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Defending the rich

Posted by Richard on July 3, 2010

On the way home Thursday, I caught the tail end of Hugh Hewitt's interview of Ziad K. Abdelnour, President and CEO of Blackhawk Partners, a venture capital firm. I was impressed and made a note to look up the post by Abdelnour that they were discussing. Tonight, I finally got around to it. If you're only going to read one thing on the Internet this weekend, I urge you to read "Why we need the rich: A message to Americans – and our leaders in Washington DC – on wealth creation by a wealth creator." It begins thus:

It has an often repeated axiom that a person can learn a whole lot about a society by how it treats its poor. But just as much can be learned by looking at how that society treats its rich. Indeed, the economic future of the poor – and our nation – will be determined in the coming decades by how we treat the people in this country who create great wealth. It will be determined by our understanding of the so-called rich. And our ability to protect this minority. 

Please, please, please go read the whole thing. But if you won't, at least think about this: 

Socialist regimes try to guarantee the value of things rather than the ownership of them. Thus socialism tends to destroy the value, which depends on dedicated ownership. In the United States, on the other hand, the government normally guarantees only the right to property, not the worth of it. The belief that wealth consists not in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in definable and static things that can be seized and redistributed is the materialist superstition.

It stultified the works of Marx and other prophets of violence and envy. It betrays every person who seeks to redistribute wealth by coercion. It balks every socialist revolutionary who imagines that by seizing the so-called means of production he can capture the crucial capital of an economy. It baffles nearly all conglomerateurs, who believe they can safely enter new industries by buying rather than by learning them. Capitalist means of production are not land, labor, or capital but minds and hearts.

The wealth of America isn't an inventory of goods; it's an organic, living entity, a fragile, pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions, and people. To vivisect it for redistribution would eventually kill it.

I'm reminded of Francisco D'Anconia's "Money Speech" from Atlas Shrugged. You should really read that, too. Please!

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