Marvin Olasky

Here is where original sin comes in. If men were angels, remuneration wouldn't matter as long as an executive's family simply had a roof over its head and enough to eat. But the impact of original sin is that money talks. Dollars, and maybe private planes, keep executives at the plow when they'd rather be golfing. It's a small price to pay for those who build businesses that create jobs.

Why are we in a renewed recession? Liberals seem surprised when they reduce incentives and see reduced entrepreneurship. Those who study the Bible aren't surprised: Might as well face it, we are naturally selfish. Economist Adam Smith knew from the Bible and his own observation that we should not rely on the public-spiritedness of bakers to give us fresh bread every day: They will supply our needs only if we pay them.

Liberals who don't acknowledge this are patsies for socialist appeals that claim tax increases won't affect productivity. But listen to this internet wail from one executive: "I already had to lay off 8 percent of my workforce when they passed Obamacare. My accountant could not solve the problem any other way. A tax hike only means laying off more people."

Hmm. Liberals might say this businessman should joyfully accept a reduced income, and so should other highly compensated people. Maybe they should—but most won't. Instead of demonizing potential heroes of industry, Washington should get out of the way and let more people get rich while making some others not so poor.

Do corporations receive a special tax break for private planes? Who cares? Unemployed Americans need jobs, and President Obama isn't going to produce them by giving speeches—but he can discourage those who can otherwise create jobs. Are many executives selfish? So what? Let's drop the rhetoric and focus on jobs. Employment trumps envy. 

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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