The Profound Rush Limbaugh: ”Have you ever noticed how under capitalism the rich become powerful, and under socialism the powerful become rich?

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Love him or hate him, there is no debate about the fact that Rush Limbaugh is a genius. Last week he said the following:

”Have you ever noticed how under capitalism the rich become powerful, and under socialism the powerful become rich? It’s amazing when you look at it that way. Under capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under socialism, the powerful get rich. They exploit others. They get rich by taking from others, by using their power. In capitalism, the rich become powerful. It’s a minor little distinction. It’s one of those little pithy bullet points that is just shy of a profundity.”

I have to disagree with Rush slightly… that statement is indeed profound. Although he characterizes it as a minor little distinction for rhetorical purposes, his context demonstrates exactly how significant it really is.

When you think about it, on the most basic level, it makes perfect sense. In socialist, communist and fascist countries, despite the egalitarian rhetoric, invariably it is the people who control the infrastructure of the state who end up with the biggest bank accounts and grandest (relative) lifesyles. They decide who can do what jobs, who can get what permits, who can open up what businesses. Given that the state controls the avenues through which so much of life runs, is it any wonder that corruption is often rampant? Is it any wonder that while Muscovites were looking for food on barren supermarket shelves Brezhnev gorged himself at his Jurmala dacha? Or is it much of a surprise that while Mugabe has turned Zimbabwe into one of the poorest countries in the world he has accumulated billions of dollars in personal wealth? It comes as no shock that to get anything done in Mexico takes the greasing of palms of government officials all along the way. The reality is, when government controls most aspects of life, from the major to minutiae, they get to decide who is successful and who is not, and often they choose themselves their friends and their families.

Of course everyone wants success, but the difference between state control and free markets is who gets to decide what constitutes success and who gets to enjoy its fruits. With state control it’s the bureaucrats who get to decide while in free markets it is the citizens. One can quickly guess which produced “green” cars no one wants, a healthcare system that doesn’t work or a tax code so complex even its authors can’t understand it. 

You may hate Wal-Mart, but no one ever forced you to shop there. Wal-Mart became a half a trillion dollar behemoth not by forcing customers to come into their stores, but rather by advertising what they were willing to sell and for how much. People willingly walk into their stores and voluntarily exchange their hard earned dollars for Wal-Mart’s goods. You may have heard that JD Rockefeller was a “son of a bitch” businessman, and you’d be right. But he earned his money by standardizing the industry and lowering prices on kerosene, gasoline, and a wide variety of other petroleum products as well. Although competitors were sometimes mad, consumers and the economy benefited dramatically. The success of Standard Oil was based on selling products to willing consumers, not on government redistribution. The same holds true today for Intel, Apple and Frito Lay, just as it did for others like Sears and Roebuck, Gillette and Howard Johnson a century ago.

In the United States numerous rich businessmen have converted their success into power. The Koch brothers come to mind. So too does George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. But the difference is, what those guys are selling, we don’t have to buy.

While the US may still ostensibly be a capitalist system, how long that will last is open for debate. Today we are rapidly becoming a command and control socialist country with Washington as the vortex. Government tells you what kinds of bulbs you can buy, who you have to rent your house to and how you can use your property among other things. It takes the money you worked for and uses it to give phones, EBT cards and birth control pills to those who didn’t. Basically Washington has the power, and now it has the money too. The Washington DC area now has 6 of the 10 richest counties in the country. Out of 3,100 counties in the US, 6 of the 10 richest in the Washington DC Metro area! To put that in perspective, Occupy Wall Street was worried about the country being run by the richest 1%. Those 1% guys are pikers, in reality the country is run by .0019% richest, and they live in Washington.

And why does money flow to Washington?  Simple.  That’s where the power is. Because that’s where the laws and regulations that restrict your freedom come from. Washington’s bureaucrats don’t solicit explicit bribes like they do in third world countries… but then they don’t have to. They earn twice what private sector workers do, have virtual lifetime employment, and have the “respect” that comes from having the power to destroy a business or an industry with a stoke of a pen. As a result, while some companies spend money in Washington seeking to suckle at the public teat, (defense, agribusiness and green energy industries come to mind) most firms today spend their money on lobbyists not to get dollars from government, but rather to influence legislation and regulations so that they can simply survive.

