Thursday, October 13, 2011

Redistrubution of Wealth

Once more into the breeches, dear friends! Remember, if their hands are deep in your pockets, they may be going for something besides your money . . . hey, that sounds like the TSA (Thugs and Sexual Assaulters). Drolleries aside, my friend Todd commented on a tidbit I forwarded to him recently: a chilling excercise in arithmetic which pointed out that the present administration's doling out of trillions of dollars to their banking and corporate cronies amounts to $50,000 for every citizen (and probably most of the illegal aliens) in this republic. If my wife and I had received such checks, we would have four times my present pension and meager social security payments. We would be able to pay off most of our house and the usurers at VISA. We could relax and enjoy retirement; we could . . . who knows what.

A trillion is a very large number. One can almost imagine a million ( especially with the prices at the supermarket lately). If you put a thousand by a thousand dollar bills in a large square, you have a million dollars. Now, if you take that square and put a thousand by a thousand of them in a very large square, you have a trillion dollars. I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh recently: "Don't tell him what comes after a trillion". I don't know if the world domestic product stretches to a quadrillion dollars (or urals or whatever you call them).

Now, economics, like higher mathematics, is one of my weak areas. I have little interest--and less intention--in plumbing the depths of the economy, domestic or foreign, free-market or Marxist. Blindworm that I am, I am more concerned about the depressing fact that our monthly balance sheet is written in red ink every month. This upsets my comptroller to no end. I am concerned with the economy of the small town I live in. When the transnational owners of the mine near us locked out the wage earners a while back, I was angry on the workers' behalf. The blunt and inescapable truth is that a small group of people who run the great mining cartel that owns the local mine make an enormous amount of money from their operations. Do they deserve their profit? Perhaps. Do they deserve to have much of their profit taken from them and given to people who have done nothing to earn it? I think not.

Redistribution of wealth is an idea with two different roots: Christian and Marxist. This holds true at least in our country. India or China might have diferent perspectives. Like it or not, our economic roots are Judeo-Christian and free-market in the USA. Most of our Founders were Christians (yes, even Jefferson) and, to a man, free-market capitalists. They were not without venality and other sins, of course. But their rebellion against the English king, as shown at Boston Harbor (making it the world's largest tea pot), demonstrated their beliefs. Socialism as an ideology had not really come to public attention yet.

The early Christian church was the first modern example of the collective sharing of wealth. In the first century, many Christians pooled their resources so that no-one went without the necessities of life. The negative example of Ananias and Saphira is instructive. They did not survive their agenda. Jesus was the inspiration and model of sharing and sacrifice. As Paul said, without His atonement for our sins, nothing of what Christians did made sense. It took the French Revolution and Marx' and Engel's Communist Manifesto to remove God from the collective ideal. Unfortunately, without Jesus to inspire charity, socialism has nothing but force to compel the sharing of wealth. Many millions of lost lives have demonstrated this in the last century. In the last analysis, wealth equals power. One can only spend so much on himself or his family. Money=leverage. Remember Obrien's dictum in 1984: The object of power is power.