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Why Envy is not a Virtue: The Parable of the Power Drill

Written on Friday, February 15, 2013 by

obamazone

In our last trip to the Twilight Obama Zone, we learned that Dear Leader Obama had proclaimed that envy is now a virtue. Why? How? Because He Who Must Be Believed has decreed it so. That should be enough for you, my fellow Comrades of the Obama Zone.

Step with me now back through the door, back into the real world, the Reality Zone. In reality, envy is not a virtue. Envy is still one of the seven deadly sins.

Why deadly? First, it becomes obsessive, so that you can’t focus on your own life or your own job or business. “He’s eaten up with envy,” is an old expression that accurately describes the obsession of envy. Rather than working to achieve more yourself, you act out your resentment by tearing down or taking away from the people you envy.

Second, in the act of taking away from others, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy of a “fixed pie.” This is the assumption that if others have more, I must have less. This is the underlying assumption of all socialists, Marxists, communists, or progressives.

They say, “There are only so many iPhones in the world, and if the upper income people all have one, that means there aren’t any left over for me! It’s not fair! Take the iPhones away from them and give it to the rest of us.”

In reality, there weren’t ANY iPhones in the world only ten years ago. The iPhone only existed in the imagination of Steve Jobs. Now the world is flooded with iPhones, with more on the way and getting cheaper.. I recently met a poor unemployed man who had an iPhone.

In the Reality Zone, there is no fixed pie, only growing pies (if the government will allow entrepreneurs to grow the nation’s economic pie). However, if the progressives keep taxing away the reward for the entrepreneur’s effort, earning more money, then the entrepreneur will stop making the pie larger. No more iPhones. The progressives will self-fulfill their own prophecy that the economic pie of the word is fixed.

A master teacher once demonstrated this principle to his students. He had us all drill holes in a piece of lumber using a manual brace and bit drill. How many holes could we drill in three minutes? We each counted. “Now suppose that you were paid 25 cents for each hole you drilled? How much money could you make in three minutes?” We each tallied our pay.

Then he brought out a power drill. Again, how many holes could we drill in three minutes? We went to work. Wood chips flew. “Now calculate your pay.” We took out our pencils. We earned much more with the power drill!

Then he gave us all our chance to envy. “Mr. Black and Mr. Decker earned a fortune when people bought millions of their power drills. You can now earn more money because of this power tool they invented. Did they steal their money from you? Are you better off because you bought their invention? Should we envy and resent them because they earned riches?”

“No, we should not envy them. We should be grateful to them. We can now earn more money because of them. They did not force us to buy a power drill. They put it up for sale and we freely decided whether or not to buy it. We are better off because of their invention.”

Thanks to Mr. Jobs’ iPhone, I don’t have to wait until I get back to the office to check my email. I can check email from anywhere. Thank you Steve Jobs. I am glad you got rich from your inventions. My life is easier because of you.

This is the secret of America and capitalism. This is the secret of the Reality Zone. Thank you, Mr. Black and Mr. Decker. Thank you, Steve Jobs. I’m glad you earned riches.

Michael McCarthy is the author of the Conservative political thriller novel The Noah Option, available in paperback at http://www.patriotdepot.com/the-noah-option / and on Kindle at Amazon. Michael is also associate producer and occasional guest and interviewer for the conservative talk show The Don Smith Show www.donsmithshow.com airing Saturdays at 12 noon over the internet.

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