The Pursuit of Happiness
“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”Tricky part about that is the few of us who do know.- Norman Thomas,
On one side: we've got the historic American Spirit - to pursue anything goal you wish to pursue (provided it does not infringe on the freedoms of others). You could work hard, enjoy the fruit of your labor, buy land or accumulate wealth, help others pursue their goals by providing jobs and opportunities to pursue their own happiness. What you could not do, though, was infringe on the basic rights of others while achieving your own goals. We'll pull ourselves out of this funk.
The other side of the canyon, is the ideology known as Socialism. Despite countless historical examples that prove the long-term failure - it keeps coming up as the great equalizer. Socialism’s philosophy relies on government to distribute wealth by taking from the “producers” and giving to the “non-producers”… in a sense, it gives people something they didn’t work for… it gives the populace handouts at the expense of the working class. Socialism’s ideals are fueled by the politics of class envy that just because one group of people shouldn’t be penalized for not having the wherewithal to work harder or produce more than others. It is fueled by the philosophy of “fairness” when ‘fair’ actually means the ‘excess’ wealth of the ‘rich’ should be taken by force and given to the ‘poor’ because it’s not ‘fair’ that some have more than others, even when those some worked twice as hard for it. Under socialism, the worker is not rewarded for their labor - although most of the propaganda celebrates the worker and showers them with praise.
An example? Okay, take a classroom. After giving a test, the teacher gives the entire classroom a C-. It takes the achievement out of those A+ students who studied harder (or cheated better) to the hillbilly in the last row who is pre-verbal a passing grade. Everyone isn't elevated, it brings everyone down to same level. The least common denominator. In the classroom example, there's no reward for having worked harder, so eventually, there will be no incentive to work at all.
However, in a free-market society, when you have one person get rich through the fruits of his company, he is not the only one making money because, as it is said, “a rising tide raises all boats.” When that one company owner prospers, he can employ more people, create new jobs, profit neighboring distribution companies and retail establishments which create more jobs, and with all those jobs comes families making more money, allowing them to consume more goods. This "Trickle Down" allows everyone (who cares to participate) to share in the blessings of the Pursuit of Happiness.
"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."These three aspects are listed among the "inalienable rights" of man. Note it is not the government mandated guarantee of happiness.-Thomas Jefferson
-The United States Declaration of Independence
The phrase is based on the writings of English writer John Locke, who expressed that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." (Yeah, the guy from LOST!)
If you've never read Atlas Shrugged, don't worry, now you don't have to. Because you're living it.