RUSH: Okay, we’re back, and we’re gonna start on the phones, and that will be College Park, Maryland. Hi, Jeff. Great to have you on the program. Welcome, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. I think Elizabeth Warren — was that her name?
CALLER: She isn’t telling the whole story. She says that the roads are built and, you know, we all pay taxes so nobody got rich by themselves. She’s right as far as that goes, but she’s also missing… I mean, this guy is a perfect example; he’s living off dividends. He’s not digging ditches. He didn’t get rich because he dug more ditches than anyone else. He got rich and most people in the country get rich because they’ve got other people working for them, which means they’re selling the labor of these other people for more than they’re paying for it. They’re paying a guy $8 to dig a ditch, and they’re charging somebody else $20 for that ditch. Abraham Lincoln said that “before there’s capital there’s labor, and all capital comes from work that real human beings do.” This guy is sitting home collecting six — dividends from other people’s labor. American Express’s biggest corporate priority is making sure that people don’t unionize because they know their corporation is profiting by selling the labor of their workers for more than they’re paying. So nobody in this country has gotten rich without putting other people to work and paying them less than what they’re actually worth. So when we’re talking about class warfare…
RUSH: (laughs) I like your characterization. Wait a second, now. I like your characterization: “Paying them less than they’re actually worth.” Most —
RUSH: Most people in this country got rich because of capitalism.
CALLER: Right. Which — and all capitalism comes from labor. I guess what I don’t understand is that when we’re talking about class warfare and people that work all of their lives and paid for the Social Security and they’ve paid for their Medicare, it’s not class warfare when people talk about taking that away from them — you know, increasing eligibility age or, uhhh, you know, eliminating the cost of living adjustment; even though Social Security’s return is only 2.5%. It’s not class warfare when we’re taking money out of the pockets of people that need it, millions of people; but it is class warfare when we ask rich people in this country that have gotten the money that they have by selling other people’s labor for more than what they’re paying for it, that is class warfare? I mean — I mean ex… explain — explain it.
RUSH: But Obama is the one talking about taking away Medicare! Obama is the one who actually is cutting Medicare.
CALLER: And you support him. (laughing) Ah, ah, as far as that goes, you’d love to take away entitlements. You think entitlements are warfare and that people that paid for it don’t deserve it for some reason.
RUSH: Well, there are a lot of holes in what you’re saying, because you’re making some equal assumptions about circumstances where there are a lot of variables, and no two situations alike. This is the problem that you socialists have or that you Marxists have. You cannot calculate the dynamism, and so you refuse to calculate the dynamism that exists in any set of economic circumstances. Anyway, I know what he means with his “labor” comment. I’ll explain when we come back.
RUSH: This guy, our last caller, ladies and gentlemen, was reading from (sigh) the fringe, left-wing website “the Daily Kos;” or “Koz,” I don’t know how you pronounce it. I’ve never known how you pronounce this. They produced an e-mail that circulated back in 2009 that is Abraham Lincoln talking about labor versus slavery. And what they’ve done is take this thing out of context, and they’ve urged every one of their readers to print this thing out and send it to as many people as they know — and, if they can, get on radio talk shows and read it. It’s from January 29, 2009: “Abe Lincoln, Pro-Labor: Send This to Your Republican Friends.” That’s the link to it from the Daily Kos, and they have to take Lincoln out of context. It’s labor versus SLAVERY.
Lincoln was talking about the immorality of slave labor, which costs nothing. You didn’t pay them anything other than their room and board. That was pure and simple. But if you apply this to the real world today, it breaks down. Here’s a great example. This guy believes (I’ll use myself here as an example) that I am getting rich — and I’m not admitting that, by the way — by paying the people who work for me less than what they are worth (not what they deserve, less than what they’re worth) and getting rich off of it. Therefore, I am screwing the people who work for me. Now, let’s use Mr. Snerdley as an example. These people would believe that Snerdley is worth far more than I pay him.
No matter what I’m paying him (and they have no clue), Snerdley is worth far more than I pay him; and I am getting rich on Snerdley’s back because I’m not paying him anywhere near what he is worth. The belief is that labor comes before anything else. So the answer to it is, Mr. Snerdley (let’s look at him specifically). Could Mr. Snerdley make more money screening calls for himself? Could the United Autoworker make more money building cars for himself? Could you, wherever you work, make more money doing what you do for yourself? If you think so, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with it. Give it a shot. The cost of labor in any business is not calculated on value or worth except in some circumstances. Every situation is different, every hire is different — except for a union hire.
