Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>Eat the Rich</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Eat the Rich

We’re the richest country in the world, yet we can’t afford to adequately fund basic services in our own country, such as police, firefighting, border patrol, education, and care of our sick, poor and elderly. The only ones in our society that enjoy adequate security, safety, higher learning and health care are those who can pay for it. We’ve evolved from survival of the fittest into survival of the richest.

It’s time to stop subsidizing these rich people. They already have more money than they could possibly spend, yet we continue to give them tax breaks, economic incentives and special privileges, simply because they are rich.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. If you give more money to rich people, sure, they invest it in the economy. They buy more stuff. But that doesn’t raise the standard of living for the average citizen as much as it benefits the rich. It’s absurd to think that by giving them a dollar, the nickel you get in return is worth the investment.

I for one am tired of being trickled on.

The reason we continue to subsidize them is because they put so much money into the political economy. They buy favor with politicians, plain and simple. And no other investment portfolio has near the return on investment as that of contributing to political campaigns. There’s a reason they call it "pork barrel politics". The politicians become pigs at the trough, while we end up wearing barrels.

Having to feed, clothe and house our families, we can’t afford to buy off our politicians, and so we have no say in what our lawmakers do. The only time we have any input on how our government is run is at election time. And even then, we’re so wrapped up in our own lives, we don’t have the time to research all of the issues, or learn about all of the candidates. We make our decisions based on sound bites and political attack ads.

So we strive to improve our lot in life. The middle class is motivated by the carrot of becoming upper middle class. Yet that motivation more often lands them in debt by trying to keep up with the Jones’.

The poor are motivated by getting out of poverty. Yet opportunities for that are few. More often, winning the lottery is their dream of a new life. And we all know the odds of that. Slim to virtually none.

Or they turn to crime. On my way into Walmart today, I heard a snippet of a conversation between a teenage couple. He was dressed hip-hop, complete with headphones and oversized sports jersey. She, call-center chic:

She: you seen li' bit?
He: he locked up.
She: for what?
He: stole a car.

That brief, casual exchange is a sad commentary on what our society has become. One can only imagine the same conversation taking place at youth night at the country club...

She: have you seen Chad?
He: he's doing community service, speaking to underpriveleged youth.
She: how ghastly! Whatever for?
He: investor fraud.

As long as we spend our efforts trying to outdo our neighbors or hit the jackpot, legal or otherwise, the rich will continue to get richer, and bureaucrats will continue to stay fat and happy. They like the status quo, and don’t pay much attention to us little people unless we piss them off somehow, like leaving the egg yolks in their omelets, or using starch on their Armani.

Now, I'm not going all socialist on you or anything, but unless we level the playing field and make it easier for the average Joe to succeed, things will pretty much stay the way they are.

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing, yet expecting different results.

It's time to do things differently.

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