RUSH: Charles Murray wrote a piece, and where did it appear? I think it might have appeared at National Review. “Capitalism (It’s Not a Dirty Word).” It prints to four pages. Capitalism is solely responsible for the wealth of this nation and the wealth of every nation on earth. So his piece is about how in the world did it get such a bad name? It wasn’t that long ago that capitalism was, if not specifically taught, the practitioners of it and everybody involved were praised. Now the capitalist is the enemy of the country, and Murray is trying to figure out how in the world did this happen? And he’s got a couple of interesting theories.
One theory is that people do not understand how the capitalists on Wall Street make money, that people don’t understand how the movement of money in financial markets benefits anybody. It’s beyond their ability to comprehend. So they think of it as an insider game with a bunch of 1%-ers playing in a stacked deck that only benefits them. The second theory he has is most interesting, and it is that liberal capitalists are scared to death to admit that they are capitalists, and he talks about people like Buffett and Gates and Hollywood capitalists that are simply afraid to cite it for political reasons. Let me take a break and give you more specifics on what Murray writes about this ’cause it’s timely.
RUSH: Okay, here are the relevant excerpts from Charles Murray. “I assign that timidity to two other causes. First, large numbers of today’s successful capitalists are people of the political left who may think their own work is legitimate but feel no allegiance to capitalism as a system or kinship with capitalists on the other side of the political fence. Furthermore, these capitalists of the left are concentrated where it counts most. The most visible entrepreneurs of the high-tech industry are predominantly liberal.
“So are most of the people who run the entertainment and news industries. Even leaders of the financial industry increasingly share the politics of George Soros.” They’re all capitalists, but they won’t admit it, and they don’t want anybody to think that they are. Their own work is legitimate, but nobody else’s is. Now, “Whether measured by fundraising data or by the members of Congress elected from the ZIP Codes where they live, the elite centers with the most clout in the culture are filled with people who are embarrassed to identify themselves as capitalists, and it shows in the cultural effect of their work.
“Another factor is the segregation of capitalism from virtue. Historically, the merits of free enterprise and the obligations of success were intertwined in the national catechism. McGuffey’s Readers, the books on which generations of American children were raised, have plenty of stories treating initiative, hard work and entrepreneurialism as virtues, but just as many stories praising the virtues of self-restraint, personal integrity and concern for those who depend on you.
“The freedom to act and a stern moral obligation to act in certain ways were seen as two sides of the same American coin. Little of that has survived.” There’s not a whole lot of virtue associated with capitalism now. It’s sort of been segregated. And again, he’d cite the Hollywood left as examples and maybe some tech people. “To accept the concept of virtue requires that you believe some ways of behaving are right and others are wrong,” and that means being judgmental, and being “openly judgmental stand is no longer acceptable in America’s schools nor in many American homes.”
You don’t have the right to tell somebody else what’s right and wrong. There is no universal truth anymore when it comes to morality or right and wrong. Anybody who seeks to be judgmental in this way is going to be cast aside, castigated. People who are not desirous or able to politically analyze these kind of things are forever going to be in the dark when it comes to fully understanding them. Capitalism has almost been criminalized now by our popular culture, by the establishment culture.
Capitalism propels the Democrat Party, and yet it’s been criminalized when it’s committed by others. The bad guys in movies and TV shows, even soap operas, are now capitalists. The mobsters, the terrorists, they’ve all got special interest groups who’ll protest if they’re portrayed as bad guys now, and they will not allow that to happen. And there’s even a romance that’s been attached to the criminal who gets away with it. That’s been popular for a while, particularly if the criminal who gets away with it is sticking it to traditional capitalist structures.
So we’ve done a 180 on this.
The foundational building blocks that created the wealth of the world are now perceived as criminal, and the real greed and the real thuggery — which is now found in government — is what’s celebrated as idyllic and sweet and soft, caring, compassionate, and so forth. It’s very sad.
RUSH: Mort Zuckerman was on the syndicated McLaughlin Group yesterday. He’s the editor-in-chief of US News & World Report and owns the New York Daily News. And he said that he’s had direct personal contact with President Obama, and John McLaughlin said, “What is this ‘personal contact’ you’ve had with Obama?”
