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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Shared Prosperity" Vs. "Mutual Prosperity"

Obama's Consistency on 'Shared Prosperity'

The GOP is all a-twitter because President Obama said yesterday that he wants to work toward an America with "shared prosperity." With their indignant bloomers in an uncomfortable bunch they're acting like this is something new.
  • Obama, 2008: Said he would bring "fiscal responsibility and shared prosperity."
  • Obama, 2009: Said his economic plan "is about far more than just recovery — it's about sustained growth and widely shared prosperity."
  • Obama, 2011: Said he was working to bring about a "framework for shared prosperity."
  • Obama, 2012: Said he wanted a"new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared."
Welcome to the silly season.

Other People Who Have Spoken About 'Shared Prosperity'

There a quite a few in the Left Wing blogosphere today touting quotes by Ronald Reagan talking about 'shared responsibility.' I did a perfunctory search and found no reliable sources quoting Reagan using the term. I won't accuse them of lying or anything, I'll just assume they have way better Google skills than I do. However, when they are not excoriating him for it, some Democrats use Reagan's "rising tide lifts all boats" bit as an example of "shared prosperity." It's a stretch, but let's go with it.

While introducing Paul Ryan as his running mate in Virginia on Saturday, Mitt Romney said that Ryan would "help lead the country to widespread and shared prosperity." No one got up in arms about that statement.

So let's stop all the non-sense about Obama finally proving to the nation he's a Socialist. He proved he's a Socialist a long time ago. He's proved he is inept in the ways of fundamental economics, and a not very knowledgeable person when it comes to how you and I live our lives, and a pretty bad golfer. I mean, he's running for re-election, he's not an unknown entity.

They're Both Wrong Anyway

Unless Mitt means the same thing Obama does (and I am betting my vote in November he doesn't), what Mitt is actually talking about is mutual prosperity.

I've long ago lost hope that Obama knows what he's talking about, so I'm pretty sure he meant what he said. Of course, there's also that sinister voice in my head that keeps whispering that maybe Obama is doing what he's doing on purpose. Regardless, when it comes to 'shared prosperity,' they're both wrong.

Shared prosperity and mutual prosperity are not the same thing. Kindergarten taught us this.
  • If my mom gave me a little baggie with Nestle's Quik powder in it so I could have chocolate milk with my snack, and your mom didn't, but I give you some of mine (or you are bigger than me and you take mine away from me), that's shared prosperity.
  • If my mom gave me a little baggie with Nestle's Quik powder in it, and your mom did too! That's mutual prosperity.
  • If your frightening, unusually large, Kindergarten teacher confiscates both of your bags of chocolate powder, that's the government at work.

Mutual Prosperity Lifts All People, All the Time, So the Government Should Give Us That!

The government can indeed give us all mutual prosperity by:
  1. limiting its involvement in our commercial transactions 
  2. assuring the national defense
  3. assuring a well-maintained physical infrastructure
  4. putting large, angry, bullies in jail for stealing things like Nestle's Quik powder
If I am prosperous I can help you prosper by spending my money on your goods and services. If you are prosperous you will do the same for me. Notice how our race, politics, or religions, played no part in our pursuit of mutual prosperity.

The government does not create wealth, it takes a portion of our mutual wealth to provide items 1-4 above.
But when the government insists on dividing you from me, rich from poor, black from white, young from old, male from female, one has to ask why. If a government insists we are not mutual citizens by dividing us by groups with equal rights to exist as we choose to exist, then how can that government ever truthfully claim to be interested in mutual wealth?

Ask yourself, Left or Right, Conservative or Liberal, Democrat or Republican, are you more interested in mutual wealth or getting a leg up on others through manipulation of the system? If you said the former you might be a libertarian, if you said the latter you're part of the problem. 

Additional information and source material: Investors.com 

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