What Constitutes A Fair Share?

As the president’s State Of The Union speech came and went, we were again reminded how he feels that everyone should get their “fair share;” he brought it up twice.

I couldn’t agree with him more; each person does deserve their fair share. But here’s the rub, he isn’t actually promoting policies that would garner us citizens our fair share.

Your fair share consists of two things: that which you have earned and that which you are entitled to.

What you have earned is simple enough, you work forty hours, you make $20 an hour, you’ve earned $800 of your employer’s revenue stream that week.

If you want more, you must either negotiate for more, find an employer willing to pay more, or start your own company and make more, but you agreed to $20 an hour when you were hired, so that’s all you can rightfully lay claim to.

What you’re entitled to however, is any amount people have voluntarily directed towards you, or which you are owed; a somewhat more complex amount to explain, as there are many possible examples.1151px-Wounded_Warrior_Project_logo.svg[1]

If you’re a soldier who has lost a leg in battle for instance, and you were to contact the Wounded Warrior Project for help, you would be entitled to your fair share of what the WWP receives in donations, since helping soldiers like you is their raison d’etre.

If you own stock in a company that pays dividends, you’re fair share are the dividends your shares in that company earned.

But one example I think is most egregiously violated by government would be if a relative gives you what they earned or inherited, either through death or good will. It was their property, and they wanted you to have it. Yet Uncle Sam, via death taxes, feels that they are entitled to a portion, which is upsetting since this money was already taxed when your benefactor earned it.

So what isn’t your fair share? Despite Obama’s best efforts to convince us otherwise, what someone else has earned or is otherwise entitled to. That is their fair share, not yours, and you have no reasonable claim to it.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

When Obama suggests people aren’t getting their fair share, he’s actually proposing legislation to equalize shares. He wishes to close the gap between the richest and the poorest under the guise of compassion. While this is a noble goal, so long as people are inherently different in intellect, skill, luck, and motivation; this type of equality can never fairly exist.

Statists feel that definitions of “fair” and “equal” are synonymous. But equal implies a like amount, fair applies an amount that you can fairly lay claim to. So why does Obama use the word fair instead of equal?

As I pointed out in my last post, tests with Capuchin monkeys showed that humans aren’t the only animal with the innate understanding of a fair share.

These monkeys were trained to give the researcher a piece of granite. In return for this bit of “work,” they were given their “pay;” either a cucumber, or a grape. The grapes being significantly more preferable than the cucumbers to the monkeys, were effectively the “greater” share for purposes of the experiment.

As you can see, when the monkey’s weren’t given their “fair share,” they reacted as anyone else would act—they were furious. They did equal work, but didn’t get equal pay.

What Obama’s doing by using the term fair share, is appealing to that sense of fairness instilled in our genetic code. But he’s doing so behind a fallacious argument.

If I were to walk up to you, put a gun to your head, and demand you give your money to the person next to you, whether they are poorer or not, it’s a felonious crime. Yet somehow, when we vote for government officials to do that exact same thing (the IRS is armed after all), it’s miraculously, and rather contrarily, deemed compassionate.Statism-c-c[1]

There is no feasible argument one can make to explain away this blatant hypocrisy by statist-minded politicians and their supporters—ideology has tainted their sense of reason here.

I don’t profess to know what is in Barack Obama’s mind. Maybe he feels that “equal” and “fair” are synonymous, and therefore isn’t purposefully being misleading.

While the experimenters tested the monkeys for their concept of fairness, they didn’t test to see if the monkeys have statist instincts. But, do you believe that the monkeys, if given two grapes for their work, would just give one of the grapes to a random third “Welfare-monkey,” who could have done some work, but chose not to? I doubt it.

But wouldn’t giving money to the needy help them and therefore make society better as a whole? That’s the argument being made.

We all know that it takes money to make money. You give Warren Buffett $100,000, he will very likely double it in seven years or less. You give a career welfare earner the same amount, you will likely find that they’ve spent it on frivolous items that will eventually lead to them no longer having $100, nevertheless $100,000.

Don’t believe me? In 2010, researchers from Vanderbilt published a study showing that people who won between $50,000 to $150,000 were far more likely to file for bankruptcy than those who won lesser amounts, such as $10,000 or less.

What does this show? Even if you take money from earners and give it to the non-earners, that money will eventually just find its way back to the earners, because…they are earners.

Removing those who are truly disabled for purposes of this discussion, the only way to help the non-earners of society is to force them into a sink or swim situation where they are forced to either be productive or face societal banishment, shaming, isolation, and possibly death. Much like electricity and water, people will choose the path of least resistance. Give them something they didn’t earn, and they often won’t bother to earn for themselves.

Income redistribution is not fair, it does not advance our species, nor is it logical. So I am all for fair share, I just wish Obama and his supporters understand the term better.

 

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