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6:58:22, Mar 27th 2013

Mark Kottman says:
Our ancestors WERE carried on the wings of hope and sustained by determination and the will to succeed. They were not hampered by the excessive burden of an out of control federal government. People such as Andrew Carnegie created vast wealth in private industry. In turn, after selling Carnegie Steel for $480 million ($13 billion in today’s dollars), he used his fortune to build Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, along with hundreds of local public libraries in small towns. He was able to contribute to our country because he was able to accumulate great wealth.

Would the same be possible today? It is becoming increasingly difficult. If a business manages to succeed despite the myriad regulations and taxes, they are endlessly attacked by those who would prefer that there would be no "rich" in this country. The average household income in the US is $50,000. Imagine if we could magically and perfectly redistribute the wealth so that every household in the US earned $50,000. Who would be the next Andrew Carnegie, or Bill Gates if you prefer, then? Who would be the person that has enough wealth to build Carnegie Hall, or even to build a local public library. For that matter, who would be able to afford to buy the houses, the cars, the cell phones, etc. that keep our economy moving?

The good news is that the economic "pie" is not a fixed size. We don't have to be content with a $50,000 household income. With personal initiative and whole lot of work, I believe that anyone in the US can make for themselves a good life. I also believe that no one has "made it" without personal initiative and whole lot of work, no matter how advantaged you think they were. On the other hand, there is no way to increase that $50,000 average household income by the government playing Robin Hood and taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That money is put to better use by individuals investing their money as they see fit, and in the process creating jobs that will allow others to climb the ladder of success.

Unfortunately for the country as a whole, President Obama has wasted his obvious leadership skills by leading us down the proverbial primrose path that does not lead to prosperity. There is no doubt that he is a dynamic speaker, an energetic campaigner, and a hero to many in the US. However all that means nothing when it's used in the promotion of policies that harm the very people he proposes to help. The young people of this country, especially in the inner cities, have unemployment rates that are many times the national average. Health insurance premiums for the young are skyrocketing because of Obamacare. The national debt continues to grow daily, at an increasing rate, and even modesty cuts to the rate of growth are cause of outcry. The country needs leadership and instead we get campaign-style rhetoric. Many of the new Republican members of congress (Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Paul Rand, among others) provide a compelling alternative vision for growing the economy by shrinking, instead of growing, the federal government.