November 01, 2008

THE

An awesome bit of semantics:

I would like to focus on Obama’s phrase “the wealth.”

I understand the use of the word “the” in phrases like “the nation” or “the country” or “the public.” Those are things or abstract concepts or generic groups of people.

Wealth, however, is the savings and equity of each individual. There is no “the wealth.” There is only my wealth and your wealth and Joe the plumber’s wealth and so on. You can spread the SARS virus around or you can spread “the love” around, but when you starting talking about spreading “the wealth” around what you are really talking about is spreading my life savings or someone else’s life savings around.

Via Amritas, of course.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:19 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Thanks! Those who speak of "the wealth" think of it as a natural resource, as if it were just there for the taking. But wealth is created by people. Although raw materials are natural, the end products are not. Those who create should be rewarded. Their creations benefit all who use them. Penalize the creators and you penalize everyone. "Sharing the wealth" diminishes wealth for all but the redistributor.

Posted by: Amritas at November 01, 2008 09:06 AM (+/Ct7)

2 "all but the redistributor"...yup! "Progressives," and even old-line liberals, tend to think of government as an idealized parent, not fully grasping that it is made up of people who are themselves economic actors and pursue their own desires for money, ego, and power. An Obama win would be financially very good for people who are skilled at manipulating government...lobbyists, certain kinds of lawyers, executives in Beltway companies good at extracting government money, executives in many kinds of "nonprofits," etc etc.

Posted by: david foster at November 01, 2008 06:10 PM (ke+yX)

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