The Therapy Sessions
Thursday, August 12, 2004
You first, Schwartz
From Fuki Blog: A Glimpse Into the Mind of a Madman.
It has long been argued by Socialists that the moral reasoning behind the forced extraction of wealth from producers is the altruistic redistribution of that wealth for the greater good. Indeed, just over a month ago, Hillary Clinton was heard to utter the phrase "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." This has long been the mantra of those desiring control over members of society that are more talented and successful than themselves.
However, it seems that these old dogs are learning a new trick, or at least a variation on an old one. Apparently taking note of the fact that those producing wealth were not just readily emptying their pockets and dismayed that Socialists have been unable to convince the general public to join in their class jihad, Professor Barry Schwartz of Swarthmore College has put forth a new approach to enslaving those with wealth. He is telling them that reducing their wealth by 90% will make them happier.
Of course, Schwartz makes no mention of his own personal jihad to reduce HIS income by 90%.
That's because it isn't going to happen. Schwartz isn't going to ask for a pay cut or sell his house. Even he doesn't believe the socialist crap spewing from his mouth.
There is some validity to the idea that true happiness is found when possessions are divested. I have often thought that winning hundreds of millions of dollars in a lottery might just be one of the worst things that could happen to my family. My wife and I - eventually - would be likely to take up lives of sloth and leisure. Our new self-absorbed, lazy and bored lifestyles might be disastrous for our marriage and our children. As it is, we are disciplined because we have to be. And we like ourselves that way.
Reducing our income by 90%? That is another thing entirely: we would have to sell the house, ditch the cars and quit a job (because the kids would have to leave day care). We would have to find a place to live and food to eat on a few hundred dollars a month.
Sounds like .... happiness?
If this is Professor Schwartz's idea of happiness (and it isn't), there is nothing to stop him from pursuing it. This is after all, a free society. Being an intellectual, he has surely considered (and ruled out) this option. But that won't stop him from deciding that it is the perfect way of life...for everyone else.
This is socialism in a nutshell. This is why confiscatory socialism never seems to be very popular at the ballot box - especially in America.
Socialism is forced to creep up on its victims, and it currently has the American Democratic Party in its snares.
I think that most people understand - deep down - that money doesn't buy happiness.
But then, neither does poverty.