Monday, June 29, 2015

What King V. Burwell was Really About—Hint: It Wasn’t the Subsidies

With ObamaCare subsidies being upheld by the Supreme Court, it’s worth noting just what the case, known as King vs. Burwell, was really all about.

Back in March, the New Jersey Star-Ledger editorialized Paying attention, Supreme Court? Then leave Obamacare alone. The Star-Ledger explains the issue:

The short version: The U.S. government, through, funds policies bought on a federal exchange in the 37 states that did not set up their own marketplace. But the law includes a line that stipulates subsidies should be provided in any exchange "established by the State." Those four words suggest that coverage purchased through in the federal marketplace is not eligible for a subsidy.

The Star-Ledger’s argument, in essence, was that the Supreme Court should uphold the subsidies, because those “four of the 11.5 million words in the law are merely a drafting error.” Instead of judging the case based on a clear, objective understanding of the words in the law, the Star-Ledger argued, the Supreme Court should take a pragmatic approach. The law “works,” the Star-Ledger says, so it should be upheld.

I left these comments:

“The shame of it is that the law works better than anyone has a right to expect.”

ObamaCare is a rights-violating, authoritarian program. Like all forms of authoritarianism, you can always find people for whom the law “works”—i.e., profiteer on the injustice done to others. ObamaCare certainly can be said to “work” for those receiving ObamaCare subsidies, as Soviet communism “worked” for those lucky enough to belong to The Party.

But this lawsuit is about something much deeper and much more important to the future of America and our liberties than ObamaCare technicalities. That’s because those 4 words—“established by the State”—are not mere technicalities: They are the law, as established by the Obama Democrats themselves.  

For a much more honest understanding of what’s at stake in this ruling, check out David Catron at The American Spectator. Catron says it much better than I can. So I’ll quote him rather than paraphrase. In "King v. Burwell Is Much Bigger Than Obamacare,” Catron writes that “The Supreme Court is about to decide whether we are a nation of laws or men.” After citing John Adams—America is “a nation of laws and not of men”—Catron wrote:

[T]he President conducts himself in a manner utterly inconsistent with republican principles and his constitutional oath. Obama obviously believes the law is what he says it is, a delusion evidently shared by his party and the press. He behaves as if he possesses the power to unilaterally change laws and create new ones merely because the opposition party actually opposes his agenda. Adams characterized such behavior as that of “a despot, bound by no law or limitation but his own will; it is a stretch of tyranny beyond absolute monarchy.”

This is, at its core, what King v. Burwell is about. It has nothing do with any “plot to kill health care,” as the New York Times recently put it. Nor does it involve a surreptitious conspiracy to reinvigorate the “states’ rights” movement, as it was described last week in Politico. It isn’t even an attack on Obamacare, though a ruling in favor of David M. King and his fellow plaintiffs would obviously have a profound effect on the future of the “reform” law. It is rather an attempt to prevent the President from doing further violence to the Constitution.

Specifically, it is about the separation of powers doctrine.

Every American should be concerned about separation of powers. If Obama wanted the law changed, he should have gone back to Congress. Unfortunately, Leftist ObamaCare dogmatists aren’t concerned about the rule of law, individual rights, or justice—just power.

Related Reading:

Is ObamaCare "Working"?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

After Charleston, We Need a Dialogue on Individualism

Speaking in response to the Charleston Massacre perpetrated by a raving racist, President Obama used the “N-word” in an interview, which got some people flustered. Writing about this controversy, the New Jersey Star-Ledger editorialized, National dialogue on race is much bigger than Obama's N-word. The editors wrote:

President Obama took on the incendiary subject of racial justice on the Marc Maron podcast Monday, even using the N-word to illustrate the most important lessons arising from the Charleston massacre.

The reaction from those who can best benefit from these lessons, however, makes you wonder whether he's wasting his breath.

The context couldn't have been more clear: "Racism: We're not cured of it," Obama told Maron. "It's not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'n----r' in public – that's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't overnight erase everything that happened 2-to-300 years earlier."

