Easily the most frustrating thing to have a discussion between a liberal and a conservative is over things economical. What neither understands is that a discussion about the pros and cons of capitalism over socialism is not a choice between one thing over something else. There is no choice involved with capitalism, because capitalism describes how our economy works. Socialism in whatever form you want to call it is only a matter of deciding how much you want to damage the economy to produce the outcomes you desire.
I personally don't like the term capitalism. I prefer 'free market,' because it better describes how an economy works, and free markets always work; they never fail. They may not produce the outcomes you want, but they always produce the outcomes we want. You may believe that what we want is not in our best interest, but that speaks more to your failure to understand the free market than it points to any problem with it.
All of this maybe a little confusing to you, but I hope by the end of this page you'll understand what I mean.
I have a very simple test to determine how well you understand the free market which in turn points to how liberal or liberal leaning you are. Let's say you bought a cup of coffee from a vendor, and paid $2 for it. Then later you find out that it only cost the vendor 50¢ to produce it. That leaves $1.50 profit, which is a 300% profit margin. Considering how everyone went ballistic when ExxonMobil achieved a 15% profit margin, it goes without saying that 300% is extremely unfair to many people.
If your response to this information about the coffee vendor is to scream that it is an injustice, and you want someone in some authority to step in and 'fix' it, then you are a liberal. If on the other hand you see this as an opportunity for you to undercut the vendor, thus creating a profit for yourself, then you are a conservative. The conservative approach demonstrates an understanding of the free market, but the liberal approach does not.
So your answer to greed is more greed?
Umm... I hate to burst your bubble, because I know your entire world view is based on this erroneous assumption, but there is no greed in the free market.
None. Nada. Does not exist.
I take it you think greed is one of those other non-existent words like you were talking about on the previous page?
Oh no. Not at all. Greed does exist. It's a mental disorder that in an actual free market will harm those afflicted with it far more than anyone else.
Who are you kidding? Everyone knows that the primary driving force behind capitalism is greed.
No, everyone does not know that. I do know that that belief is very common, which is why I used it as an example of what a fallacy is on the previous page. Yet like many fallacies, it is built upon an even greater one, which is that in order for the rich to get richer, the poor must get poorer.
Even that fallacy is built upon another, and it is what I call the prime liberal fallacy. It is the fallacy upon which liberalism as it is practiced today cannot exist without, and that is that the rich prey upon the poor, so government is needed to protect them from the rich and other vagaries of cold-hearted capitalism.
From this flows all of the nonsense liberals believe like our economy is some big pile of money that we all need to fight over, and if some are getting rich, then it is at the expense of others getting poor. Yet an economy is not a zero sum game, as this view would imply. The wealth in an economy grows or shrinks based on the activity in it, so a better view is that it is a big pile of money that some are shoveling more wealth onto it while others are setting fire to it.
DA: (stares at author nonplused, then blinks as if dazed)
Okay then. It looks like I have to explain an economy from square one.
Our current economy is far too complex to easily get a grasp of. Everyone is trying to see the big picture without understanding the individual components properly. So let's look at it in the most simplest terms as possible.
Let's say there is a farmer that grows a crop of wheat, and there is also a shepherd that has a herd of sheep. They have both worked very hard to acquire what they have, but on their own, there is technically no wealth. Only when the farmer trades some of his wheat for one of the shepherd's sheep does either have any wealth. In other words, the work they did did not determine their wealth. It was the fact that someone was willing to trade their labor for what they had did they then have any wealth. Only when something gets traded is there an economy, and only in an economy can wealth occur.
In contrast, let's say there is another farmer growing a crop of thistles. He has worked very hard at growing the prettiest patch of thistles ever, but he has not created any wealth because neither the wheat farmer nor the shepherd wants any thistles.
Yet all is not lost for the thistle grower, because he didn't grow them for S&Gs. He grew them because the government believed it was in societies best interest that thistles be grown. This government then takes some of the other farmer's wheat, and gives it to the thistle grower because that's what is 'fair.'
To the liberal mind, the only person on the short end of this deal is the wheat farmer, but with the wealth that is lost on both the thistle grower and the bureaucrat doing the wealth redistributing, even the shepherd loses because there is less wealth to go around. The shepard will now have to trade more sheep to get the farmer to part with same amount of wheat.
