Bill Murray Makes Us Laugh

Here’s what funny man Bill Murray had to say the other day —

Actor Bill Murray on Friday said he believes Americans need to be more personally responsible for their well-being.

“I think we ought to be personally responsible,” he said on CNBC’s Squawk Box Friday morning. “I think if you can take care of yourself, and then maybe try to take care of someone else, that’s sort of how you’re supposed to live.

“It’s not a question of asking other people for help or being rescued or anything like that,” he continued. “I think we’ve sort of gotten used to someone looking out for us, and I don’t think any other person is necessarily going to be counted on to look out for us.

“I think there’s only so many people that can take care of themselves, and can take care of other people. And the rest of the people … they’re useful in terms of compost for the whole planet, you know.”

Murray said the United States is a “pioneer country,” but that many seen to forget the discipline early Americans needed to have just to survive.

Sure Bill Murray is a comedian who has even less understanding about the economy, society and history than Mitt Romney or Clint Eastwood. But this philosophical approach is common and it underlies much of the foolishness which passes for the discussion of politics and economics in this country.

Some people like to pretend that they are self-made men, and it certainly relieves God of a terrible guilt if they were, but none of us are. As a prior post regarding tough-guy Eastwood illustrated, Clint’s own free-wheeling entrepreneurial successes were underwritten by public subsidies from governments around the world. Bill Murray’s films enjoyed similar subsidies. Most recently, Bill, as a co-owner of the Saint Paul Saints, stepped up to the public trough to suck down substantive public funding for a stadium. If Bill Murray wanted to live by his creed of personal responsibility, he and his co-owners should have reached deep and come up with their own funding for a sports stadium. As a taxpayer in Minnesota, why should I be subsidizing his business? *

The old pioneer reference is a funny line itself. The actual history of our country is more a paean to Socialism than Free Enterprise, a demonstration of the efficacy of community responsibility over personal responsibility, and an accolade for “we the people” over and above the “rugged individual”.

The Wild West was settled by Community Enterprise:

  • The Government gave land grants and direct financial grants to railroads to develop the West and its towns
  • Settlers ventured westward ho as members of “collectives” organized in wagon trains governed by elected officers reporting to “town meetings”
  • When a town site was selected the city fathers did not await the magic of the invisible hand. Livery stables, hotels and other accoutrements of urban life were founded by the towns collectively
  • A farmer did not raise his own barn, it was a community event
  • The storage and marketing of produce was organized in town-owned and cooperative-owned fashion
  • One of the largest westward settlements that of the Mormons was undertaken as a Socialist experiment. Although the Mormons today are great expounders of individualism, their forebears were as Socialist as Lenin
  • The silver mining industry was directly subsidized by Government
  • The great cattle ranches were the result of massive military purchases beginning with the Civil War
  • Nearly every great fortune of the Robber Barons of the 19th century can be found to have begun with a juicy Government grant, loan or subsidy

No Mr. Funny Man, the jokes on you. You didn’t build it. We built it!

_____________________

* The State Government of Minnesota is contributing $ 25 MILLION and the City Government of Saint Paul is contributing $ 17 MILLION to fund the new stadium to be owned by the private for-profit baseball franchise in which Bill Murray is a co-owner. As part of the financing the City will be dedicating the proceeds of a half-percent sales tax imposed within the City.

Why is it that every so-called “rugged individualist” is sucking on the sweet teat of public funding?

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