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Which will win in 2012, universal opportunity or universal equality?

Paying their fair share

Nearly one of six Americans are now using food stamps. Fully 47% of us don’t pay income tax. We’re taxing the top 1% of income earners — who earn about 20% of the nation’s income — at a rate resulting in that group paying 40% of each year’s personal income tax bill. Meanwhile, those heartily supporting such an inequity, complain loudly, often in a whiny tone, how those same folks still aren’t payin’ their fair share. But that’s not the most alarming factor. It’s the origin — a self-righteous sense of entitlement to others’ hard earned cash.

This year’s coming election will, more likely than not, either strengthen the entitlement crowd, or begin, ever so slowly to turn the tide. In my lifetime we’ve been so damn dumbed down, I suspect it’ll be the former. If I’m correct, and they continue steamrolling their way to a life of complete reliance on government, the disappearance, in one form or another of the producers will begin in earnest. But the constantly erroneous use of the phrase, ‘. . . total reliance on government . . .’, allows them to keep their real benefactors under the radar.

The government doesn’t produce anything. Many of my friends would vehemently disagree, offering examples unfit for these pages. However, what government does, when it comes to money, it two basic things.

1. They take from people and businesses.

2. They distribute it as if it’s theirs.

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The entitlement crowd

Ironically, though hardly a shock, most citizens in the entitlement crowd would recoil in horror if asked to agree publicly and unequivocally with the reality that it’s the 53% of us categorized as producers who’re financing the government’s largesse aimed their way. See, when you’re entitled, you’re, well, entitled. You deserve to have your personal cost of living provided by those who work to accomplish the same end.

Back in the day, when the subject of equality came up, it was universally assumed, as a matter of common sense, and rational thought, that ‘equality of opportunity’ was the topic. Over time, this American core value, has been rendered virtually dead.

If you’re a progressive thinker, it’s really all about engineering equal results for all. Many of the unintended consequences of this collective belief system have been hilarious — and it’d be fun and enlightening for readers to contribute their real life examples.

A fork in the road

The direction of our beloved United States will find itself at a fork in the road this coming November. As a nation, we must, once and for all, decide the crucial issue of our times.

Are we a people who’ve shed blood and given lives for over two centuries for the equality of opportunity for all? Or are we destined to follow the path to destruction taken by collectivist nations like the USSR, who tried, stupidly, vainly, to ensure universal equality of results.

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As we ready ourselves to vote this fall, we all need to look inside ourselves, with the naked brutality of pure honesty, and decide if it’s universal opportunity we cherish, or universally equal results.

Written By

Jeff Brown specializes in real estate investment for retirement, has practiced real estate for over 40 years and is a veteran of over 200 tax deferred exchanges, many multi-state. Brown is a second generation broker and works daily with the third generation. With CCIM training and decades of hands on experience, Brown's expertise is highly sought after, some of which he shares on his real estate investing blog.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Peggy

    January 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Big Problem with your analysis of how the government spends tax money. They spend it on defense, defense, defense, defense, social security, Medicare. Not much left for the disenfranchised to whom you are referring as the recipients of socialistic handouts. I guess you are talking about unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs, the bums! And special needs children with medical probs–what should be done with them so they won't burden the good working people of America? These aren't a drop in the bucket compared to DEFENSE. Who's whining? You are!

    • Jeff Brown

      January 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Nice try, Peggy, but those are your words, not mine. I can speak for myself, and you just read the words.

      Do I think there should be 100 weeks of unemployment payments? No. The government is not our keeper, Peggy. And those who think it is, are destined to learn the hard way what every collectivist in history has learned. It simply doesn't work. There is no problem with my analysis, which is why you attempted to put words in my mouth.

      Predictably, the takers attack defense. Never mind most of them, and most of European takers would be leading lives of virtual slavery, or never been born if it wasn't for the evil insistence on America and it's people to keep the nation strong.

      America was built on producers, not takers. Takers are the pilot fish of any economy. Without producers they disappear.

  2. Korak

    January 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

    You should have just ended that little diatribe with "You kids stay off my lawn!" Your bio indicates you have a fair amount of some level of business experience. (At least with 1031's, etc.) Your stats in the opening paragraph are pretty weak. You pulled the equivalent of switching from per capita numbers to gross numbers like neighborhoods do for crime rates, etc when it helps. Do you actually hold the opinions expressed here or is this just linkbait for AG?

