Let me start out by saying that this is in no way a political post. I don’t care what side of the fence you are on, I just want to share an opinion about something that I think is a little crazy. Ok, a TON crazy.
There is a lot of talk right now about sharing “the wealth”. As if the wealth is something that has unfairly been divided out. As if those who have wealth, have been given it by mistake, and those who don’t, somehow didn’t get the memo that the wealth was being “given” out. That type of belief system says that all should receive equal amounts no matter what their personal input.
This I believe to be ridiculous. The thought that all folks deserve the same rewards just because they breath air is beyond me. That if I work my gluteus maximus off, someone who hasn’t should receive the same as me. And that if I receive more, it’s unfair to those who’ve decided to sit on their duff while I worked like crazy.
To illustrate this, I had an actual conversation with a very young school teacher a few years ago. This young lady was challenging the thought that perhaps wealth should be a fair split among all people. To that I proposed this quandary;
Imagine you had a room full of students, and a portion of them didn’t work as hard as the others, so they received failing grades. While those who worked really hard received A’s. Then the principal came along and said that it wasn’t fair that the hard working students got A’s, but those who didn’t work as hard, failed.
Therefore, he has decided that the A students need to give up some of their grades to the failing students, so the other students could be on the same level. How would that make you feel? Immediately she said, “That’s ridiculous! If they didn’t work for it, they sure don’t deserve it!” Obviously, I agreed.
I shared how that is the concept of sharing the wealth. It took about a nano second before she was in agreement.
So my question to you is:
Question: What is your take on sharing the wealth?
121 thoughts on “Share The Wealth”
I don’t believe in sharing the wealth by the standard definition going around today. I do however believe that people that are more fortunate should help assist when they can, in deeds, thoughts, and prayers to those less fortunate than themselves.
I would prefer rather than the sharing the wealth, an adjustment to our current value systems, where true value is expressed and paid to the positions that are currently under appreciated and under valued. Teacher, service workers, etc- I know free market dictates the value we place on the sports people, the actors, and singers; but I can’t help feel as if we are like the Romans in the coliseum watching the bloom of our demise. I personally think what people will pay for is skewed to our detriment as a society. I will now kindly step down form my soapbox.
HAHAHA…well said! You can stay up there! 🙂
Mine!!! (Spoken in my best 5 year old greedy voice.) I kid.
I’m all for sharing on my terms and with whom I decide. I’ll be in control of the redistribution of my wealth, thank you very much.
There is such a thin line here. We need to draw our conclusions from a biblical standpoint. Ask the question, how would Jesus have reacted in these days and times? Would he say I’m keeping my money because I worked for it. Or what would he do? I’m an Entrepreneur and no I don’t want to give up what I’ve worked hard for to those that may not see the value of work. However, how do we determine who is in need and who is not. Do we just turn our backs on everyone?
Trust me, I don’t want an entitlement society because once the flood gates are open, lots of people will have their handouts. All we can do is educate our family not be be apart of the problem.
1. Pay your taxes
2. Don’t do illegal drugs
3. Be disciplined with your money
4. Don’t draw unemployment when not looking for a job
5. Don’t draw disability when you can work.
It can go on and on. See my point?
Absolutely! We as Christians are called to take care of the widows and the orphans. But what I’m talking about today is the TAKING of someone’s wealth. Giving is another story. Make sense?
Yes, I understand where you are coming from. I definitely agree with you on that front.
What I always find interesting, is that we have no example of being forced, from a biblical standpoint, to give anything….. we are encouraged to do so. I love Dave’s take on the fact that God wants us to be a reflection of Him being the ultimate giver. We do these things because we want to and do not take it upon ourselves to force someone else to do so. When we do things because we choose to, out of our abundance that is given to us by Him, we are making Him proud of us.
In the interest of “fair”, when I hear people complaining about professional athletes’ salaries saying that they’re overpaid and don’t do much, I challenge anyone to spend a month ( heck, a day ) doing their routines and see if you’ll think they have it easy. The same can be said of a leader of company, top-notch salesman, musician, etc. because our perception of their “success” is we only see the 15 minutes of fame and not the 20/30/10 years of HARD work to get the knowledge/experience/skills to make it where they are. It would be a travesty to see this success and take a part of it to give to someone else just to be fair.
Preach it Layton!!
