MIND THE GAP


My Dear Reader,

Throughout time and history the catalyst of countless revolutions has been the wealth gap.  As an example, in France, the riots of 1788 and 1789 became a full scale revolution in 1791 in large part because the wealthy lived in lavish palaces while the poorest citizens slept on the streets of Paris.  The media always plays a role in the fanning of revolutionary flames by exaggerating the wealth gap, if its mocking Marie Antoinette’s extravagant hair style or an episode of Cribs, the message to the mob is always the same.  Close the wealth gap.  This should be on the mind of every politician, unless they want to suffer the same fate as Marie Antoinette, but the methodology of the right and left is very different when it comes to closing this gap.

The conservative side of the argument is rooted in the Jedeuo-Christian thought that mankind is inherently free.  From this belief the conservative view of governance emerges.  That Man has certain inalienable rights that can be philosophically and empirically observed in nature.  Government exists to protect those rights and is beholden to these natural law itself.  As a result, whenever the wealth gap becomes too large and comes to the front of the public’s mind the conservative mind will almost always point to stifling government overregulation and that the institution is overstepping natural law and its boundaries.  The left side of the argument comes from a different philosophical point of view entirely.  The basis for the leftist argument comes from a more secular view of the world, one in which the government is active in enforcing the “will of the people” as it was coined by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Though the left still believes in the idea of a natural law, the will of the people frees the government to infringe on society and the social fabric itself, going against the very structure of society itself to enforce what the general mob wants.

Now that we understand the two basic prisms for viewing the role of government in society, this brings us to our next topic, government and personal wealth.  Wealth can only be created and transferred, never destroyed.  When wealth is created legally, morally and ethically, it is the fruit of creating value for another person or group of people.  When wealth is transferred in the same way it was created, by the free exchange of services, it builds the local, regional, and national economy.  The government has the right to tax this wealth, but every dollar taken removes it from all levels of the economy.

The rule of law by mob grievances, which has marked the political game since the 1750s, requires the government to raise funds for itself to cover the inevitable welfare programs for those at the bottom of society, if the wealth gap becomes too exaggerated.  The solution has been to introduce multiple programs to raise the lower class by taking from the wealthier class. The problem with government programs is that they don’t lift those who are suffering out of the gap, but they instead raise the prices of goods and services. The minimum wage for example was implemented in good faith to raise the lowest workers in society.  The problem with doing so is that the smaller companies that built countries like the United States cannot afford to keep all of its employees and must let some go.  The larger companies will raise prices, and making them artificially high.  This means that the consumer must spend more and more on necessities and less on investments and lifestyle.  The government very rarely subsidizes things and creates value.

The take away from this is that wealth that we create must be done with others in mind.  This can include financial wealth and spiritual wealth.  My challenge for us next week is this.  Put someone else before yourself.  Do not do this with the intent of a sale or to your benefit.  Pay for someone’s meal, help with another’s kids, something to let them know you care.  Lastly be sure to watch the upcoming Kevin Prendiville show on YouTube and Facebook for more.

To your creation and potential,

Kevin Prendiville