Creation of wealth in this country based on “self interest or greed” helps ordinary folks too..

Yesterday I posted this on the Arkansas Times Blog:

The funny thing about Brantley calling Mike Huckabee a “tax fugative” is that liberals just can’t have it both ways. They praise Dale Bumpers for raising the state income tax to 7% and they get made when wealthy Arkansans leave the state for places like Texas, Tennessee and Florida that do not have a state income tax. Max, I called you on this before but you keep on doing it over and over. I guess it sounds good to your liberal friends, but being a being a liberal stinks when you run out of other people’s money to spend.

I got a quick response from the person going by the username “Vigilantejustice” and I answered:

“Vigilantejustice” does a great job of showing the difference between the liberal and conservative view concerning the creation of wealth and the use of that wealth.
“So, where did the rich people get it? Oh yeah, subsidies, the political buddy system, outsourcing, lying, cheating, preying on the less fortunate, fraud, their rich parents, and hiding from tax laws.”
My view is that people will always act in their self interest and the free enterprise system has been responsible for helping the poor more than any other system. I remember like yesterday when I saw Milton Friedman on the Phil Donahue Show. Donahue had thrown up one of those liberal accusations against the free enterprise system and against the rich people in the USA.
Below is the exchange that I saw that day:

Phil Donahue: When you see around the globe, the mal-distribution of wealth, a desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries. When you see so few “haves” and so many “have-nots.” When you see the greed and the concentration of power. Did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me is there some society you know that doesn’t run on Greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who is greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests.The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about – the only cases in recorded history – are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Donahue: But it seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate the system…

Friedman:And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewarded virtue? You think a Hitler rewarded virtue? You think – excuse me – if you’ll pardon me – do you think American Presidents reward virtue ?Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout ?Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest ? You know, I think you’re taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us ? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.

Milton_friedman_1


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