AHA: Mr. President, why do you not realize that your moral premise is immoral. Your advocating for theft as a means to a moral end, which is a contradiction. How can you justify this position?
BHO: What ARE you talking about?! What immorality am I presuming?!
AHA: The whole progressive tax system! It’s immoral, because it’s based on the premise that stealing is moral, and of course it isn’t.
BHO: You don’t know what you’re talking about! Progressive taxes are absolutely moral and fair. At the very least, if forces the rich to pay more of their fair share, and, by the way, we need to make the rich to pay more than what they pay now, because they don’t pay their fair share! How can you call that immoral?!
AHA: Let me ask you a very straight forward question Mr. President: Here are the facts: The top 1% make about 17% of the income in the US, but pay about 37% of the income taxes at a rate of some 24% and the top 10% make about 43% of the income, but pay almost 71% of the income taxes at a rate of some 18%. This compares to the bottom 50% that make almost 14% of the income, but only pay about 2% of the income taxes at a rate of less than 2%. So, how is this fair to the top 10%? How can you claim that the rich don’t pay their fair share? What is your idea of fair?
BHO: They can afford it!
AHA: So, the next time a person needs a kidney transplant, you won’t mind if we force you down on an operating table and take one of your kidneys and transplant it, would you?
BHO: What? What does that have to do with anything? You can’t compare money with kidneys!
AHA: Are you confessing to me that you’re stupid? Who said that I’m comparing money with kidneys or that money and kidneys are substitutable? Don’t you understand my point? Let me explain it to you: If you want to use affordability as a standard for justice then we will get into some bizarre situations as the example that I provided. Other examples of screwed-up outcome based on affordability would be to stop Tiger Woods from winning any more tournaments, because he can afford to never win another tournament; anyone that has more than $10MM in net assets can afford to never make anymore money so their jobs should be taken away from them and given to others who have not amassed $10MM of net assets; anyone who won one gold medal can afford to not win any more so they should be barred from competition; any team that wins a championship should be barred for the next 10 years from winning another because they can afford to, etc. BTW, does it strike you that I’m being arbitrary with when I cut-off people and teams from doing anything? And, that’s another problem with affordability as a measure of justice, it’s arbitrary and capricious. Anyone making $350,000 in LA or New York knows that it doesn’t go that far, but to someone making $100,000 in Butte, Montana, it must seem like a fortune. And, therefore, the person making $100,000 in Butte, Montana would think that the people making $350,000 in LA or New York can afford to pay more taxes. This is not the case.
BHO: The progressive tax system is not unjust nor arbitrary and capricious, because we all get to vote on the issue by electing our representatives and senators to congress who then fairly and equally vote on the issue. This is why we’re a democracy and you have to live by the vote of the majority. This is what makes America great!
AHA: Certainly, the democratic process is one of the great features of America and being American, but voting for something doesn’t make it right nor moral. If the majority of Americans voted to bring back slavery of blacks and congress passed legislation to bring back slavery in the US would you, as POTUS, sign the bill? Of course not! Voting for something doesn’t make it right nor moral. Therefore, just because the majority vote to steal money from the rich, this doesn’t make it moral nor right. Another tweeter said it best: Democracy shouldn’t be two wolves and a sheep voting for what they should have for dinner.
BHO: That may be true, but if we, as responsible people, don’t take action to redistribute the wealth and reduce the wealth gap then the poor will rise up and take it from the rich and there won’t be anything left at all for the rich. So, it’s progressive taxes or lose everything for the rich; take your pick!