The overarching point was that alarming disparities still exist in America today – in the form of segregated schools, housing discrimination, and the deprivation of civil liberties and economic opportunity – and that they can be traced to the injustice passed down from the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

The Star-Ledger also cited what it called “an alarming succession of divisive incidents”:

Trayvon Martin. Ferguson. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Charleston.

All of them drew the nation's attention to a racial injustice that is endemic, yet there's still a sizable population that would just as soon dismiss them as anomalies.

I left these comments:

“The overarching point was that alarming disparities still exist in America today – in the form of segregated schools, housing discrimination, and the deprivation of civil liberties and economic opportunity – and that they can be traced to the injustice passed down from the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.”

Where does racial segregation exist in America today? Not in the schools, where children are segregated by neighborhood, but not race. Not in housing: Where are the laws dividing neighborhoods by race? Where are people legally denied civil liberties or economic opportunity based on race? “Disparity” doesn’t prove racism. The fact is, the very act of taking a racial headcount in a neighborhood or school in order to uncover statistical disparities is racist, which in turn encourages racism by encouraging people to think in terms of race, not individual character.

Exploiting the Charleston massacre to begin a so-called “national dialogue on race” is to elevate a mentally deranged collectivist ideologue to a status that is a grave injustice to the victims and to the fundamental principle of America. There’s no escaping the fact that lumping people together according to race fits the very definition of racism. Putting race at the forefront of a national dialogue won’t accomplish the goal of racial harmony, because the only antidote to racism, and only path toward peaceful coexistence in a racially diverse culture, is individualism.

Racism is a subset of collectivism. Collectivism holds that the group—society, the tribe, the economic class, the race, etc.—is the fundamental focus of moral concern. Therefor an individual must be judged primarily according to his group identity—in this case, his race. Dylann Roof didn’t shoot his victims because he rationally judged them to be individually bad, but because he irrationally judged the racial group they belonged to as bad.

Individualism holds that the individual, regardless of his accidental, unchosen group characteristics, is the fundamental focus of moral concern. Therefor, every individual must be judged on the content of his character—his chosen actions, values, and ideas—rather than the color of his skin. This is how we should judge others. An individualist could never do what Roof did, because an individualist sees individuals, not the group as morally separate from the individuals who comprise it.

Racism has been subsiding in America for generations, and today is at the lowest point in my lifetime. The fact that any remark or action that can be construed as racist or even racially offensive brings instant, widespread public rebuke, is proof of that. In a nation in which interracial marriage is socially acceptable; in which the utterance of the N-word incites disgust; in which a mixed race president is twice elected: Yes, racist acts such as Freddie Gray and Charleston are anomalies. This, despite the Left’s continuous efforts to keep the “dialogue on race” going.

But, for many on the Left, that’s the point. The Left is ideologically collectivist. They divide people into racial groups, scour the statistics looking for disparities, and then use the statistical disparities to find racism where it doesn’t exist. Why? To expand the power of the government to regulate and redistribute in order to equalize groups in the name of “racial justice.” The group, in other words, is the Left’s focus of moral concern. In this fundamental ideological sense, the Left is on the same collectivist page as Roof. Talk about “a politics that breeds division": That’s the Left’s modus operandi. Modern racism is less a holdover from slavery and Jim Crow and more an ongoing legacy of the Left.

We don’t need a dialogue centered on race. We’ll never be completely “cured” of racism as long as race continues to be “the issue.” We need a dialogue on individualism. We must learn to view our fellow human beings as individuals rather than as members of black, white, yellow, brown, or red tribes. You’ll never get rid of “institutional discrimination” by institutionalizing racial identity.

But since the Left so desperately wants this dialogue—Very well, I’ll accommodate. My contribution to the “national dialogue on race” can be summed up thusly: Race doesn’t matter. To the extent people understand that, racism and racial discrimination have no chance. Individualism and collectivism are mutually exclusive—and that’s the basic choice.