Capitalism is not yet completely dead in America. Thankfully guys like Mark Zuckerberg, Simon Cowell, Sean Combs and lots of other people whose names we’ll never know are able to create businesses that earn them millions or billions of dollars without stealing a single dollar from any one of us or eviscerating one iota of our freedom. But one has to wonder how long that will last. Today there are 92 million adults in the United States who are not working. From unemployment benefits that last for years to welfare programs that create lifelong wards of the state to regulations and taxes that disincentivize work, one has to wonder what the real agenda of Washington is. Is it to see a resurgent private sector where more Americans can support themselves and their families without government help, thereby inducing a reduction in the size of the army of bureaucrats and lobbyists? Or is it to slowly strangle capitalism so that more and more jobs and lives look to Washington for their preservation, which in turn means bigger government, more lobbyists and of course more money for Washington.

With Mark Zuckerberg getting rich off of us and our data, it’s an even exchange in that we have a free choice in deciding how much of that data we’re willing to exchange. If we don’t like it we can simply delete our Facebook accounts. However, when the Washington establishment uses the police power of government to get rich off of us, we have no options, we can’t simply choose to not pay taxes or simply start another business without Washington’s interference. It’s not possible. What we can do however is work fewer hours, shut down our businesses or take the path that more and more Americans are taking every day; to simply give up working altogether and look to Washington for our every need. My guess is that Rush would probably say that is exactly what the left’s agenda is. And as usual he would be right.

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

28 Responses to “The Profound Rush Limbaugh: ”Have you ever noticed how under capitalism the rich become powerful, and under socialism the powerful become rich?”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    Your illustrations about other countries are spot on.
    We used to live as neighbors of families from Venezuela.
    One family had owned a small chain of grocery stores before Hugo Chavez tried to force them to sell too many items for less than they paid for them.
    A business, like WalMart of this guy’s shops, can still make a profit and sell a couple things below cost, but not when almost everything must be sold below cost!

    The other family’s father was an engineer who had worked for an oil refinery before Hugo Chavez forced Chevron to turn it over to the government.
    He had been fired and replaced by a relative of Chavez who had NO training in maintaining oil refining facilities.
    This man claimed it was only a matter of time before such cronyism led to the refinery shutting down, but Hugo Chavez used experts from Communist China after things got critical.

  2. 2

    mathman

    This observation was exemplified by Heinlein, who summarized it by asking “who decides?”
    Once you find out who makes the decisions, you learn who has control.
    Zero is funded and supported by his deep-pocket socialist friends in big business. They love him, because he bends the rules for them. Their campaign contributions give them instant access and quick exemption, as in the case of immigration and the PPACA.
    All one must do is read Solzhenitsyn to learn about the powerful.
    Unfortunately for the rest of us, the system no longer works very well. The number of persons employed continues to shrink, while the 0.1% at the very top of the income scale rake in billions.
    And we are no longer represented by our “representatives” in Congress. They are “elected” but do the bidding of their donors, without whose cash they cannot stay in power.
    Sigh.

  3. 3

    kevino

    Dave Berry observed: “When politicians decide what is bought and sold in this country, the first thing bought and sold is politicians.”

  4. 6

    Smorgasbord

    ####Love him or hate him, there is no debate about the fact that Rush Limbaugh is a genius.####

    It all depends on who thought the saying up. I’m guessing it wasn’t Rush, just like presidents didn’t think up many, if any, of the famous sayings they stated. Others came up with the sayings, and will never get the credit they deserve. This doesn’t make them any less great.

    ####Of course everyone wants success, but the difference between state control and free markets is who gets to decide what constitutes success and who gets to enjoy its fruits.####

    In Russia, the farmers raise their crops, take them to a designated place, go home, then wait to find out how much they will receive for their products. For you liberals who want a socialist country, would you be OK with being paid this way?

    You may hate Wal-Mart, but no one ever forced you to shop there.

    What really surprised me is that Sam started by putting his stores in rural areas for years, before he started building them in cities.

    With Mark Zuckerberg getting rich off of us and our data….

    What used to amaze me is how much people can make from companies who let us use their stuff for free.

  5. 7

    Smorgasbord

    @This one: #4
    You know you’re a (looney) redneck if…

    Rush Limbaugh is your beacon of truth. Lol!