There was a biblical example of being forced…. Zachious was a crooked tax collector forcing people to hand over their hard earned money… Then Jesus set him straight!!! haha
Well said. Thank you.
I think what you are saying here is that Jesus brought site to the blind (who “required” help), not the near sighted who just wanted to see the things his far sighted neighbor could see. He also helped those that he knew would pay it forward by working the rest of their lives teaching His word and helping others in more significant ways (eternity).
Troy, yes exactly what I was trying to say.
I’d rather share my wealth after I have some. :)In other words, don’t force me to, allow me to because I’ve been a wise steward and I’m out of debt. Heck, I even do it now in small amounts when the budget allows. That kind of ‘sharing the wealth’ the ‘helping widows and orphans’ I can get behind, because I’m supposed to be doing that.
I like the classroom analogy, but don’t forget there is a certain percentage out there in the classroom of life who never had to do any work for their A+ grade, and they have no intention of sharing or bettering the world. Do I think it’s wrong? Maybe. Sad? Definitely. But I am not their judge. I can only be a good steward of what I have been given: Time, Energy and other resources. If I happen to earn something from that, then I aim to make sure I freely give from that because the original resources were a gift to me in the first place.
Well said. I think you’re dead on.
The concept of wealth sharing is absurd. I can’t believe more people aren’t concerned with it. I love the classroom analogy. That about sums it up in terms that even the most stubborn-minded can understand.
It’s the same with diet and exercise. If I’m out of shape and pudgy, I can’t get mad at those who have 5% body fat and 6-pack abs if I’m sitting on the couch eating chips and drinking beer all day–and yet I would still expect to look like someone who works out 7 days a week?
(By the way, If that diet plan ever comes out, I’ll be the first in line for that book!) In the meantime, whether in finances, health, or even relationships—I’m going to keep working hard and relying on myself to attain my goals.
I think too often we try to dictate outcomes (everyone should have the same result) rather than opportunity (everyone has the same chance). Can you imagine how much better we would be as a society if we worked towards creating opportunities rather than balancing results?
I am sure I am off topic, but your comment made me think of a thought i had this weekend- I am convinced more each day, it is the effort that is crucial not the outcome, it is the journey not the destination that is worthwhile. If His coming didn’t convince everyone at once, how can we always expect ourselves to achieve perfection or success in our attempts- I think his message is do what you can in the right spirit, and pray others follow suit.
Well Said Jon! Succinct indeed.
So agree with this! I worked with inner city kids in Mexico City. Handouts never helped them. They need opportunities to get a good education and remove themselves from poverty. There are remarkable success stories there among those who have all odds against them. Handouts are like putting a band-aid on a tumor. Not helpful.
Hmmmm well said Jon. If only I could write so well and not just get ticked off at those with opposing views 🙂
Creating opportunities = Entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Balancing results = Entitled to fruit of another’s labor (AKA Communism)
Very well said Jon. I work at a nonprofit, and definitely see a lot of entitlement – but also a lot of folks who shine when they are given the opportunities. I’m definitely for helping folks through the rough times, and then giving them tools to make things better.
Definitely. But help should be limited to “the rough times” and the rough times are hardly permanent if you have the right attitude and skills. Otherwise you cripple them.
Oh absolutely. There’s one girl who comes in who has 3 adopted special needs kids, her husband has left, she’s cleaning houses to make money, and she’s doing the baby steps (we actually did the Total Money Makeover simulcast together), and she only comes when it’s her last option. Love her tenacity and drive to get off welfare, but she will do what she has to to keep those kids fed and the power on.
That’s when you wonder what some people can come up with for an excuse…
I think we do work toward creating opportunity. In fact, I think we started on July 4, 1776.
“The pursuit of happiness”, not the guarantee of wealth. Happiness, or rather joy, is an inward attitude (given by God) despite the outward circumstances (created by the world, the devil, and ourselves).
Consider the words of St. Paul from 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – 12: “In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was UNWILLING to work; neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but by minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and eat their own food.” Paul was chastising folks who had quit working because they were sure Jesus was coming back–immediately! But Paul is pretty clear that people who CAN work SHOULD work, in part, to help care for those who really cannot…with the FAMILY being the first line of defense, not the state or the church!
I’m also with Cass. Our value systems are whacked. These “stars for the year” get paid loads. They will be “nobodies” (like me!) in a few years. But the buildings my architect-husband designs and oversees construction of will be around for 50-100 years (depending upon redevelopment and maintenance by the owner) and he’s liable for the public safety of those until he dies. To me, HE’S a pretty important person for society! Just saying! : )
That he is!
