We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
At a social gathering last night, I found myself in a conversation with two Paul Krugman fans who were asserting that the biggest problem in America is the economic distance between the rich and the middle class. They were in favor of heavy taxes on the wealthy to create more equality.
Rather than even trying to provide them with some elementary economics and to explain that wealth is not a zero-sum game, I decided to be provocative. "We should be thankful and appreciative of the wealthy," I declared. "Not only do they pay most of the taxes for everyone else, and employ lots of people, but, for every wealthy family, that is one less family to grow dependent on government services."
My comments fell flat. Need I mention that these people were highly-educated professional upper-middle class people?
Then, at this same gathering, an old friend showed me a photo of himself with his mother from 1941. He was in his Army uniform in the photo. At 6'2, he had lied about his age to get into the Army. He told me that he had been given a five-day leave over Christmas. "I didn't see her again for two and a half years." He fought in the Battle of the Bulge at age 17.
He is a family doctor, working full-time at age 83.
Then you were talking to Socialists, who may have been highly educated (in their fields) and professionals but never quite grasped what you were trying to expalin to them.
Hint: Save you're time and energy. The lines are cast in concrete now and you might as well go outside and howl at the moon as to waist time with them.
I'm happy to see you cast the evening as a social gathering rather than , "I was talking to friends" because my observation of people with that mindset is that they could never be a "friend" of mine. They do not belive in Smith's Invisible Hand, nor even the classic liberalism of Jeremy Bentham. They're a niblet away from being communists with the patina of arrogant hierarchy thrown in for comrades of their ilk.
Since FDR planted the Socialist flag in this country it has had a growing number of adherents who believe capital formation simply "happens", something even Marx avoided explaining in his theories.
Alexis de Tocqueville is always good for a thought provoking quotes ,although as I have dilated on another thread itis a wonder he came so close tot he truth given that his book was entitled, "Democracy in America' which makes one tremendouly fear that the prism through which he observed this country was a grossly distorted one...none the less here are a few quotes that resonate.
"Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom."
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Of course with regard to the second quote we must forgive Alexis for not having the foresight to recognize the solicitation and infiltration of Chinese money into the Clinton's campaigns.
"We SHOULD be taxing the poor. Why? They use up all the services, there's a lot of them, they are already poor, and if they can't afford it they can always move into your house, since you seem to be so generous with other people's money I just figured you could put your mouth where your money is...."
Gates and Buffet are running a fifty billion dollar foundation...Not so bad for some rich guys...Also, I welcome the future internet tax. When all Americans learn how the government is picking their pockets then maybe they will learn...