Related Reading:

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pope Francis: Prosperity, Liberty, and Climate Change are the Common Enemy

Pope Francis released his anticipated climate change encyclical, titled LAUDATO SI’—"ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME.”

I have not read the pope’s encyclical in its entirety, but I have skimmed it. It’s not primarily about climate change. The New Jersey Star-Ledger, despite the heading of it editorial—The Pope stands up to climate change deniers—also seems to have grasped this, and zeroes in on Francis’s essential message. The editors write:

Just because scientists have won the argument on climate change doesn't mean they can inspire people to do anything about it.

This is where Pope Francis comes in. With an encyclical, the highly-anticipated papal letter he released yesterday, he is adding his moral authority to this debate, and refocusing it where it should be: on poverty.

Because at its heart, climate action isn't about the earth. It's about the fate of human beings on earth. It's about how we treat our most vulnerable.

The Pope reminds us that the people who will suffer the most from global warming are the very ones who have little or nothing to do with it.

His admonishments were clearly directed at high-consuming countries like the United States, which bear the bulk of the blame for world's carbon pollution.

The Star-Ledger had a few other noteworthy comments. For one, it repeated Francis’ description of the Earth as “an immense pile of filth.” "At the bottom of the pile" are the world’s poor, especially poor children, who, the Star-Ledger paraphrases,  “are the ones who will shoulder the brunt of extreme weather caused by our greedy, materialistic consumption” which brought on the extreme weather:

And this is the future for those born in developing countries, which are the least able to cope with severe storms and changing weather patterns. Because it will only get worse.

In Africa, the United Nations warns that rain-fed agricultural production, which millions depend on for sustenance, could be cut in half. This will likely be followed by the desperate migration of "climate refugees," forced to invade new territories for fertile land, sparking tensions and violent wars.

If you doubt the connection the Star-Ledger observes between climate change and a broader agenda in the papal letter, read Part VI. THE COMMON DESTINATION OF GOODS of the encyclical (from which I quote below). I left these comments:

“. . . refocusing [the debate] where it should be: on poverty.

“Because at its heart, climate action isn't about the earth. It's about the fate of human beings on earth. It's about how we treat our most vulnerable.”

The Star-Ledger points to the link between climate change and the Church’s long-standing statist global ambitions and hatred of prosperity.

The Catholic Church, through a long line of papal encyclicals, has been waging a protracted war on liberty, free market capitalism, and the individualistic pursuit of happiness, the pre-conditions of prosperity. Pope Francis goes one step further: He ingeniously connects prosperity, liberty, and climate change together into a common enemy. Francis has recognized that climate change is a perfect vehicle to exploit for the purpose of waging the Church’s anti-capitalist crusade, which includes a call for a global statist regime of economic control and redistribution of wealth. From Pope Paul VI’s condemnation of “surplus goods” to Francis’ condemnation of “unsustainable consumption,” the Church’s antipathy to human prosperity and flourishing much above the poverty level of basic need—to be satisfied by global socialism—shines through the Church’s rhetoric.

The April 2015 declaration of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Climate Change and the Common Good”—the preamble to the encyclical—is unequivocal: “Market forces alone . . . cannot solve the intertwined crises of poverty, exclusion, and the environment.” “Present economic systems have been accompanied by the development of unacceptable gaps between the rich and the poor, the latter still lacking access to most of the scientific and technical benefits that we have developed in the industrial world.” To solve these alleged problems, the Declaration calls for “a reallocation of the benefits and burdens that accompany humanity’s activities both within nations and between nations.” Since free markets “allocate” benefits and burdens according to voluntary trade and mutual consent among producers, the only way to reallocate is by force through a global statist regime of economic control and redistribution of wealth. This is not a new position for the Church, but a reiteration of a long-standing goal. Half a century ago, Pope Paul VI attacked free market capitalism and its foundation of individual rights and limited rights-protecting government in a call for global collectivization. In his 1967 encyclical “POPULORUM PROGRESSIO,” Paul wrote:

"God intended the earth and everything in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should flow fairly to all." (20)

All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle.

