Collectivism Across Party Lines

 

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.” – Elizabeth Warren, campaign speech 2011

“If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

– Barack Obama, campaign speech 2012

 

BOSTON - JUNE 25: President Barak Obama with Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren during at a fundraiser in Symphony Hall on Monday, June 25, 2012If you acquire any possessions by economic means, this is to say by your own efforts, serving consumers in voluntary trade, they actually do not belong to you, according to these two elitist leftist politicians (who you may be interested to learn, are far from poor).  Only what the State graciously allows you to own is yours – provisionally.

Photo credit: Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

 

The Left is clear about their view. You do not get credit, and you do not own your business by right. When the government taxes you, taxes you some more, regulates you, and licenses you, it has the right. Because you didn’t build that.

As with so many issues, the Right seemingly opposes the Left. Certainly, there was outrage at the outright, open expressions of communist ideology from Warren and Obama.

But let’s drill a bit deeper. Let’s look at a litmus test to see if conservatives really believe that you own your business. Or perhaps they accept that you are a mere steward of the people’s resources, for the good of the people.

Can you hire or not hire anyone? After all, if you did build that, then it’s yours by right. And as a matter of right, you can decide who to hire. Right?

 

ghw-bushBut this guy is a conservative, right? Surely he stands for small government and property rights? And no new taxes…:)

Photo credit: James A. Iii Baker

 

Not so fast. Here is what President George H.W. Bush, considered to be a conservative, said at the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990:

 

“It will guarantee fair and just access to the fruits of American life which we all must be able to enjoy.”

 

This is a law forcing businesses to do what they did not agree to do. Who built that business again, Mr. Bush?

But this conservative does not think that way. He thinks of it as “access” to the “fruits of American life”. Access to what? Fruits grown by whom, Mr. Bush??

He continued:

 

“And then, specifically, first the ADA ensures that employers covered by the act cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.”

 

Clearly a mere steward has no right to hire based on his own preferences. Then he made it even more clear:

 

“Second, the ADA ensures access to public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, and offices.”

 

Who built that? No matter! Mr. Bush declared your business to be “public accommodations.” And in his view, it’s the role of the government to grant people “access”—to force you to give it to them.

How far is the view of Mr. Bush from that of Ms. Warren and Mr. Obama?

OK who else, aside from the Conservatives and the Left, thinks you didn’t build that? Consider the following recent dialog:

“If we discriminate on the basis of religion, to me, that’s doing harm to a big class of people.” – Politician

“The Jewish baker should have to bake the cake for the Nazi wedding?” – Moderator
“That would be my contention.” – Politician

The politician is, of course, Libertarian Gary Johnson. He does not necessarily think that you built that business any more than Bush things it or Obama thinks it.

 

johnsongary_060616gn4If Gary Johnson is a libertarian, then he is evidently  a  so-called “thick” libertarian – a sub-set of the libertarian movement that has decided to abandon strict application of the non-aggression principle by arguing that the State should impose “social justice”. As so often, this is a slippery slope, because soon there is nothing the State cannot legitimately do. The Rothbardian wing of the libertarian movement is appropriately aghast at this development.

Photo via thehill.com

 

Johnson sees the question in terms of whether “we” should discriminate. Who is this “we”? One is left to conclude that he means those people who really built your business. The public, presumably.

The Left may be more brazen, more willing to go there, more shameless in taking your business away from you.

First in theory, morally, by declaring that you are not a creator or hard worker or whatever it takes to build a business. Then in practice, by setting no limits to taxation, regulation, permits, and compliance.

However, the Right and even some Libertarians are on board the same boat. They may stick to humanitarian imagery. They typically prefer to couch their desire to control your business in more palatable terms. But government control of your business stinks all the same.

 

weWho’s “we”? Appropriate applications of the term are when it is used as the pluralis majestatis (the royal “we”), or the pluralis modestiae we employ (also known as the pluralis auctoris) – the plural of humility, to be employed when a single person imparts knowledge to others, so as to soften the arrogance of gnosis.

Cartoon by Adri van Kooten

 

At the root, it necessarily comes back to the same principle. The only way to justify coercing you to “grant access”, the only justification to force a Jewish baker to serve a Nazi cake, is on grounds that it’s not really yours.

You didn’t build that, so shut up and let the government manage it for the benefit of others!

This essay is a followup to my previous post, Antidiscrimination Law.