    • Jeff Brown

      January 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      It's a fact that nearly one of six Americans are using food stamps. Do you dispute that? I'm not playin' with numbers, Korak. You are. Our country is being slowly brought down by those who're happy for handouts. I'm a producer. You can't have what I produce. You want it? Or would you rather live in a nation founded upon hard work, earning your keep, and equal opportunity?

      The rest is collectivist drivel.

  3. Arn

    January 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Jeff Good buddy you seemed to have touched a nerve. I agree with you on the fundamental question in the 2012 elections. The big 3 entitlements take 40% of the federal budget. Defense is a smaller portion of the budget. My question to Peggy is "why isn't defense spending considered a stimulus?" Peggy where does most of the money go for defense? Answer to American men and women in our military and to American companies that build products needed by our military that employ PAY ATTENTION American workers! Personally, I would rather have our tax dollars go to defense (one of the things the fed govt should be involved in) than Solyndra or to Acorn. Or iis stimulus only money paid to public employees, environmentalists, and other groups sure to vote Democratic?
    I normally have great faith in the American people but like you I have my doubts as the Entitlement Culture spreads. It is so much easier to blame someone else than look in the mirror. I have friends who say the purpose of our income tax system is to redistribute wealth. When I say I thought taxes were to pay for the cost of governing, they are dumbfounded.

  4. Arn Cenedella

    January 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    For those that wish to discuss national fiscal policy on the basis of actual data instead of on talking points supplied by MoveOn.Org, please go the the Obama White House Link:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/

    I beieve you will find the cost of SS and medicare/caid are by far the two largest expense categories about 40%. I will note defense is 20% and the social safety net called in an 1984 Animal Farm twist "income protection" is also about 20%.

    We may disagree about the numbers, but let's at least know the numbers before inaccurate statements are made.

  5. Peggy

    January 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Arn, those figures do not take into account retired military pay and the cost of compensation in the form of VA benefits to the former military which kick the cost up dramatically. However, as I stated defense, social security and Medicare are the big ticket items on the budget, not FOOD STAMPS! That was my point.

  6. Jeff Brown

    January 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Geez, Peggy, I didn't think readers here needed a Dick 'n Jane writing style. Here's the point, sorry for not bolding it in the post.

    When almost one of six Americans are on food stamps, we're in deep trouble. THAT'S THE POINT.

    Connect that very disturbing fact with another — just short of half of us don't pay taxes. Do I need to spell out the point of that stat too?

    WE'RE BECOMING A TAKER NATION, AND THE PRODUCERS HAVE HAD IT UP TO 'HERE'.

  7. Tim

    January 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Jeff,

    Great article. I've shared it on FB in hopes that some of my liberal friends can see the facts in the simplest of terms. Unfortunately, the "Peggy's" of this nation don't do facts well. They refuse to accept that my money is MY money. If the Gov't was held powerless to take MY money and give it to their entitled friends to fund their pet entitlement programs, would liberals feel it was within their own power to come to my home and take it from me? Will liberals acknowledge that they are empowering the Gov't to do their dirty work for them?

    I've been VERY blessed to have had the opportunity to become part of the 1% (EVIL ME)… but it took a LOT of hard work. When I was 9 years old (1970) I remember someone coming to our house to conduct an interview for food stamp eligibility. My dad came home from work at that moment and asked the gentleman to leave. He then brought the family together and apologized for having the Gov't consider us poor… that we'd be fine… and that we didn't take charity from anyone. He never made over $9/hr his entire life and with 6 kids that money didn't go far.

    I started working at 12 and have worked ever since. No college. No silver spoon. No unemployment. No foodstamps… Just a deep seated belief that when opportunity presents itself you'd better jump at it and ride it as long as you can. I, in turn, do my best to offer opportunities to those that need one. Some bite and others don't. I had my own brother-in-law turn down a $28/hr position because his unemployment check was only $200/week less than his takehome would be and he never had to leave the couch. How's THAT for growing the "disenfranchised" population?

    Liberals don't understand the dangers of increasing the power of the Gov't. Liberal leaders don't understand history enough to realize they are useful idiots. Hitler executed his top party officials after he rose to power during Nacht der langen Messer (Night of the Long Knives). They were no longer needed. He got his powerful Gov't and he could use it to give and take as he pleased. (To all the liberal flamers… This does not mean Obama is Hitler! It means that a powerful Gov't SUCKS BAD!!!)

    Without Liberty there is no opportunity. Without opportunity we are all equally enslaved.

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