Anyone who is not a direct recipient of government largess is harmed by what the welfare state does in any economy, because it devalues the real labor performed by anyone operating in a free market. It does so by either direct confiscation of their wealth through taxes, or by diminishing what their labor can trade for. Conversely, the more people there are contributing to the wealth of an economy, the more value your labor has.
You can talk until you are blue in the face about how important it is to raise thistles, but you cannot claim that you are helping the economy anytime the government steps in to divert wealth against anyone's will. Anything that is not against anyone's will does not require the government to do it, so the government only does what no one values.
It's amazing how sometimes the words you say have absolutely no connection to anything in reality. There are many things the government does that I value.
Wrong. There may be many things you want the government to do, but there is nothing it does that you value.
Again your words reality no connection.
Just because you want something does not mean you value it. Take teenagers and cars for example. Every one of them wants one, but any parent who cares anything about ensuring their child will be responsible for the car will insist that the teenager earn the money for it. What you value is what you are prepared to trade your labor for. What you are willing to trade the labor of others for only demonstrates what you want. If you really valued it, you would pay for it yourself.
You are so obtuse, and are making a completely specious argument. I alone cannot solve poverty, so it takes the government to do it. Furthermore, I am perfectly willing to pay my fair share of taxes to see it happen. Thus, I value it.
Wow! The depth and breadth of liberal fallacies on display in that statement is impressive, but let's just stick to the one that is most germain to the discussion at hand.
I suppose you believe that if the teenager that wants a car forks over the twenty bucks in his pocket because that is all he has and the parent pays the rest of the twenty thousand needed for the car which is their 'fair share' because they are the ones with the job then the teenager will value his car?
Just as a pacifist cannot do nothing in the face of evil and still be able to call himself good, you cannot hand out other peoples money and get to call yourself generous. Insisting by force that other people pay for what you want, voids any claim that you value it.
If you want to convince me that you value something that you cannot accomplish on your own, then you will have to put in the real labor of convincing others that they should join you in your endevour rather than just hitting the 'easy button' and demand the government take responsibility for it.
Getting back to our little economics lesson... What we have covered so far only refers to a barter economy, which is where goods and services are traded for directly. The problem with this type of economy is what happens when the shepard wants some wheat, but the farmer doesn't want any sheep. What is needed is a means for the farmer to collect on his labor in a generic I.O.U. sort of way. This leads us to the joy of a monetary system.
With a monetary system, you trade your labor for the amount of money that you believe you will be able to trade for what you believe your labor is worth. So money is not wealth. It only represents wealth. If money were wealth then everyone could be rich by printing off stacks of it for themselves.
People who confuse money with wealth create situations like in Zimbabwe, where they are now printing fifty million dollar notes that are only good for buying three loaves of bread. A monetary system can be a great thing for an economy, but in the hands of fools who believe money is wealth, you're better off with a barter system.
Inflation, which is when there is too much money to account for the labor that is producing wealth, is where irresponsible governments steal the labor (wealth) of the participants of the economy.
Yet there is another way that governments can be irresponsible with the wealth of the economic participants, but instead of stealing from the current paticipants, they steal from future ones, and that is with a national debt.
Don't get me wrong. Not all debts are bad. I couldn't own the home that I have without it. Responsible governments who have proven their worth, can get people with wealth to loan them money through bonds and such. These people consider our country a reasonable risk, and are confident that we'll pay our debts with interest, so they agree to loan us the money.
As a side note, much of our national debt is with China (but not as much as many would say). Some have speculated that this gives China control over us, because they could call in that debt any time. Nonsense. How could they possibly foreclose on us? If they try to play hard ball with us over the debt, we could do the same, and refuse to ever pay it. Where China really has control over us is whether they will continue to loan us at low interest rates, or loan us at all. And because of the mandatory entitlements all ready built into our budget, China will be able to extract a great deal from us as we go forward.
Back on topic... Our national debt is extremely debilitating. It doesn't just mortgage our future, it hamstrings us now with all of the interest we have to pay in order to keep our good rating alive. But that won't last forever. Just as no bank would keep offering a home loan to me year after year, eventually the same is going to happen to our government. And you know what will happen then? Skyrocketing inflation.
All irresponsible government spending leads to the same place. We either get there directly by printing money that represents no wealth, or we back door it through a crushing national debt.
You're just fear mongering. The Obama administration will raise the taxes to pay our debts. So what if the wealthy will not be able to buy as many yachts.
