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The 1% And Pies For Prosperity

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The Mission statement from OccupyWallStreet.org reads, in part, as follows:  “#ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”

Also, the mission statement of The Alliance for Global Justice, the nonprofit organization that handles the money transfers from financial supporters to the various “occupy“ groups, reads:  “…We recognize that the concentration of wealth and power is the root cause of oppression requiring us to work together across ideologies, issues and communities…”

In a recent Huffington Post article titled “Reawakening the Radical Imagination,” contributor Matt Sledge wrote that Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is “a loosely organized group of activists concerned about growing income inequality, corporate greed and the global influence of powerful financial institutions.”  He also commented on its supporters by noting that President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have given it (OWS) a nod.

Yes, no doubt they have, since the OWS mission closely resembles that promoted by President Obama, and exactly fits his strategy of blaming “greedy Wall Street Tycoons” for his own policy failures. Although Obama’s 2008 campaign message was carefully managed to hide his radical anti-capitalist roots, his real political philosophy sometimes showed through during the campaign’s unscripted encounters, like his conversation with “Joe the Plumber,” when he said that everyone would be better off if we spread the wealth around. Implicit in this “spread the wealth” doctrine of Obama, OWS, The Alliance for Global Justice and all other socialist/progressive  wealth redistribution supporters is the commonly held belief that the success of the 1% is what causes the poor to be poor. Obama’s spiritual mentor, the Reverend Wright, expressed the position succinctly when he said ,” White greed leaves the world in need.”

But is that assertion correct?  The proponents of this anti-capitalist political philosophy almost never feel the need to explain exactly how the financial success of the “1%” causes everyone else to be poorer. When an explanation is offered, it is usually accompanied by an exasperated sigh and a “pie” illustration that shows how one person taking a bigger piece of  the economic pie will leave everyone else with smaller pieces. That illustration assumes, of course, that the economic goods and services produced  by a society are a fixed, finite asset that is unaffected by the efforts of the greedy 1%, who only take more than their share, without contributing anything positive.

In truth, exactly the opposite is normally true. The 1%  are the highly successful entrepreneurs and executives who make the pie much larger or add new pies, that never previously existed. Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and every other successful producer adds jobs and wealth to the society that did not exist prior to their efforts, and no successful society can exist without their genius. We live in a time and nation with the greatest material wealth in the history of mankind because of the extraordinary past efforts of the 1% to mass produce  large quantities of goods at an extremely low cost. We owe a debt of gratitude to Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, and every highly productive 1%er who built this nation’s industries and left us an economy that made us the wealthiest people on earth. When the “good” done by these industrial Titans is normally described, mention is made of their generous charitable giving or their foundations, but, in truth, the real good they did was building  businesses that multiplied our wealth and made this country the most prosperous on earth.

When the 1%  work to build their own wealth, they also create jobs and opportunities for others that would not exist without their efforts. Russia,  China and the other communist nations have already demonstrated that demonizing the producers only leads to oppression and poverty. The OWS demonstrators and other similar neosocialists enjoy prosperity and freedom because of the efforts of the 1%, and fail to understand that it is they, and not the 1%, who stand in the tradition of thinkers who enslaved and impoverished  almost half of the world’s population for much of the 20th Century.

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