RUSH: Who’s next on the program? Newcastle, Delaware, this is Norma, and I welcome you to the program. Hi.
CALLER: Yeah, thank you, Rush. I just have a comment here, just listen to me, then I’ll get off.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: The reason why we have chaos in Egypt… Uh, President Mubarak, okay. I don’t know him personally, but I do saw a documentary this week on CNN that the people live in cemeteries. I’m talking about poor people. They live on $2 a day. How would he like to live off of $2 a day? Okay, we need to do something about — in all countries, not just Egypt. These leaders and government should be more compassionate to the ones that don’t have, the disadvantaged. And this is a problem globally, not just Egypt. This is just like…you know? This is something that…
RUSH: You know what, Norma? This is a brilliant idea that you have.
CALLER: Yes, we need to help. This will remedy our situation, Rush.
RUSH: No, no, wait, I want to explore that. We’ve gotta find a way to make the poor less poor. We have to find —
CALLER: (garbled) I think the poor getting poorer.
RUSH: We have to find a way to care more about them. Do you realize that that $2 a day that the average Egyptian lives on is almost ten times the amount of money Obama’s brother lives off of in that hut?
RUSH: In Kenya.
CALLER: But it’s still poverty, I don’t care how you look at it.
RUSH: Right, so how would you fix it? How would you fix this poverty?
CALLER: The wealth is not evenly distributed.
RUSH: Ah! The wealth…
CALLER: The wealth is not evenly distributed, Rush.
CALLER: It’s not because okay, President Obama —
RUSH: Is that why we have the poor people we have in America because the wealth isn’t properly distributed?
CALLER: It isn’t, and Obama does not go down into the hood. He never goes into hood to see the state of Black America, Hispanics, whites living in poverty. He never goes to the rough places. He goes to the places that are safe.
RUSH: Right, well —
CALLER: He’s not dealing with the problems of black America. He’s not dealing with the problems. He’s just ignoring it.
RUSH: You have to understand something: Obama’s trying to make it so that we send less money to Egypt, Norma.
CALLER: Well, but why would we enrich a government that has poor people in the streets?
RUSH: Who should be in charge of distributing the wealth?
CALLER: Someone that we trust and who can you trust today with everybody being for ‘me, myself, and I’?
RUSH: This is fascinating.
CALLER: Who can you trust?
RUSH: Who did you vote for? There’s no wrong answer. This is not a trick question or anything. Who did you vote for in the last election?
CALLER: I didn’t see anyone when I would have voted for because I’m at the bottom and I can speak because I’m at the bottom and I’m in the hood because I know that we’re being left out.
CALLER: I’m in the hood.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: I can speak.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: And I’m very upset that because nobody wants to talk about the poor. It’s always the rich and the middle class.
RUSH: I hear you. You got it. I gotta go.
RUSH: Okay, we have our last caller, Norma, making the point that the problem is the Egyptian poor don’t have enough money. We’ve gotta do a better job of distributing the wealth. To hell with that! We don’t need to do that. If that’s the problem, why doesn’t Mubarak just print some money and hand it out out there at Tahiri Square? If that’s what the problem is, print the money. That’s what we’ve done. (interruption) Don’t smirk at me, Snerdley! That’s what we’ve done. What do you think the stimulus was? Do we have the money? Did we have the money to give away to Obama’s buddies? We didn’t. What did we do? We printed the money. We printed the money. (interruption) No, but the people Obama wanted to get the money got it, the unions or whoever.
Wherever he intended that money to go, it went. This Mubarak is an idiot. Just start printing money! I mean, we are the model here of how you keep in office and become beloved by the same people that hate his guts here. What’s so hard about this? Just print the money! Or, you know, call up Hu Jintao and borrow some, for crying out loud. Offer to make the iPhone cheaper than the ChiComs do. I don’t know. ‘Rush, why are you being so flippant about this?’ (snorts) Folks, flippant? I’m taking real-world events and applying the American solution to them. You have problems with people who don’t have enough money? You print it! You give it to ’em and you call it a stimulus plan.
You tell people, ‘This is about getting you jobs, this is about rebuilding roads and bridges, this is about rebuilding our infrastructure, this is about making sure that our country becomes modernized again. This is about bringing unemployment down to 8%. We’re gonna have a revived economy and we’re gonna finish this. By the time our stimulus is in place, employment will be down 8%, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created, blah, blah, blah.’ Uh, we did that. We were told all of that. We didn’t just print a trillion dollars for Porkulus. We printed $2 trillion for TARP and whatever else the Fed did. We’re continuing to print money with QE2 to funnel to the stock market, and it’s all for the express purpose of revitalizing our economy.
I don’t know what their health care situation is over there, but if Mubarak woulda just, you know, come out in favor of universal health care — everybody gets coverage, keep your doctor, keep your plan, whatever you have to say to ’em to get it passed — you wouldn’t have people in the streets. The guy’s obviously an idiot. He’s got the role model of how to do all this but he’s just totally ignored it. He sits around waiting for us to give him the money when he could just print it. Why are we the only ones that print our money (laughing) when we don’t have any? And we not only print it for us, we print it for a lot of other people, too. Anyway, her call is interesting from one standpoint.
The reason I wanted to query her about, ‘Well, where are we gonna get the money?’ is if you have a problem with poverty, what’s the solution to it? I intended the question as a think piece. Obviously I failed with her, because she had limited time to respond, and she had the passionate answers that she wanted to say, but think about it. If you have a problem with poverty, what is the solution to that? Okay, creating wealth. But you gotta define that. We have had, in this country, a whooole lot of programs to fix poverty. We’ve had the Great Society. We’ve had the War on Poverty. We have had any number of welfare programs, and I would ask you: ‘Have we reduced poverty as an expression or as a percentage of our population?
