Why do so many among us resent successful people? The likely impetus is envy. Those who live in small houses are sometimes jealous of others living in big houses, who fly in private jets, and pay for the Rolling Stones to perform at their birthday parties. Okay, some of the well to do take it a little too far, but it is their money and they should be free to spend it as they wish.
Since Barack Obama stormed onto the political scene, he has fostered class warfare and turned a huge number of Americans against each other. Essentially, he encouraged the people living in small homes to openly and overtly resent those who live in larger homes.
The schism the president created is eroding our society, so much so that it has manifested itself into the current discussion relating to the “fiscal cliff.” Democrats want to take more money from the affluent to reduce the deficit and pay for social programs, while Republicans want to reduce spending and not increase anyone’s taxes.
The ability of the opposing forces in Congress to negotiate a fair solution of the fiscal cliff problem may be based upon tempering class warfare rhetoric. Affluent people want to be treated respectfully; they are not ATM machines that Democrats can access when they need money for another social program. And, they certainly will not continue to serve as punching bags for other Americans.
The secret to ending class warfare, if anyone really cares, is very simple. The demonization of the affluent must cease immediately. Contrary to liberal dogma, wealthy people do not want to end welfare and starve little babies. They want to reform welfare and create new jobs so Americans will no longer be enslaved to the state. Affluent people want government to be more efficient and not waste money on outdated programs. They are disgusted with tax evaders and health care cheaters. All taxpayers have a right to ensure that their tax dollars are being spent wisely.
The willingness of the affluent to pay more than their “fair share” is not apparent to many liberals and the envious have-nots. I appreciate the contributions made by the wealthiest Americans. Every year they contribute billions of dollars to charities that subsidize schools, colleges, hospitals, research, museums, homeless shelters, preschool programs, breakfast programs, public service groups, churches, synagogues, mosques, cultural centers, firefighters, policemen and every kind of organization that supports the needy.
The affluent are not asking for adulation or beatification. But, they do not appreciate those who denigrate their work and their lifestyles. And, most importantly, they find it insulting to listen to the venom spewed by those they are subsidizing.
Throughout history, affluent groups have taken advantage of those in lower socioeconomic strata. Just about all of these regimes were rightfully crushed. But, there is a huge difference between two noteworthy situations, the French aristocracy in the 1700s and the Russian czars at the onset of the 1900s, and the wealthy class in America today. The biggest is that wealth has been accumulated in recent years, for the most part, in a legal fashion. I know the monopolists early in the 20th Century were ruthless. But, there are very few people still living off of the somewhat questionable business gains of the great industrial families.
The lion’s share of wealth today has been earned through innovation and hard work. The obvious examples are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the internet whiz kids. Additionally, many investors have taken risks and earned a fortune. The private equity firms and hedge fund managers have accumulated great riches from investment in growth companies during a period of extraordinary economic expansion during the past quarter century.
Daily, I read the ranting and raving of liberals about how unfair the current capitalistic system has become. The critics blather about the income gap, Keynesian economics, and the need for increased federal interference. But most of all, the critics are pissed off that some people have “too much” money. I did not know that accumulation of wealth was a violation of the laws of the land or the laws of nature. The liberal loudmouths in the media condemn the affluent each day in their efforts to fan the flames of class warfare.
Affluent people want the government to eliminate waste, put people back to work, and stop tax cheaters before there is any discussion about increasing their taxes. If, after Congress does its job of managing the affairs of this country effectively, America still needs more revenue, the affluent will be ready, willing, and able to pay more taxes.