The scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail between King Arthur and the anarcho-syndicalist filth farmers ends with Arthur calling Dennis a “bloody peasant.” Dennis then declares:

Oh, what a giveaway. Did you here that, did you here that, eh?

A raft of ideas and proposals spawned of late by the Left, coupled with a few conversations about these ideas and proposals I’ve had in recent days, have proven to be just such a “giveaway” of their true desires. Their list of concerns, including wealth inequality, income inequality, climate change, social justice, educational inadequacies, wages, health care/insurance, housing inequality, fair trade, carbon energy, slavery reparations, and functionings of the free market, have spawned a list of policy proposals, broad-brush and detailed. In these proposals, and in the tone of the defenses that their loudest voices put forth, their true priority becomes clearer and clearer, and it clashes rather loudly with their avowed goals.

That priority lies not in the helping of those on the lower socioeconomic rungs, but on the tearing down of those who’ve achieved success and the taking of that which they’ve created. It’s couched in high language about injustice, exploitation, unfairness, “undeserved-ness,” and the like, and it’s defended with assertions that doing so will help the poor and working classes. But, push just a little bit, and you see that “giveaway,” see what they’re all about. It’s more important to them to knock down the successful, to take from the wealthy, to impede achievement, and to discredit individual effort. Others’ success, whether it be financial, professional, or educational, is the true affront, and they have no qualms whatsoever about using the brute force of government to knock the offenders down.

Too many Asian kids get into the top NYC high schools? Can’t have that – gotta change the rules so fewer get in. Rigging the outcome, rather than fixing the schools that are failing to prepare black and latino kids for those schools, is the cheap and dirty way of “solving” a problem that is of their own creation in the first place.

Some people earn more than others? Can’t have that – gotta knock the high earners down by taking even more of their earnings and by rigging the outcome. Make the business owners pay their workers more, and don’t worry about where the money comes from. They’re bosses, they’re rich, they can afford it, and besides, they’re obviously exploiting their workers. Helping the lower economic rungs by improving and growing the economy, especially if it involves the hated capitalism and free markets, doesn’t seem nearly as important as inflicting pain on those who are doing well and on those who create the jobs.

Good workers not getting paid enough? Far more important to protect the malingerers, to avoid rewarding performance, and to keep those who aren’t as motivated from being shown up or embarrassed for their lack of effort.

Wealth is “too concentrated” in the hands of “too few?” Can’t have that – gotta take it away. It’s not armed robbery, after all, if they got it illegitimately in the first place. If logic needs to be tortured to rationalize the assertion of illegitimacy? That’s OK, the end goal is noble. Again, the notion of improving the economy and removing the obstacles the lower classes face – not nearly as big a priority.

In fact, those obstacles are themselves part and parcel of the big-government lovers’ modus operandi. Nickel-and-time quality-of-life offenses, onerous occupational licensing, opposition to the gig economy, hatred and blocking of Walmart and its kin (which offer lower prices on consumer goods), tack-on fees on everything, excise taxes, sin taxes, inadequate public transportation systems, gross mismanagement of public housing, status-quo-defense of inefficient and failing government programs and initiatives, congestion pricing, rent controls, minimum wages, health insurance mandates and meddling, and a host of other policies that look good superficially, all take nibbles or bites out of the poor’s earnings and productivity and make it harder for them to become not-poor. Inner city residents are treated as revenue centers by a spectrum of government agencies that ostensibly exist to protect them.

Even with regard to something as important as the environment, it always seems to be about knocking down what they don’t like, rather than embracing a solution that works. America’s carbon emissions have been dropping without any commitment to climate accords, simply because the fracking revolution has shifted our energy away from coal and toward natural gas. But, that can’t be accepted as a solution, because natural gas is not their idealized solution, and because it keeps them from getting their much-desired carbon tax. Ditto for nuclear power, which is the real answer, because they don’t like it and don’t want those who’ve been advocating it to be proven right. That carbon taxes and solar/wind will increase costs of living and reduce standards of living for the poor and working classes is of much lesser importance.

If our progressive politicians and pundits spent more time actually doing thing to help the have-nots, instead of scheming how best to pluck and plunder the haves, they might actually accomplish something of benefit to the have-nots. But, their behaviors tell us that the former doesn’t satisfy nearly as much as the latter.

It’s not surprising. Building is hard, destroying is easy. Creating is hard. Taking, especially at the business end of a government-sanctioned gun, is easy.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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