Over the years, I’ve latched on to several images that do a very good job of capturing the essence of an issue.
Here are some of my favorites.
- The philoso-raptor explaining supply-side economics.
- The apple tree and the downside of double taxation.
- In the same vein, the double taxation flowchart.
- America’s sprawling and Byzantine welfare state.
- The U.S. population pyramid becoming a cylinder.
- Pizza slices and the inequality paradox.
Now I have a new addition to the list.
Here’s an image Steve Conover shared with me. It comes from his book, Neutering the National Debt, and it’s the perfect way to explain why the Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the class warriors are wrong.
The problem isn’t rich people. It’s looters and moochers, regardless of their income.
What makes this image so helpful is that it’s true. If you look at the “right enemy” part of the image, the rich in the red zone are the cronyists who get Ex-Im subsidies, the Wall Street crowd that fed at the TARP trough, and other well-connected folks (like Warren Buffett) who use government coercion to line their pockets.
What we have is basically the visual that I would have liked to include in my 2011 column that discussed the “good rich” and the “bad rich.” When debating those who are motivated by class warfare, I’m defending the rich in the white zone, but it would be helpful to have a way of distinguishing between the worthy and unworthy people with money.
And the same is true for the non-rich. Most of them are good and decent folks earning an honest living and they belong in the white zone. But there are also some non-rich people who rely on government coercion. They could be overpaid government bureaucrats. They could be folks scamming the food stamp program or fraudsters bilking the EITC.
P.S. For what it’s worth, I suspect that more than 50 percent of the folks in Washington belong in the red zone.