About this whole anti-capitalist, “You rich people didn’t get there on your own”, class warfare talking point:
First of all, duh. To accuse a successful capitalist of not ‘getting there on their own’ isn’t much of an accusation; it’s a fact. Without customers, the capitalist wouldn’t prosper. Hell, he wouldn’t even earn a living without customers. This fact is not one the capitalist would disagree with.
Secondly, the real question is, is a person entitled to the fruits of their own labor? Is there such a thing as private property if a person utilizes anything provided by the state? (And who doesn’t?).
According to the statists pushing this particular argument, no. There isn’t. Because ‘you didn’t get there on your own’, the statist insists that you don’t actually have a claim on anything you’ve worked for. It belongs to the people, i.e. the state. The ownership stake on your property, your labor– meaning, on you– is theirs, not yours.
Your time, your ambition, your ingenuity, your sweat, doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to them, because the people (the state) provided you with a few things. You only have what you have because the people (the state) made that possible by providing things like roads, law enforcement, tax deductions, etc.
Because it provides things, therefore, the state is all-powerful. It owns you, outright, by mere fact of its existence.
Using this logic, therefore, if you:
* Receive an unemployment check provided, in part, by federal dollars? The state owns you.
* Utilize public roads? The state owns you.
* Utilize currency backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government? The state owns you.
…because, no matter how hard you work, no matter how many years you break a sweat, take risks, or make personal sacrifices to accumulate private property (money, home, automobiles, etc.), none of it’s really yours. Everything you have is only what the government has deigned to let you keep. That is the mindset of the statist.
At its essence, what these folks argue for is the abolition of private property rights.
Notice how the state’s fair share of your earnings never seems to be enough. Statists always change the definition of fair share. Why?
Because, in their minds, your property is theirs to portion out.
Today’s greed was yesterday’s fair share. It is whatever they say it is. And it never seems to be enough, does it?
They don’t seem to acknowledge, however, that government doesn’t provide any of these things on its own. They’re provided by money confiscated from citizens who earned it in the private sector, i.e. taxpayers. That’s where the state’s money comes from, at least when it’s not borrowed from another country (China).
By their own logic, then, public servants and those non-productive folks on the public dole, have even fewer private property rights then private citizens, as they earn their living from money received from the government…who gets its money from, you guessed it, private citizens. (Or China.)
So, anyway, when do I get to wander into the White House garden and take my fair share of the vegetables planted there? They wouldn’t have been planted there if not for the tax revenue generated by the efforts of my labor. Don’t I have an ownership stake in that garden?
When do I get to go over to big-government statist Congressman So-And-So’s mansion estate and take a dip in his Olympic-sized swimming pool? As a public servant, he takes public dollars. Therefore, I own part of his pool. I can swim in it whenever I want.
Or how about this:
“Hey, Mercedes Marxist, I’m borrowing your wheels for the afternoon, because your luxury car utilizes roads my taxes paid for. I’ll bring it back whenever, because even though your labor may have paid for it directly, it belongs to the people, i.e. everyone, meaning no one in particular. Oh, and I’ll be patronizing your posh, San Francisco, non-union-labor-staffed restaurant later on, also, for a fancy meal I won’t have to pay for, because, after all, the people own that business venture…meaning no one does. Why would I pay for goods and services that already belong to me?”.
See how childish this is? And where does it end?
If taken to its logical conclusion, it never does. That’s the problem.
Statists love this argument only because, for some odd reason, they don’t feel it applies to themselves or their own property, or that it ever will.
Even when I was younger and more sympathetic to the arguments emanating from the left side of the aisle, I never understood how anyone could call themselves a Marxist (statist), or espouse Marxist ideals– for everyone else, at least– yet possess private property of their own. And, oftentimes, not just possess it, but possess it in abundance.
Then I realized, it’s not about property or how much you have. It’s about having the power to take it from someone else. That, and that alone, is what they’re all about.
It’s not about compassion, it’s about control.
In a nutshell, it’s tyranny.