ZUCKERMAN: I was a supporter of his and quite active in his, uh, campaign and indeed in the first few months or almost a year —
MCLAUGHLIN: You visited the White House!a
MCLAUGHLIN: You talked to him!
ZUCKERMAN: That’s right.
MCLAUGHLIN: You’ve been part of groups visiting the White House!
ZUCKERMAN: That’s right. They talked to me about it, and none of the programs which I proposed were adopted. (chuckles) Don’t get me wrong. There’s an old line, okay, that America used to boo the losers. This administration boos the winners.
RUSH: “This administration boos the winners.”
This is a guy who voted for Obama, Mort Zuckerman, and this is exactly what we’re talking about. They boo the winners! They have the winners in their crosshairs. Look, we were talking about liberal capitalists here a moment ago, and Charles Murray’s characterization. In many ways, these liberal capitalists are the crony capitalists. Now, a crony capitalist is a guy runs a company and gets involved with government. Like GE.
They don’t need any money, but they got $700 million from Obama to go play around with green energy. It keeps the government off GE’s back — and if it’s not your money, you’ll take somebody else’s do the work. It’s fine and dandy. Crony capitalism. Get in with the government and they leave you alone. Government helps you turn a profit; helps you with your competitors. You know, a lot of liberal capitalists… I’ll tell you something else about these guys.
They are not like me.
They’re not the kind of people that want to share, who when they do well, they want everybody else to do well. When they do well, when they have what they want, they then think it’s to their advantage for the government to make it more difficult for others to enter their markets. Crony capitalism. That’s probably one of the best ways to define it. When they get what they want, after they’ve scored, they then make deals with administrations through regulations of the industry that they’re in.
After they’ve scored, after they’ve already made their bounty, then they support regulations on their own business that prevent their competitors from entering the market. Or, if they’re already in the market, from doing well as well. It’s not simply an issue of naivete or political fear in the context of a liberal capitalist being afraid to admit it. It can also be a furtherance of self-interest in a nonmarket way, a way in which government is used to advantage them and them alone, against others.
Now, the Obama administration is full, is replete with such examples. You dress up as green energy, or you obstruct possible fossil fuel energy versus Solyndra. You do everything you can to shut down the Keystone pipeline so that Warren Buffett’s trains don’t suffer. There are any number of ways these things happen. And then there’s another characteristic. It’s not all that prevalent, but it’s out there, and that’s people who are ashamed of their own success.
Liberal capitalists who think they’ll be targets if they are too obvious in their success. They either are think they don’t deserve it, or they act as though they don’t deserve it. They think they get paid crazy amounts of money for what they do, actors, actresses. We said before: The really smart rich guys are always liberals because it inoculates ’em.
If you’re Bill Gates with $40 billion or whatever it is and Buffett with $40 billion, what’s the fastest way to get yourself left alone?
To run around and talk about how the rich aren’t paying enough taxes and then run around say, “I’ll be glad to pay more.” You’ve inoculated yourself! You’re no longer the evil rich. They love you. And you still have your money. You haven’t given any of it away; you just say you want to. You haven’t paid a higher tax rate; you just say you would support one. And then you become loved. Everybody hates rich people but loves you. You can have 15 giant yachts, the biggest yachts in the world, and have all the parties in the world.
Nobody’s gonna touch you, because you think you’re not paying enough taxes. It’s that simple. This business about rich businesspeople being Republican conservatives is such a crock, my friends. Because it isn’t true. One of the really bad things that’s happening in our culture is that achievement-oriented people don’t have the guts to act proud of it. Successful people don’t have the guts to act proud of it. Successful people don’t engage in activity that’s designed to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Instead they act embarrassed of it, or they try to camouflage it and hide it. What crony capitalists simply do is, after they finish climbing the ladder of success, pull the ladder up with ’em so nobody else can get on it. That’s the problem with crony capitalists. Government gives them the ladder and they climb up the ladder. After they get to the top, they take the ladder away. Nobody else can get on it and climb.
And the market gets regulated in such a way that competitors are shut out. And nobody thinks it works that way. The average American with a high school diploma has no concept of that. They think what Obama wants ’em to think: The rich stole it, or stole the labor, or cheated somebody, or didn’t pay fairly for something. That’s what Obama wants you to believe. That’s what Zuckerman is saying. This regime boos winners. A brief, obscene profit time-out. We do not act embarrassed here.