“With great power comes great responsibility”. That quote is attributable to a variety of sources (from Spider-Man to Voltaire) and it is an undeniable truism. Power manifests itself in many forms: Physical prowess, financial wealth, a leadership position in business/politics or a loaded firearm. David French wrote a nice article Saturday about how conceal and carry laws have changed the ethos of America for the better.
Those who are licensed to carry a weapon are fully aware of a gun’s power and danger. It is evident that permit holders are extremely law-abiding and repeatedly come to the aid of friends and neighbors in need of help. They have proven themselves responsible, courageous and independent. It’s the psychological aspects of independence, power and responsibility by which gun ownership parallels wealth ownership. Carrying a gun instantly changes a person’s relationship with the State. They are immediately less dependent on Government. They are no longer a ‘protectee’ – they are a protector of themselves and others.
The power of wealth gives similar independence and it must be vigilantly respected. Those who control substantial wealth have a duty to utilize it responsibly – to protect and preserve it for good use (securing the well-being of one’s family, self-improvement, helping others), not wasted or used destructively (on lazy unnecessary consumption, drugs, gambling or other immoral expenditures). Parents are fully aware that they should not give complete control of an inheritance to their children too early. A Trust controlled by a responsible adult Trustee should manage wealth until the child is mature enough to control the wealth wisely.
Wealth is raw power and it should not be transferred from one person to another without assurance that it will be used responsibly. Government cannot and should not be put into the role of provider, particularly in today’s corrupt culture of irresponsible, able bodied working-age adults who refuse to provide for themselves. [see my 10/18/16 post on the immorality of idleness] Mona Charen writes “The American character has been corrupted by multiple generations of government dependency, and the loss of important virtues like self-control, delayed gratification, family stability, thrift and industriousness.” The vast majority would be irresponsible with the power of wealth. James M. Stone writes that moderately wealthy Americans understand that wealth redistribution would be “wasted on transfer payments to unworthy recipients, who will use their government largess to support less-than-commendable lifestyles.”
Wealth is like a loaded high caliber firearm; it should not be confiscated and handed over to irresponsible masses. Your Wealth War Chest is a strongbox of responsibly wielded power.