Skip to content

Wall Street Trick (us) And Treat (themselves) 365 Days a Year


Another quote from P.J. O’Rourke:

Economic history since the Industrial Revolution proves — be the rich however stinking rich — we ordinary people can make more of the good things in life. But we have to make them ourselves, with our knowledge, skills and hard work. Government can’t give us good things. Government doesn’t make things, it just redistributes them.

I just don’t get this sort of thinking at all. Yes, self reliance is great, is to be encouraged and is to be admired. We as individual members of society have a responsibility to take care of ourselves as best we can. However, if that was all that was needed for survival then we wouldn’t need government at all. Government doesn’t just redistribute things! But when it does, it should redistribute fairly and rationally. Right now, government redistribution is tilted further towards the rich and powerful than any time since the Great Depression.

Like Elizabeth Warren said,

there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You are safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for. … You built a factory and it turned into something terrific, God Bless. Keep a big hunk of it but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay it forward for the next kid who comes along.

Just as the government protects factory owners, the government should protect consumers. It doesn’t matter whether “we ordinary people can make more of the good things in life” if those gains in productivity are redistributed up to the folks that can afford the lobbyists who actually write many of our laws.

It is implausible to credit 1% of population for virtually all productive gain since 1979 yet 1% received virtually all benefit.

– Iron Filing



  1. Patricia wrote:

    Wxcwllwnt post! Pretty damning graphs for CBO! The greatest danger in the current media echo-chamber is that only things that get a lot of hits filter to the top, and all of the so-called news is just cut and paste of what’s on top. Nobody wants to pay for real research and reporting! End Rant!

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Patricia wrote:

    Oop1 That was supposed to be “excellent.” Finger lapse!

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    Time to remind you again of Richard Mellon Schaife.
    I went to school with people like him. Scaife is involved in the “heritage Foundation” where Virginia Thomas works. Only Scaife does not have to work or ever have to work. His inherited money came from the rape of the swamps around New Orleans that Ultimately led to the devastation of Katrina. I went to school with the duPonts whose work consists of following their portfolios. So Elizabeth Warren is right.
    I would say closest we have to self made people are the Jewish who got off the boats in NYC with nothing, grabbed a cart and started peddling. “Our Crowd”

    Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 7:38 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Filing wrote:

    EBDOUG – Thanks for the reminder of the link about Scaife. I didn’t go to wikipedia about Scaife before because I thought I already knew all I needed about this repugnant man.
    It was interesting to read that he has funded some worthy causes as well. Reality is always more complex than the cartoons we draw. Even so, this man repels me!

    Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  5. Arthanyel wrote:

    I have decided to coin a new term to describe our current form of financial system. It isn’t capitalism, it’s “Casinoism” – a form of plutocracy where the 1% have set up the game that they cannot lose over time, and made sure that the people that write and enforce the rules (the government) are a majority owned subsidiary.

    The only way to beat the game is not to play, or to make sure that the people that write and enforce the rules are not slaves to the 1%.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink