Panic has set into the Democratic Party leadership after billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s entry into the fray for nomination as the presidential candidate. In the first party debate that Bloomberg participated in, one of the leading contenders, Bernie Sanders, accused him of having an ‘obscene’ amount of money and being richer than a hundred and fifty million Americans. While it is true that Bloomberg has more or less bought his way into the primaries with a large advertising spend, merely being mind- bogglingly rich cannot be a disqualification for office. If the likes of Sanders had their way, nobody would be allowed to become rich in the US. While Bloomberg could only respond with ‘communism has been tried and failed’, it would be pertinent to ask Sanders some counter-questions based on his premise. The US is richer than half the countries of the world put together, is it his intention on becoming President to redistribute its wealth among other nations? The American people would certainly want to know.
President Donald Trump’s win in the last election has created a scare among America’s professional politicians. They do not so much have a problem with wealth as they do with being shut out by it. It is a legitimate concern, but it is better dealt with by raising issues pertinent to the people’s needs so that voters are influenced by things other than just advertising. It will not do to demand a disastrous ‘socialist revolution’ merely on the basis of envy and hatred. Wealth needs to be in the hands of those capable of making the best use of it – the trusteeship concept as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. Those who have entrepreneurial skills, know how to make profits by introducing the needed efficiencies and suitable technologies, pay their taxes and abide by regulations, are best suited to manage it. It is the job of the state to ensure monopolies are not created and competitiveness is maintained in the market. Beyond that, as everybody knows, nobody is going to take the wealth with him or her beyond this life.
One needs, of course, to know the art of spending wealth, which emerges from the socio- cultural values of society. However, one cannot spend money if one does not have it. The problem is that the socialists are only too eager to spend others’ wealth, while managing economies to the point of absolute disaster. Theories and university degrees do not teach the art of making money; it is sometimes a gift and at other times learned from the best practitioners on every level. Hopefully, the Democrats will choose someone who represents their liberal values best, as that alone can give them a chance against Trump.