    One difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives have MANY beacons of truth, but the liberals only have one. Some of our beacons don’t shine as bright at times, so we look for the ones still shining bright. What happens if YOUR ONE BEACON goes out?

  6. 8

    ilovebeeswarzone

    IT’S A CHOICE THEY DID. BY ELECTING THE ZOMBIES AS OPPOSE TO THE SMART THINKERS,
    NOW THEY PLEADE TO THE THINKER FOR HELP, CRY FOR HELP,
    RUSH LIMBAUGH IS YES A THINKER,
    the zombies lead you to the ground,
    THE THINKER LEAD YOU TO WORK A GOOD DAY OF PLENTY,

  7. 9

    Mully

    @Smorgasbord:
    I have no idea what his “beacon” is. I doubt he could tell you. He has proven over and over he does not know what he does not know. After all how much can one actually learn with his head in the sand?

  8. 10

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SOMEONE MENTION ON THE COMMENTS AT RUSH LIMBAUGH BLOG,
    A CANADIAN AND AN ALASKAN FOR THE NEXT ELECTED,
    IT MADE ME THINK OF THIS WITH MY APOLOGY:
    let’s freeze the DEM’S NUT FOR GOOD,
    oops wishfull thinking.
    we have to be smiling and be positive,

  9. 14

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Richard Wheeler
    RUSH LIMBAUGH has more brain than you will ever have,
    he expose the corrution and the snakes ramping on this land of the braves,
    WHICH MUST BE TOLD OF THE CONDITION THEY CAN EXPECT WHEN THEY COME BACK,
    WHICH ARE CLOSE TO DANGER ZONE, and will require their help for protecting the good people
    who love AMERICA, LIKE THE FAMILLY OF THE TEA PARTY OBSERVING THEIR COUNTRY FALL,
    under a socialist communist regime ANTI-AMERICAN,,

  10. 15

    Smorgasbord

    @Mully: #9
    I can’t listen to Rush for very long. I agree with most of what he says, but he takes so long to say something, and he always wants to talk about himself. I have had many times when I would be driving down the road listening to him, then my mind wondered off, and I don’t know how long I had been driving until I heard the radio, and remember that I was listening to him. I would then scan for another station. Most talk show hosts are that way. They will have a caller, but the host has to do at least 75% of the talking. I want to hear what the caller has to say.

    Did you notice that I actually COMPLAINED about some conservatives? Have you ever complained about ANY liberal?

    After all how much can one actually learn with his head in the sand?

    Ask a liberal. They have their heads in the sand.

  11. 16

    Smorgasbord

    @Richard Wheeler: #13
    I never said I thought Rush was a genius. Keep in mind that the radio and TV hosts are READING a script, just like your leader ALWAYS reads from his TOTUS. Even when obama is sitting with some of his cabinet members, if you pay attention, he is always looking to his left and right. That is where the TOTUSs are. If he is interviewed without his TOTUS, he is lost. I’m guessing that when the propaganda media have a sit down interview with him, he is still reading from his TOTUS.

  12. 17

    Nanny G

    Remember when Jesse Jackson shook down banks?
    Al Sharpton, too?
    Well, Obama has Eric Holder doing it for him.
    In a false charge of ”racism,” Holder is collecting as much as $100 million per bank for the ”crime” of deciding auto loan interest rates based on creditworthiness; credit scores, down payments, debt and other key risk-related factors banks as opposed to race.
    In fact, race is not even known when an auto-finance department gets a call to set up a payment scheme.
    Ethnicity data is not available.
    Holder is the one jumping to conclusions; assuming that certain zip codes equals certain colors.
    Holder relies on statistics to “prove” such policies had a “disparate impact” on minorities, while arbitrarily finding those disparities so “significant” they can’t be explained by chance.
    Arbitrary, because Justice will not reveal its threshold for “significant,” despite repeated bipartisan requests from Congress.
    What a clever fraud by your own government.
    How does the federal gov’t getting $810 million from these banks help blacks anyway?
    It doesn’t.
    It was give up the cash or be slimed by Obama and his leftist media.
    Obama must be desperate for cash, he’s already powerful.

