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An equality of misery: the only equality government can guarantee

the equality of misery

The downside of the new, expanded Moronosphere: I keep reading stuff I want to go back to and I can’t remember where I saw it. Here’s one I managed to find again, thanks to Andrew’s Dad.

You probably heard that Cuba is finally going to unban cellphones (legally, anyway — a lot of ordinary Cubans had cadged phones off tourists). Here’s the charming way the AP put it:

Getting through the day without a cell phone is unthinkable now in most developed countries, but Cuba’s government limited access to cell phones as well as kitchen appliances, hotels and other luxuries in an attempt to preserve the relative economic equality that is a hallmark of social life in communist Cuba.

Got that? To preserve relative economic equality, you must ban basic goods the rest of the world takes for granted. The equality of communism is an equal grinding poverty.

Why? Because you can’t make a poor man into a rich man by giving him money, but you can make a rich man poor by taking his stuff away and not letting him amass more. Rich and poor aren’t static qualities; they flow from attitudes and behaviors. The moment Cuba takes oppression away, some people — by fair means and foul — will manage to accumulate more than others.

You know the old saying: you could divide the world’s money equally among us and, five years later, we’d all be right back where we started. Me, I think there’d be some degree of permanent shift: good and bad luck are a factor in some fortunes. But the general principle holds.

You only have to look at the number of people whose lives are ruined by winning the lottery. Like these lumpen idiots who won £100,000 on a scratch ticket in 2006. They’ve pissed it all away, and now they’re back demanding government benefits.

That didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the reaction of posters on the site where I read about it: many said government benefits are a right and lottery winnings are a windfall that is supposed to be pissed away on luxuries.

An attitude of poverty.


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:44 pm

Work hard and earn your keep…a timeless bit of wisdom that may not be in currency a few years down.

Let people become rich if they want to. Not all poor people are poor by their fault, but oppressing the wealthy will certainly not help the poor advance themselves.

Plus we all saw what happens when equality is imposed. The Soviet Union had to expend much effort motivating its people to work harder. They simply coasted and were lazy. Why should they work? Whether they did or did not, they’d have their cramped apartment, stale bread, and plenty of vodka. And if they did work hard, all they’d still have is a cramped apartment, stale bread, and a little more vodka.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:55 pm

This is Raoul, by the way, trying to bribe his way past his lack of charisma.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 16, 2008, 1:59 pm

Got that? To preserve relative economic equality, you must ban basic goods the rest of the world takes for granted. The equality of communism is an equal grinding poverty.

I got it!

Hmmm, I learnt a little too late in my life How to Become Rich as in Rockefeller style stupidly wealthy, but I grew up poor enough that I know I don’t want to go back there.

So I haven’t. Give me that good, ol’ time middle-class prosperity: beats the snot out of worrying where the next loaf of bread is coming from. Even if i’m not real crazy about my daughter’s cell phone bill.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 2:26 pm

Since it requires so little logic that even the limited reasoning abilities of the Left can arrive at the correct conclusion, robbing from the rich to give to the poor isn’t about equality. It’s about the power to control what they themselves are incapable of creating. If you are rich, and I control your wealth, which one of us, really, is the rich one?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: April 16, 2008, 4:31 pm

Yeah… that’s a little over the top, even from the AP. A hallmark of Cuba! Puke.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 16, 2008, 10:17 pm


and I control your wealth, which one of us, really, is the rich one?

Neither of us: but you’ve managed to prevent me from enjoying my wealth, which is the whole point, isn’t it?

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: April 17, 2008, 12:21 am

Geez. A hundred thou would go a long way, even in dollars. For one thing, my family would be debt free. All that money we were spending on debt payments? Roth IRA, baybee. Oh, I know, Brits don’t have those, but then, all the good Brits already moved to America, so who cares? 😉

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:46 am

At some point it happened but I can’t put my finger on it precisely… to be successful was to be despised and viewed as only doing your share if you give a disproportionate amount of the money that you earned through your skills (labor, drive/determination, or intellectual) to someone else (with lesser skills, labor, ability, intellect).

Nice. My incentive remains blown to hell. Sure glad the wife and I spent years and years in college, racked up debt to pay for it, worked through school to pay for it, all so we could slip into a higher tax bracket for the sake of those who did not make good life choices or try to buck the odds. Truly bad-off people excepted.

