The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, March 05, 2009
America Shrugged: We are ALL John Galt Now
While there's no consensus definition of how much wealth or income makes someone rich in America, here's a reasonable proposal: Many Americans would consider a family wealthy if it enjoyed either a large net worth today, something on the order of $3 million, or an income big enough to pay for a luxurious lifestyle - with enough left over to save for a comfortable retirement. The $3 million figure would generate around $200,000 in income, plenty to retire on tomorrow. If a couple in their 30s, 40s, or 50s has the option to stop working and live on their ample savings - call it "take this job and shove it" money - they can definitely be classified as rich. The HENRYs don't rate as rich by either standard. They're mostly two-income families. And even with two incomes they don't earn enough for luxurious lifestyles, and their savings don't remotely approach the take-this-job level.But the facts do "not" play nearly as well as Obama's smug class warfare rhetoric. Part of the reason for that is that the Conservatives have failed to field anyone who can articulate those facts and shame the class warriors for the frauds they are.
How HENRYs feel about tomorrow is crucial for the sales of new cars, PCs, and toys. According to estimates by the American Affluence Research Center, the HENRYs control as much as 15% of the $9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending. An even more important point: The HENRYs are crucial to America's economic health because so many of them own small businesses. The debate over their future is now a major issue in the presidential campaign, courtesy of the unlikely and now overexposed folk hero nicknamed Joe the Plumber (full name: Samuel J. Wurzelbacher). He confronted Obama when the candidate was campaigning in Joe's suburban Toledo neighborhood, telling the nominee that he wants to buy a plumbing company but is worried that Obama will raise taxes on small business. Obama responded, in part, that "when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody," which the McCain campaign attacked as socialism. "The whole premise behind Senator Obama's plans is class warfare - let's spread the wealth around," declared McCain. ...
Now let us move on to this bit of pure genius from Dr. Melissa Clouthier, and she doesn't pull any punches. And this one is too good to be missed:
What did I tell you? As spot on as it gets.
Here is what business people do, or rather don’t do, when the government goes too far with taxation: they stop.
- They stop advertising.
- They stop hiring.
- They stop expanding.
- They stop investing.
- They stop risking.
- They stop paying more taxes.
- They stop earning.
- They stop buying.
Screw the government, small business owners say, if I make the same amount of money whether I grow or not, why grow? Why, indeed. And worse, as the letter to the editor writer in the LA Times quoted by Michelle Malkin says:
I have no incentive to hire people or expand my business, because the more I make, the more President Obama will take to expand government. This discourages expansion of the private sector. It will backfire with disastrous consequences for all.
It is repulsive that Obama is being allowed to take this country backward by pickpocketing the very people who run the private sector through their energy, money and creativity.
A good chunk of the slow down right now is that businesses are frozen–and not in the credit way. Those who don’t need credit (can still get it) are sitting out of the game. And the country is going down the tubes and President Obama is “dismissive”:
So how many people are going to make $250,000 now that President Obama has made that the cut-off? Yeah, that many. Like, none. It will be a function of two things: purposefully not making that much money and the government killing so much value that a person can’t make that much money if he wants to make that much money.
Here’s what people will do. They’ll stop:
By going John Galt - reducing my income to the point that I no longer subsidize anyone else via government imposed wealth transfers - I hope to hasten the inevitable collapse. The H.E.N.R.Y.s feel the same way; people who are in the dreaded eeevil, mean capitalist pig $250,000 bracket are cutting back on their productivity. As they should - where does society get the right to enslave these people? The faster the 40% opts out, the sooner the collapse, and the sooner we can correct the situation.
Think of it as praying the alcoholic in your family will hit rock bottom sooner, rather than later. It’s time to stop enabling the entitlement mentality. It’s time to let go of our co-dependency and desire to be liked. It’s time for an intervention. It’s time to go John Galt.
Meanwhile, President Obama puts in place a stupid, demeaning distraction by going after Rush Limbaugh. Ed Morrissey says, “If the first six weeks of the Barack Obama administration can be summed up in one sentence, it would be this: Obama fiddled with Rush Limbaugh while Wall Street burned.”
A friend called today and said that he had a discussion with a guy who couldn’t understand why his realtor wife was upset,”The home deduction change will only affect rich people.”
Enough people feel that way, have so absorbed and taken in the class hatred put forth by President Obama that they will be surprised when they themselves drown when they go down with the ship. Of course, those who are irresponsible and bought on credit have little, they wrongly believe, to lose. It’s only those who actually bought into the “ownership society”, those who invested, saved, bought a house, paid off their cars and lived within their means who have something to lose.
The rest of the citizenry feels entitled to living rich and have done so. Since the easy money parade seems to be over, they’d like to bring everyone down with them.
At least we’ll all be equally dead. Reminds me of the lady on Oprah who said, “I liked you better when you were fat. It made me feel better about myself.” This disgusting impulse reigns and President Obama has encouraged it.
Before I finish this, I’d like to address motive. Is President in over his head or mendaciously driving the country to failure so he can be free to rebuild a Utopia in his image? President Obama’s amateurish foreign policy would seem to indicate the former, but I think it’s both.
President Obama is the ultimate theorist and professor. He’s going to “teach” the silly students the way things ought to be and if they have to learn tough lessons, so be it. He seems utterly unconcerned about real-world results.
Well, it’s not all helplessness and doom. The people are beginning to revolt. And maybe Newt is right. Maybe Obama presents an opportunity to “define the arguments”. My fear is that conservative principles will win the argument, but the war will already be lost.
P.S. And the war lost will be helped by guys like this.
In fact, a visit to Melissa's site is rarely wasted--she articulates the angst of conservatives with the very best of them. You can also catch her from time to time over at Outside the Beltway.