Totally! Regarding Paul’s point about people working who can work to help others, unfortunately, the demand for help is outweighing the supply. We and the church are not doing enough. On the other hand, people like you are trying to do something about it. Your counseling business for instance.
That is a great analogy that we can get our minds around Chris – thanks. I love the spirit of generosity of your readers.
They rock don’t they?
I think this dovetails neatly with the idea that taking wealth from those who have it to redistribute it to those who don’t is somehow “charity.”
Charity is an act of the heart, an act of the soul, not an act of the wallet. It’s certainly not an act of the government. To take from one who is not willing and give to another is theft, even if the goals are noble.
Besides, I’ve seen how well government programs get run. I’m beyond convinced that I can do more good with my $100 than the government can do by taking it from me and shoving it through some program.
And if they don’t have it in the first place, because they aren’t willing to work like crazy, and they spend what they DO have, how is giving them my money going to help?
Actually, they don’t spend the money they have, they spend the money they don’t have (debt).
I think the two biggest problems with the “share the wealth” arguments are words “fair” and “wealth”.
The word fair has the common meaning of everyone sharing equally. That brings up the problem you very expertly explained to the teacher by using a non-monetary example from her own life. Wealth distribution will never be truly fair even if the government is doing it.
As for the word “wealth”, people seem to lose their minds when you start talking about money. Almost everyone believes they are working hard and doing their best. As a result, seeing someone else earn more money for working hard and doing their best seems unfair (there’s that word again). This means that anyone making more than you doesn’t deserve it or conversely that you deserve more. Also the concept of “wealth” is not well defined. If you only make $19,000 someone who makes $50,000 can seem wealthy. But if you ask the person who makes $50,000, they will tell you they aren’t and it is the person making $150,000 who is wealthy. And so on and so on.
The other often unspoken part of this argument is that the “wealthy” either won’t share unless forced or don’t share enough. If the money is yours to keep or give away, you are always going to protect yourself and your family before giving. But if the money is someone else’s, well, they could always be giving more. The only way defense to this argument is to discuss what people are actually giving which we tend to frown on as bragging. Seems like a catch-22, no?
Love this Bonnie!!
Very thought-provoking post. My dad used to say that being poor is not a virtue.
BAH!!!!! I like your dad’s thinking.
I was shocked on how short your comment was. Then I scrolled up. All is right in the world.
Ha ha ha. I hit Post too soon. It turned out to be a good simple short comment too. 🙂
To think that Spreading the Wealth will work is to live in fantasy-land. The concept wouldn’t work in school anymore than it would work in business (what if you got paid the same as the laziest guy on your team?). You would stop bringing Excellence. Mediocre would take over and then you’d have a bigger problem on your hands.
And if you think ‘Spreading the Wealth’ will fix our govt’s problems here’s something I put on Facebook just yesterday:
If you take ALL the salaries & winnings from ALL of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA & NASCAR for 1 year you can fund our govt for almost 1 day!
So to think that taxing the 1% even more will fix our problems is delusional.
Thanks for the post!
Ah Kent, but fantasy-land makes for such good soundbites and political ads.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
I have no problem with “wealth sharing” unless it is done by the government.
LOVE THIS MATT!!!
Just got in last night from Denver and the flight attendants always tell us… put on your mask before helping others. (Side note: the flight attendants on the SWA flight last night were GREAT!!)
“Wealth” is a resource. While paying off my debt (past tence – I’m debt free!) I gave my time. That was the resource I had. Now that I’m on baby step 3 (D. Ramsey) I give a little to friends (Think $20 for the MS150) and once I have my full on reserves lines up for ME, I absolutely intend to try and give others the same CHANCE I had at getting where I am. I absolutely intend to spread the wealth. But because I like to, not because I have to.
And I would absolutely prefer to hand out opportunities to make a dollar than just giving them away. You’ve all heard the analogy – give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll drink beer all day – er… something like that. 😉
AAAAAMEN!!! I give more now than every before in my life!! Because I can and want to.
