Friday, November 14, 2008

The Productive Minority and the Tyrannical Majority

Political writers seeking to make a point often do so through the apocryphal quotes of Alexis de Tocqueville, the great French writer and author of Democracy in America.

How often have we heard speeches that cite this apocryphal deTocqueville quote:

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

A wonderful sentiment, but one that cannot be found in any of deTocqueville’s writings.

Similarly, here are two common quotes, taken from attributed to deTocqueville which I suspect are apocryphal. My cursory search of his works could not find the proper citation, though perhaps a more diligent blog reader may:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money


A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.

Despite their likely apocryphal origins, the idea behind these quotes aptly describe the circumstances to which our nation has fallen.

The Productive Minority today is small business owners and middle class Americans who work 40 to 60 hours a week at middle class and upper middle class jobs.

The Tyrannical Majority is the half of all Americans who pay no income tax, and the Fortune 500 executives and union workers who support their own overpaid income through a variety of public programs.

Our economy is an odd mix of brutal free market capitalism for small businesses and Corporate Socialism for many selected Fortune 500 companies. Borrowing a phrase from Reagan OMB Director David Stockman, the woes of our current economic system can be attributed to the triumph of politics over the common sense of free markets.

The only long term solution is to kick the onerous interference of the government into the workings of the free market out of the arena, and let the creative destructionism of capitalism restore the vibrance and growth to our economy.


Wordherd said...

If government gets out of the way, what happens to the people during this creative destruction of capitalism?

Michael Patrick Leahy said...

Temporary unemployment, followed by finding another job, either immediately or after adding skills. The new job may be better, may be worse. On average, over time, the new job is better.

Unknown said...

well put. The whole point of the free market is to give the new guy a chance. If I start a company and it does well, but the government keeps bailing out my largest competition, how will my business ever truly reach maximum potential. Government interference hinders the everday mans ability to take his trade to the ownership level.

Anonymous said...

Through the creative destruction of capitalism the newer, smaller companies get the chance to grow when their large scale competition make poor investments. How can that happen if the government interferes.