They are all the same! That’s why I’ve never wanted to be a member of a union, or a trade union, labor union. They don’t explain the phenomenon of “genius.” They say it’s irrelevant. They say that the genius has been used to trick other people. They say the genius has been used to exploit other people. The genius is not a factor in their achievement. Genius is making them smarter than everybody else so they’re able to exploit their workers. This is right out of Marx. Once you understand Elizabeth Warren… I’ve always said, folks, if you just understand these liberals, all of this makes sense — and if you understand that they lie and make things up (if you understand what it is that animates them), then everything makes sense; and you’ll never, ever vote for one.
You would never even consider it. No matter how bad anybody else is, you would never, ever vote for a liberal if you’re properly informed and properly educated. So the whole point here is let’s talk about labor, cost, and so forth and so on. In every company large and small, there are people who do work. There are people who have jobs more important than other people. Therefore, there is work that is more valuable than other work. This is the first thing that ticks the left off. They don’t like that division. They don’t like the classifications. They don’t like the fact that somebody is more important than somebody else. That’s really at the root of it. That’s unfair, that’s discriminatory, that’s mean, or what have you. It leads to people not having same advantages as other people.
And liberals never believe that that difference in value or worth is born of reality. It’s always born of favoritism or some other thing that could be bought, negotiated, or purchased; rather than real, qualitative assessments of somebody’s work. Now, the purpose of a business is not to employ people. The purpose of a business is not to provide health care. The purpose of a business is not to make a great community. That’s not why anybody starts one. Now, that may be why a lot of businesses fold because a lot of liberals might start companies with that premise, and they won’t last long if that’s why they go into business. What propels a business or a service is a passion on the part of (generally) one person who starts it who’s got a passion for something.
That person loves doing it, thinks other people would love doing it or having it, and embarks on a process of manufacturing it and selling it — and who knows? People make correct assessments of what the public wants and incorrect assessments all the time. Businesses come and go. Successful businesses fade. Successful businesses grow. It’s never the same. It cannot be plugged into a formula. Everybody who runs a business looks at paying people who work for them differently. I would bet you that if the way I run EIB and the way I, quote, unquote, “pay labor” were ever analyzed, I’d be told I’m an idiot. I’d be told, “You can’t do it this way! You can’t make any money doing that! That’s… that’s… that’s absurd! You gonna pay ’em that? For what?”
See, I have my own personal preferences and desires and things I don’t like to do, and there are other things I love doing. The things I don’t want to do, if somebody else will do them, that’s worth a hell of a lot to me. It’s time I don’t have to spend doing things I don’t want to do — and if they do it well, and if I don’t want to have it worry about them being stolen away or leaving or going somewhere else, I’ll pay above market value. I’ll pay happy and gladly, just so I don’t have to worry about it ever again. I don’t like worrying. I refuse to worry! I will pay not to worry. Now, other people that run businesses don’t do it. A lot of people, they’ll go by the book and if people don’t do the job, fine.
“You’re gone. I’ll get somebody else to do it,” and they love the process of dealing with it. I hate the process of anything, the process of anything. Nothing will make me run away faster than having to get involved in the process of something. But there are people that love process, and if they can do my portion of the process and I don’t have to worry about it and I have total confidence I’m gonna be represented correctly and properly and fairly, fine. I’ll pay ’em commensurately to keep me out of it. I don’t know how many other people do that, ’cause I’ve never really discussed all this in great detail with other people in my position.
But I do know that in most places labor cost is the most expensive, and therefore it’s the one that’s watched over the most closely, and it’s for as little as you can get it. I’ll give you the opposite end of what I just described to you. When I worked at the Kansas City Royals (and this is not to put them down), it didn’t matter how well I did that job. I was gonna make X and not a penny more. It didn’t matter how much they liked me. Now, maybe I would get promoted to a different and higher-paying job. That was going to be up to me.
But the job that I had, if I was gonna sit there and lose sleep over how much I wasn’t making, I was beating my head against the wall because that job was worth X to them — and they could find thousands of other people to do it one minute after they let me go if I didn’t want to do it anymore (and in many cases for less than they were paying me, which at the time was $12,000 a year). That’s a job that happens to attract groupies. (interruption) You thought I was gonna…? No, it wasn’t.
