Within the past week, a new war has flared up. No, not in a foreign country against an evil dictator, but in this country against…billionaires.
Although the Left has always had misgivings about the rich (except, of course, towards those who donate heavily to Leftist causes), with the advent of Bernie Sanders and our favorite Socialist Socialite, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, they’re getting more free with their disdain for people who make lots of money. They’re even trying to spin it into a moral argument, stating it’s an immoral system that allows people to make billions of dollars without sharing because sharing is caring, y’all.
This seems like as good a time as any to delve into the Leftist Lexicon and figure out what we can about billionaires.
What the Left thinks it means – someone who makes money and hoards it so others can’t have it, greedy people who exploit workers to make money
What it really means – someone who makes more money than the Left thinks he or she should
That’s right, kids. The Left’s entire argument against the wealthy is based on perception, and more than a little economic illiteracy, which we’ll get into later. The problem with basing an argument on perception is that it may not be reality. (I know this runs counter to customer service training, but hear me out.) Without understanding context or seeking out the facts behind a situation, our perceptions are skewed, and far too often we let out preconceived notions fill in the blanks as a short cut.
Take the Trayvon Martin shooting, for example. There are more than a few stories out there about what happened, and most if not all of them are based on perception. Only two people know for sure what happened, and one is dead and the other is a lying scumbag. Everyone else’s hot takes, including mine, are speculation at best. And when there’s speculation, there is bound to be error.
When it comes to billionaires, the Left has a glaring error in that they assume the only way the wealthy get wealthy is through dishonest means or government loopholes. In fact, an argument I’ve seen more than once lately with regards to billionaires in general is “they didn’t earn all that money.” Again, this is speculation. In some cases, the wealth comes from hard work paying off. In other cases, money getting reinvested and creating more wealth (and, surprise surprise, jobs). In still other cases, people are born into wealth and stay there unless they make incredibly bad decision.
Like, say, voting for Leftists.
In any case, at some point down the line, someone worked for that money the Left covets so much. Now, if the billionaire in question made money through fraud or questionable means (like, say, oh I don’t know…Uncle George Soros?), then the Left has a point. But to paint all billionaires as thieves and grifters isn’t right. Of course, if you Leftists have proof of such, I’m willing to hear it, but I get the feeling your charges are more wind than anything.
The reason the Left is so quick to attack billionaires relies on an economic fallacy called zero-sum. Basically, zero-sum alleges there is a finite amount of money in an economy, so whenever someone has more of it, it’s at the expense of someone else. Let’s use the ever-ubiquitous example of pie. In a zero-sum mindset, there is one pie and only one pie, so whomever has the largest piece is stealing from those who don’t have any pie yet. The problem with this is an economy is not a single pie. It is a number of pies in all different sizes and flavors. All you have to do is look for the table they’re on, say “Hey, there are some more pies over here,” and chow down to your heart’s content. And because of capitalism, as long as there is a demand for pie and the ability to make it, there will be pie.
But the prospect of a potentially infinite number of pies doesn’t stoke enough class envy to suit the Left, so they pretend zero-sum is the only way to go. Ah, I think we’ve hit upon the real reason the Left hates the wealthy: they can’t keep up with the Joneses. Leftist economic theory sounds good to the ear and looks good on paper where you can manipulate the outcomes, but in practice it creates an environment where success is frowned upon and making everyone equally miserable seems to be Utopia. Sounds like paradise, amiright? Where do I sign up?
Actually, I don’t want to sign up because Leftist economics is a bad solution in search of enough suckers to believe it’s a good solution to what amounts to a non-problem. Bill Gates makes more than I do? Good for him! I don’t agree with him politically, but I will never begrudge his success and wealth as a result of it. His operating system, on the other hand…let’s just say Sybil is more stable than the Windows OS, but that’s neither here nor there. We have three choices when it comes to wealthy people: be jealous of them, be inspired by them, or ignore them and choose our own path. The Left thinks option 1 is the only option because they need victims to sustain their ideology. If you choose door number 2 or number 3, you can’t be a victim, so you’re of no use to them.
As far as the morality of being a billionaire is concerned, the only morality in play is how that person made his or her fortune. Ill-gotten gains are certainly nothing to be celebrated, nor are gains made from dumb luck or a lack of talent. Wealth earned through sweat and innovation, on the other hand, should be celebrated, not demonized. That’s one reason I admire Elon Musk. He’s making money the old fashioned way: by looking into our future. (Wait…but that’s…nevermind.)
So, if you’re a Leftist billionaire, be careful who you root for because the next one they attack may be you.