By the way, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
I refuse to share wealth with those who are healthy and able to work. Not because I’m not sensitive to their situation, but because it is unfair to them to treat them with less dignity than they deserve. It’s condescending and unworthy of a child of God. I’ve seen people with disabilities and severe health issues work hard and make a good living for themselves and their families. I’ve seen people who look very healthy and are in their mid-20s holding up signs that read “Young mom, three kids, no husband” or “Anything you can give me will help”.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Totally with you!
I don’t think wealth should be taken from one person and given to someone less fortunate just because the one has more than the other. But that doesn’t mean I think we shouldn’t help those that are less fortunate.
With all of the government programs it has become easy to sit back and let the government take care of others. It really should be individuals stepping up and taking care of their brothers. But not because they HAVE to. But because they WANT to.
Spot on Joe!!
Did you finally give up on LiveFyre? I seen the response come through Disqus.
I totally agree – it’s nice to see churches and families giving to the nonprofit where I work, and it feels great when we can help people who are in a bad situation not of their own creation (laid off, medical issues, etc.). What is frustrating is the ones who come in because “you are supposed to help me” and aren’t even trying to make it on their own.
@ChrisLoCurto:disqus First off all, love the Wiki link to Gluteus Maximus. I didn’t click it for fear of being virtually mooned, but I like it nonetheless.
I too will try not to get too political, mainly because my views are so extreme they would scare the pants off some of you…thereby exposing your gluteus maximus. That being said, anyone who makes the case that taxes are the equivalent of Christian duty or even on the same planet as charity is utterly delusional.
Charity is given from the heart, with no coercion or threat of death.
Taxes are, figuratively and often literally, coerced at gunpoint.
So that being said, certainly wealth should be shared…voluntarily. Kingdom builders make as much money as they can to give, share, and help others.
I would certainly rather keep my $100 to be able to feed 100 homeless people for a day than give it to the government. By the time they get their hands on it,
$32 of it went to collecting it,
$9 of it to paper and computers,
$21 of it to paying some overpaid nimrod to distribute the food,
and maybe $20 of it to buying overpriced food.
The other $18 ended up in a different budget, was magically lost, or somehow found it’s way into building a memorial bridge from Honolulu to Anchorage.
I better stop now…my blood actually started boiling just now. 🙂
I’ll let ya’ll figure out exactly how I feel about the “share the wealth” crowd.
Great post though Chris.
a memorial bridge from Honolulu to Anchorage.” BAH!!!!!! That’s awesome. I want control of the gas stations/food marts.
There you go dreaming up ideas to make lots of money! Shame on you! What are you trying to do, be rich? haha
I hear you Matt!!!
1. Find a happy place until blood temperature returns to normal.
2. When Blood temperature returns to normal follow this link : http://www.amazon.com/Death-Taxes-Page-Book-Poster/dp/1612182046
I have this Death & Taxes poster on my office wall. (I get to instantly know who I’m dealing with when they see it.) I think you will like the concept & despise the content.
Thanks Jeremy. Deep breaths, deep breaths.
So it’s right for me to go to work to pay my bills, invest in my future….and it’s right for me to pay for someone who doesn’t try to find a job, lives of the government already and has no ambition to promote their livelihood??? I think not!
The insanity of our government to take from the rich (most of whom built it themselves through hard work and dreams) and squander the money to people who “don’t want to work, want other’s to pay for them,” is simply a disgrace to America in my opinion. Excluding politics, it isn’t the ethical or moral way to run anything.
I agree with @twitter-403009935:disqus, that charity is given from the heart, and taxes are basically coerced at gunpoint. I have no problem giving my money to charity to help out those less fortunate, but don’t believe in “paying” those who don’t want to better their lives and want to take advantage of the system.
Got my blood boiling too. Great article Chris!
I think the example largely misses the point of (what should be) the larger argument. It oversimplifies the reality into the assumption that all who have monetary wealth have earned it through hard work and merit and all those who don’t have done neither. If that assumption was based in reality, I’d be right there with you. However, too many people labor hard their entire lives for very little pay so those higher up the organizational heirarchy can increase their own profit margins and pay.
When I think of ‘share the wealth’ I think of increasing the pay of teachers and general laborers to something better than the paltry sums they earn, no strike that, that they take home now. I’d argue they earn much more.
When ‘sharing the wealth’ equates to giving hand-outs, yes, it is no good fo all involved. When it means taking a critical look at how we compensate hard work and appraise merit, I believe the entire argument takes a completely new direction.
