By Chris Rossini
Politicians try their hardest to appeal to emotions. By generating certain feelings, they hope to gain support and votes. Tugging at a person's emotions is often more effective then presenting facts and using logic. Emotions are very powerful. Bureaucrats figured this out long ago.
A very popular emotion that gets dusted off every election cycle by politicians is envy. It's a very base emotion, and if politicians are able to tap into it effectively, they can gain lots of followers that will supply plenty of blind faith.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is well known for throwing out his fishing line, using envy as his trusty bait. Bernie says:
"It is absurd that the top one-tenth of one percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent."
Why is it absurd? Bernie doesn't say.
What's the proper percentage, or ratio? And how does Bernie know what that ratio should be? He doesn't say.
Why should you care about what "the top one-tenth of one percent" owns? You have your own life and you're solely in control of that! What you become and what you earn is due to your own thinking, your own beliefs, your own choices, actions, habits, and disciplines.
Politicians want you to believe otherwise. They thrive on you believing that you're just hopelessly careening through the universe, and if you just let go of your liberties and grant them power, things will get better for you. The politician deludes you into believing that he will take care of you. How can a job that produces nothing do anything but cause trouble and divisions in society?
Speaking of producing....
How did the "top one-tenth of one percent" get their wealth? Bernie doesn't say.
Did they earn it legitimately by providing desired goods and services? Why should we have a problem with that? Thank goodness we don't have to fend for ourselves in this world. Our lives would be brutish and short. Thank goodness others are willing to produce what we cannot.
Granted, there are wealthy individuals that use government force to acquire their wealth. They sell stuff to government. They secure government contracts. They use licensing laws to keep away competition. They get government subsidies. They secure government monopoly privileges. This is for sure a problem, and it's an outgrowth of people's faith in the institution of violence and force.
But Bernie doesn't make a distinction. He doesn't see legitimate wealth accumulation versus crony government dealings. Sanders merely lumps everyone together, and promises to stick his hands in wealthy individual pockets.
Bernie is not looking to shrink government and its octopus arms. On the contrary, he's conjuring up ideas like free college, free healthcare, free, free, free!
Sanders is trying to appeal to base emotions. He's not the first to do so, and as long as there are politicians, he won't be the last.
Don't take the bait.