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Ron Hart Columns: Let's Make Capitalism Cool Again

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Let's Make Capitalism Cool Again

January 3, 2017 - The Daily Caller

By Ron Hart

Inside Barack Obama's rhetoric of "income inequality" and "attack the rich," used mainly to sway envy-driven, simple minds, was always a dangerous subtext: Capitalism and entrepreneurs are bad. Trump needs to get us back to our capitalist roots, cut government, and start running government like a business.

Now only 3.6% of 30-year-olds or younger own stakes in private companies. The figure was 10.6% in 1989 when government first started collecting data on this. Gumption atrophies in a generation expecting participation trophies.

Lost on this snowflake generation is the hypocrisy of a Hillary Clinton, who vowed to take on the "excesses of capitalism," demanded $300,000 per speech from corporations. From the Vatican, the Pope railed against capitalism in Prada shoes and a $5,000 robe. And actors, while getting $15 million per movie, call corporations "greedy." But not all Occupy Wall Street protestors were anti-business; pot dealers made 15 cash deposits a day into their banks.

Obama and other liberals presuppose the evils of capitalism and capitalists to sell their statist/socialist agenda. But the facts are clear: Free-market capitalism is a far more virtuous system than government and has done far more to improve the lot of mankind wherever it is allowed to flourish.

To see the abundance that our historically free enterprise system has bestowed on us, compare the U.S. to the rest of the world. Travel to any Third World country with a strong central government and a stranglehold on business, and witness the poverty, crime and misery spawned in places like Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba.

Politicians are bought and sold. Buying Democrats to vote for ObamaCare with the "Louisiana Purchase" and "Cornhusker Kickback," Obama proved this point. The only difference between a politician and a hooker is that there's not one person who would walk up four flights of stairs at one a.m. to visit a politician.

Capitalism did not strap us with $20 trillion and growing - in national debt, borrowed from future generations, to advance destructive dependency political agendas and buy votes. Is that "moral and just"? Businesses hire people, help provide health insurance and other benefits, pay taxes, advertise, support local charities and build the character of a community. Look and see who sponsors your town's Little League teams; those are your town's heroes.

The "evil" oil companies bring the fuel out of the ground and to gas stations, where they make seven cents per gallon. Government takes about 50 cents per gallon for doing nothing, not counting the cost of regulations. Then government taxes the oil companies' seven cents profit at 35 percent. And liberals call oil companies greedy?

Capitalism has the mechanisms to enforce good behavior quickly. Just ask Tiger Woods. His sponsor, AT&T, withdrew its support when he was caught in multiple affairs, punishing Tiger and thus imposing ATT's most expensive roaming charge ever. If you get caught with a hooker or you fail at your job, a CEO or an employee is fired. There are consequences to bad behavior in business, but not in government. You just get more funding; case in point, the VA.

In Obama's O-merica, no punishment was meted out to Lois Lerner, his IRS operative who targeted his political opponents and "lost" her emails upon subpoena. He did not fire her; in fact, all the IRS folks involved received their full pay, retirement, etc. During an "investigation," government workers take the Fifth when called before Congress.

Neither Lerner nor anyone else involved in the IRS scandal, Benghazi-gate, the Secret Service hooker scandal, GSA, the VA mess or the NSA domestic spying revelations has paid any price. Capitalism rewards risk-taking, imagination, hard work, intellect and honesty; government does not. Under this petulant president, government only rewards loyalty to him.

How, then, is government is more moral than business? Government takes money by force from people who are productive and redistributes it to its allies. Government adds no value and produces no product.

Eighty-five percent of federal employee political donations went to Democrats, since they know their cushy jobs will be protected. But there's a new sheriff in town, bureaucrats. Government employees know Trump is going to start running it like a business. They are scared, and they should be. Billionaire Trump made his daughter, Ivanka, and her family fly coach on Jet Blue; that should send the signal that he means business.

2011 Benjamin Franklin Award Winner!

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Columns by Ronald Hart. Ron grew up in Tennessee and began writing a column for his hometown paper in 2002. He attended The University of Memphis and the Institute for Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University. Ron graduated Magna Cum Laude and was elected student government president. Upon getting his MBA, he went to work for Goldman Sachs. He was appointed to the Tennessee Board of Regents by then Governor Lamar Alexander and is now a private investor. He appears on CNN and has been quoted in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal. His columns reflect a rare combination of Southern libertarian views and humor. They have been described as "Lewis Grizzard meets P.J. O'Rourke with a dash of Will Roger's horse sense". His columns are carried by 30 newspapers with a total weekly circulation of approximately 1 million readers.