Given that the United States is a services based economy, the argument that people labor for those higher up in an organization chart is losing its value every day. Back when everyone worked in factories, people needed a wealthy factory boss to take the huge financial risk to build the factory. That risk isn’t so important now when most people are providing some form of service to others. People have the choice to work for whoever they please now. Why do you thing the average tenure in the workforce is so low now?
The only places where we need to take a critical look at how we compensate people are the ones where the old-factory mentality still exists. Teachers NEED the school system more than the school system needs a teacher. The auto-workers union members NEED the auto plant more than the auto plant needs them. You can’t change that fact by mandating equal pay.
Maybe, you change that fact by giving a choice. A teacher can leave a school system and start a charter school. An auto-worker can start his own custom-car shop.
Compensation is a choice, plain and simple. If you don’t want to work for a company where you’re propping up a rich guy’s lifestyle, you shouldn’t work for that company. We don’t need to examine compensation, we need to examine choices, and inspire others to make choices where they are not slaves to their employers. There is a huge difference.
Jon, I like the choice to be a slave analagy.
It’s been a while since this country has really seen oppression, but there are those that would have us believe that it exists today in the form of wealth inequality. Those people would have us believe :
Many men are slaves because there is an oppressor.
But what if they believed:
There is an oppressor because many men are slaves.
If they believed that way, oppression as well as compensation would be their choice.
I agree that not all positions are paid properly. But that’s not the conversation today. This is about taking from those who have earned it. According to Tom Stanley, 80% of millionaires are first generation. Which means THEY worked hard for it.
I can tell you, as someone who happens to know a lot of millionaires, that number holds true. Almost every millionaire I know earned it. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any of the millionaires I know that inherited it.
I struggle with this question with a different twist: After paying fair wages, how do I share profits with the team that created them in a way that meets the needs of the company, recognizes those with more responsibility for the profit, allows for future reserves…Then the question becomes really personal: Am I living a life style which allows for the above? My only hope for salvation is that the struggle with the conversation is as important as getting the answer right!
John, the great thing is you are actually looking to share YOUR profits with your team. Finding the right balance is difficult, but it IS up to you.
Unlike the concept of taking your profits and giving it to someone who hasn’t built your company. That slays me!
I think wealth should be shared. Period. It’s part of being Christ-like. In this country, I have the opportunity to make money. That means I have the opportunity to be a blessing to my family, friends, the poor or anyone else .
Do I support having my wealth taken from me? Nope. At the same time, I also know my wife and I don’t enough with our wealth to help more people. But we’re working on that.
I think the issue as a Christian is not “to give or not to give” but who are you giving to? And how will it affect their life? And I agree with many other comments. That decision should be up to the owner of the wealth, which ultimately is God, last time I checked. I’m with you Joel, not supporting to have wealth taken from me and my family. BTW I think you and your wife share your knowledge generously with others… which is more than most people are willing to do 🙂
Thanks, Lily. We try. On who we’re giving to, the number one recipient of charitable dollars is religious institutions. Every years for countless years that’s been the case. While it’s impossible to quantify exactly where every dollar given goes, I believe most Christians give the most to churches to do good work with. The problem is the overwhelming majority don’t tithe and actually give on average less than 2%. A key reason? Debt. We have to work on this or we the people will never be able to do enough without the forcing function of the government.
I might try that is my classes this year. If I just give everyone the same grade regardless of effort, those at the bottom will feel better about not doing much while those that were trying will try less. I’ll be able to create a generation of people that are mediocre at best, so that I can easily rule over them!
Joshua, Awesome comment! May I offer two additions?…
1.Sinister Laugh (Go with “Muuaahaha” repeatidly if you like.)
2.Aggressive Dry Handwashing (I’ve never understood the hand rubbing. Does every evil plot cause that?)
BAH!!!! Bingo!! It will take one semester for those working hard to realize what’s happening and stop working as hard for the same outcome.
Chris hit the nail on the head. But also dont forget that wealth can be redistibuted and you dont even realize it. You work your tail off, earn a living and buy a car (with cash of course). You just transfered some of your wealth to the salesman who transfers some of his wealth to the guy that cuts his grass (because the salesman works on Saturdays) who transfers some wealth to the lawn mower repairman — and the list goes on. But the theme here? Everyone in the transfer of wealth chain — is working for it!
So true Troy. In fact, that’s how it should be.