Anyway, take any rich person out there and I guarantee that in a room full of people there are any number of those folks who will attach all sorts of judgments to that person sight unseen and based on little or no information. (and no, we’re not “rich” by any stretch)

I don’t even want to think about the Lotto-Twits. A good friend of mine had this advice if I was to ever win the lottery: Don’t touch a dime of it for a year. Not one cent. Then take 10% to play with and sock the rest away in investments. Good advice.

Comment from Old Iron
Time: April 17, 2008, 8:24 am

Alright, I am going to take the retard stance on this and ask a REALLY inane question.

-Why, if the democrats that are in office are actually quite wealthy, would they want to take money away from a class that they themselves belong to and that supports them in turn? Wouldn’t it make sense to preserve the rights of persons with wealth to insulate themselves as well?

Just askin’ ’cause dis boy doan unnerstand

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 8:30 am

Oh, there are loopholes. There are always loopholes, Old Iron.

Our masters never pay the same rates as everyone else.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 9:52 am

Old Iron – watch this video to see how Ted Kennedy avoids paying the estate tax he wholeheartedly supports others paying.


Many of these assholes use trust funds and offshore accounts to shield their cash from the crushing taxes they impose on others to buy votes and power for themselves.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 12:06 pm

I’m going to chip in one other “and”… regarding tax-frenzied politicians of all stripes:

And you can’t discount the fact that even if they do pay progressively higher taxes (which I do not agree with) it just isn’t as big a deal to quibble over 5-10% if you make millions every year, it just isn’t.

I very much wish some of these suggested alternative taxes would gain traction: Fixed sales tax on everything or straight 10% tax on everyone with only exceptions being those who can’t afford even the basic necessities w/o that 10%. Overnight, an entire industry would die – CPA’s who specialize in tax returns, lawyers who troll through loopholes, and the politicians they buy off to keep in business through a million lines of tax code. But look at Forbes, he was nearly beaten to death for bringing up an alternative.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 12:21 pm

IMO, I think the progressive tax code is quite unfair. I don’t care if you are a bazillionaire, the government has no right to steal a higher percentage of your bazillion. That extra quibble of 5 – 10% could be used to employ more people, promote private schools, help more charities. Between letting people keep their cash or letting the government steal it to buy votes…let the rich keep it.

One of the alternative taxes need to be pushed. WE need to start hollering a little louder to get what we want.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 12:49 pm

We agree exactly. By what right should you be penalized more for being successful? Shouldn’t we REWARD those who are successful in a capitalist society?

You know, this brings up another twist. Have you noticed that the liberal “compassionate” view dictates that we must force those who make more to help those who have less? Hold that thought. It also implies that otherwise there are no avenues for the poor to be helped. Hold that thought, too. The ARROGANCE to assume that being a liberal and “liberated” thinker, you are the only recourse by which humanity has to be forced unwillingly to help humanity. It totally precludes the notion of charitable giving and in doing so it fosters a lifeless, soulless, and depersonalized system that is by definition about anything but caring in a personal sense. It presupposes that I am unable to, of my own volition, reach out to others.

Helping the poor ought to be done on a personal and community level, where true discernment can be made. If a person is a jerk-off loser because they refuse to behave like an adult, they don’t merit the help that a down-on-their-luck family does. But Big Government cannot make that type of discerning judgement.

This country has fallen so very far from the ideals in the constitution and bill of rights (and expounded upon in the Federalist Papers).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 12:58 pm

Sadly, class warfare always sells. Envy is way down in the bedrock.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:00 pm

But Big Government cannot make that type of discerning judgement.

But that is their whole aim. To make everyone dependent upon them. Doesn’t matter if everything turns into a sewer…it gives them more victims to play their commie games (i.e.- class warfare).
The bigger government gets, the less people take care of each other ‘voluntarily’. Communities fail. Perfect example – the black community, a direct result of government manipulation. Equal misery for everyone except themselves having champagne in their gated communities looking down upon the filthy masses.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:05 pm

I didn’t watch the debate last night (it was vodka and Ben Hur for THIS little weasel), but Jonah Golberg says this:

I don’t cry “class warfare!” very often. But the beginning of Obama’s capital gains tax question was amazing stuff. He conceded the premise that revenues go up when you cut capital gains taxes. But he said it would be worthwhile to raise them nonetheless as an issue of “fairness” because some people are making too much money. In other words, even if the government loses money to pay for all of the wonderful things Obama wants to do, it’d be worth it because sticking it to rich people is a good in and of itself.