AHA: First of all, the gap between the rich and the poor should continue to widen as the rich have disposable income, which they can reinvest and continue to grow their wealth, while the poor live from paycheck to paycheck and can’t/don’t save anything so they grow relatively poorer. Also, the real measure of progress isn’t whether the wealth gap is shrinking or growing, but is the standard of living of the bottom 50% better today than yesterday? And, taken from a rolling 20-year average, there is no question that the bottom-50% are better off today than 20 years ago. They have access to better food, better healthcare (albeit at a higher cost), better technology, higher productivity, better services and housing cost has returned to earth, i.e., the quality of life is better today than it was 20 years ago. As for the poor rising up and taking from the wealthy, we have laws against rioting, vandalism, robbery, stealing, sedition, etc., and these people should be arrested and thrown in jail. Finally, the poor don’t revolt because they’re poor, they revolt because there is no justice. And, what’s unjust about people wanting to keep as much as they can of what they earn? As another tweeter tweeted: Why is it greedy to want to keep what you earn, but not greedy to take what you didn’t earn?
BHO: What you don’t seem to understand is that the rich don’t make their money on their own, so they have to share and if they don’t they should be forced to! For example, without the protection of the military, the rich wouldn’t be able to have the freedom to make the money that they do, without teachers they wouldn’t have learned what they needed to to enable them to make the money that they do, and without service people like garbage collectors, postal delivery personnel, road repair crews, etc. the rich couldn’t do what they do! So, again, they should share!
AHA: That’s ironic given that you don’t seem to understand a lot of things: 1st) If the rich don’t make their money on their own, neither do the poor, so, if the rich have to share, so should the poor; 2nd) what do paying for the military, education and infrastructure have to do with paying for welfare, earned income tax credits, food stamps, medicaid, etc. Meaning how do you get from our obligations to support the military, educators and infrastructure workers to having to support the living standards of the poor? 3rd) How did any of these poor people help me make my money? And, if you want to be technical, I think I do more for the poor people than they do for me, because I spend money to support a lot of businesses, far more than the poor do to support me; 4th) why do you constantly talk about forcing? How is the initial use of force ever a good thing? 5) I understand why we should support the military, education and infrastructure, but everything else is a charity and, therefore, shouldn’t it be treated as such? Meaning that those that think the best way to spend their money is to donate it to welfare, child support, healthcare for the poor, etc. should be given that option, while others who believe that the best way to spend their money is to invest it and grow it, they should also have the option to do so. This means that all social programs (education is an infrastructure program, not a social program in my book) should be privatized so that those of us who believe that the best way to spend their money is to donate it to charity have that option. Either way, the people who earned the money should have the sole and exclusive right to decide what to do with it and should not be subject to the whims of those that had nothing to do with earning it. 6th) What did all these poor people do to help me earn my money and even those that I know helped me get to where I am today, did they do so without getting paid? I don’t think so. 7th) Just because we are taught, it doesn’t mean that we learn. Learning is very much an individual accomplishment and is proven by the fact that some of us get better grades than others and do better in school than others and get into better colleges than others, all this despite going through the same classes. So, we have to wonder how useful were the teachers in teaching? I think this is a very individual metric and cannot be generalized. 8th) If I did not make the money on my own, the implication is that I have money that doesn’t belong to me, i.e., I stole it. If that’s the case, why am I not in jail? 9th) Since it is established that the rich and the poor both either made their money on their own or didn’t then, regardless, both should pay the same rates, which means that the progressive tax system is immoral and unjust; and, finally, 10th) What you truly don’t understand and what may be the most important thing for you to understand is that a dollar invested is better than a dollar donated, because the dollar invested grows while a dollar donated is done once spent; think of it this way, if investments aren’t important then you have to answer the following question: How did America become the greatest economic power in the world, if investments aren’t important or don’t have much of a beneficial effect? The bottom-line: No one, including you, has the right to spend other people’s money, let alone to spend it for their own individual benefit; this by definition is greed; greed is not wanting to keep the money that one earns!
BHO: Trickle down economics doesn’t work and not only that if we don’t help the poor and have enough money to do so properly, America will descend into chaos, are you going to take responsibility for that?!