@chrislocurto – awesome post! I am ALL about sharing the wealth, however I am also all about deciding what, how much, and with who I share. You are super nice Chris but I may not want to share my Eggo with you just because you didn’t feel like making your own.
So, let go of my Eggo so I can share it with someone who I choose.
Love the classroom analogy! Gives a great perspective!
Live Beyond Awesome.
HAHAHA…first Eggo analogy on ChrisLoCurto.com!!!
Sharing the wealth should be a volunteer thing – done from the heart, not a forced thing – done at the requirement of government. Taxes are one thing to pay for a small government and to possibly contribute to those who truly cannot help themselves, but this wouldn’t be necessary if people were generous (or had the means to be generous).
Couldn’t agree with you more Chris! I have been a small business owner for about 6 years and have had to work my butt off every step of the way. During this time, I have seen a few “friends” basically sit on their duff. The idea that we should be on the same income level just irks me. I love giving, but when someone wants to force me to, I tend to become less inclined to give more.
It’s funny, when it’s money, others don’t seem to care if yours is taken from you. I wonder what it would be like if you took their car away and gave them a bike. 🙂
Ha! That’s a great question! I picture alot more bikes out on the road! 😉
I can’t wait to see how this unfolds!
My 2,000 fuel points at my local grocery store were stolen this past week. Someone used them to get two dollars of each gallon of gas they purchased and now I DON’T. Even though I was the one who earned the fuel points. I was the one that saved them up in preperation of me obtaining the discount that I worked for. The customer service representatve told me that I, (direct quote) “SHOULD BE HAPPY THAT I was able to provide a blessing to someone who probably needed the discount very much”
Truthfully MY family needed the discount very much and I don’t appricate someone coming along and deciding that I had too much and taking what I worked for.
Ironically the points were used at a downtown grocery store mid-day, on a Tuesday…WHEN I WAS AT WORK.
You gotta be kidding?!?! There is someone who needs to be fired right now!!
I do share the wealth. Taxes. 10% to church. Lots to charities. It goes on. “What you do for the least of these you do for me.”
Sharing the wealth to me means sharing my gains and hardwork with my close friends and family. This may be money, but wealth can mean so much more than just dollars. I am wealthy with friends and a great family.
I reject the “share the wealth” in the terms it is being portrayed in politics. Recently, I volunteered (charitable org) to provide financial coaching (I am a Dave Ramsey trained counselor) to a young woman on medicaid with a child and a live in boyfriend. The organization would pay to catch up on their rent as long as they agreed to see me. This woman was more concerned on how I could get her more foodstamps. What was odd was that she was current on her financed furniture, big TV, and playstation but behind on her rent. I have a hard time with this redistribution concept when i run into to these situations in our society.
One of my grandsons proclaimed proudly that he was a “liberal”. I asked if he knew what that meant and he said “of course”. He had just mowed my lawn and earned $50.00. I told him that he needed to give his brother $25.00 of the money. He couldn’t believe I was saying this. I told him his brother needed the money. “But he didn’t earn it! I worked for it and if he needs money – he should have mowed the yard.” I said “Welcome to the conservative world”.
BAH!!!! LOVE IT!!!
I think about t1. thing. 1. how people just ride the unemployment wave now and if your not offering them a ton over what they are currently getting, they’ll sit. Then you want me to share my money that I am working really, really, hard to try to figure out how to make?
I had a fun day yesterday. I wrote about it here: http://bwortman.us/NXsCTY, but the upshot is that I’m looking at a sudden, unexpected repair of my wife’s Jeep that will almost certainly exceed our baby emergency fund. We’ll get it sorted, though, and stay on the program. No worries.
While I was picking her up at the doctor’s where the car died, we got to talking with the doc, and he said something that really resonated with me. He said that part of what’s gone wrong in the world is that people aren’t accountable to each other any more. It used to be that if you weren’t polite and good to your neighbors, then you didn’t get any eggs from the Joneses and you didn’t get milk from the Smiths and you didn’t get beef from the Millers and you didn’t get bread from the Dunns and….
But now, since everything comes from the corner grocery store, that sense of owing something to those who produced it is gone. Back then, the possibility of an able-bodied person sitting around doing nothing was unconscionable. That person would find him or herself without many of the necessities of life because they had nothing with which to barter, and no source for getting anything.
Today, though, money and stores have isolated us from that. It’s an intriguing thought, how abstracting money, which has made the process of barter so much easier and allowed a much richer system of commerce has also allowed for abuses.
