San Diego – A Couple of years ago, progressive Maryland passed a Bill that would be dear to the hearts of the “occupier” crowd now encamped in a number places. It called for the wealthy to give them their money. How? Well, Maryland added a 6% additional tax onto anyone making over $1 Million per year. The folks who dreamed it up asserted categorically that would add a desperately needed $150 Million to the State’s revenues. So what happened?
Well the year before this went into effect there were about 3,000 tax returns from the targeted demographics. The year it went into effect that same demographic group accounted for about 2,000 returns and the State revenues, instead of gaining $150 Million went DOWN by $100 Million. Somebody forgot to tell them that wealthy people can move or even just move their businesses. DUH!
Kalifonia, whose legislature enacted some of the most idiotic but oh-so-progressive regulations and policies under the Return of Governor Moonbeam, euphorically projected increased revenues that would start raising money and save the State Economy. So what happened?
In the first QUARTER of 2011 revenues fell to over $700 Million short of those projections. Of course well meaning warm and fuzzy projects were set in motion in anticipation of the money that never arrived. And petition drives continued to create projects without any attached means to fund them. Both of those drove the state deeper in debt as it refused to go after its own oil and other resources and hounded businesses into submission. In the meantime, while prison guards and snail darters were protected with State funds, education was told to stand by and when the money came in THEN their needs would be addressed. What could have caused this? Well for one thing nearly 700 major businesses left the State last year and took with them their employment figures and the attendant tax bases from corporate tax to individual withholding. DUH!
So what is the rationale for the mentality that concludes worrying about the Delta Smelt, a fish, and pounding on businesses in direct proportion to their success, is more important for the long term success of the State than its educational system trying to churn out graduates who can fill employment ranks and improve the productivity of the State with ever decreasing funds?
When those businesses and wealthy people take their businesses and wealth elsewhere, which they have the money to do, who really suffers? Them? No, it is the people down the economic food chain that were dependent on that tax based to keep the swill flowing in the trough to which they all seemed to think they were entitled… that is, the very people now “occupying” the news.
And the Kool-Aid drinkers in academia, still waiting for a liberal miracle the likes of which have never happened in recorded history, have not grasped the simple fact that educational money comes mostly property taxes which comes mostly from employees who own houses. And when the businesses which employ them are driven away, that tax base goes with them and houses sitting empty around the state and this town now are a drag on investment money, construction jobs, the real estate market, and the state of general tax revenues, especially any earmarked for education.
Unfortunately along with the undeserving, the truly deserving also suffer, including the educational system. From what I have seen on the national media, which seems to favor the occupiers, that group is largely made up of semi-literate members of the parasitically entitled, victim-mentality collective largely unburdened by any sense of need for bath water. Just like us back in the 60’s… but despite the internet and this being the information age, perhaps with even less knowledge of how the world works if that is possible.
But among them are some serious and truly well meaning people who see what is to them an enormous inequity and believe, despite all historical knowledge to the contrary, that Marx, Engles, Lenin, and Trotsky were philosophical and economical geniuses. After all, look at their proudest achievements such as Stalinist Russia, Fidel’s Cuba, Mao’s China, Chavez’s Venezuela….
Oh wait… maybe you shouldn’t look too hard at those examples. Henry Grady Weaver in The Mainspring of Human Progress wrote:
“Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. …
“The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional “do-gooders,” who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others — with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”
Or consider Nobel Prize novelist and poet Anatole France’s thoughts on it when he said,
“Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.”
The ends, no matter how inspired, never justify bad means. You can build a pretty house out of shoddy materials and enough paint but it will not stand. The world is, I’m afraid, far too complex to make even the REAL inequities, where folks were simply blind-sided by adversity not of their own making, yield to simplistic solutions aimed at a highly visible part that even if it is truly involved is rarely more than just a part of the greater picture. With our dumbed-down populace however those simple sounding solutions seem like great and profound approaches; at least so long as the problem is viewed in isolation.
But as the aforementioned governments show clearly, in application, such simple solutions have never succeeded. I suppose one could argue that the problem is Uncle Joe just did not purge enough of those pesky dissidents and Chairman Mao needed to supply his Red Brigades with more bullets or sharper knives and THEN they would have been able to make their social experiments work.
But is that a fitting goal and ideal approach for leaders of this country? How far does one side have to go to demonize the other side before we manage to do what all good propagandists do and turn the opposition into something sub-human and therefore expendible just as ants on the sidewalk are?
Is that what you occupiers or occupier sympathizers really want? It better be, because it is the logical (and historical) end result of what you are asking for. The bad news is that you are not the first to do so. In fact it can be argued that every major autocratic regime from Communist Russia to Fascist Germany to Islamist Iran was put in place by members of academia, both faculty and students, who in their safe academic haven from real world issues were, just sure — just certain — that they knew better how to run the world than people who actually lived in it. And with the cache of their academic credentials proudly displayed, convinced others to join in. And look what it got them. in every case once they had installed their pet savior, assuming they would be able to lead and control them, they were the first ones marched off to the wall or scaffold.
The good news for you occupiers is that the current president supports you and is himself trying to dismantle the economic well being of this country so he can be called upon to rebuild it as he thinks it ought to be. Shades of Professors Cloward and Piven from his Alma Mater. (If you do not know who those people are or what they taught you REALLY need to acquaint yourself with them. Just Google the names, its easy.)
For the rest of you, be very careful what you ask for and of falling for the appealing sounds of the “social justice” rhetoric. Not once has it worked out as planned because not once was it handed over to other than human beings to administer. Only someone totally unburdened by a knowledge of history, sociology, and psychology can believe we are hard wired to be altruistic, which inexplicably be a foundational requirement for the progressive ideals to work.
To be honest I wish it were otherwise. Perhaps in another few million years of evolution we can shed the million or so years of evolving our species into the apex predator of the planet and now evolve into a species truly devoted more to common good than personal good. Perhaps with some time and practice we can learn the difference between current concepts of self-interest and the concepts of “enlightened” self interest where we can see that, in fact, our own personal best interests are best served by the overarching interests of society as a whole. Perhaps…
But I’m afraid we have a long way to go. And until that day arrives, there are some ugly constants in play as humans interact with humans and unless we take the time to understand them, that is, US, as they/we are and deal with them realistically, we will learn the lessons of the Russian and Chinese peasant classes over and over as the tigers we loosed on the world turned out not to be the comforting fuzzy stuffed animals we perceived but the powerful wielders of fangs and claws they really are.