AHA: Absolutely! I will take responsibility for privatizing all social programs, because at the rate that this country is going and where you want to take it, it is absolutely clear that we will end up like Greece: Bankrupt and desperate. Socialism is a bottomless pit that can never be satiated and can only lead to bankruptcy. At the heart of socialism — the very principle that embodies its moral premise — is mutually agreed suicide. The best way to put it is encapsulated by the following question: Why should I work so hard to make a living when I can benefit from the wealth of others? When 99 out of a 100 people work and 1 person slacks off and leeches off of the 99, it isn’t much of a burden nor is it a problem, but when 10, 20, 50, 90 people leech off of the 90, 80, 50 or even try to leech off of 10 then we have a massive problem. Socialism can never be allowed into our society in any way, shape or form. In general, the only way to create prosperity for all is for the wealthy to invest and the poor to support that investment. In America, specifically, the rich need to invest in maintaining the technological leadership that our country has enjoyed up to the present and the job of the poor is to continue to evolve by learning and applying new technology and skills to raise the productivity of the work force and to enable the creation of new products, services and technology in the cheapest and most efficient manner possible. This means that the rich take the investment risk and the poor take on technological-obsolescence risk. In our country, education is prized as the road to success. Therefore, those that don’t, can’t, or won’t get an advanced education (not necessary college, but also higher technological education) must bear the burden of becoming obsolete and should be at most risk of becoming a “useless” member of society. In contrast, those that do continually get advanced education must bear the least burden of becoming obsolete and should have the best chances of becoming financially secure. This is how capitalism should work, no, must work. This means that there are some that are going to be left behind and no one should lift a finger to help those that won’t help themselves. And, those that do do their best to become the best that they can be usually don’t need any help from anyone to get there. So, there really is no reason for a so called “social safety net.” All that social programs succeed in accomplishing is creating a class of dependents and draining precious resources that we need to advance our technological innovation. Therefore, the only correct conclusion that we can draw is that so called “social spending” is what will cause our society to descend into chaos, not getting rid of it. Sure, the transition will be painful, and the longer we wait to make the transition, the more painful it will be. However, don’t make any mistakes about it, the pain that is caused by going from a society weighed down by so called “social programs” to one that is free of the shackles of a dependent society is the measure of how decrepit and dangerous those so called “social programs” are to our country, not an indication of how bad it is to live without them. As for trickle down economics or supply-side economics, if this doesn’t work, you still have to answer the question of how America became the greatest economic power in the world. Because, from my perspective, without investments and new innovations and technologies that those investments supported, we could not have become the greatest economic power the world has ever known. Let me also clarify that among the many things that Karl Marx got wrong, one of the most crucial mistakes he made in his thinking was that labor, owners (investors) and capital were mutually co-dependent. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, labor is a heavy dependent of owners and capital, because without innovation and technological creation they wouldn’t have their jobs. It’s that simple and that straight-forward. The other mistake that he made was the presumption that no one individual is important to society. On the contrary, what made America great as an economic power was not the work of the society or the masses, but the contributions of a very small handful of individuals that created the innovations, technologies, products and services and then took the risk of bringing those creations to the masses that made America great in terms of economic power. What enable those individuals to take those risks were investors that shared the vision of the creators and put their money at risk to help those creators. And, lastly, what enable those investors to possess their wealth was due to either their own risk-taking or risk-taking of their ancestors. And, the final glue that makes all of this possible is the fact that America is the land of opportunity and the reason why America is the land of opportunity is simply, but very delicately, because we are the only true country where individual rights absolutely triumphs (or is it triumphed) over society’s rights. Therefore, if we continue to subordinate the rights of each individual for the sake of society, economically, we will eventually become Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latin American pre-1990s, UK pre-Thatcher, or the USSR to name a few.
BHO: But this is all nice and dandy in theory, but what do you propose to do about those that either never had the chance at success or are born into terribly dysfunctional families? It sounds like you are proposing that we abandon those people.
AHA: This is why I believe that education is an infrastructure program not a social program. By providing the best education we can for everyone that wants it, no one can make the claim that they never had a chance and use that as an excuse to extort wealth from others. However, even after all that, if someone fails to dig themselves out of the rut of poverty then that is what it is and no one, absolutely no one, should be made to be responsible for such individuals, because those people had their chances, period, full-stop, the end.
