14 April 2011

Makers vs. Takers; Moochers vs. Producers

Makers are essential to life. Humans must exert effort to create the food, housing, clothing, and other things we need and want. Producers are the people who make that effort and deliver the goods.

Some think producers are limited to corporate moguls, but in fact, they include anyone on any level — from janitors to company presidents, in small or large organizations — who earn what they have and don’t steal from others.

Producers offer their goods through voluntary trade — capitalism. Whenever producers have been the freest, the result has been an explosion of wealth and prosperity and a high standard of living for everyone. Witness 19th-century America or today’s least-regulated fields, like technology.

The opposite type is the taker, who wants to forcibly live off others’ efforts. Looters are takers who jockey for positions in government in order to seize wealth and gain power over producers. Moochers vote the looters into power in order to receive government benefits like welfare, subsidies, grants, business advantages, or jobs.

Since its inception, America has been a land of producers. The world’s most can-do people cleared farms, opened shops, lived and traded with one another in harmony, and created the great middle class — the producer class. Now, many Americans take no responsibility for their lives. Instead, they line up for money that’s not theirs; it’s simply “Obama money.” _DC
From Madison, Wisconsin to Washington, DC, the battle of moochers vs. producers is being played out across the US. Interestingly, this contemporary battle was foreseen half a century ago by an author whose magnum opus is just now making it to the silver screen.
Atlas Shrugged: Part I,” which opens April 15th, is a movie unlike any other. Based on Ayn Rand’s novel, it dramatizes the fundamental conflict gripping our world: the battle between those who create value and wealth through their own efforts (the producers) and those who seek them through force (the looters and moochers).

With eerie accuracy, Rand’s novel depicted — in 1957 — the very struggle between these diametrical opposites that we’re witnessing today. This battle couldn’t be more important because the fate of civilization rests on the outcome. Since this conflict inescapably affects everyone, it’s crucial to know which side you’re on.

In Atlas Shrugged, producers like railroad executive Dagny Taggart and self-made steel titan Hank Rearden create new products and services, offer them in free trade, and consequently become rich. They are exploited by looters and moochers like Dagny’s brother James Taggart and steel executive Orren Boyle, who seek government intervention that favors them and thwarts their competition. In the story, the producers are vilified and their property expropriated, until they disappear. Without them, the country collapses.

Sound familiar? Today, America is in decline. The Wall Street Journal reports that “the number of U.S. IPOs has plunged to an annual average of about 130 since 2001 from an average of 503 during the 1990s.” Our nation’s debt is skyrocketing. Government has seized unprecedented control over industries like healthcare and banking. Corruption, group warfare, and the sense of “entitlement” to other people’s money are rampant. As Steve Moore notes in “We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers,” public jobs, money, and power are burgeoning while the private sector is shrinking _DC

More on how the US became a "looter state."
Producers may either generate something of value, or they may trade items of value on the open market. Moochers tend to beg, borrow, and steal with no intention of reciprocating value for value. When governments and government employees become net moochers, citizens often have nowhere to turn for redress of grievances. That is how life has been for the governed since the inception of central governments above a certain size.

As the above article states, the US was set up to benefit producers -- either creators of value or merchants of value. But the moochers have creeped into control over time, portraying themselves as protectors of the disenfranchised -- much to their own benefit, and to the gradual but accelerating ruination of the entire nation's economy and productive base.

Consider reading Atlas Shrugged, or seeing the movie, just to get your subconscious working on solutions to the problem. It will not be easy, because things have degenerated much too far. Start with planning a competent community able to pick itself up and take off from there. Then consider how such communities might work together over time to build entire regions that are more producer friendly.

The idea is too important to leave to just one nation.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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