 

Image captions by PT

 

Dr. Keith Weiner is the president of the Gold Standard Institute USA, and CEO of Monetary Metals. Keith is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. Keith is a sought after speaker and regularly writes on economics. He is an Objectivist, and has his PhD from the New Austrian School of Economics. He lives with his wife near Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

2 Responses to “You Didn’t Build That!”

  • bayou:

    You’re usually very fair, but in this case I feel the need to add: You’re taking Obama completely out of context. He was referring to infrastructure that all businesses depend on, and in fact, did not build.

  • bart:

    “There is no politician or bureaucrat on this planet who helped anyone on his or her own — no politician or bureaucrat… ever.”

    — bart, 2016

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Trade War Game On!
      Interesting Times Arrive “Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?”  The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.   Ancient Chinese curse alert... [PT]   “One moment markets are gorging on financial slop like fat pigs in mud.  The next they’re collectively vomiting on themselves. I’ll tell you one thing.  President Trump’s trade war with China won’t end well.  I mean, come...
  • The Dollar Cancer and the Gold Cure
      The Long Run is Here The dollar is failing. Millions of people can see at least some of the major signs, such as the collapse of interest rates, record high number of people not counted in the workforce, and debt rising from already-unpayable levels at an accelerating rate.   Total US credit market debt has hit a new high of $68.6 trillion at the end of 2017. That's up from $22.3 trillion a mere 20 years ago. It's a fairly good bet this isn't sustainable....
  • US Stock Market: Happy Days Are Here Again? Not so Fast...
      A “Typical” Correction? A Narrative Fail May Be in Store Obviously, assorted crash analogs have by now gone out of the window – we already noted that the market was late if it was to continue to mimic them, as the decline would have had to accelerate in the last week of March to remain in compliance with the “official time table”. Of course crashes are always very low probability events – but there are occasions when they have a higher probability than otherwise, and we will...
  • Rise of the Japanese Androids
      Good Intentions One of the unspoken delights in life is the rich satisfaction that comes with bearing witness to the spectacular failure of an offensive and unjust system. This week served up a lavish plate of delicious appetizers with both a style and refinement that’s ordinarily reserved for a competitive speed eating contest. What a remarkable time to be alive.   It seemed a good idea at first... [PT]   Many thrilling stories of doom and gloom were published...
  • Claudio Grass on Cryptocurrencies and Gold – An X22 Report Interview
       The Global Community is Unhappy With the Monetary System, Change is Coming Our friend Claudio Grass of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland was recently interviewed by the X22 Report on cryptocurrencies and gold. He offers interesting perspectives on cryptocurrencies, bringing them into context with Hayek's idea of the denationalization of money. The connection is that they have originated in the market and exist in a framework of free competition, with users determining which of them...
  • Getting High on Bubbles
      Turn on, Tune in, Drop out Back in the drug-soaked, if not halcyon, days known at the sexual and drug revolution—the 1960’s—many people were on a quest for the “perfect trip”, and the “perfect hit of acid” (the drug lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD).   Dr. Albert Hoffman and his famous bicycle ride through Basel after he ingested a few drops of LSD-25 by mistake. The photograph in the middle was taken at the Woodstock festival and inter alia serves as a...
  • No Revolution Just Yet - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Irredeemably Yours... Yuan Stops Rallying at the Wrong Moment The so-called petro-yuan was to revolutionize the world of irredeemable fiat paper currencies. Well, since its launch on March 26 — it has gone down. It was to be an enabler for oil companies who were desperate to sell oil for gold, but could not do so until the yuan oil contract.   After becoming progressively stronger over the past year, it looks as thought the 6.25 level in USDCNY is providing support for the...
  • The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries
      A Well Known Seasonal Phenomenon in the US Market – Is There More to It? I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.   Due to continual monetary inflation in the...
  • Flight of the Bricks - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Lighthouse Moves Picture, if you will, a brick slowly falling off a cliff. The brick is printed with green ink, and engraved on it are the words “Federal Reserve Note” (FRN). A camera is mounted to the brick. The camera shows lots of things moving up. The cliff face is whizzing upwards at a blur. A black painted brick labeled “oil” is going up pretty fast, but not so fast as the cliff face. It is up 26% in a year. A special brick, a government data brick of sorts, labeled...
  • From Fake Boom to Real Bust
      Paradise in LA LA Land More is revealed with each passing day.  You can count on it.  But what exactly the ‘more is of’ requires careful discrimination.  Is the ‘more’ merely more noise?  Or is it something of actual substance?  Today we endeavor to pass judgment, on your behalf.   Normally, judgment would be passed on a Thursday, but we are making an exception. [PT]   For example, here in the land of fruits and nuts, things are whacky, things are...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com

Diary of a Rogue Economist