A Zero Sum Game
October 10, 2009

The politics of envy, so useful to liberals in setting groups against each other, is based on the flawed premise that for someone to be rich, someone else must be poor. The flaw is the assumption that wealth exists in a fixed quantity so one person's gain must come at another person's expense. Liberals characterize wealth accumulation as a zero sum game to gain the support of less wealthy groups with promises to "redistribute" the resources of more wealthy groups.

The reality is that wealth is created by the intelligent application of work and it can be accumulated by anyone willing to work wherever property rights exist and are enforced. Most of us were exposed to the idea of wealth creation as children when we heard the story of the Little Red Hen. She turned a few grains of wheat into several loaves of bread. The actual moral of the story of course is that the Hen enjoyed the bread while the "slackers" in the barnyard who didn't help in its production went hungry but that's a story about socialism for another day.

The Liberals hope we forget the element about wealth creation and instead buy into their zero sum lie. Belief in that lie comes at a terrible cost. The Soviet Union lived under the lie for seventy years. The ordinary citizen shared grinding poverty while the top political class lived in luxury.

Remember, wealth is created and accumulated where property rights exist and are enforced. The redistribution of wealth promised almost a century ago in the Soviet Union and now in America by Barack Obama means the destruction of property rights and, like the Soviet citizenry experienced, with property rights gone you can say goodbye to prosperity.

The real zero sum game in Washington is being played on the field of your freedom. Your freedom gives you the power to make your own choices, whether that means the type of car you want to buy or the doctor you want to see. Every bit of that freedom you allow government to take, every bit of power you give them, comes pound for pound out of your personal freedom and power. The bargain, you are told with regard to health care for example, is that by letting them control your medical care, they will save you money

Medical care is a costly item these days. The cost has been rising far faster than the rest of the economy for at least thirty years. But the truth is that medical care has become costly as a direct result of the intrusion that government has already made into the field through regulation, Medicare/Medicaid and tort law. They took a long time making it unbearable piece by piece and finally they think you're ready now to give them total control over the field.

Total control over your health care will soon mean total control over anything related to healthcare and eventually everything will be related to healthcare. So, while you blithely sell your freedom now for a price promised to be delivered later, remember the words Winston sang on the last pages of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four: "Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me."