In today’s politically correct world where the Left continually argue that the millionaires and billionaires are evil, press for redistribution of wealth, and fan the flames of CLASS WARFARE regarding MONEY something is missing, in my view. When did it become socially, morally, and politically right to take from someone who earned, created, or inherited and give it to someone who did nothing to deserve it? I have a question for all the HATERS of those who are wealthy, (I am not wealthy or a hater). If someone is worth $100 today and 3, 5, 10 years later through their entrepreneurial ventures, hard work, or good fortune become worth $100 million how is that wrong and how is it right for you to expect to share in their wealth?
I agree with Thomas Jefferson in his letter to Joseph Milligan dated April 6, 1816, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” James Madison said it in a different way when he addressed the Virginia Convention, “It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated. The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right.” If you earned it, worked for it, invented something or inherited something IT IS YOURS and NO ONE deserves any portion of it other than what you CHOOSE to share with them. If they are in your employ they deserve their salary and any agreed upon benefits or bonuses you choose to convey to them, NOTHING MORE. If your good fortune is to become wealthy that is nothing to me unless an inspiration to try harder, venture and risk more and strive to climb that ladder. The Bible warns against COVETOUSNESS. It also addresses GREED, but a greedy heart affects me only as I do business with that individual.
Warren Buffett, reportedly worth over $75 BILLION continues to spin the idea that there is something inherently flawed and possible evil in our Capitalist System while enjoying the benefits of that system. His rhetoric is a page out of the Leftist Playbook and although he and other MULTI-BILLIONAIRES talk about how mistreated and lacking the rest of society is, few of them are opening their checkbooks to those who are on the lower end of the spectrum. Some of them do, but the problem is not that the system is flawed it is that some do not invest the time, energy, ideas, and pursue the doors of opportunity to achieve that dream of wealth. Many complain about some from other parts of the world who immigrate to America becoming wealthy. On one hand, when the government subsidizes those individuals but not natural born Americans I find that objectionable. But, when I view the work ethic, the entrepreneurial energy and willingness to risk all that produces success I applaud and sometimes am shamed by the fact that I have not demonstrated the same enterprise.
It is my personal view, and that of our Founders and the Framers of the Constitution that PROPERTY RIGHTS are as important as the other rights. I wonder how it would be perceived today had the Declaration of Independence used the Lockean formula, “life, liberty, and property” rather than “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” That would be a death knell to the Leftist Democrat philosophy and argument that the rich are evil and their ability to engender CLASS HATRED in millions. Would it have caused or cause people to realize that what one has is theirs and if you do not have it is incumbent on you to either recognize you cannot afford it and deal with that or labor and save to acquire it? Would it have inspired more to RISK in the arena of economics? Would it diffuse the Class Hatred? Had that been the stated philosophy in the Declaration of Independence rather than the inferred philosophy it possibly would have an effect on many today. That was the view of our Founders and Framers and not until we entered the 20th Century where people adopted a mentality of entitlement and political bribery to secure votes people may have envied the rich but they understood a simple truth, forgotten today. That truth was that what someone else had was theirs and theirs alone!
In the new TAX REFORM bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President the political views on both sides of the aisle have allowed it to be flawed. There are good things in it, but there is bad in it as well. Take the property tax exemptions being reduced, that is bad not for blue states or red states but PEOPLE. If you used your money to purchase the property it is yours. Some Republicans called the deduction a government subsidy. SERIOUSLY? I paid taxes on the money used to buy the property and now I must pay taxes on the property and now by paying this tax and not being allowed to deduct it, I am paying more taxes or in a very real sense a second tax on that money. If we had a flat or fair tax I would find it less offensive to take the mortgage deduction away. However, when anyone argues it is not fair because everyone cannot afford a mortgage I go back to the arguments of Jefferson and Madison and ask, “Is everyone entitled to a mortgage?” Are we a Socialist country where the government basically owns everything, and everyone has property equally or are we a Free Enterprise nation where our financial system is capitalism? Are we obligated to guarantee everyone a home, a job, a car, a cell-phone, the internet, a computer, or even healthcare? Have we become a nation where what you have or what you have earned is not yours but belongs to the government allowing them to redistribute it to whomever they choose?
If you become a BILLIONAIRE overnight that affects me ZERO and I will never hate you for being so fortunate. I will fight against envy for that is biblically and morally wrong. I may admire you and be inspired by your good fortune or success and listen carefully for opportunity’s knock on my door, but hate you I will not. No, I do not believe that simply being rich makes one evil. I do not believe that anyone has the right to demand from another what that person has earned or owns. It may be morally questionable for them to horde their wealth and ignore the plight of others, but I have no right to demand they SHARE THE WEALTH. I have the right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” which would include the right to attempt to climb the ladder of success. I personally, invested most of my adult life in the gospel ministry and in that have not amassed a lot of this world’s goods. That is not a complaint because I would not trade my experience and service for the billions of the Warren Buffets of this world. I know what it is to live from paycheck to paycheck or offering to offering. I know what it is to pray your vehicle from one destination to another asking for divine help in keeping it intact and running because there was not enough money to replace or repair it. I know what it is like to make $50 per week and spend $25 every two weeks at the doctor’s office caring for a child. I know what it is like to be POOR and I know what it is like to have enough to not worry about things like I mentioned. As the apostle Paul, “I know what it is like to be abased and to abound” but neither is my focus. If I ENVY you and allow HATE to develop a root of bitterness will develop and I will be affected and others as well. I, as do most of you, know some wealthy people who are incredibly generous and some who are stingy. I believe Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.” What you GIVE you GET. You reap WHAT you sow, LATER than you sow, and MORE than you sow. If you have abundance, I praise God for you that He has blessed you so. If you have lack, I pray to God that He provide your every need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus. Yes, I connect my faith to my politics and make no apology for it because it has shaped my worldview and life view.
God bless you and God bless America!