That is pharmaceutical grade moonbattery.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:14 pm

One of the most effective forms of welfare is the welfare system used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has an almost business-grade efficiency. But it’s rigorous and it’s not easy. Like government welfare, a person has to be looking for work (and the Church provides ample services to help people find work) and while they’re looking for work, the Church also requires various unemployed to donate time and effort in those facilities that help supply them with food and supplies, earning their keep in a way. (The reason why they don’t employ the same is because except for overhead, which is kept minimal, all labor is voluntary. If not those on welfare, then members from the area routinely volunteer. The same with many of its facilities. Lots of the upkeep of its buildings – vacuuming and dusting and Windexing — is done on a voluntary basis by members.)

But the point is that this is entirely voluntary on part of the Church proper and is communal. The Church does not accept any funds from the government.

Look at the Catholics. And various other Christians. And small Muslim groups (mainly Shiite). And Jews. Communities and organizations do a lot of work. Why must the government do this? Why can’t we depend more on communities and organizations? Why must we rob the rich to enrich bureaucracies and perpetuate people on welfare?

Let people keep more money. It will help everyone, rich and poor.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:18 pm

I’m pretty anti-religious, but I definitely believe religious organizations are the way to go with charity. Because they believe their activities are overlooked by a huge, all-powerful angry grownup in the sky. Yeah. That’ll keep you honest.

Who’s keeping an eye on United Way? The IRS? Pff!

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:21 pm

One of the most effective forms of welfare

I’m sorry. That came off as arrogant. I didn’t mean it that way. I should have said that of the welfare systems of which I am aware, one of the most efficient is the one used…etc.

The Ismailis are pretty efficient too. And many donate a larger percentage than LDS (12 to around 20% depending on how spiritually high of a group one attends: the higher the congregation — each area has various groups depending on a person’s spiritual advancement –, the higher the percentage that must be paid along with yearly dues). And the donations are not tax-deductable. (The Ismaili congregation infrastructure have not registered to allow tax-deductable donations.) (Latter-day Saint tithes are tax deductable. Not that it helped me any.)

I think religious organizations have soft reasons to remain honest. With a few exceptions, religious leaders who misuse money are either expelled or lose a significant amount of money-paying followers. It’s in their best interests to remain honest. Not to mention the notion that mishandling the Lord’s funds would incur significant repurcussions in the next world if not in this.

Apropos to nothing, I am very suprised by how freely The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses excommunication. In one way, it’s good. I clearly recall a special meeting of adults called one Sunday for everyone in our local congregation (ward) where we were told of a man in another local congregation but in the same unit (stake, similar to a diocese) who was excommunicated for being overly friendly with kids. He did stuff parents would do with kids (blow on tummy, etc.) but that others should not do. When confronted and he did not stop and he admitted to having an irregular attraction to kids (I’m being euphemistic), he was excommunicated and banned from entering a church building before he could do more damage. (Other than these expressions of inordinate affection, he had not gone further.) Most excommunications are not publicly announced, but this was an exception to warn parents to keep their kids away from him.

Church authorities told us that there is no exception: any man who behaves improperly towards children and who will not change or accept going to therapy and accept limitations to his membership is excommunicated. In many cases, it will be announced to parents to help them protect kids. The stake made the decision then that no man may be alone with children without supervision.

When I was asked to look over kids while their parents and siblings were attending their meetings and classes, there was always someone there with me. I was told quite strongly that under no circumstance should I leave anyone alone with the kids or be left alone with them. My membership would be in jepoardy if I did.

The Missionary Handbook, given to ordained missionaries of the Church, goes much further both with regard to kids and to relations with people of the opposite sex.

Anyone seriously misusing Church funds would likewise be excommunicated.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:24 pm

That didn’t come across as arrogant, Musli.

