We have basic cable at home — a first — and I admit that I love watching shows on the Discovery Channel and AMC. Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs are by far my favorites. [By contrast, I'm getting sick of the TV constantly yammering away in the background. --TPK]
One of the channels is a public access forum, and all sorts of random stuff appears there. Sturgeon’s Law is in full force. One morning I was treated to a choice nugget of nonsense in the form of “Liberty News TV.” While waiting for my carpool to arrive, I watched a cartoon explaining why people are unhappy, and purporting to show how government can make them happier.
If you want to experience the… uh, thrill, of Liberty News TV “education,” you can view the same cartoon online here (forward to about 17:30). The three cartoon characters — Bingo, Trudy, and Nigel — chat and stroke the host, Daniel Noel, until about 19:10 when the following gem of economic silliness is given:
Daniel: Why do so many Americans feel unhappy? Let’s start with a big one: the gap between rich and poor. It’s a gap that grows a little every day, thanks to tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, and war.
Bingo: I’m poor, and he’s rich. And that stinks. I’m unhappy!
Daniel: A progressive tax system asks more from the rich and increases overall happiness because it spreads the wealth around.
Bingo: Look, Trudy! Nigel’s learning to share.
Trudy: Brilliant! Taxing the rich will help the Yanks pay for health care and improve education. Maybe some of them will learn to pronounce “nuclear.”
Bingo/Trudy: I feel happier already.
Nigel: I’m snuckered. I can’t afford to buy as much stock in Halliburton this year.
Trudy: Sorry, Nigel. Remember the cardinal rule: create the most happiness for the most people.
Nigel: That takes it! My bloody watch has stopped.
Bingo: Don’t worry. I called him a “Wambulance.”
Oh, where to begin? First, the good folk at
Liberal Noise Liberty News TV postulate that rich people get richer and poor people get poorer because of tax cuts to the rich, corporate welfare, and war. Nowhere in their calculations does work, differing natural abilities, or education appear. A highly-trained heart surgeon working 60 hours a week will earn far more money than an Oprah-watching couch potato waiting for his welfare check; this growing gap of wealth has nothing to do with tax cuts, corporate welfare, or war. Bill Whittle does an excellent job of explaining away the “growing gap” myth in his two-part essay titled, “Trinity.” I highly recommend you visit his site if you haven’t already done so.
Anyway, Bingo says he’s unhappy because he’s poor and Nigel is rich. A more accurate term to describe the cause of his unhappiness is envy — or as the Bible calls it, “covetousness.” And as long as someone on Earth is richer than Bingo, and as long as he remains envious of that wealth, he will always be unhappy. There is a wise reason why the 10th Commandment basically tells people to stop envying their neighbor’s plasma TV.
Daniel goes on to explain that more people are happy when the wealthy have their pocketbooks forcibly vacuumed to redistribute the money to the poor Bingos of the world. Never you mind that the majority of wealthy people in the United States made that money themselves, and should have as much right as the poor and middle-class to spend their own profits as they see fit. Ignore the fact that these caring and thoughtful lefties have zero sympathy for Nigel, openly mocking his misfortune when he dares to complain that he’s taking it in the shorts. As long as there are people who are getting vacuumed goodies from the world’s Nigels, they will continue to demand that the government apply the suction by way of punitive taxation. The phrase goes, “He who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.”
But if spreading the money around makes people happy, why aren’t welfare recipients the happiest people on the planet? Well, that’s because they’re having babies. Yes, you read that right. One of the “truths” espoused on this shallow show is that having children does not make us happy. And that’s probably true if you don’t want children in the first place — or if you see every child as yet another mouth to feed and another useless drain on the world’s fragile resources. But if you see a child as a precious gift from God — a unique individual whose personal contributions to the world might include cures for cancer and AIDS, inspiring and beautiful music and literature, or a life given in service to God and man — then each child is a joy, not a burden.
I’ll finish with the cardinal rule that Trudy gives us: “create the most happiness for the most people.” Another way of stating this rule is, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That little gem comes from the Left’s good buddy, Karl Marx. By this light, I see that Liberty News TV believes happiness comes from Marxist economic theory. I’ll give Communism a pass, thanks. I prefer an economic system that, well, actually works.
You can watch the rest of the program if you have the stomach for it. I found the brief moments I watched to be filled with similarly wrongheaded ideas that seem to be common fodder for the Left today. While I will occasionally watch and read the Left’s ideas, there’s only so much I can take in one sitting.