Why We Absolutely Need the 1%

May 6, 2012

The 1%’ isn’t just a little group of evil international financiers who produce nothing besides wars and evil, maniacal laughs. No, the top 1% includes the top 1-2 million most successful and productive people in the country. And that’s why they’re so rich in the first place. I regularly read a rant or off-hand comment by some angry leftist saying “we don’t need the 1%”. This is a sickening philosophy, and would be hilarious, if only the world wasn’t convinced of the same bizarre belief. Let’s analyze the claim, starting with what should be obvious:

“The 1%” isn’t just a little group of evil international financiers who produce nothing besides wars and evil, maniacal laughs. No, the top 1% includes the top 1-2 million most successful and productive people in the country. And that’s why they’re so rich in the first place.

The top 1% of earners include, on average, the most successful people in every church, the leadership of every bank, the best engineers on earth, the most successful farmers, the founders of Facebook, the founders of Paypal, the founders of Amazon, the founders of eBay, the founders of Google, Warren Buffett, most successful small-business owners, famous doctors, famous surgeons, famous engineers — every man who has produced more than just a basic entry-level job’s worth of production.

It’s easy to hate some sort of vague, impersonal “the 1%” like they’re some sort of tyrannical number. But they’re not just an odd collective set to destroy the earth — they include the most productive people in the history of humanity.

And the richest Americans haven’t made any absurd claims about “we don’t need the 99%”, because there’s no need to choose both. There’s no need to envision a world without some group of people, because the consequences would be pointless poverty.

And yet on an almost daily basis, I’ve read or watched some angry, economically illiterate “activist” claim “we don’t need them; they need us”. It’s a communist and marxist talking point, and it’s complete BS. That’s why the communists starved throughout the 20th Century. That’s why North Korea’s people eat worse than our dogs eat in America.

Collectivism sucks, but if they want to play the game, let’s have the same standard and compare the impact of the rich and the poor on a per capita basis. Doing so will reveal why a consistent philosophy always destroys leftism. So let’s ask the same question that their talking point assumes:

Who do we need more?

The top 1%?

Or the bottom 1%?

Who is economically more influential and productive? The people waiting in line for the foodstamps? Or the men who have generated a multi-trillions for the world economy? It’s an awkward question.

We’ve been led to believe that it’s fine to question whether the rich are “useful” to “us”. We can demonize, dehumanize, and ignore them. We can rant against them. It’s fine. But the poor? They’re untouchable — whether they’ve made good or bad choices.

And hidden beneath the surface, this is why leftism is wrong. This is why economic statism and stealing from the rich to blindly give to the poor is wrong. It’s wrong because it requires — absolutely requires — double standards and a lack of consistency.

Notice I didn’t just say “rich versus poor”. That’s the entire point. The poor outnumber the rich by the millions — and comparing them with unequal numbers completely misses the point of why the rich are individually rich. The rich don’t have money because of some odd social group standing. Gates isn’t a billionaire because of Buffett. They’re rich individually, because of their individual life choices.

So if we’re going to compare the rich against the poor, the only standard that makes sense is to compare them on an individual level — which means on a per-capita basis. And that’s why the conclusions are so awkward and potent.

Consistency is Poison to Leftism

Leftist economics and philosophy crumbles the moment consistency is applied. It’s based on doubled standards, hypocrisy, and non-sense. All collectivist philosophies are.

That’s why they have different standards for whites and blacks, different standards for Romney’s personal spending and the Obama’s public spending, different standards for Al Gore’s lifestyle and the rest of our lifestyles. The philosophy only makes “sense” if we assume that double standards are fine.

Thank goodness, we don’t have to make a choice “between” any group of people — not with capitalism.

Under capitalism, there is no need to take from one group to give to another. Capitalism treats people as individuals, and nothing more. And by treating people as individuals, it requires consistency — and that consistency is what drives leftism into the ground.

Socialism requires us to think in terms of the 99%. Corporatism — the idea that the laws should be written in the interests of some — requires us to think in terms of the 1%. But capitalism, the philosophy we believe at Capitalism Institute, requires us think in terms of individuality. And because, by definition, everyone is an individual, no one is excluded.

We are the 100%.

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