No. Now, compared to poverty in Egypt, our poverty isn’t poverty. But compared to the standard of living in this country, we do have poverty, but not when compared to poverty in the rest of the world. So we arguably in this country do far, far better with our underprivileged than many other countries do. Why is that? The answer is very simple, folks. It’s what’s so frustrating about the election of Obama in the first place. The answer is the unequal distribution of capitalism around the world. If you want a prosperous population with robust opportunity, you have to have free markets. You cannot have a command-and-control economy. You cannot have, as your standard operating procedure, the notion that you are going to transfer from earners to non-earners or from producers to non-producers and create wealth.
That is not creating wealth, it’s destroying it, which is all governments can do. Governments cannot create wealth. All they can do is destroy it, and that is happening in this country. I’m sure it’s happened in Egypt. I don’t doubt these people in Tahrir ‘Circle’ are ticked off because of poverty concerns, standard of living concerns. But they’re not gonna have a solution to it with just a new figurehead. They’re not gonna have a solution. If the military ends up running the show or Suleiman, they’re not gonna have a significant change in economic circumstances until there is a significant change in economic structure — and even then, it isn’t going to happen overnight.
We can sit here all day and lament the fact that Mubarak lives in a palace and these people in the protest live on $2 a day. That’s not gonna change tomorrow when Mubarak’s gone. It isn’t going to change next year after Mubarak’s gone. What has to happen is an accompanying change of structure, free markets — and even then, with free markets, not everybody is going to be wealthy. Not everybody is going to be as prosperous as others. You are still going to have gradations of it, of income and wealth. You can divvy ours up into five quintiles, which is done for study purposes. Bottom fifth, second fifth, third fifth, middle fifth, the top fifth, whatever. You could divide it into tenths or quarters if you want to, but you’re still gonna have a disparity, and the best efforts to make everybody the same always fail. It’s not possible.
Every effort made by command-and-control structure — economy, government, what have you — to equalize outcomes under the premise of fairness or whatever is dismal failure. That primarily is what Egypt is based on. Any socialist, authoritarian country is based on the false premise that everybody’s gonna be equal; everybody’s gonna be the same; everybody’s gonna be comfortable. It never works out that way. It all goes back to why and how did this country in 230 short years outrun, outperform every other civilization in history — and it’s the way we structured ourselves, which allowed for our true freedom, intelligence, ambition to surface and prosper and function unimpeded for the most part. Most people in the world do not have that basic structure in which to function — and, sadly, many people in the world don’t want to take the risk.
They’d just as soon sacrifice a little freedom, sacrifice a little liberty for a guaranteed meager wage rather than take the risk or doing hard work or what have you. It depends on how they’ve been conditioned. But to sit here and say, ‘They live on two bucks a day. We have to have compassion for ’em’? We do, but you just can’t start passing out money to them, because when do you stop? If you start doing that, you’re not changing anything. You are prolonging the problem and actually making it worse. The true creation of wealth, the true generation of wealth resulting in legitimate economic growth — the expansion of the pie — cannot happen under an authoritarian. I don’t care how well intention. It cannot happen under a socialistic government.
I don’t care how well-intentioned. I don’t care how much passion is behind it. I don’t care how much good intention is involved. It is not structurally possible to grow an economic pie. We, the United States of America, are the textbook lesson in how to do it, and I’m amazed. I’m amazed that there have not been greater attempts to emulate what we do. We’re surrounded by people who want to stamp us out. We’re surrounded by people who want to tamp us down. Sadly, some of those people now are in positions of power in our own government, which is why there is a Tea Party made up of people who understand that the greatness of America is under assault. So, yeah, it sounds really good.
‘Oh, yeah, we’ve gotta redistribute. We have to be fairer as we distribute the wealth.’ Well, somebody’s gotta create it first. Somebody has to earn it before somebody else can take it and give it to somebody else, and as long as there is an animosity and a hatred for those who do that creating of wealth, who do the generating, who create and grow the economy — so long as we have people who foster a resentment and hatred for those people — it’s going to be very difficult to be constantly successful at doing it. People don’t want to feel like targets. People doing good things, people playing by the rules, people using their natural talents are sick and tired of being blamed for what other people don’t have. It’s not their fault.
It’s not Walmart’s fault that somebody doesn’t have something. It’s not the fault of anybody or company or group of prosperous people that somebody else doesn’t. But the way we’ve set things up it’s a zero sum game and if there’s a bunch of rich people it means there had to have been, at one time, other rich people to have things stolen from ’em. So the socialists and communists come along and say, ‘We’re gonna equalize things. We’re gonna get these people that took your money in the first plaace and we’re gonna get it back,’ but you never get it back, because you never had it in the first place. Because the whole premise that you’ve been stolen from, robbed, or what have you, is flawed.
It’s a message and a premise put forth by shameless politicians who have tried their best to convince people, ‘You just vote for me! Vote for me and I’ll end your poverty — or I’ll end your misery, or I’ll end your unhappiness — and I’ll make sure these people stealing from you, these unfair people taking your wealth, they stop that. I’m gonna get it back for you. I’m gonna make sure.’ It never works out, does it? You end up with Egypt every single time. So, yeah, it’s frustrating to get somebody calling, ‘Well, we need to give ’em some more money. We need to transfer more money. That’s the solution.’ Yeah, immediately it is, but unless they figure out a way to produce it for themselves and make it long-lasting and systematic and institutional, it isn’t gonna matter a hill of beans.