Sorry Skippy. Our debt is climbing too high. You can't collect enough money through taxes to pay for it. The only solution to our debt is soaring inflation. By devaluing our money we in turn devalue our debt. And for liberals, it's a two'fer, because the only people really hurt in soaring inflation are the people who have saved any money. You know, 'the rich.'
And as for those yachts that you so decry, you do realize that they don't appear out of thin air, right? The jobs to build these things, or for anything else the 'rich' want, are good paying jobs. That's the real conceit of liberalism. It objects to jobs that appear to benefit the 'rich' when in reality they benefit the poor and middle class even more. To the the rich, the yacht is a toy, to the people building them, it's their livelyhood. Just exactly who do you think is harmed most when the rich can't buy their yachts.
In fact, yachts benefit our economy two ways. They not only provide good paying jobs to build and maintain, but they motivate people to create the wealth necessary to buy them.
Let me put it this way. If there were no luxuries like yachts, why would anyone bother going through all of the hard work needed to create a successful business. So by there being things like yachts, people create the businesses that employ other people so they can buy them. That makes yachts a two'fer. They directly and indirectly create jobs.
You keep talking like there is no real poverty in this country, and it's all in peoples heads. Well I hate to burst your bubble, but there is real suffering in this world that needs people dedicating some of their wealth to other things besides yachts.
I couldn't agree with you more. The real difference between you and me is how do we get there. You have no problem taking other peoples money and calling yourself compassionate, while what I want is real compassion. I am not as interested in a society where the poor are taken care of, as I am interested in a society that wants to take care of the poor.
Isn't that the same thing?
Not by a long shot. A society only wants to do what it does without being forced to do it. You are actually quite comfortable with the existance of greedy people because they represent targets for you to confiscate their wealth. So your focus is on the result, while mine is on the process. You only care about treating symptoms, while I want to make a real change in peoples lives.
Further more, your efforts undermine your result, because the legalized theft that you advocate destroys opportunity for others to climb out of poverty. Not only that, it builds a sense of entitlement in the receipients of your ill-gotten gain, so that they end up as nothing more than slaves.
Whoa big fella'. Your way out line here. What I want does not create entitlement, nor slaves.
Of course it does. Welfare recepients know that the source of what they receive was collected by force. The only possible way that they can sleep at night is by believeing they were entitled to it. It's the same self-decipecion you need to sleep at night that says the rich deserve to have their wealth taken from them.
What I want to do is to actually help the poor, not enslave them with an entitlement mentatlity. Real compassion breeds gratitude, not entitlement. When someone is grateful for something they are not likely to abuse it by continuing to collect charity beyond what they really need. Conversely, anything people belive they are entitled to, they are far more likely to fight like hell to retain it, which enslaves them to it.
You need to understand that when I talked about how yachts benefit our economy, the same can be true for real compassion not the phony type you demonstrate with other peoples money. Real compassion provides far more satisfaction in life than any yacht can. I would rather teach people the beauty of compassion than just take their money as if I know how to better spend it.
Anyone who has found the real joys of compassion will help those in need, and it will motivate the giver to produce more wealth so that they can better help in the future. In turn, this real compassion will motivate gratitude in the recepient, and so will get them to start producing wealth into our economy. You know, change them from someone who is burning the pile of money that is our economy into someone who is shoveling the money onto it.
Better yet, real compassion cuts out the bureaucrat middleman whose self-interest is to keep the poor where they are dependent and too scared to vote the bureaucrats out of office. That's where one of the biggest benefits of real compassion comes from. Private charities are vastly more efficient than any government bureaucracy.
Liberals are far too concerned with treating the symptoms of poverity, rather than the real causes of it. This leads them to believe that people are evil who would rather have a yacht than help the poor, and so deserve to be punished by having their wealth taken from them. I, on the other hand, believe these people are misguided, and that the only way to convince them differently is by first respecting them enough to allow them to decide where their wealth should go.
What I am talking about is making real changes in this world, and not just treating symptoms. Our society can only advance when those that create the wealth are the ones that are credited for being generous. Anything else can't be an act of generosity, and is in fact a lie. Generosity is what you do with the money you have earned, and not about what you do with money earned by other people.
The real stunning thing to consider is how focused liberals are on treating symptoms, yet care so little about improving them. Liberal policies have been in play for almost a century now, yet there are more people who consider themselves poor than ever before both in numbers and percent of the population. Liberals are complete failures in what they are trying to achieve, and they don't give a damn about it.
