Erik Larson

Oct 22, 2008

Diatribe

“I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” (Barack Obama, to enough-already “Joe the Plumber”).

What, exactly, does this friggin’ mean? I mean this in an entirely non-partisan sense. What the hell does he mean? Who is spreading it? The people who have it? Geez, if I’m languishing in luxury, eating grapes and drinking fine wine, and my neighbor is sitting in abject misery for lack of some crackers, I’ll sure as hell “spread the wealth”… but who is the “you” that Obama is referring to?

This seems partisan, but really, there’s a deeper point. He’s saying that “I think that when government has the ability to take from some to give to others, it’s good for everybody.” In some limited sense it’s true. But in some expansive sense it’s sure as hell not. Spreading the friggin’ wealth ? It’s not margarine for God sakes. What the comment reveals is failure to understand that it’s not a zero sum game, as if “We all have some X, but some more than others, and we can’t count on getting any more, so we’d better gosh darn share it…”. What’s next, rapping our knuckles with a ruler? This is manifestly… ahh crap forget it…