(c) 2011 by Tom King
Mr. Lester demonstrates a profound lack of understanding as to what money really is and how it works. Mr. Lester (I'm not sure what the "B" stands for, but here, I think I'll call him, Bob) seems to think money is like cats or old newspapers - something we collect that has little or no purpose once we've hoarded it up. If we keep control of large amounts of money, old Bob assumes we keep others from having any. Bob apparently subscribes to the idea that money and economics is a zero-sum game. Either that, or I suspect Mr. Lester's been watching "Hoarders" on TV, looked around his apartment, felt threatened and needed someone else to identify as a hoarder to take the heat off his own conscience.
It isn't so. Bill Gates is fabulously wealth, true. His enterprises support the state of Washington's welfare programs practically all by themselves through the property and sales taxes Microsoft pays. If Microsoft and Boeing's owners gave away all their money, as Bob suggests, their companies would soon shut down. They would stop making money and employing people and pretty soon all the money they gave away would be used up and Washington would have to stop feeding the poor, running transit lines and homeless shelters. State health care and all the state-run liquor stores would have to shut down because they would no longer be subsidized by taxpayers like Boeing and Microsoft.
If everybody tried to turn everything of value into cash so they could swim in their money, the U.S. treasury would be up printing hundred dollar bills nonstop, 24 hours a day for months and months and months to create the piles o' cash Bob imagines are sitting around awaiting redistribution. Money has value because it works. Even sitting in a savings account, your money helps me buy my house because it is used to fund my mortgage. I pay it back with interest. If you check it out of the bank so you can take a swim, you don't earn interest and that's all a savings is good for anyway. That and I don't get to build my house, the carpenters have lost their jobs and so on and so on.
There's a serious flaw in Mr. Lester's logic.
I'm just sayin'