I don't care how you spin your tales, I know there are more important things than making a buck.
No. There's not. The free market economy is the base upon which all truly moral societies are built.
What in the name of all that is holy are you smoking!?! Are you completely demented?!
Deride me as you will, but the facts speak for themselves. You simply cannot have a moral and just society without first having a free market. All other forms of economies from kings to communists are about enslaving the population for the benefit of elites. The only difference between the two is that one is honest in stating that they do so for their own enrichement (kings), while the other claims to do it for the enslaved (communists/socialists). Both always end up as complete failures, and can only survive by allowing a free market to some degree. The more the free market is in play, the more moral and just a society is.
How on Earth can you claim greed is good for our society?
'Greed is Good' is a straw-man argument popularized by the rabid-liberal Oliver Stone in his completely asinine and diatribe of a movie, Wall Street. There are no examples in society where greed can benefit anyone beyond the short term without the use of force, and where ever there is force, there is no free market.
The free market can be easily identified by whether a win-win transaction has occurred. As in the original example I gave earlier, the farmer would rather have the sheep he received than the wheat he gave the shepherd; and the reverse is true for the shepherd. If there is no win-win transaction then it is not the free market. Whenever there is a win-lose transaction, you need to find the source of the force, and it will always lead you to a criminal or a bureaucrat. Also, whenever there is win-win transaction then wealth is created. Whenever you have win-lose, wealth is destroyed. That means all criminal and governmental activity destroys wealth.
No matter how you slice it, the only people who get rich in a free market society are those that deliver the goods and service that we want. And what is really great about the free market is that there are two ways to accomplish this. You either have to understand people well enough to provide what they want, or you have to understand them well enough to convince them they should want what you have to offer. Either way, they both require that you respect people well enough to understand them. This is what makes the free market the ground floor of a moral and just society.
Liberals and anyone else who fears the free market have a different approach. They don't want to figure out what people do want, they are only concerned with what people should want, and let's face it, any pompous ass can do that. In their world, it's the ones that are politically connected that get rich.
Let me ask you something. What do you suppose Adam Smith, who wrote Wealth of Nations, means when he states the following from his seminal book?
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.
Oh no you don't. I read that book. The very idea that everyone working for their their own self-interest is in the best interest of everyone has to be the greatest example of an oxymoron possible.
You may have read that book, but you clearly don't understand it. Like all liberals, you have confused self-interest with selfishness. Other than they both contain the word self, these words have nothing to do with each other.
In all fairness, even my ideological guide to the free market (even more than Adam Smith), Ayn Rand, confused these terms. I know what she meant by being selfish, but she really should have stuck with self-interest, or even self-love as Adam Smith used. By using that word she gave an easy out for people who wanted to dismiss what she was espousing.
That said, what I like to say to clear up the confusion is: It is against my self-interest to be selfish. With this I emphatically state that the two concepts behind these words are opposites. They are not the same.
All forms of selfishness, like greed, work agianst you in the long run. The best way I know how to clarify this is something I remember my grandfather telling me. It was: It's hard to tell when a good liar is lying, but it's easy to tell who the good liars are. If you wish to be selfish, such as greedy, long term success in life will alude you because people will eventually catch on to your true nature. That makes it not in your self-interest.
You're going to have to do better than that. You can yammer all day that they are not the same, but that will never make it so.
That's why I brought up what Adam Smith said in the first place. I am a man of honor. I do not want anything from anyone for any other reason other than what I have to offer is what they believe is worth what they are offering in exchange. I'm not looking for charity. I am looking for an exchange of equal value, and nothing more. Only exchanges of this kind create wealth. All other exchanges burn wealth. That means I am only interested in contributing to society not taking from it. By doing nothing more than working for my own self-interest, I contribute wealth that creates opportunity for others to succeed.
Let's look at the issue of self-interest from another direction. Suppose you gave everything you owned to the poor. How then are you going to help anyone else out? In order to not be selfish, you need to look out for what is in your best interest, so that you will have the wealth to be generous in the first place. So if you have no wealth, then you can't be generous or selfish for that matter.
I now want to present how this relates to the global warming issue, and environmental issues in general.
Don't tell me your stepping into that quagmire? I suppose you're a denier, too?