It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them. . .

Since goods can only flow fairly when rights of property and free trade are protected, Paul obviously means to facilitate a “fair” flow of goods by rolling over property rights and free trade by governmental force.

Likewise, in his new encyclical “LAUDATO SI’,” Francis advances “the principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, and thus the right of everyone to their use” based on “a social [i.e., state] mortgage on all private property, in order that goods may serve the general purpose.” Both popes advance the basic premises of socialist statism. Add in a hefty dose of climate change and a slap at income inequality—today’s hot Leftist causes—and Francis’ encyclical echoes Pope Paul VI. For the Church as for the Left, Global warming is just a convenient tool for advancing its long-standing goal of totalitarian world socialism.

If the Church were really concerned with alleviating poverty and the poor’s susceptibility to climate danger, it would advocate for the poor the same social conditions—fossil fuel-driven industrial advancement and its cause, free market capitalism—now enjoyed to a substantial degree by the developed and, increasingly, by the developing world. Wealthier nations are so much better able to cope with climate dangers, without conflict, because of relatively free trade powered by fossil fuels, which enables the mass flow of goods, including food, from areas of plenty to areas afflicted by temporary restrictions on production, such as droughts. No need for “climate refugees” to fight like animals over finite resources when freedom to innovate, expand production, and trade can solve the problem peacefully, civilly, and mutually beneficially to all. Instead, the Church calls for restrictions on the social conditions and the energy source most responsible for making wealthier nations safer and less vulnerable to climate dangers. The Church would rather spread the misery than the safety—a “vow of poverty” for the entire world.

Why attack prosperity and its means?

Don’t be gulled by Francis’ description of today’s Earth as “an immense pile of filth” generated by our “unsustainable consumption” due to fossil fuel use. As energy expert Alex Epstein observes, if Pope Clement XI (1700-21) could visit today's world, he’d find an Earth that is immensely cleaner and healthier than the world of 300 years ago.

And don’t try to counter the Pope’s (or the Star-Ledger’s) dogma that fossil fuels have made our climate more dangerous with facts such as that extreme-weather and climate-related deaths have dropped 98% over the past century—the very era of global warming. Far from making life on our planet harder, fossil fuel-driven industrial prosperity has made us safer than ever before. Fossil fuels have enabled us to take a dangerous natural environment and make it much more human life friendly.

Such inconvenient facts will fall on deaf ears. The pope’s handwringing over climate change is just window dressing. His real target, in solidarity with previous popes, is prosperity. Again: Why? Poverty and misery are the foundation of modern Catholicism. “Ministering to the poor” is central to the Catholic Church’s purpose for being—and its power. Where would the Church be if poverty continues to give way to capitalistic, fossil-fueled prosperity worldwide? The Church has a vested interest in poverty. No more poverty, no more Mother Teresas. The Pope’s encyclical is saturated with concern for the world’s needy. But need—man’s natural state—can be satisfied essentially in only one of two ways; produce or drain the productive. Instead of advocating policies that lead to greater production to solve the problems of the needy, Francis seeks to drain the productive. So the Church will continue to fight tooth and nail to “protect” the poor—from fossil-fueled capitalist prosperity—even as it pushes to confiscate the “surplus” created by that fossil-fueled capitalist prosperity. The contradiction is obvious. Can an institution as venerable as the Catholic Church be so dumb as not to see the contradiction that destroying the prosperous can not possibly solve poverty? Or is destroying the prosperous the point? Some wonder why Francis would drag the Church into the global warming quagmire. But given the Church’s fundamental worship of and dependence on poverty and misery, the Pope’s encyclical makes perfect sense.