That $12,000 back then is about $35,000 today. This is 1979 that I’m talking about, ran the inflation calculator on it, but the point is, they were just thinking, “Okay, this job is worth X, and we don’t have to pay any more for this job — and we’re not gonna pay on anything other than what this job costs.”
Now, this guy that just called me, that’s the kind of situation where he would say they were exploiting me because they were not paying me for my labor what it was actually worth. They were getting far more out of me than they were paying me. That’s the way the Marxists would look at it, the way this guy would look at it, and he was reading what the Daily Kos post said to read, could be president, he read it pretty well. But the reality is, in the business world the job is worth what somebody will take. So I’m making 12. Let’s say I fall in disfavor, and somebody can come along and say they’ll do it for ten. They’re some years younger than me, will do anything to get their foot in the door and they’ll take it for ten.
Guess what the job’s worth has just become? Not what Marx says it is, and not what some formula says it is, but the reality on the ground says that job’s worth $10,000 a year because somebody out there will do it for that. “Well, Rush, what about somebody who would do it for nothing?” Oh, there would have been plenty of people who would do it for nothing for a while, but nobody’s allowed to pay anybody nothing. There are laws about that. Twelve thousand in ’79 is $37,000 today. But the dynamics of all this and the real-world aspect of every single job, the dynamics involved are something that escapes theoreticians. (interruption) Well, interns — Snerdley, by definition don’t get paid anything. Of course Monica Lewinsky got paid, and she paid as well.
That’s the whole thing. I mean every position has its own inherent worth and value based on that circumstance, not what some blogger thinks or not what you can take Abraham Lincoln out of context to mean or to say. But there is the belief these people have that every business owner has gotten wealthy by screwing the employee. This is how they keep themselves in a perpetually ticked- off, angry, enraged state of mind. It’s simply a total lack of understanding, and it’s based on a principle that everything has to be handed to you, and that you ought to be able to get something that’s fair and just for not doing anything for it, just showing up for work.
RUSH: This is Bill in Houston. Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Howdy, Rush. You know, I’m not sure the last time you’ve been down my way is, but if you drive on Houston roads I mean they’re littered with potholes. We’ve just had a brutal summer. There’s been no rain, water mains are busting everywhere. Our city infrastructure is falling apart and in the meantime there’s this jobs bill that’s just sitting there. I just wanted to ask, when will Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party people just put down politics for one day, do what’s right and put some money in people’s pockets.
RUSH: Why is it my job to put money in your pocket?
CALLER: If you were a congressman it would be your job to give the opportunity of employment to people who are without employment.
RUSH: Is congressman’s jobs to put money in your pocket?
CALLER: It’s their job to, you know, make sure unemployed people have jobs.
RUSH: No, it’s not.
CALLER: If there’s a jobs bill that guarantees people jobs and employment, then they should pass it.
RUSH: Well, maybe Obama will submit a jobs bill someday.
CALLER: He has.
RUSH: No, there’s no jobs in this bill, it’s a tax increase bill.
CALLER: It’s a tax cuts bill. There’s plenty of tax cuts, Rush, and there’s plenty of infrastructure jobs available.
RUSH: Then why don’t your local construction people and why don’t your local city government want to patch the potholes?
CALLER: Well, they don’t have any money, Rush. There needs to be revenue.
RUSH: Well, then you need to pay more taxes.
CALLER: Well, Rush, if I was a millionaire and if I was paying lower tax rates than, you know, my secretary, then I would gladly pay a little more so more folks would be able to seek employment.
RUSH: Oh, you’ll pay more taxes if the billionaires pay more taxes?
CALLER: Rush, I own my own business. I make six figures a year. I would be subject to, you know, possibly a one or two percent tax increase sometimes, you know, I would be fine with that if that meant the unemployed could find jobs and get hired —
RUSH: Well, do you realize if Congress and the president were actually responsible for jobs in this country, we should never have unemployment. It should be simple, you pass a jobs bill, people go to work, earn enough money to fill potholes and we’re done.
CALLER: Yeah, if things were that simple, Rush, that would be great, but sadly you have one fringe group of people in Congress who are determined to make sure that Obama fails at any cost necessary, even if it means depriving people of a chance to have employment.
RUSH: Let me ask you, are you serious about this, or are you just putting me on?
CALLER: No, I’m absolutely serious, Rush. You should come down to Houston and see these roads. You should see these water mains.
RUSH: I’ve been to Houston, and I’m telling you it’s not my problem. Houston doesn’t have the problem it has because I’m not paying enough taxes, I’ll tell you that. Houston doesn’t have the problems it has because Republicans refuse to sign a jobs bill. That’s not why Houston has the problems it has.
