Why Does George Will Hate Billionaires?

1 comment October 6th, 2011at 10:12pm Posted by Eli

George Will is deeply offended by Elizabeth Warren’s obvious communism, clearly on display in this statement here:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. . . . You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Will’s epically point-missing response:

Everyone knows that all striving occurs in a social context, so all attainments are conditioned by their context. This does not, however, entail a collectivist political agenda.

Such an agenda’s premise is that individualism is a chimera, that any individual’s achievements should be considered entirely derivative from society, so the achievements need not be treated as belonging to the individual. Society is entitled to socialize — i.e., conscript — whatever portion it considers its share. It may, as an optional act of political grace, allow the individual the remainder of what is misleadingly called the individual’s possession.

Will thinks that “collectivists,” otherwise known as “people who want a functional country,” believe that the government should collect taxes from corporations and the wealthy solely as some sort of reward or payback for the generosity that made their individual successes possible.  But that’s not it at all – we believe that the government should collect taxes from corporations and the wealthy in order to preserve and grow the foundation for future individual successes.

Starving the government to satisfy some misguided fetish of rugged individualism and self-reliance will make it increasingly difficult for future – and current – entrepreneurs to succeed, as they try to produce, sell and transport their products with poorly educated workers, slow internet connections, and crumbling roads and rail.  More and more of them will either flee to or be out-competed by countries that recognize the value of investing in themselves.

Taxes are not a prize that government arbitrarily awards itself for being generous and awesome.  Taxes are the revenue that government uses to build infrastructure and weave a safety net, making it easier to take risks and then make them pay off.

Will thinks that any government that collects taxes is socialist, that our system is hopelessly tilted against businesses. But the reality is the exact opposite – just ask Dwayne Andreas:

[Archer Daniels Midland CEO Dwayne] Andreas recently told a reporter for Mother Jones, “There isn’t one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.

Hey, I guess we’re both right!

Entry Filed under: Economy,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

1 Comment

  • 1. John M. Burt  |  October 17th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Only ADM could call America “socialist” non-pejoratively…?

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