BHO: You’re heartless! America and Americans are not heartless like you! We are a great and generous people and most wouldn’t agree with you! No one in their right minds would want to see children suffer when the more fortunate ones in our society can easily help!
AHA: You’re funny! I’m heartless?! That’s a laugh. You propose to continue keeping America addicted to the drug of so called “social programs” and acting the part of the kingpin drug lord, and you have the audacity to call me heartless?! WOW! Also, there is a world of difference between a wealthy individual using their wealth voluntarily to help whomever they want to help versus people like you putting a gun to the heads of wealthy individuals and forcing them to help whomever you want to help using wealth gained by force from the rich. This is why all so called “social programs” have to be privatized, so that every one of us has the option to help whomever we want to in the manner that we deem appropriate and only we deem appropriate. And, those of us that believe that we should help poor children will use some of our wealth to do so and others may feel it is better to create a more vibrant economy so that everyone has a job that wants one. This is the right way, because we are a society — or suppose to be — individuals with individual rights. As for who’s responsible for taking care of the poor, unfortunate, underprivileged children, I think it should be the responsibility of the parents who had those children. If they are in no position to take care of them properly then they should never had them to begin with. However, if they don’t know or don’t realize that they cannot take care of children borne to them or couldn’t predict that one day something would go wrong, which made them incapable of taking care of their children then it is no one’s fault but their own for taking that risk. Still, if something out of their control derailed their good parenting then they can plead to wealthy individuals for financial help through charity programs and those that are wealthy that believe those unfortunate people are free to help them in anyway they choose. But to force these wealthy individuals to make charitable contributions is not only a violation of the rights of wealthier individuals, but also it is justifying the right of one group to steal from another, which is very highly immoral.
BHO: Uhhhhhh … . Hmmmmm … . Logic isn’t everything!
AHA: Try living without it and more to the point, try talking to someone without using logic and see how far the conversation goes before it descends into chaos!
BHO: You don’t understand, because you’ve never been poor. It’s not as black and white as you make it sound!
AHA: And, you understand?! What do you understand? You’re advocating for the moral right to steal from the wealthy and enslaving the rich for the benefit of the poor. So, what is it that you’re grand understanding accomplishes? To bring back a modern form of slavery? You call that justice? That’s ridiculous! And, by the way, the universe is black and white. Just because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, this doesn’t mean that the universe is gray; it just means that you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, i.e., you’re confusing the lack of precognition with how the universe functions. Think of it this way, just because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, this doesn’t mean that what will happen won’t. Another way to think about it is this: If the universe was truly gray, how can we have moments of clarity? By definition, if the universe is gray then we should never be able to have decisive moments. By the way, have you ever been poor? I didn’t think so.
BHO: Your twisting things!
AHA: Of course you’re going to think that. All of your life, you thought that left was right and right was wrong and now that someone finally straightens you out and nullifies everything you’ve come to believe in, of course you’re totally confused and think that I’m twisting things when in reality I’m straightening things out for you.
BHO: You’re hopeless; you need to learn humility and compassion!
AHA: So, you’re way of being humble is to advocate for stealing from the rich to give to the poor?! I think that that’s very, very arrogant! You think you know better than the people who earned the money, how best to spend it! That sounds like the epitome of arrogance! And, where’s your compassion for the rich who toiled and labored to accumulate the wealth, just to have it taken away from them by force by people like you?! That’s a laugh! Like I said, I’m straightening out your twisted mind.
BHO: I don’t care what you say, I don’t care how logical you think you are or actually are … for all I know, you may be 100% right … but you’ll never convince me that you are right and I am wrong, never!
AHA: This is exactly why you will never be a great president, because you don’t listen to reason, and you are dogmatic in the face of absolute evidence of your mistakes and errors.
BHO: Whatever … . And, I’m still the president!
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