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Binswanger: It’s Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%

Writes Professor Harry Binswanger at  Forbes:

It is “the community” that should give back to the wealth-creators. It turns out that the 99% get far more benefit from the 1% than vice-versa. Ayn Rand developed the idea of “the pyramid of ability,” which John Galt sets forth in Atlas Shrugged:

When you live in a rational society, where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you.

When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making . . .

In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the ‘competition’ between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of ‘exploitation’ for which you have damned the strong.

For their enormous contributions to our standard of living, the high-earners should be thanked and publicly honored. We are in their debt.

Read the rest of Give Back? Yes, It’s Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%.

  • Threnody

    Harry is right, but only for those of the 1% who created their money honestly, rather than using government rules, favor, pull, regulation, subsidy, franchise, etc. to simply ‘get’ their money.
    We need only thank and honor as good the honest ones. They need nothing from us but to trade value for value.
    The other kind? Damn them as the looters they are.
    Being in the 1% is not sufficient proof of virtue. This is what makes it so hard to grasp for so many of our state-school-conceptually stunted populace. Over 100 years of increasing corporate-government fornication has made it nearly impossible to point at a nationally known example of honestly created wealth. The left WANTS you to believe all wealth is obtained by a form of theft or deceit or exploitation. The more the left encourages and creates this sort of ‘wealth’ the more self-fulfilling their rhetoric. For example – Solyndra was a WIN for the left. Do you see why?
    *The* most crucial ability is to discern to which sort of rich person one is referring. Else, your message fails, as the intellectually stunted can still smell hypocrisy.