I'm not denying anything. Although, I would like someone to explain how they were able to grow crops in Greenland several centuries before the industrial revolution. This was one of the many inconvieniant truths left out of Al Gore's movie.
Yet for the sake of argument, let's assume it's all true. My real complaint is the approach that is being taken to respond to it. Liberals around the world want to burn 8 trillion dollars (that's their estimate, so of course you need to double if not triple it) combating this one specific issue. Even they claim they want to devistate our economy for what they call saving mankind. Really?
I hate to break it to all of you Global Warming Kool-Aid drinkers, but there is only one absolute certainty on this planet, and that is everything changes. This planet is in constant flux. The death predicted to be visited upon us humans through global warming pales in comparison to all of the deaths from hurricanes to earthquakes and so on. Just wait until that super volcano underneath Yellowstone blows. Now that will present some serious challenges to the survival of mankind.
Devistating our economy to respond to one possible disaster only makes us less capable to deal with the others that most certainly will come. Never forget that Hurricane Katrina did not hit New Orleans. It struck Mississippi more than anywhere. Yet you do not hear about problems with recovery there; only in New Orleans. Why? Because of the failed economy of that city run by a liberal.
There is a simple and basic fact that all tree-huggers who actually care about the environment (as opposed to those that are just interested in showing they care through their whining and complaining) need to know. A good economy leads to a good environment. All of the countries with the best environments are the ones with the best economies. When the economy is bad, the people have more important things to worry about than the environment.
What destroys any credibality liberals may have with me is how they don't grasp the connection between the environment and the economy. So when something comes along like global warming, where they once again claim we need to devistate our economy, I'm left unconvinced by what I believe to be ulterior motives. If they would only demonstrate that they understand how necessary a good economy is for what they claim to want, maybe then I'll take them seriously on the environment. Otherwise, I'll write them off for what they have done time and time again for almost a century, which is use every chance they can to shaft our economy as a way to implement their socialist state.
Before I finish this page, I need to cover what capitalism is. Like much of what you have read in my web book already, I don't conform to common understandings of things, and capitalism is no different. Again, my point is not to tell you what others think about something, but to help you come to an understanding that benefits you. In this case, you must understand the difference between capitalism and the free market.
What are you talking about? There is no difference between them.
There is a very big difference, but as a former liberal who once was in transition from a tool to an elite, I understand your confusion. Liberal elites want these two terms to be seen as the same, because it is much easier to demonize a word like capitalism than it is a term like free markets. Liberals fight like demons to retain any words like liberty or freedom for their ideology, and can't stand them applied to anything they oppose.
Let's go back to where we left off with our farmer. He had progressed from a barter to a monetary system, so now he can move onto a capitalist economy. Let's say he has been working many years, and of the money he has collected, he's spent some on living expenses (burned wealth), and with the rest, he hid it under the matress. Upon his retirement he now has two options. He could proceed to burn his savings, or he could invest it with some young person just starting of in life with his business, and then collect on this investment for a lot more than he put in.
If the farmer does that, then what he has done is to leaverage his past labor for future benefit, and it is this leveraging that denotes capitalism. Capitalism is a process where captial (mobile or liquid wealth) can be applied to make things happen that would not have been possible before. You see, there would be no reason for the young man to share his wealth with the retired farmer if what he wanted to do was possible without using the farmer's wealth.
There are many people walking around with ideas, but no wealth to make them happen. Conversely, there are a lot of people with wealth, but no good ideas to do anything with it. Capitalism is the process that brings them together.
Capitalism is just a method. It is neither good nor bad. When used correctly, it produces wealth along with the goods and service that we call modern life. Without capitalism, civilization as we know it is not possible. On the other hand, when used incorrectly, it destroys wealth. Free markets always produce wealth. Capitalism... not so much.
That's why socialism is necassary. It prevents capitalism from destroying us.
Wrong. I hate to burst another of your many bubbles, but socialism is not possible without capitilism. Free markets can use capitalism, but they don't have to. Socialism as invisioned by liberals requires capitalistic processes to achieve their utopian dream. The real difference between capitalism run by free marketeers, and and capitalism run by socialists, is who gets to decide where the capital should go.
No one and I do mean no one can decide better where wealth should go than those that have earned it, because they are the ones that are taking the risks. Conversely, there are no risks to spending other peoples money, so those that do, are not very concerned with bad investments.
Yes. Free marketeers have made bad decisions, and invested unwisely. Yet the only people really hurt are those that put up the money for it. If you want to cause serious economic devestation, watch what happens when government do-gooders get involved, and do things... oh like, forcing banks to give home loans to people who can't possibly afford them. Now that would be a spectacular economic failure... wait a second...
Again, the government steps in to spend money where no one would of their own free will, so by default, the actions of government are far more likely to destroy wealth than create it. You may believe that the government should burn the wealth that it does to perform some sort of socially responsible action, but don't deceive yourself into believing that it is creating wealth.
But what if it is doing what we want. Would that not mean it is creating wealth?
Oh come off it! If it's doing what we want, then why use the force of government in the first place. The best you could say is that it is acting as a burdensom middleman that is just wasting money. Honestly, wasting money is the absolute pinnicle the government can achieve in an economy. Usually though, its actions prevent the creation of wealth in the first place.
You have to admit then, that the saying 'it takes money to make money' is true. So socialism is needed in areas where capitalism has failed, like Detroit city.
You still don't get it, do you? Socialism is what blighted Detroit. Why on Earth would anyone with wealth want to invest in an area controlled by people steeped in class envy and afflicted with an entitlement mentality. Detroit's only salvation is the free market, and it doesn't take a dime to do that.
They need to take a step back from expecting capitalism whether from the government or free market investors to save their city, and employ the basic, but always effective barter system. They need to look around them and start providing the goods and services their friends and neigbors want. They know them better than anyone outside can, so that gives them an inside track to make it happen. In effect, they will be creating their own economy where there can be no fear of "jobs being exported" out of town.
There are jobs everywhere, but you need to stop expecting others to give you one, and start creating them where none previously existed. All it takes is to stop expecting wealth as a function of the dollars in your pocket, but as the goods and services you can trade with others others who don't have dollars in their pockets either. Capitalism requires money; a barter economy does not.
You're joking, right? You can't be serious. You expect people to live in a barter economy. Besides, the IRS frowns on bartering. Aren't you asking them to do something illegal?
Technically speaking, yes. It's very difficult for the IRS to determine what someone's income is when they are not being paid money, so of course the government has made this illegal. But this only shows how the government continually interfers with our economy. It also shows how something that liberals intend to zap the rich with always ends up harming the poor. It's not the rich that would benefit from a barter economy. Only the poor.
Besides, I only expect them to start in a barter economy. I don't expect them to stay there. It's like the minimum wage. I only see it as a starting point, but liberals expect the poor to stay there, which is why they continue to raise the minimum wage. They don't get that every time they do that they eliminate other starting points in our economy.
Instead, how about eliminating the minimum wage and let people decide what wages they believe are in their best interest to earn? Jobs would spring up all over the place and get people contributing into the economy, rather than just being a drain on it. But I know that as much as you may think getting people together to start a barter economy is impossible, the bigger imposibility is ever seeing a reduction let alone the elimination of the minimum wage. But a barter economy is do-able. There is no 'wealthy' person for liberals to go after for not paying a 'living wage' (whatever that is). Just a group of people working towards a common goal of supporting each other.
And if they pull it off, any group of people that demonstrates the kind moral clarity and work ethic it takes to make a barter economy work, will not remain there long. Once they have established that they don't need capitalism, it will come their way. Eventually some entrepreneur with money will see that they can make a tidy sum off of such industrious people, and would be eager to invest in the area.
You just keep getting harder and harder to understand. You expect people to start a barter economy just so that some rich guy can take advantage of them.
Look. You're a liberal and I'm a conservative. That means where you would see someone being taken advantage of, I see an investment. The real decision that any people who consider themselves to be poor need to make is, are they going to take the wealth that was stolen from others and offered to them as welfare which will certainly enslave them to poverty as long as they do or are they going to accept the wealth freely offered to them as an investment which offers a far better track record of helping people acheive success in life?
Wealthy people do not take advantage of the poor. It is evil people who harm them, and most wealthy people are not evil. For the most part, wealthy people, through capitalism, help the poor. In a free society, the poor have no reason to accept an investment and the debt that comes with it unless they believe their lives will be made better from it. In a free society, the wealthy have no reason to make an investment unless they will get wealthier from it. In other words, both sides see the transaction as a win, thus making it a product of the free market. No government necassary.
Anyone who doesn't see that the free market makes everyone's lives better, is either a moron, or is a dupe of the liberal lies about our economy... which so happens to be the topic of my next page.