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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Robin Hood Politics = Extinction

Mitt Romney finds himself continually skewered by mainstream media hacks who take every opportunity to call everything he says a gaffe. If I got all my news from the major networks and the New York Times, I'd only know that Romney is an utter moron, that he's a bigot, a polygamist, and so incredibly rich and out-of-touch with the common man that he might as well be a Martian. Meanwhile, Obama is smooth, debonair, suave, urbane, and sophisticated. I stopped asking why the media is so partisan a long time ago. Maybe it's one of those questions like: why is there disease? Why do some people want to hurt other people? I just have to accept these terrible facts as some of the inevitable consequences of existence.

Scientists would have us believe that all our woes—like disease and hostility—are brought about because of the nature and process of evolution. Theoretically, we are all engaged in all-out-war with every other species for ever scarcer resources. The fact that we humans live means that other species must die. Evolution is a zero-sum game. Evolution is kill or be killed i.e. survival of the fittest. Anything that seems to contradict this theory is labeled an artificial construct, an evolutionary device, or an instinct which guides our behavior and in general tends to promote survival of the species vs. survival of the self. This theory does a poor job of explaining why a mother would rush out in front of an on-coming bus to push her child out of the way. In the zero-sum game of evolution, if the mother dies so does the child. Self-sacrifice is therefore anti-evolutionary.

Taking from the rich and giving to the poor—the Robin Hood paradigm—is considered admirable and to be desired by a large cross-section of society. How does the evolutionary model explain Robin Hood? One could legitimately argue that the rich have proven themselves to be the fittest already. In the war for scarce resources, who is obviously the winner and who is the loser, the rich man or the poor one? When Robin Hood takes from the rich—by force—he is acting out the evolutionary model. He's doing what scientists would expect from a Darwinian organism. However, when he then gives all those scarce resources away to the poor he's now seemingly acting in a manner that is precisely contrary to what Darwin would expect. Robin Hood's war against Evolution would promote the existence of ever weaker and more helpless organisms.

If there was an omniscient and omnipotent Robin Hood running around redistributing all the scarce resources precisely and perfectly, those who created wealth i.e. farmers, builders, workers, would stop farming, building, and working. The takers—those who consume scarce resources while contributing nothing whatsoever in return—would have nothing else to take. Once the scarce redistributed resources were consumed, starvation would ensue. Except of course that the makers facing starvation would start making again. Unfortunately there would be Robin Hood to once again redistribute the now even scarcer resources. Carried out to its logical conclusion, Robin Hood would be there when the last measly worm-infested early potato was at last pulled from the ground. He'd be there with his measuring tape and his paring knives to slice out one millionth potato portions to a million starving fools—[Reductio ad absurdum.]

Why does Robin Hood do what he does? How does he do it? The why explains the how. He takes from the rich and gives to the poor in order to gain followers. With followers he is ever more successful in taking from the rich. With ever more riches to redistribute, he is ever more successful in gaining followers from the poor. The followers follow in the hopes of receiving a bigger share of the redistributed wealth than the rest. There's nothing mysterious about Robin Hood. He's not generous. He's not noble. He's a power-hungry politician who'll do anything to attract more followers.

(In case you were uncertain, I've just cleverly segued back into talking about the Democratic Party.) The entire Democratic party is supported by a base that pays no Federal income taxes—Romney's 47%. Think of a vote as a one-dollar-bill in the economy of political power. This political economy is definitely a zero-sum game. There are only so many votes and if you succeed in gaining one vote, you've always taken that vote from someone else.

Forty-Seven percent of voters have no reason to support anyone but Obama. They have no skin in the game. No matter what happens they won't lose. If Robama Hood wins, he'll work hard to redistribute wealth, but even if Romney wins, those who pay no taxes and live on food-stamps still won't get a job, and they still won't pay any taxes.

The best that the 53% can hope for is that things won't get worse this election cycle. A razor thin 3% separates the two classes—those who make and those who take. If that 3% shifts towards the left more than a point, then our country will have just tipped over the tipping point. We're on a teeter-board that is balanced on a high-wire. Once the vote of the takers, outweighs the vote of the makers, we will be faced with Rule By Robin Hood, and once we can't beat them, we might as well join them. This means quit your job, sign up for your EBT card, and enjoy what's left of a very short ride...straight down.

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