Related Reading:

Pope Francis’s Embrace of Anti-Fossil Fuel Agenda Follows From Church’s Anti-Capitalism

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Who Really Has Something to Fear From Unrestricted Campaign Spending?

Declaring in their editorial Citizens United's damaging cost that “our political system is debased” by unrestricted campaign spending limits, the New Jersey Star Ledger in January stated:

So it’s easy to see why issues supported by a vast majority of Americans – background checks for guns, minimum wage, Wall Street reform, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, net neutrality, etc. – never get anywhere in Congress: Somebody else has a different agenda from that vast majority, which is why recent reform proposals to reverse Citizens United will also likely go nowhere.

If the “vast majority of Americans” support all of those things, then how does the S-L explain how politicians who supposedly oppose that agenda keep getting elected? The S-L likes to blame “wealthy donors”:

The non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice used this anniversary to put a price tag on campaign spending since the Citizens United ruling, and it should shock the national system. Its research found that the top 100 donors to Super PACs spent as much as the other 4.75 million small ($200 or less) donors combined. Across all federal elections since Citizens United was decided, 195 donors have contributed $600 million of the $1 billion raised by Super PACs.

But wealthy donors have the same number of votes as small donors—one. Super PACS can’t force anyone to vote a certain way. They can only attempt to persuade people to vote a certain way. This is a fact routinely ignored by those who ascribe to wealthy donors the power to “buy our democracy” or some such equivalent nonsense. So what’s really their angle? The statists, it seems, don’t like that Super Pacs—especially those leaning to the political Right—are good at persuading voters. It gets in the way of statist politicians’ unfettered lust to add control on top of control, tax on top of tax, and redistribution on top of redistribution.

In my last post, I posed two questions: Do average people benefit from the coerced silence of people with the means to spread ideas to mass audiences? Or is it someone else—the regulators, the taxers, the controllers, the redistributors, the political class—that the Statists are trying to protect? Today, an answer to the second question, which I posted as part of my continuing comments on the article web page:

Having said that [see my last post], I agree the political system is debased—not by “big money”, but by “big political power”. The system became debased when democracy overtook constitutionally-limited republican government over the last century, creating a system where politicians can control and regulate any aspect of our lives that they can politically get away with. In other words, democratic statism.

Defending statism is what motivates the enemies of Citizens United and McCutchen. Notice the litany of issues the Star-Ledger wants done; “background checks for guns, minimum wage, Wall Street reform, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, net neutrality, etc.,”—anything that increases government spending, regulation, and control. In a constitutional republic, the original American system, the government protects individual rights—freedom of action and association—regardless of what a majority wants. In a democracy, majority rules absolutely, superseding individual rights at will. Given this upending of America, is it any surprise that money floods into politics, from left and right, for the purpose of influencing the people who get elected to control the apparatus that controls our lives? If you really want to get “big money” out of politics, get “big democratic government” out of our lives.

In employing the democracy defense against free speech in politics, the Star-Ledger is really only protecting the power-hungry political class from the influence of those pesky private citizens who disagree with its political agenda, and is willing to demolish the First Amendment if that’s what it takes. After all, aren’t those super-PACS essentially nothing more than groups of citizens exercising their “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances?”

Related Reading:

Making Private Donations Anonymously is a Right

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Are ‘Average Voters’ Hurt or Benefited by Unrestricted Campaign Spending?

With 2015 came the start of the 2016 presidential election cycle (yes, 2016!). And with the star of that cycle, the Left renewed its assault on the First Amendment. In Citizens United's damaging cost, the New Jersey Star-Ledger wrote in January:

The events of last weekend marked the first lap around the 2016 political catwalk, though it still feels more like a horse auction.

There were Republican candidates assembled in Rancho Mirage to solicit the blessing of the Koch Brothers, who used a fraction of their fortune – originally created by their father’s oil deals with Stalin – to bankroll 45,000 political ads last year alone.

Imagine the horror: 45,000 political ads, paid for privately, with the purpose of advocating ideas in advance of an election! How un-American! How Stalinistic!

