About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Patriotic Millionaires Are Big Democrat Donors

Perhaps you've heard about the spectacle in Washington today. According to ABC World News:
Two dozen wealthy members of the group Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength are targeting members of the deficit "supercommittee" to increase their taxes.
Entrepreneur and producer Charlie Fink, said he and other Patriotic Millionaires testified in a congressional hearing and visited the offices of 13 members of Congress on Wednesday, seven of whom are members of the supercommittee, to express their concern for the country's fiscal health.
I wondered who these people were, so I randomly submitted the names of some of the members of the Patriotic Millionaires into the search engine at OpenSecrets.org, a website that tracks political donations. Sure enough, virtually every name I checked has donated lots of money to the Democrat Party and Barack Obama. By the way, Charlie Fink wasn't listed as a donor but he is described as an ex-AOL executive and a progressive Democrat here.

Meet Suzie and Mark Buell, Patriotic Millionaires who reside on "47 pastoral acres in Bolinas," California. They've donated thousands of dollars to the Democrats. Hillary Clinton threw an engagement party for them in the White House. According to the Marin Independent Journal, the Buells "fund progressive candidates - among them Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Sen. Debbie Sabenow of Michigan. Susie Buell ranked No. 4 nationally in raising funds for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign."

What causes these wealthy Americans to not only become progressive Democrats but to shill for them in Washington. Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing they have in common as an apparent love for big government and powerful, connected politicians. You can draw your own conclusions. I know they don't have my best interests at heart. I doubt they have yours.

A part of me hopes they get their wish and Congress passes a law taxing not only their income, but their wealth, driving them all back into poverty. But I have too much respect for private property rights to advocate such a thing. Even these misguided fellow-travelers have rights.

As an aside (though it's related), I noticed today that Rick Perry is advocating a part-time Congress. Perry says Congressmen are over-paid, overstaffed and away from home way too much. He wants Congressmen's pay, office budgets and time in Washington all cut in half. In addition, if Congress can't agree on a balanced budget by 2020, their pay would be cut in half yet again.

I wonder how the Patriotic Millionaires would feel about Perry's proposal, which would be sure to suck a huge amount of power out of Washington. Would these power-loving, big government millionaires feel the same way if the market were truly free, if Washington's interventions in the marketplace were ended and millionaires and billionaires were forced to compete in that marketplace to keep their money rather than to seek favors and advantage in Washington?

I also find it extremely convenient for these millionaires that the political power of the entire Congress is concentrated in a handful of Congressmen on the Super Committee. It's kind of difficult spreading your donations around to an entire Congress, but it sure is easy targeting you donations on a few.

It makes for great mainstream media spectacle as well.

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