Think About It!

If you are a Conservative and think you hate big government. If you are one of those who thinks social programs are unfair and just take money out of your pocket and give it to those who are lazy or undeserving, then I have a question for you.

Do me a favor and think about your life, and what is important to you. Then try and identify that one person in history whose accomplishments have resulted in what now most positively impacts your life. Maybe this is a great scientist, philosopher, artist, musician, or politician. Whatever technology, medical discovery, idea, invention, or cultural accomplishment has been the most beneficial and important thing in your life, given you the most joy, happiness, money or other fulfillment, that thing exists and is available to you because of the accomplishments of those in the past. Maybe it is as simple as your parents or ancestors working hard and becoming wealthy so that you can be wealthy also. In any case, identify the one person most responsible in the past.

Now that you have a name in mind, imagine that person having been born into abject poverty and not being able to fulfill their potential and make those accomplishments because all their energy was required just to stay alive. Imagine that person dying at an early age because they had no access to health care, and the result was they never made the accomplishments that make your life so worth living.

My point is that every human being has some level and manner of potential for accomplishment, and where the greatest potential appears among humans has nothing to do with race, color, affluence, nationality, or any of the labels and divisions we create to separate and categorize human beings. And here is another relevant truth. Potential is non-transferable. You cannot take it from a poor kid and give it to a rich kid. Also, accomplishment can only come from potential, and the accomplishment of a family, a city, a state, a nation, or any other societal unit, is the summation of the accomplishments of all the people within that societal unit. If any member fails to reach their potential, then their accomplishments are less, and the accomplishments of the entire societal unit are less as well.

So, here is the bottom line. Those of us who support social programs and universal health care do not do so because we have bleeding hearts. We do so because we know that increasing opportunity and reducing hardship are things that help people fulfill their potential and do great things, and the greatness of America depends on Americans, ALL Americans, reaching their potential and doing great things. If you agree that the purpose of government is to assist a nation in accomplishing great things, being strong, being safe, and having a high standard of living, then you must also agree that it is also the duty of government to do what it can to reduce hardship and provide opportunity to all Americans. Inequality is not only a bad thing because people are suffering and have less, it is a bad thing because people are denied the opportunity and freedom from hardship that they need to fulfill their potential, make great accomplishments, and thereby make America and ALL Americans greater, safer, and more affluent. Think about that!

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It’s Not That Complicated!

There are 2 ways the 1% in this country can maintain and increase their wealth.  They can buy politicians and steal from the 99% by reducing wages and ending social programs, OR they can help the 99% become more affluent by increasing wages and paying higher taxes so the government can maintain social programs.

Now, the first way is quick and easy, but not sustainable in the long term.  It causes much hardship and harm, and bypasses the economic engine through which consumers buy products and services.  The 2nd way seems counter-intuitive, but in the long run is the stronger and better way for the 1% to increase their wealth (even though they pay higher taxes).  Buy funneling money through the economic engine and helping the 99% have more money to spend, value is added because the demand for products sparks innovation and investment (even if businesses have to take out loans, which is good for the financial industry as well).

Simply moving money from the 99% to the 1% via higher taxes, lower wages, and less government spending on social programs does NOT add value to the system, it simply pads the bank accounts of the wealthy.  Consumers have no money to spend, and no business person in their right mind is going to innovate and invest in new jobs if there is no demand for their products.  On the other side of the coin, no bank is going to loan money to consumers with low-paying jobs just to put food on their table.

The more affluent the 99% become, the more spending there is, the stronger the economy becomes, and the wealthier the 99% become, but at the same time, the entire country has a better standard of living.  Even if you believe in Capitalism and the free market, consumer demand is the key to success, not fat bank accounts for the 1% while the 99% remain destitute.

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