Forbes magazine allows peons like you and me to briefly look at the world through the eyes of the rich. And let me tell you, it isn’t pretty.
Harry Binswanger has a written an editorial for Forbes that is truly remarkable for it’s elitism. In it, he argues that individuals owe nothing to other human beings, per se. He argues that taxes should be reserved for the lower classes, and that the richest person in the nation should win an award every year.
“It’s time to gore another collectivist sacred cow. This time it’s the popular idea that the successful are obliged to “give back to the community.” That oft-heard claim assumes that the wealth of high-earners is taken away from “the community.” And beneath that lies the perverted Marxist notion that wealth is accumulated by “exploiting” people, not by creating value–as if Henry Ford was not necessary for Fords to roll off the (non-existent) assembly lines and Steve Jobs was not necessary for iPhones and iPads to spring into existence.
Let’s begin by stripping away the collectivism. “The community” never gave anyone anything. The “community,” the “society,” the “nation” is just a number of interacting individuals, not a mystical entity floating in a cloud above them. And when some individual person–a parent, a teacher, a customer–”gives” something to someone else, it is not an act of charity, but a trade for value received in return.”
Harry then argues for Ayn Rand’s “intellectual pyramid” where the people on the top contribute to those below, but “The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude” contributes little. In other words, human beings don’t have intrinsic value, they produce value by making profits.
Thanks Harry, but you can have your eyes back now.
This sounds a lot like Ebenezer Scrooge.