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The Robber Barons and Machine Politics

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here is Jacqueline in Atlanta.  Hi, Jacqueline.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  It's an honor to be on your show and have a chance to speak with you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much.

CALLER:  Okay, so my only statement was, and please understand I'm extremely conservative and for small government, okay, but my statement is, when you had made a statement that Democrats were the ones that purchase the votes, I believe that both parties do, not just Democrat.  I believe that the Republican Party does also.  And I believe that's something that has been a normal practice in our government for a very long time.

RUSH:  Well, in point of fact, you are correct as far as it goes in the sense that today the Republican Party does not object or fight any of this. Either directly or indirectly, they don't argue against it.  There's no push-back.  The message of self-reliance, rugged individualism, is not part of the political dialogue anymore, so in that sense you are right.  It is by a couple of people.  You can name 'em on one hand, that are nationally known political people that make the argument. 

But, the fact of the matter is, Jacqueline, even though the Republicans are eager followers now, this all got started with FDR and the New Deal.  The Democrat Party are the authors, the architects, the experts, and there is now a reluctance, it's been going on so long and so many people are so dependent and have so many expectations, and so many people just think that's the way it is, that any argument against it is characterized as racism, extremism, mean-spiritedness, bigotry, and that silences the Republicans, and they acquiesce.  So I can't deny they go along with it now.

CALLER:  I actually thought it got started back when the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers and JPMorgan and Andrew Carnegie were developing the country at that time, when there were presidential candidates that were coming up against them specifically, so they made the decision that they could create and develop and purchase, buy their own president of the United States.

RUSH:  Well, now, that's a whole different discussion.  I mean, back in the day, John Pierpont Morgan had more money than the government and would often loan the money to bail the government out.

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  But, I mean, as a political identity, Carnegie and Mellon and Rockefeller, there was no tax at all when these people were making their money.  They were extremely wealthy.  And, of course, they did a lot of charitable things for public relations and PR and so forth.  There's no question.  But they didn't start this idea.  They were not out seeking votes for high office, demanding to wield power by promising people benefits and things like FDR did.  I mean, that's a separate -- do you think the Carnegies and the Mellons, by choosing candidates to do this, are actually responsible for this?

CALLER:  I feel like that they started and created the thought process behind it, and obviously everything's gonna develop into what it is today, but, yeah, I believe that they are the ones that created that idea.

RUSH:  But they weren't buying votes.  The Vanderbilts and the Morgans and the Carnegies, they never ran for office.

CALLER:  No, they didn't do that, but they did buy their presidents, though, which technically the presidents bought their votes.  Ones that had the same ideals. 

RUSH:  Well, they used their influence to bribe and blackmail and provide hookers and any number of things for various Democrats, and they entrapped 'em and so forth.  But these people did not believe in the redistribution of wealth.

CALLER:  No, no.  No, no, no.  Yeah.

RUSH:  Well, that's what I'm talking about.

CALLER:  Oh, yeah.  Okay, okay.  Well, I must not have heard the whole thing then, but yeah, no, no, no, no.  Yeah, no redistribution of wealth.  They, obviously like myself -- I wish I was like them -- but they're capitalists like I am --

RUSH:  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  You want to be like the Carnegies, the Mellons, the --

CALLER:  I would like to be able to have that same type of business sense and shrewdness.  I'm a bit kind and giving to a fault at times.

RUSH:  Here's the problem.  The Rockefellers, you can't do that, because they discovered the oil.

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  Somebody asked John D. Rockefeller, "What's the secret to getting rich?"  He said, "I started digging in the sands of Saudi Arabia, and I found this back stuff." Oil.

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  So that's been done.

CALLER:  I already have my own company, so, yeah.

RUSH:  But you can't become a robber baron today because of the tax code. You cannot become as big those people were.  The income tax would stop you dead in your tracks, but there's nothing stopping you from trying to create a great company, standard of living for yourself or what have you. But nobody's gonna be able to do it on that scale anymore.

CALLER:  Oh, yeah.

RUSH:  Well, I take that back.  That's not really true.  Warren Buffett and Gates, they're way beyond that league.  The Google boys. Well, the Facebook guy, yeah, but they're not nearly as conspicuous in their consumption as those guys were.  I mean, have you ever been to Newport, Rhode Island, and seen the Vanderbilt home they lived in six weeks a year?  The Breakers?  The Vanderbilts, of course, were the railroad.  Don't mention them to the Chinese, by the way.  The Vanderbilts built the railroad.  And when it was time to go to Newport for the season, they would load the silverware and everything they had in the New York mansion on a train and load it up for six weeks, and then take it back, wherever they were going.  It was incredible.  It was all born of the legitimate creation of wealth.  These people invented, created, built and manufactured. 

JPMorgan did it with debt, but it still was a legitimate enterprise.  Well, the average person, the income tax would stop you, most people.  Nobody is gonna get wealthy like that working for somebody else, is my only point.  You've gotta start your own business.  I mean, Gates and Buffett are not building these giant monolithic mansions in 15 different cities.  Well, Larry Ellison, Oracle, is actually buying whole islands. That's what he's doing with his money.  He's bought a couple of these mansions on Breakers Row in Newport, for example.  Just doesn't live in 'em, just buys them.  It's where he's parking his money.  That's the computer business, Oracle, that's business software, Java, any number of other things. 

I'm speaking in a too generalistic sense when I say you can't do it, because you can, but not as an employee.  The income tax is going to stand in your way.  My point to you is there's nothing stopping you.  It may be a little harder today because there's less to be discovered or invented, but maybe not, I mean, even the things that exist, you know, what Jobs did, he didn't really invent anything.  He just massively commercialized and improved it, whatever it was that they decided to touch.  I'm glossing over some of this stuff, and it really deserves far more detail than I'm going into here because of the constraints of time. 

My point to you, Jacqueline, is that you can certainly try, and there's nothing wrong with it.  If you want to be a robber baron, if you want to own a political machine like the Democrats -- there has never been a Republican political machine, has there?  Like Chicago.  Have the Republicans ever run anything like they run Illinois and Chicago?  They don't, right?  Not that I could think of.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  You know, the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers and the Morgans and the Mellons and the Carnegies and all, they're called the "robber barons."  Who did they steal from?  Nobody.  Who did they steal from? They were called robber barons.  Who did they steal from?  The government is who steals.  They didn't steal from anybody.

END TRANSCRIPT

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