CALLER: Houston has the problems it has because our infrastructure is falling apart, hasn’t been improved since the New Deal, Rush.
RUSH: I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the last of what you said.
CALLER: We haven’t had infrastructure improvements since the New Deal, Rush. And this jobs bill would have those infrastructure improvements —
RUSH: Oh, improvement, I thought you said approve since the New Deal. Infrastructure hasn’t been improved since the New Deal? Sir, that is a crock of absolute BS. You cannot travel the freaking highways of this country without encountering construction delays of years. Infrastructure hasn’t been improved? I’ll tell you what. Go out and buy a construction company, do it yourself and stop bitching at us. It’s about time you took responsibility for where you live and fix it instead of looking to everybody else. We can’t make Obama a failure. He’s done it on his own.
RUSH: You know, poor old Abe Lincoln, this guy has been misquoted and taken out of text more than any president I know of. Ever since I’ve been doing this show, for example, 23 plus years, there is an e-mail, a blast e-mail going around, ten things that Lincoln said, except he never said them. I used to reply to everybody who sent me that thing, calling them everything but an idiot for believing it. And finally I gave up. There were just too many of ’em. I used to respond to blast e-mails and I finally figured it’s a losing proposition, it’s a losing cause. And now this thing from the Daily Kos. Lincoln is speaking of slave labor, and if these people at Daily Kos actually knew what Lincoln was talking about they would not have posted this.
But here’s the Lincoln quote that they think spread all over the country will convince everybody that unions are the way to go. “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
This was an emergency message to Congress December 3rd of 1861. And what Lincoln was talking about here essentially was that slave laborers had as much right for their labor as the capitalists, as the slave owners had to their property, if not more. He was specifically laying the case out for what was inherently wrong about slave labor. Slave labor, of course, was uncompensated.
But even beyond that, like this last guy from Houston — by the way, Snerdley, thank you for seminar caller day. We’ve had, what, three calls today that have all been a bunch of creeps. What is this, creep caller day? This is what’s out there today? Snerdley says, “I want you to see what’s out there.” This is all that’s out there? Well, it may be a spam campaign. It could well be. But like this last guy from Houston that just called, the federal government already collects nearly $3 trillion a year from us, and they spend a trillion and a half more than that. They collect nearly three trillion, they’re gonna spend four and a half. But we’re not through. State and local governments collect another $3 trillion a year from us. This is a grand total of $6 trillion in taxes per year.
Why isn’t $6 trillion a year enough to fix potholes and bridges and the sort? We ought to be able to fill ’em up with diamonds and platinum for that money. One of the things I always thought, when I lived in New York, in Manhattan, you look at the number of people who live per city block in these high-rise apartments and condos and if you look at the property tax that has to be collected per city block in New York, the roads ought to be paved with gold. Every school ought to be a palace.
But why are there potholes in Houston? Why is there no infrastructure? Why haven’t there been any repairs? It’s not for lack of money. This is the whole point. The money is not being spent on those things. The money is being spent to buy votes. The money is being spent to make people worthless. The money is being spent to create dependency. The money is being spent robbing Americans of their humanity and their dignity by making ’em wards of the state. The Democrat Party is spending all of that money or a great portion of it so people can sit around and do nothing as long as they vote Democrat. And this has been going on for 50 years or more.
We don’t have a shortage of finances in this country. We don’t have a shortage of revenue. We’ve got a spending problem out the wazoo and the spending that’s taking place in large measure, majority portion of it is being wasted, being spent to destroy the lives of people. “How is that, Mr. Limbaugh? How can money spent on people destroy the lives of people?” Because it robs them of their initiative, it robs them of motivation, it robs them of inspiration, it robs them of desire. You give them just enough to get by and they live their lives in constant anger and rage so you keep feeding that rage by telling them their conditions are because the Republicans don’t care enough about them or what have you, they constantly vote Democrat, and that’s how you destroy a country, it’s how you destroy a culture, it’s how you destroy a great society. You let the Democrats and a bunch of liberals run it.
If I had to say one word that has had the most disastrous effect on the advancement of everybody in this culture, that word would be compassion. The crap that’s been done in the name of compassion in this country has robbed people of their dignity, of their chance, of their opportunity at their own greatness in using their own ambition and desire. It has taken it from them. It has made them not have to use any of that. We have lowered the expectations of so many Americans because that’s the way liberals look at people, as incompetent and incapable anyway. As far as liberal Democrats are concerned, the stupider you are the better off for them, the more ignorant you are, the better off for them. The less you have, the better off for them. The more hate-filled you are, the better off for them. All of the rotten human characteristics that exist they profit from.
