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Sweet Home, Oregon
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November 7, 2012     The New Era Paper
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November 7, 2012
 

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• 11 , r,, - November 7, 2012 CONMUNITV OPINION Page 5 Politically incorrect billionaire knows hard reality By Mark W. Hendriekson Two news items about "the rich" recently popped up online within a couple of hours of each other. Story No. 1: Pew Research Center found that non-rich Ameri- cans have ambivalent feelings to- ward the rich: On the positive side, there was admiration for those "who get rich by working hard" and a sense that rich Americans tend to be smarter; on the negative, "the rich" were viewed as "greedi- er and less honest." Story No. 2: CNBC published some blunt statements made by Gina Rinehart, an Australian who is worth about $19 billion. Clearly tired of being dissed, vilified, and attacked for her wealth, the outspoken Ms. Rinehart wrote an article full of unapologetic state- ments of economic truth. A choice sample: "There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more mon- ey yourself." Predictably, a member of the political class was one of the first to scold Ms. Rinehart for her po- litically incorrect candor. Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan char- acterized her remarks as "an insult to the millions of Australian work- ers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills." What cheap grandstanding. Ms. Rinehart wasn't putting down people who work hard and haven't struck it rich. What she protests is people resenting hon- estly gained wealth as if some sort of crime against one's fellow man had been committed. The lady knows where pros- perity comes from and isn't afraid to say so, even though demagogic politicians denounce her for her GUEST COLUMN honesty. Indeed, politicians are a prin- cipal cause of the widespread neg- ative animus towards rich people. They, along with armchair, Mon- day-morning quarterbacking "in- tellectuals" and scribblers, love to tell people that they aren't respon- sible for their own condition, and that their problems could be allevi- ated if only more were taken from those greedy rich people. - There is, however, a class of people who have done more to sul- ly the reputation of "the rich" and poison people's view of them than the politicians. The No. t culprit to blame for anti-rich sentiment is rich people themselves--not the majority of rich people who are honorable, but the minority of rich people who got rich by cheating. Those cheaters fall into two categories: those who broke laws (frauds, thefts, etc.) and those who grabbed unearned, undeserved gains under the cover of the law (government privileges, such as subsidies, grants, special protec- tions fromcompetition, etc.). There is no debate about the first kind. Crooks are crooks, and any businessperson who has gotten rich dishonestly deserves to be de- nounced. Yet, it is the second kind of cheater we need to focus on. In a free market characterized by vol- untary transactions, nobody can compel anyone to give them money or force customers to buy the prod- ucts of rich people. Consumers vol- untarily purchase things offered to them because they are worth more k to the purchaser than the money & surrendered in exchange for them. In other words, the provider of the good or service has enriched the life of the buyer. Why should such helpful behavior in the service of one's fellow beings expose one to punitive (i.e., a special higher rate) of taxation? It is the forcible trans- fer of wealth by government from taxpayers to special interests and political cronies--the unfree, not the free market--that is the unfair way of getting rich. Politicians, who are up to their neck in redistributing the honestly earned wealth of "the rich," want to divert attention from (in some cases) their own morally bankrupt behavior. Thus, they demonize "the rich" and strive to convince vot- ers that government redistribution of wealth and the bestowing of lucrative privileges on politically connected businesspersons may be justifiable because "the rich" "didn't get there on their own" and therefore don't deserve to keep their wealtK "'The rich' have more than you, and that's unfair," is the standard leftist refrain; "vote for us and we'll rectify the situation." People who attain wealth through dishonesty or political shortcuts are the ones who deserve our opprobrium and disapproba- tion. People who earn wealth legit- imately (like Gina Rinehart), or by serving others, merit our respect, if not our gratitude. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. / Letters From page 4 try who no longer understand it. Thank you for all the sup- port to the Veterans Day events. It means a lot to all veterans. A! Severson Sweet Home Football support much appreciated Editor: A huge thanks goes out to the community for all the support shown to the Sweet Home High School varsity football team this year. They are now district champs and ranked fourth in the state. This year, the kids did not have school on Fridays, but the boys were ex- pected to show up early on Friday mornings for a team breakfast. The following individuals and businesses stepped up and made the breakfasts possible: Mike Hall with The Point Restaurant and Lounge, Steve and Patricia Schilling with Advanced Mechanical, Mike and Glenda Melcher, Tom Hyer, Wendi Melcher with Heritage NW and Scott Melcher with THI. The support of our youth by the community is one reason Sweet Home is such a great place to live. Each of these businesses and individuals did not hesitate to ask what they could do to help, and each place that was approached for ,i" donations stepped up. ,,1 Feeding 50 hungry football I players takes a lot of food, and each business simply asked how much was needed and didn't flinch when told. If other businesses in town are not on this list, it's simply becaus.e ' they weren't asked because we had what was needed. On behalf of the football team and parents, thank you. Now, on to the playoffs. Keith Wooley Sweet Home m[mm m m n n mm m m m mm mm m m mm m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m mm m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m mm m m m l , Contact Your Local Government Representatives , I I I City of Sweet Home I • Craig Martin, City Manager, (541) 367-8969 I cmartin @ci.sweet-home.Or. us I City Council • Craig Fentiman, Mayor, (541) 367-6826 I e-mail: cfentiman@ci.sweet-home.or.us I • Jim Gourley, President Pro Tern, (541) 367-5517 I • Marybeth Angulo, Councilor (541) 367-7798 I • Michael Hall, Councilor, (541) 570-2044 • Greg Mahler, Councilor, (541) 401-0110 I • Scott McKee Jr., Councilor, (541) 405-6191 I • Ron Rodgers, Councilor, (541) 401-2590 I I Don_Schrader@Sweethome.k12.or.us School District No. 55 Board of Directors • Jason Redick, Chairman, (541) 401-8601 • Dale Keene, Vice Chair, (541) 409-1034 • Michael E. Adams, Foster, (541) 367-1003 • Kevin Burger, Cascadia, (541) 367=3773 • Jenny Daniels, Liberty, (541) 367-4080 • Chanz Keeney, Holley, (541) 367-7999 I Mike Reynolds, Sweet Home, (541)367-5601 • Janice Sharp, Member at Large, (541) 367-7242 • David VanDedip, Crawfordsville, (541) 367-3856 Linn County Commissioners • Roger Nyquist, rnyquist@co.linn.or.us • John K. Lindsey jlindsey@€o.linn.or.us School District No. 55 e-mail: rep.philbarnhart@state.or.us II I • Don Schrader, Superintendent, (541)367-7126 • Will Tucker wtucker@co.linn.or.us I Federal Government mmm mmmmm m n n n m m m m m m m m mm m m m m n m mmm mmm m mmmmm mmm n mm m m m m mlm lmm mmm n mm m mm m mm mm m mm mmm m m llllllmmm m mmm .IN • Sen. Ron Wyden (D) (202) 224-5244 II e-mail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/ m • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) (202) 224-3753 e-mail: http://merkley.senate.gov/contact/contact/cfm I • Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D) (800) 944-9603 I e-mail: http://defazio.house.gov/emailme.shtml I State Government I • Sen. Fred Girod (R, Dist. 9) (503) 986-1709 I e-mail: sen.fredgirod @state.or.us • Sen. William Morrisette (D, Dist. 6) I (503) 986-1706 e-maih sen.billmorrisette@state.or.us I • Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R, Dist. 17) I (503) 986--1417 e-mail: rep.sherriesprenger@state.or.us I • Rep. Phil Barnhart (D,Dist.11) (503) 986-1411