Tag Archives: fair share

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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The Myth Of Greedy Capitalists

I have this horrible recurring dream that millions of college students die from alcohol poisoning after playing a drinking game during an Obama speech. When he uses the word “fair-share,” they are required to drink a shot. (Please kids, don’t try this at home)

It is a well-known psychological trick that overuse of a word is often done with the purpose of being permanently associated with it through subliminal suggestion. I don’t profess to know what is in Obama’s heart, and you should be wary of anyone in the media who says they do. But I don’t believe it is an accident that he uses this word over and over again so that he may mildly brainwash everyone to believe he is the only candidate who cares about you getting a fair shot. Political strategists certainly know and would advise him to use such a tactic. Disingenuous or not, it is effective.Obama-golfing[1]

However, let’s take a look at this from a skeptical point of view and analyze what it presumes. If he is saying this as a means of promoting himself above another candidate, then that means he is also saying other candidates do not want you to have a fair shot. If they all believe in fairness, then there’s no more point in bringing it up, right? For instance, no candidate campaigns on the platform of prosecuting murderers because we all want that, and saying so, would not set that candidate apart from their competitors.

So this then means that, in selling himself as the candidate of fairness, Obama is asserting that Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon who donated his father’s inheritance to the church so that it could be used to help those less fortunate and so that he could earn his own way instead, somehow only wants rich people to succeed and poor people to stay poor. Is this narrative starting to sound pretty ridiculous yet?

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Let’s dig a little deeper. How do rich people get rich? They sell products or services. The richest of the rich sell products to the masses. The late Enzo Ferrari likely made a pretty centesimo, but he was nowhere near the financial status of a Bill Gates for instance. If poor people stay poor, can they buy a Windows computer?

So if some conspiracy theorist is ignorant enough to believe that all rich people get together in some sort of bourgeois yacht club meeting and collude to keep the proletariat down, then explain to me how they benefit by impoverishing their intended customers.

The idea that rich people benefit from everyone else being poor only works in a socialist model where the rich can forcefully take from the poor, and force them into servitude, not a capitalist one where the rich depend on the masses to buy their goods.

I am to wealth what a McDonald’s Hamburger is to a steak. But I am increasingly disgusted with the idea that the boogeyman is synonymous with a capitalist. Because, while I may not be rich, I have goals and dreams that include becoming wealthy one day, and I’m not about to be told I’m a bad person for wanting it or that I’ll be a bad person if I attain it.

I believe everyone is a greedy capitalist. Some aren’t willing to work as hard as others, some aren’t willing to work as honestly as others, and some refuse to believe that people richer than them deserve more for their efforts. Apathy, jealousy, complacency, and sometimes just dumb luck prevent most of us from achieving our dreams. But we all want more than what we have, we all want success. Then, once we’ve achieved it, we all want control how it is shared with others.

So while I credit Obama with a smart tactic, and let’s not lie to ourselves, it is working with those who don’t bother to put a critical eye to it as I have done, it is still just a psychological trick, not an indication of someone who understands how to make America better through hard work, critical thinking, and an honest assessment of the historical evidence of socialism versus capitalism.

We know socialism has no successful models to point to, yet he promotes socialistic policies. We know that over-regulation causes business owners to pull their money into their proverbial turtle shell until the “predator” passes by instead of investing, hiring, and growing the economy, yet he pushes the EPA and OSHA farther and farther into territory they were never intended to occupy at the peril of every entrepreneur trying to become a productive part of America. We know that forcing people to be self-sufficient by kicking them out of the nest works, yet by advocating more entitlements instead of less, he continues to enable those who would rather be on a permanent government funded vacation.EPA-Logo

Ronald Reagan humorously quipped, “The best minds aren’t in government. If any were, business would hire them away.”

President Obama telling Romney how to help businesses grow, and vicariously our economy, seems to me like Obama telling Tiger Woods how to fix his golf swing. So you can vote for the guy that says he’ll solve all your problems for you, but I’ll vote for the guy who honestly says, “I don’t understand your problems as well as you do, so let me get the hell out of your way.”