Makes you realize why the Jewish community is so strong.
Hi Chris. Thanks for this post. This one hit home for me because I have been
using nearly the same analogy for a couple of years now with friends and family
who are teachers. This includes my
mother who was a teacher for 40 years. In my slightly different version,
I state that because not everyone grows up in the same environment and therefore
must not be capable of the same level of achievement, the teacher decides just
to give everyone a C. Then I ask, how
long do you think the A students will continue to work as hard as they do when
they know that regardless of the effort they put in they will never get a grade
higher than a C? Instead of encouraging
hard work, “sharing the grade” only encourages mediocrity. As you describe they immediately see the
injustice in “taking away” the grade from the A students and giving
it to those on the lower end of the scale.
But it amazes me that when I draw the comparison between wealth
distribution and this analogy how quickly they will dismiss the notion as not
the same. I’m all for giving people a “Hand
Up” to help them when they are down, but continuing to give people a “Hand Out”
only creates Pavlov’s dog.
I totally agree with you!!!
HAHAHA…yeah, people who want a hand out tend to do that. Crazy isn’t it?!
Amen. I am all for helping someone that is in need because they can’t. I am just not a fan of help because they won’t. There are too many “entitled” adults who think they just plain deserve whatever they want. Work hard and save up.. you can get there too.
And you’re much happier for it! Well, I assume. 🙂
Thank you for a courageous and articulate piece. For generations, we have been a country of opportunity where anyone from any background could come and, with focus and determination, enjoy success and accumulate great wealth. Redistribution is nothing more than code for socialism. It saps morale; it discourages research, development, investment and innovation. We should all strive to be the 1%. And stop the whining.
I’ve heard it said that, if you divide all of the wealth in the country equally among the people, in five years 20% of the people would again own 80% of the wealth. I think it’s because only 20% of the people are willing to do what it takes (knowledge/effort/risk/tithing) to create the wealth in the first place.
I love that! And I bet it’s true.
Chris, you are absolutely right. It’s insane to give everyone an “equal share.” We should take care of those who can’t help themselves though. That is something we MUST do. I don’t believe it is optional.
Definitely!! Totally agree.
Forgive the seemingly political shading of this comment, because it is not intended. But, it is interesting to note the discrepancy between the surge in 2008 of an aggressive, elitist intelligentsia that couldn’t bare to think of anyone less than the smartest, most eloquent kid in class becoming POTUS, and the current attack on a successful, experienced businessman and former governor for being so “out of touch” with normal Americans. So, which is it? Is elitism bad or good for our country’s leadership? I’m not defending or attacking Sarah Palin, nor President Obama, for that matter–I didn’t want her to be VP, and I wanted him to be hugely successful, for the sake of all of us. I just wish some in the media and many on the streets would grow up and begin to look inwardly rather than trying to drag people down from the stage. Interesting how Sam Harris, referring to American politics in a 2008 opinion piece in Newsweek said, “There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated.” Agreed, Mr. Harris. But, perhaps that “rigorous training” part should be a bit more heavily weighted when grading on the curve. #upsidedown
Thank you so much for your comment William. I do have to say that I’m a little confused on how this applies to the post. Can you share a little more on that?
Sorry for the oblique comment to your excellent post, Chris (and thanks for your gracious reply). Reading your colorful example of the students and the redistribution of grades made me recall the age-old debate over of elitism and its relationship to the concept of redistribution of wealth. Thanks, Will.
Now I’m with ya!!!
Oh, and my thoughts on sharing the wealth are that we should give to our brother in need, according to biblical teaching, and offer fair work for fair wage. Also, I think Margaret Thatcher said it well when speaking of the problem with Socialism: Eventually you run out of other people’s money!
I literally just laughed out loud. Yes you do!
Some people work very hard but get very little, even more in poor countries and some people work very hard for charity and get little in return.. on the other hand some people get over paid for the they do for example taoiseach enda kenny.. the answer isn’t share.. its be fair! 🙂
Greed. Envy. Theft.
Share the wealth. Sure, the wealth of knowledge gained through the hard work and efforts to gain other forms of wealth… financial or otherwise. Teach them to fish!
Well said Franc!
Unfortunately, sharing the wealth is a big reason why America is 16 trillion dollars in debt.
Nice blog Chris.
“When the people find they can vote themselves money,
that will herald the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin