Why is the Hollywood left so fixated on the notion that the Robin Hood method will work? Why do they think it is unpatriotic if we don’t spread the wealth around by redistributing our hard earned money? It is simply because they don’t really know what it is to work hard for their money. That may sound harsh and they may disagree with that statement but let’s be brutally honest here. Would you consider it hard work to make one episode of Friends? And would you consider the measure of that work equitable to the value of one million dollars? They may not have worked hard for that money, but we know why they’re getting it. That’s the benefit of living in a free market, capitalist society. Nonetheless, let’s suppose there are twenty…
…episodes of Friends in one year. If they take, for example, 50% of twenty million and give it to the government, they are still left with ten million dollars. However, if we take 50% of $250,000 and give it to the government we are left with $125,000. After the “wealthy” making $250,000 or more are taxed, in this day and age are they still considered wealthy – even if they are supporting a family of five?
Do you think they know what it feels like to go to continuing education on student loans and spend the next several years working to pay them off? Do they know how it feels to take pride in a hard-earned professional degree that took years of study? They get to feel charitable while they’re giving their money away and it barely puts a dent in their bank accounts, but the fact remains: Money helps but it doesn’t solve everything.
With all due respect, many are talented, entertaining, decent and respectful people, but many need to try to understand us “ordinary people” who chose an alternative field to make a living.
Aside from the ethical standpoint that the very nature of redistributing wealth is an unprincipled way of dealing in economics, it also won’t solve anything. The idea that giving money to the poor will fix everything is an age old fallacy that has a very short term gain with a permanent long term drawback. People need to feel they have a purpose in life. They need to feel loved and a sense of belonging. We humans are very complex beings. We can’t merely be handed money and a sandwich and all is good. We need to feed our minds, and more importantly our hearts and souls. We need to feel a sense of accomplishment and rightfully earn our money. Yes, the crux of our problems and the derivation of poverty goes much, much deeper and it is going to require some tough love on our part. Even Benjamin Franklin noticed this back in 1766 when dealing with the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor. He said, “I am for doing good to the poor but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
This has all been tried and true and can be found in our American History textbooks. Big businesses shouldn’t pay, small businesses shouldn’t pay, the wealthy shouldn’t pay, the middle class shouldn’t pay, nor should Wall Street pay – those who did us wrong should pay; and we as responsible members of society should pay our own reasonable and proportionate fair share. Charity should remain what it is: a personal gift donated willfully and freely from the heart.