    More here: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/011514-686517-holder-uses-phony-statistical-analysis-to-fine-banks.htm#ixzz2qZRuf26R

  13. 20

    ilovebeeswarzone

    anticrocks
    i think MILTON FREEDMAN IS SUPER SMART,
    he is a wise man, and that’s why he would make a GREAT PRESIDENT ,
    TO MATCH WITH AMERICA, the greatest unique most compationate and generous ,
    COUNTRY of the WORLD,
    MILTON HAS THE STUFF OF THOSE GREAT PRESIDENT WHO GAVE SO MUCH TO CONTRIBUTE
    to make her great ,
    and to think that some today , posess the audacity to want to change her< is appawling,
    AND UN-AMERICAN AND TREASONOUS,

  14. 21

    FAITH7

    · If capitalism makes some people rich without making others poor, who will benefit when capitalism is destroyed? …..

    …This is something ALL LIBERALS need to ponder…especially those who are so against capitalism and ALL FOR socialism…. and the “redistribution of wealth”… Hey! under SOCIALISM? …the pieces of the proverbial Pie get significantly SMALLER… for YOU and FOR ME…and Note Liberals – “YOU” are not the special ones of YOU and ME…just because you gave your vote and your soul away to a huckster and a bunch of frauds…. LIMBAUGH IS RIGHT !!! There is now 92,000,000 (92 MILLION) people out of the work force….when that piece of pie gets ‘split up’ you think everyone is going to be happy with their piece??

    The person who calls him/herself “this one” reminds me of ALL the Low Info – arrogant, stupid people in this country who voted all these clowns in (twice – and then some) without vetting them… I will add in those calling themselves ‘independents’ as well….

    I read plenty out there… the liberal sites, the Conservative sites and everything in between… I also read the comments to articles…there are PLENTY of Liberals/Democrats who are beside themselves for voting in this LYING FRAUD and even more so, the lying frauds – lying colleagues…as well!

    So, the Liberal / Democrat voters who were (as they say) full of ‘white guilt’ when they placed their Liberal /Socialist vote for “hope and change” Guy…. Are absolutely Kicking themselves in the Ass for being so effing stupid…And, yes, let’s be real here.. there were “other apparent reasons” why the liar in chief got elected…

  15. 23

    Smorgasbord

    @UpChuck.Liberals: #18

    Just a note, that’s not sand they have their heads in.

    I was being polite. I really didn’t want to say which of obama’s body parts they have their head in. I try to keep my comments “G” rated. With the president we have, that is hard to do.

  16. 26

    FAITH7

    @Smorgasborg#24 – You have that right….and sadly with very few exceptions…Now the republicans have some cards in their hands regarding immigration and are on the cusp of doing more harm to the U.S. by once again diluting and skirting our laws…without requesting something significant in return….however I would imagine that the republocrats, are hoping by granting amnesty they will get votes from a slew of people who have no allegiance to them or the United States. The republocrats are hoping they are holding the “ace” card on these (future) votes.

    Isn’t it Funny, if only our Laws were followed and people who we elect had some backbone and actually ‘followed them’ …these people in Congress would not have to continue wasting their time and our time playing “political games”…

    There is no ‘real urgency’ no life or death situation(s) at hand in which we ‘must’ grant amnesty to 6 million people who want to ‘cut in line’ … more political posturing by arrogant stupid people – at our expense – is all it is…

    And just to be clear, those seeking “asylum” for life or death situations are a different category…and even those people lie…(Boston bomber family ring a bell?) and how many ‘others’ are lying like this?…- didn’t the Mother go back to her country and her supposed persecutors?

    Americans need to wake the hell up – fully!

  17. 27

    Smorgasbord

    @FAITH7: #26

    …however I would imagine that the republocrats, are hoping by granting amnesty they will get votes from a slew of people who have no allegiance to them or the United States.

    The republicans have to be on the side of the illegals, or they won’t get the big donation money from big business who want the cheap labor. Even if some businesses originally didn’t want the illegals, they know that the more people there are in the USA, the more sales the illegals will generate for them. In political decision-making, money seems to ALWAYS win.

    Isn’t it Funny, if only our Laws were followed and people who we elect had some backbone and actually ‘followed them’ …

    If that would happen, then the businesses’ and billionaire’s donations would end for them.

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