RUSH: So I got this e-mail: “Rush, you explained it well. Marxists think that the market — labor, goods, and services — is rational and can be rationally set and can be rationally controlled. That’s what killed the Soviet Union. As you explain, the market is not rational. Everything — emotions, tradeoffs, reason, irrational choices — is thrown into the market. And the real world market calculates all this.” And this guy, that’s brevity, and that’s the soul of wit, and that’s good, and let me explain what he means. I spent last hour, five minutes, describing for you how I deal with employees here at the EIB Network.
In the process I told you that there probably aren’t too many places that do it the way I do, but there are some. The point is there is no book, there is no textbook that says, “Here’s how you treat employees. Here’s what you pay labor.” None of that is a factor to me. What somebody else says is not the way I do it. I do it ’cause I’m selfish. I know why this works and anybody who can do the stuff that I don’t want to do so I can stay focused on what I do do, I’m gonna pay ’em. I’m gonna pay ’em more than they can get anywhere else so they don’t leave because I don’t want to worry about replacing them, and I’m probably not gonna have to worry about ’em being malcontents because there’s nowhere else they can go to get any better thing. That’s just the way I choose to do it. This guy’s point is, that’s the market. I may be totally irrational in the way I’m running this, but it works for me. And so, I’m gonna keep doing it that way. It may be unlike any other set of circumstances at any other small business in the country. Who knows. I don’t. ‘Cause I don’t care how anybody else does it.
And I’m not a busybody, and I’m not trying to worm my way into anybody else. Now, sometimes, I’ll talk to other people who own businesses, and you share sob stories and this kind of thing ’cause everybody talks, but I do this ’cause I’m selfish. And I don’t want to be misunderstood. I happen to know what makes all this go. For example, if Snerdley ever came to me… This is just an example. It could be Brian. It could be Cookie. If anybody came to me and said, “I think I’m underpaid,” I’d say, “Fine, go do it for yourself — and if you can do it better, do it.” I have this great understanding of why this works, and anything that distracts me from doing what I do that makes this work is not helpful. Therefore, if I find somebody who can do the stuff that has to be done that I hate doing, that I don’t like doing?
Like I have a guy who has one job. It’s to say “no” to everybody who calls wanting me to do something. His second job is to say “no” when they call back. The third job is to say “no” again when they call back. I don’t want to have to answer the phone and say, “No, sorry, don’t want to do that.” He does it. “Well, gee, Rush, do you always say ‘no’ to everything?” Ninety-nine percent of it. “Why?” ‘Cause I don’t want to do it! There are three or four television shows that call here every day wanting me to guest — every day, offering full half hours if I’ll go on. “No. I don’t want to do it,” and I got a guy who tells ’em “no.” That’s his job. He’s got a couple other things to do, but that’s his job.
I have a “no” man, not a “yes” man. I don’t like telling people “no,” so I pay somebody to do it. It helps me stay focused. Now, that probably is pretty irrational in a textbook sense — and to these libs, everything is textbook manageable. The market to them makes sense, it’s rational, and it makes sense under their phony baloney precepts — and that is, “Labor’s always getting shaft. Management’s always cheating everybody.” This is the context in which they operate, and they think if they were just put in charge of managing it, why, everybody would be treated fairly and we’d have utopia. We’re witnessing a guy who thinks he can turn the country into something idealistic and utopian.
We’re dealing with what happens when you’ve got some narcissist micromanager who thinks that he’s got all the answers for everything and anybody who ever did anything before him screwed it up, didn’t know what they were doing or purposely screwed it up. Now we’ve got a guy who doesn’t have the slightest idea what he’s doing but believes he’s got all the answers, believes that he is more profoundly correct about everything simply because everybody else is a cheat — and this is what you get. But this free market economy is “unmanageable” by definition, but the free market left alone will sort all these things out.
Now, you have to have rules and regulations and punishment when rules are violated and so forth, and nobody’s opposed to that. But you don’t have Central Planning. It doesn’t work. It has never worked wherever it’s been tried, when talking about nations. Just doesn’t work. The market is too vibrant. It’s too free flowing, and it’s too irrational. The best way to describe the market is it’s just irrational.