Jim Clark: Dear millennials – government is no benevolent Robin Hood (opinion)
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are selling the same snake oil … a promise that they will bring an end to “income inequality.”
Who’s buying it? Regrettably, a high percentage of America’s youth who have developed an entitlement mentality based on the belief that the state is their deity. They are led to believe that government, like a benevolent Robin Hood, will take from the rich and give to the poor and everyone will live in utopia.
Since this is the week that we celebrate St. Patrick, let’s examine another point of view. Lou Holtz coached the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame from a losing season to a protracted period of national prominence.
Despite Notre Dame’s long and distinguished winning history in football, Holtz had to really work to persuade top flight athletes to join a team that went 5-6 the year before he became coach.
Between 1988 and 1993, Holtz led Notre Dame to a 64-9-1 record, including a national championship and nine consecutive bowl games. Coach Holtz has some candid thoughts on the subject of the Democrats’ war on income inequality. They’re worth repeating.
“The Democrats are right,” Holtz writes. “There are two Americas. The America that works and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes and the America that doesn’t. It’s not the haves and have nots, it’s the dos and don’ts. The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope. The . . . premise that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.
“Because, by and large, income variations in society are a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.”
Holtz asserts that in mandating wealth redistribution, Democrats are not taking away inequality but freedom: “The freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure …”
In the Democrats’ scheme for collectivism, “… (they) preach equality of outcome as a right while completely ignoring inequality of effort. Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be regarded as wards of society. Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if (Democrats) get (their) way. (They) seek a lowest common denominator society in which government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity. (They) speak of two Americas and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other.
“America is not divided by differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts.”
Holtz concludes: “That’s what socialists offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow. Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
True socialism is where the state owns all the factors of production. Government-mandated wealth redistribution is not by itself socialism but it would be a huge step in that direction.
By destroying incentive of the “doers” to produce Democrats would reduce America’s gross national product resulting in a lot less wealth to spread around. Free markets and competition are what make America great.
Just like college football.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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