One of the things I’ve tried hard to purge from my writing is qualifiers like “in my opinion” and “I think.” Yeah, it’s coming out my mouth, guess whose opinion it is?

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 17, 2008, 1:39 pm

One of the things I’ve tried hard to purge from my writing is qualifiers like “in my opinion” and “I think.” Yeah, it’s coming out my mouth, guess whose opinion it is?

Exellent point. I find this often in guidebooks on writing well and correctly. Such elements are (or should be assumed to be) superfluous. It also weakens a point one is making, as if it needs to be further qualified beyond the tacit “all this is my opinion”.

Good on you. Not that my opinion matters.

And thank you for your assurance I didn’t come across as arrogant.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 2:23 pm

I second that. Not arrogant.

In fact it kind of works both ways – I assume we’re all here for similar reasons – new ideas, some good laughs, a few rants now and then. If we get too thin-skinned it’s not a good thing either (but still feel free to tell me I’m full of shit, ok?)

Why is it a good thing to not be thin skinned? Because as on McGoo’s post “everything-to-excess-moderations-for-monks”… “I’m an asshole!”

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 17, 2008, 2:35 pm

Yeah, Weaz, I caught Obama’s contradictory “Fairness Doctrine” too. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was, at the blatant anti-capitalist sentiment that statement implies.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 17, 2008, 2:37 pm

Muslihoon, you arrogant sumbich!

/my opinion

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 17, 2008, 2:56 pm

Yep! I heard that!

Ya can’t be a self-respecting asshole if you’re thin-skinned. When your past or present victims inevitably attack in frustration and outrage at what you’ve (intentionally) said or done – solely to amuse yourself, I might add – , you must be prepared to take the brunt of the assault head-on without flinching.

Being an asshole is no pastime for pussies or the faint-of-heart! Metrosexuals need not apply.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 2:59 pm


Not that there’s anything wrong with that

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 3:27 pm

Have you guys seen the video of Cheney at the correspondence dinner? I’ll miss him soley because he irritates the lefties so much (that, and he may have a thicker backbone than the pres). Once or twice, the camera pans the room to a few stick-in-the-muds, who refuse to crack a smile.
At the end of the 10 minute funny, he says this to the crap media –

“Since it is our last time together at this dinner, I think it’s enough to leave you with words I once addressed to Senator Pat Leahy, *P..A…U…S…E* (with deep chuckle)………… go straight home, have a good night, and thank you very much.”

Heh. You just know he would have liked to tell them the real words.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 4:55 pm

I keep seeing those links, PnB, but I’ve not seen the clip yet. STUPID YouTube is blocked at STUPID work, so about a quarter of the stuff I see linked I have to wait until I get home to watch…then I forget…then I see them linked again next day. Feh!

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 6:03 pm

Well, that link has the whole thing. So now you only need to remember to visit your own blog when you get home.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2008, 6:17 pm

I love Dick Cheney. I really do. I tolerate George W., but I love Dick.


Comment from porknbean
Time: April 17, 2008, 6:49 pm


I said it before and will say it again, the day he told Leahy to go f*ck himself is the day he won my undying respect and admiration.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 17, 2008, 11:07 pm

Oh, Cheney. *swoon*

Now he would make an awesome President.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: April 17, 2008, 11:12 pm

PnB… I either missed it or killed those brain cells. He didn’t really really say that, did he? Or am I being gullible?

If he did that, he’s got an open invitation to my house for smoked ribs any day of the week.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 18, 2008, 1:28 am

LK – Yes, he said that. On the senate floor. I can’t remember exactly why, though just being a dem is reason enough. That’s why they hate him because he says it like it is. I’ll have to search for it later when I’m on the real computer.
I would love to have his autograph.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 18, 2008, 1:41 am

LK, went to look. Google ‘Cheney curses Leahy’. 2004, over Halliburton crticism. Said afterwards that he had no regrets. I’d link it but can’t on this itouch.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 18, 2008, 2:45 am

Old Iron:

Just askin’ ’cause dis boy doan unnerstand

“White liberal guilt.”

/Actually, it’s always seemed to me that the perfect word to describe it is angst. It would also help explain why so many metrosexual liberals are assholes (although NOT the self-respectin’ kind like me).

//Dick Cheney does not suffer from angst.

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