Dee Dee Myers was a panelist on ABC’s Sunday news show, This Week. She began to praise Obama’s economic program. George Will challenged the idea of using government to improve the economy.
See how Myers responded. It’s worth some reflection:
MYERS: Why is it that the rich keep getting richer? The well-to-do have seen their income and their wealth grow by unprecedented amounts. There's only a couple explanations for that. Either the rich people are really a lot smarter than the rest of us -- and I don't think any of us at that table would stipulate... or there might be something in the rules that's rigged and the government actually can do something about that, to try to level the playing field so that ordinary folks can get ahead again.
Note the false choice. Either:
- the rich are smarter, or
- the game is rigged.
Obviously the game is rigged (Myers takes for granted), and so we need government to reset the balance.
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Let’s try it again: why do the rich get richer? Because they have money, stupid.
It takes money to make money. In our economy, you make big money through investing. That’s a good thing. Investing creates jobs. Investing creates growth.
You make the biggest payoff when you start a business. You create and grow a business when you do your homework, and then make prudent and smart moves. Doing that requires guts, experience, know-how, and a willingness to interact with others to mutual benefit. Investment is a risk that has benefits for others. Since it’s a risk, the only way to entice it is to endow it with rewards. The system is designed to reward all of the virtues we admire.
It is certainly true that many people are well-off through no virtue of their own. But so long as the system still allows anyone to work hard and acquire enough cash to stake an investment, then the method by which others became rich shouldn’t matter. The only thing that should matter is whether someone can start a business.
That’s why unnecessary taxes and regulations are unjust. They make it more difficult for someone to start a business. They make it more difficult to make an investment. Instead of leveling the playing field, they make it harder for new people to get on the field.
It’s an act of justice to remove obstacles to economic growth. It’s an act of justice to make it as easy as possible to start a business and thereby help everyone.