Of course, free speech opponents claim to want to silence “big money” in the name of “average” people. But do average people benefit from the coerced silence of wealthy campaign spenders who have the means to spread ideas to mass audiences? Or is it someone else—the regulators, the taxers, the controllers, the redistributors, the political class—that the Statists are trying to protect? I answered these question in comments posted to the article web page.

In this post, I present my answer to the first question. Next, I’ll tackle the second question.

My comments:

“The voice of the average voter is muted and our political system is debased.”

How so? When the Koch Brothers spend their own money on disseminating their right-wing viewpoints, they speak for the millions of average voters who agree with them. When George Soros spends his own money disseminating his left-wing viewpoint, he speaks for millions who agree with him. For those who disagree, it’s an opportunity to present counter-arguments. When those with the financial resources engage in political spending to reach mass audiences, they don’t “mute” the “voice of the average voter”: They amplify the average voter’s voice. Far from “muting” average voters, big money in politics—whether the spenders are “dark” or known—gives voice to millions of everyday people, brings relevant political issues to the public forefront, and fosters debate in coffee houses, around kitchen tables, in social media, in online debate forums, in newspaper letters sections—anywhere ordinary people gather to chat.

No matter how much anyone spends on his own speech, no private citizen or institution can mute anyone else’s voice. An “ordinary” individual can write letters to the editor, speak to friends and co-workers, attend town-hall meetings, start a blog, participate in social media or online debate forums, or post this comment on the Star-Ledger’s website. He can pool his money with others to take out ads, or donate money to think tanks or PACs that advocate viewpoints he agrees with. He can contact his congressman. Who could stop him?

In the name of "democracy," statists trivialize the voter. They imagine a direct connection between campaign spending and politicians. But there is no such connection. Voters, not campaign spenders, put politicians in office. All the money in the world won’t buy you an election. That’s because the voter stands between the money and the politician and/or the issue the spender supports. If the spender can not persuade the voter, his spending is for naught. This obvious fact makes the following comment by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, quoted by the S-L and repeated in various forms ad nauseam, look ridiculous on its face:

“The notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

Of all the arguments against Citizens and McCutchen, the idea that they allow wealthy donors to “buy our democracy” is the most far-fetched of all. Can anyone name one case where a Koch or a Soros was standing in a voting booth, offering money to voters to vote a certain way? In the end, it’s the vote that counts. We still have one-man-one-vote—each of us stands alone in the voting booth. Billionaire or penniless, we are all equal. Each of us is competent to consider all viewpoints rationally. Each of us had to settle on our own viewpoint, and vote accordingly.

Only the government, with its law-making powers, can “drown out” a person’s voice, and any attempt by government to legally restrict any person’s freedom to spend his own money for the purpose of advocating his viewpoint is an attack on everyone’s First Amendment rights. How is some rich industrialist’s campaign spending any different from newspaper spending? If it’s right to limit the political spending of the Koch Brothers, why not newspaper editorialists? In the end, free speech and press are linked. We don’t need government for the many or the few, but for everyone equally. That’s what Citizens United and McCutchen are about—equal protection under the First Amendment.

Related Reading:

Ideas, Not Money, Matters in Political Campaigns

Friday, June 19, 2015

On Bigotry: America’s Undefended Minority—Businessmen

Last February, 2015, an instance in Columbus, Ohio prompted both sympathy and hatred. The episode involved a homeless couple on a frigid, snowy night. As the story was relayed on Addicting Info, a couple of good samaritans paid for three nights in a Super 8 motel for the homeless couple. But the motel has a rule requiring guests to be 21 or older. The homeless couple could produce no identification, so the motel evicted them. The article, Motel Sends Homeless Couple Out To The Frigid Cold, Despite The Fact That The Room Was Paid For, was posted to Facebook with the caption accompanying caption: “Another from heartless corporate America. I just hope this couple is okay.”

