Mind our own business
Posted on Monday, January 23rd 2012 at 11:41 am
David Rubenstein one of the founders of the Carlyle Group (a private equity firm) was on CNN this weekend. He was asked whether the capital gains rate should be raised since it seems unfair that Mitt Romney’ secretary pays a higher tax rate then Mitt does, (since most of his income is from capital gains). The reporter then asked him if he thought the 400 million that he and his 2 partners made on a deal last year was “excessive”. Rubenstein explained that he and his partners receive 20% of what the investors make on a deal and that the way it works is everyone (Management, workers, stakeholders) are incented to turn around the company they buy. He then explained to the reporter how free enterprise works (investors risk capital, management executes the plan; workers contribute the labor and all profit if successful or share in the failure). He defended his humble beginnings (dad was a postal worker) and then said that only in America could someone like him rise like he did. Our free enterprise system is the envy of the world and is the reason rags to riches stories are so common here, and that people are literally dying to come to the land of opportunity. Then he seemed “embarrassed” by his success and said that he was working to give away all of the money he had earned. Whether he keeps his money or gives it away should be none of our business. But, in our covetous (the 10th commandment) culture those that have, need to have not. Our media promotes the lives of the “rich and famous” and everyone is striving to keep up with the Kardashian’s. We lust (covet) for what we see (cars, homes, clothes, jewelry etc.), for ourselves, but if someone else has it they should give it away (preferably to me). In our culture it is ok for someone to come from humble beginnings, become successful, so long as they give it away (or tax it away). Just like in Monopoly you buy properties, accumulate Monopoly money and then put it all back in the box at the end of the game. It shouldn’t matter if someone inherits wealth or earns it, its’ theirs not ours and we need to be grateful for what we have. And as far as giving the scripture teaches us that we should purpose in our own hearts what to give and not to give out of constraint because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). So like my mom used to tell me, maybe we should mind our own business.