT by Son House (The Economic Boom Heard Around The World => TEA Party 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson