The Liberal Mind, Part 2

03/20/09

by John Eberhard

I recently posted an article about a book I read entitled “Makers and Takers” by Peter Schweizer that has shed some light on the liberal mind for me. The subtitle is “Why Conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less … and even hug their children more than liberals.”

In this book Schweizer says:

“An extensive survey by the Pew Research Center found that three out of four Republicans believe that people can get ahead by working hard. Four out of five believe that everyone has the power to succeed. But Democrats have much less faith in the value of hard work. Only 14 percent believe that people can get ahead by working hard, according to the survey. And only 44 percent believe that everyone has the power to succeed. This is not a case of ‘rich’ Republicans believing one thing and ‘poor’ Democrats another. Even when you compare Republicans and Democrats of the same income, the gap still exists.”

“What this means is that many modern liberals believe differences in wealth are a result of dumb luck rather than hard work and a diligent attitude. It should therefore not be surprising that according to one scientific survey, liberals are two and a half times as likely to play the lottery or gamble in the hope of getting rich.”

I believe the divide between Democrats and Republicans on this issue of work, where 75% of Republicans believe that hard work allows you to get ahead, versus only 14% of Democrats that believe so, goes a long way toward explaining the great divide between Democrat/Liberals and Republican/Conservatives.

I’m still trying to wrap my wits around only 14% of Democrats believing that hard work allows you to get ahead.

I am starting to believe that what Democrats/Liberals are missing is a true understanding of how money is made in business, and a true understanding of the relative value of different people.

I am not talking about how inherently valuable one person is compared to another. I am talking about how valuable a person is to a business. You can take two people, and put them on the same job in a company, and the outcome can be completely different. Not because one was disadvantaged as a child, but because one of them has certain qualities that make him more valuable in business and allow him to produce more on the job.

What are these qualities? It’s no secret. I’m talking about things like ambition, willingness to work hard, dedication, intelligence, training and education, ethics and morality, job experience, and loyalty. I hear my liberal friends groaning at this point, because I think they do not really believe in these qualities, or do not believe they lead to success.

I’ve had the opportunity in my life of working with several brilliant entrepreneurs. One man in particular stands out. I worked with this man in the early 1990s, at a company he had formed, which had about 100 employees and was doing about $8 million per year at the time. A few years later he was asked to go to a company in another state and take the company public. He turned the original company over to his wife to run, he went and took the company public, then returned to L.A. Then a few years later, he formed another company, built it up over a several year period, then sold it for over $100 million.

Does anyone think that this man is worth the same to a business as any other random employee? Does anyone think that someone like this could not take any job and be brilliantly successful with it?

I think possibly liberals do believe that. They may think that this man was just lucky, that he had just won the lottery of life as Dick Gephardt said about rich individuals a few years back. Except that my friend has been successful repeatedly with different ventures and in different industries.

From my observation, talented entrepreneurs and executives are some of the most valuable people on this planet. What are they able to do that most people cannot? Well, things like:

  • Notice an existing need for a product or service
  • Figure out how to sell and market that product or service
  • Figure out how to profitably deliver that product or service to the public, which includes how to properly price the product
  • Run a team of people, motivate everyone, and keep things organized
  • Successfully deal with competition, which includes continuing to develop new products or services and new and better and faster ways of doing business

Liberal politicians would probably say that anyone can do those things. Most of these liberal politicians have never run a business, ensuring it makes a profit. The way business works, the way markets work, and the things that make people vary from being extremely valuable all the way down the scale to being a complete liability to a business, are generally unknown to them.

Radical liberals like President Obama (yes he is a radical liberal/socialist/Marxist) think that all people are the same, that they all have the same abilities and same value in a business situation. That is why Obama has the dangerous belief that anyone who is really successful financially has cheated in some way. In his new proposed budget, he said that those who are really successful have not played by the rules, and it is time for a new era of responsibility, where those people are to be punished by being taxed at a much higher rate. Never mind that the top 5% of income earners in America already pay the majority of taxes.

And this belief that all people are the same is why liberals complain about executive compensation. To them, those successful executives have cheated and are ripping everyone else off. To be fair, there have been multiple cases in recent years of executives raping their companies and leaving everyone else broke. But there are also many cases of brilliant executives and entrepreneurs building prosperous companies, and creating prosperity for their staffs and families. That’s what makes America the envy of the world, not government handouts.

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