Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Girlfriends Guide to Soaking the Rich

As a fan of 1950s housewifery, I find myself particularly attracted to Ayn Rand's explanation of why someone might find the idea of taxing the rich so compelling. "If an average housewife struggles with her incomprehensibly shrinking budget and sees a tycoon in a resplendent limousine, she might well think that just one of his diamond cuff links would solve all her problems." It's an understandable mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.
No one tells her that higher taxes imposed on the rich (and the semi-rich) will not come out of their consumption expenditures, but out of their investment capital (i.e., their savings); that such taxes will mean less investment, i.e., less production, fewer jobs, higher prices for scarcer goods; and that by the time the rich have to lower their standard of living, hers will be gone, along with her savings and her husband’s job—and no power in the world (no economic power) will be able to revive the dead industries (there will be no such power left).
“The Inverted Moral Priorities,”The Ayn Rand Letter, III, 21, 3

Girlfriends, don't be fooled by the sparkle of that cuff link. There is no wealth in the unearned and only destruction in the force used against the minds of men (or housewives). The legitimate use of government force is not to equalize our incomes but to protect our individual rights (e.g., how we choose to pursue our own happiness, free from the force of others). Most significantly, unlike political power, economic power is achieved by voluntary means (i.e.,by individual choices) not force. 

1950s Pictures, Images and Photos

Don't be sold on the notion of soaking the rich as a means to gaining value. It's an ideological facade.


HaynesBE said...

Nicely put.

Lynne said...

Thanks, HaynesBE. And thanks for the FB link.