Let’s say you recently found yourself at a fancy cocktail or dinner party (and being a leftist, you almost certainly have; in fact, you’re probably at one right now, hogging the crab puffs) and you were ambushed by your hostess, who introduced you to the gentleman you see on the left: Robert Ringer, author of a bestselling back in the 1970s. How would you cope with the situation?
A.) Smile broadly and pump his hand, telling him you’re honored to make his acquaintance, thereby gaining his favor.
B.) Smile wanly and ask him if he’s heard the Good News about Crest Whitening Strips, thereby earning his gratitude.
C.) Get his scrawny neck in a headlock and repeatedly dunk him face first in the toilet, thereby winning through intimidation.
The answer, of course, is D.) You would respond in time-honored Emily Post fashion by spouting Marxist dogma, only to discover — too late! — that the elderly gentleman is actually a columnist for the hard-hitting online newspaper WorldNetDaily, when he eviscerates your blithering doctrine with a factual, but devastatingly witty rejoinder, leaving you both shamed and silenced. Then, blinded by tears, you would throw a tantrum in the butler’s pantry, knocking jars and canned goods from the shelves, before at last squatting on the piano like an ape and swigging from a bottle of Log Cabin syrup.
Which raises the question: how many times does this have to happen to you before you just stop going to these liberal dinner parties?
Perhaps Mr. Ringer’s cautionary tale will help you recognize and amend your embarrassing behavior…
The main reason I’m against giving handouts to countries like Greece is that it sends the wrong message. We should not lie to Europe’s socialist misfits about capitalism. The greatest gift we can offer is to help them understand that freedom is not about security or equality; it’s about insecurity and inequality.
Which is why libertarians, despite their disdain for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, oppose slavery. Yes, it’s got the inequality a free society needs, but there’s just too much job security.
We should also teach them that those who think otherwise are responsible for our $12 trillion national debt and a federal budget deficit that is projected to be in the area of $2 trillion as far as the eye can see. Economic security is not a right, but it sure is a formula for disaster.
It’s been conclusively proven that people buy more consumer electronics when they’re worried about where their next meal is coming from. That may seem counterintuitive, but you can’t argue with the Dismal Science, or its Dismal Scientists.
Unfortunately, progressives right here in our own country do not seem to understand this. This is especially true of so-called limousine liberals. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when a casual acquaintance invited me to a social gathering at his home. After being assured that no members of the Weather Underground, the Communist Party USA, or the White House would be in attendance, I agreed to drop by.
Every hostess knows that a good cocktail party needs quips, so ensure the success of your affair by inviting acerbic and conservative wit Robert Ringer, if Oscar Levant, or Oscar Levant’s corpse, is not available.
I tend to be a target at limousine-liberal gatherings, and, sure enough, a middle-aged gentleman of means came up to me and, from out of the blue, blurted, “Capitalism is the most evil system ever invented.”
Like many famous raconteurs, Robert remembers the old rule, “it’s funny because it’s true!” He just can’t seem to use it in a sentence.
Displaying my finest George Will deadpan expression, I asked how an intelligent, successful gentleman like him had managed to arrive at such a fascinating conclusion. To which he groused, “Under capitalism, the poor are exploited by the rich.” Yikes – it was the ghost of Vladimir Lenin!
I would have prefered the Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, but I’ll take my Communist shibboleths wherever I can get ‘em.
Masochist that I am, I asked him to define the terms “rich” and “poor” for me, but he simply waived aside my question as though it were frivolous.
Ah, the old How Can You Be Poor When You Have a Zune stratagem! No limousine-liberal can withstand it!
My acquaintance’s wife then intervened and admonished us that political discussions were forbidden in her house, thus preventing a Sunday afternoon homicide.
If Mr. Ringer had a nickle for every time he’s been murdered by middle aged limousine-liberals, he wouldn’t have to take Zombie Oscar Levant’s sloppy seconds.
Darn. I didn’t even get a chance to see the expression on his face had I been able to lay this one on him: The gap between the rich and the poor is supposed to increase under capitalism! It’s built into the system.
No need for frustration! Sure, the human face is capable of making hundreds of subtle expressions, but only a few would be appropriate to Mr. Ringer’s statement, and I’m guessing in this case the other gentleman would have gone with #18 (“What’s That Smell?”), #133 (“I’d Like to Hit You in The Face With A Trout”), or #276 (“I Think I’m Sitting In Something Wet”).
But also built into the system is the fact that almost everyone is better off under capitalism. Why? Because trickle-down economics really does work.
Let’s say the Rich are a human being, and the Poor are a plant. The rain falls equally on the Rich and the Poor, unless the Rich hires someone to builds eaves with a gutter system that diverts rainwater into a barrel. Now, the Rich could share the accumulated water, ladling out some for himself and some for the plant. Or, in a perfect capitalist system, he could drink all the water he’s diverted, then urinate on the Poor, thus giving them the benefits of an irrigation source that is fortified with life-giving nitrogen, much as the money that trickles down to the Poor in real life is enhanced with the wealth-creating wisdom of the oligarchs through whom it’s processed.
The U.S. government’s own Census Bureau’s statistics confirm this truth. Average-income figures clearly show that during the Reagan years, almost everyone’s income rose significantly, while during the Carter years, most people got poorer.
Oh man, Bob, wouldn’t it have been great to see his expression when you busted out that statistic? He might have responded that it’s not true, but still — I bet he would’ve made a funny face.
In the Reagan years, what was in play was the so-called invisible hand of the marketplace. When people realize they can reap financial rewards by providing better goods and services to others, they work harder and longer hours to do so. As a result, the economy prospers and everyone is better off.
And when CEOs realize they can reap increased bonuses by cutting staff, quality control, customer service, and off-shoring their whole operation to Viet Nam, then they will golf longer and harder.
On the other hand, the more government interferes with this natural process, the worse off everyone is. How far mankind has advanced is not a reflection of his true potential; it is his true potential minus government interference.
The Roman Empire was great until they started building all those damn roads.
Those who believe that a strong central government is needed to manage a nation’s economy simply do not understand the awesome power of the invisible hand of the marketplace.
Governments can fail. Individuals can fail. But if you eliminate regulations, then the invisible hand will build financial institutions that are literally too big to fail. Let’s see the Fed do something that awesome.
Which takes me back to the growing disparity between the rich and the poor (setting aside, for now, the important question of who has the omniscience and moral authority to decide who should be slotted into these two categories in the first place).
Income isn’t something you can quantify, like Beauty, or Love.
Please, let’s set aside childish notions. Of course the gap between the rich and the poor will always increase under capitalism. But that, of and by itself, does not harm anyone. The only problem is the one caused by envious progressive thinkers who have unilaterally decided that such a gap isn’t “fair.” Which, of course, is merely their subjective opinion.
A rising tide lifts all boats. Of course, if the Rich have bought up all the boats, then the rest of you are kind of screwed, because unfortunately, the Invisible Hand doesn’t know how to perform CPR.
p>If we are to return to the roots of our once-cherished freedom, progressive subjectivism must be defeated.
Mr. Ringer, in case you hadn’t noticed, is “[a] devoted admirer of Ayn Rand.”
Go-along-to-get-along conservatives must come to grips with the reality that compromise does not work. The reason for this is that it encourages a lie, and everyone knows that lies don’t work.
For instance, this column seems to be falling apart like those Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.