My wife Kathy wrote:

What happened to this couple is despicable, but do not blame all of corporate America. Many companies contribute much to charity and what many corporations produce make life better for the individual. That being said.....there is no excuse for the heartless way these people were treated. And kudos to the family who attempted to help them.

And received this reply from Shelley Caldwell:

Corporations exist for the bottom line. If they do good works, it's to keep the pitchforks and torches away. More harm is done by corporations than good.

I left this reply to Shelley:

What I see in your viewpoint and in the caption “Another from heartless corporate America” is a manifestation of bigotry—painting with a broad brush.

This episode is one isolated instance.

Yes, Shelley, business corporations exist for the bottom line. What other reason is there for them to exist? That is not the vice that you imply, however. It is a virtue—the essence of “good works.” Because what feeds the bottom line? Consumers who willingly buy the products and services corporations produce. Why do consumers buy? Because, by the consumers’ own judgement, what they buy betters their lives. What other reason is there to buy? This is the great moral nobility of business activity: Trade; win-win; business and consumer getting better together; production for profit.

Businessmen are the unsung heroes of the economy and of our historically wealthy standard of living. Aside from the occasional bad apple—who exist in all walks of life—businessmen/entrepreneurs across the economic scale are the exceptional individuals who step out from the crowd to take the risks, invest the capital, and organize the factors of production toward creating the products and services that our lives, well-being, and flourishing depend on. In the process, they create the jobs that enable self-responsible individuals to contribute to the productive process, earn money, and become consumers. They create the tax base that supports our government, schools, roads, etc.. Profitable business activity is the foundation that enables charity and provide the investment means for average folks to build savings for their kids’ education or their retirement. Businessmen accomplish this by mutually beneficial, mutually consensual voluntary trade and contract; and all toward a morally virtuous end—the same end that motivates workers and consumers—his own profit and self-interest. Successful capitalists have done more good for more people than any other population segment ever did or could. The proof is all around, for those with open eyes and minds. Yet, in our ever-more-morally twisted culture, they are increasingly the victims of a bigotry, exploitation, and persecution as virulent as any that has ever existed against any other minority.

My suggestion to “corporate America” haters: Exhibit integrity. Stop enabling what you judge to be corporate immorality. Stop buying their products or accepting their jobs. See how long you survive. Perhaps then you’ll grant business corporations the appreciation they deserve.


There are numerous bigoted anti-business comments in the thread. People are blind. "More harm is done by corporations than good?" I tell people, “Look around! You’ll see that almost everything your life and well-being depends on—from food to clothing to shelter to transportation to medicine to all manner of gadgets, from high tech to the mundane, that make our lives easier and more enjoyable—is the product of profit-seeking business. Take away the products of business, and your left with a hostile, untamed wilderness devoid of the values that make our lives livable. Then you’ll see what heartless really means; facing nature without businessmen. Are you looking around, Shelley Caldwell?

As Ayn Rand observed in “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,”

If a small group of men were always regarded as guilty, in any clash with any other group, regardless of the issues or circumstances involved, would you call it persecution? If this group were always made to pay for the sins, errors, or failures of any other group, would you call that persecution? If this group had to live under a silent reign of terror, under special laws, from which all other people were immune, laws which the accused could not grasp or define in advance and which the accuser could interpret in any way he pleased—would you call that persecution? If this group were penalized, not for its faults, but for its virtues, not for its incompetence, but for its ability, not for its failures, but for its achievements, and the greater the achievement, the greater the penalty—would you call that persecution?

If your answer is “yes”—then ask yourself what sort of monstrous injustice you are condoning, supporting, or perpetrating. That group is the American businessmen . . .

Every ugly, brutal aspect of injustice toward racial or religious minorities is being practiced toward businessmen.. . . Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation’s troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.

Related Reading:

Gladwell & Co.'s Monstrous Injustice Against Businessmen.—Ari Armstrong for The Objective Standard

Businessmen—The Ayn Rand Lexicon