(Note: if you do not read the entire piece you will miss the context…)
It is a curious and saddening phenomenon that the people of our nation are so engrossed in the idea of class envy. We can see the rising tide of this sentiment throughout the current presidential campaign; however, at what point do we stop applying blame for our position in life to those who have worked for their rewards? It seems to be a pervasive theme that one person is without because another person has something. This basic premise of haves vs. have-nots is flawed so deeply that it becomes a caricature of reality; as if the general population believes more and more that someone like Bill Gates originally made his fortune by sneaking into the houses of those “less-fortunate” and somehow implanting the need for Microsoft products on un-expecting victims. Or, as if the IPhone’s mere existence was far too tempting to the average person, therefore, Steve Jobs succeeded through pillaging those unable to resist.
Furthermore, it seems the only way to “level the playing field” is to take from those who built those institutions of wealth and transfer to those whose sole claim on that money is some perverted sense of victimization. I think it is important then to tackle some myths that propagate this class warfare sentiment in our society.
Myth #1: Producers take advantage of the needs of the people for profit…
A big allegation in this regard is that oil companies victimize the people by selling, at a profit, a good that is needed by people to survive. These oil tycoons, of course, sit around devising ways to get all of the money from the “working-class” citizens in an effort to rule the world. To clarify the ill-fated logic in this assumption I will use an analogy because…well, I just like analogies. Let us imagine a group is lobbying Congress to pass a law to eliminate the victimization of a certain group of consumers by exploitative capitalists; would you support it? Now, our group of unassuming consumers that were lured in by evil capitalists is not soccer moms or impoverished minorities, but innocent “working class” men who are lobbying to put a windfall profits tax on strippers because they were victimized into repeatedly spending their hard earned money on $5 lap dances and over-priced beer. Still support it? I didn’t think so, but this does speak directly to the “logic” employed by “victims” of capitalism.
You might argue that people do not need lap dances to survive; however, need is certainly a relative term. I would argue that at the time in which those men decided to spend $5 on a lap dance that they determined, through their actions, that they needed the dance more than the gallon and a third of gasoline that it would have bought them. Gasoline is not a fundamental need of survival, look at the Amish. Needs are a purely relative thing, you also do not need a smartphone, a big screen TV, a Playstation or even a Starbucks latte to survive (clearly a revelation to most in today’s society).
Myth #2: Poverty in America is a huge problem.
Seriously? This topic does not even deserve much space, but I will address it anyhow. Approximately 85% of the world population would love to be poor in America (read that again if you have complained about being poor lately). A poor American says: “How can I possibly afford cigarettes, scratch-off tickets, satellite TV, and a new cell phone without government assistance?” Much of the poor in the rest of the world says: “How can I shore up the roof of my mud hut to keep the rain from washing it away and find food so my family can eat something today?” We do not have a poverty problem; we instead seem to have an ignorance problem. Are there people who struggle to make “ends meet” in this country? Yes! I have even been one before; but it was not because of someone else’s success, it was because I made utterly stupid choices.
Myth #3: The wealthy are all second-generation millionaires…
Wrong again! The Cato Institute points out that approximately 80% of all millionaires are first generation. How can that be? Better question is: why the myth? This myth plays into the idea that wealth is not earned, so it is convenient for those who wish to perpetuate class envy. In fact, I have known several millionaires and not a single one was multi-generational and the odds are (being 80:20 ratio) that if you have seen or met one they are self-made and began poor or middle class. The simple fact is this: the forty hour mark of their work week did not mean it was the weekend; instead, it most likely meant it was lunchtime on Wednesday and they looked forward to their one day off on Sunday. While you were playing beer pong, they were tightening up their P&L statement. If you have never had a 75 hour work-week and thought: “nice to have a slow week,” you probably do not have a 6 or 7 figure bank account. But, here is the catch: you can work hard and still not earn the big bucks; freedom to succeed also entails a freedom to fail. I would bet that at least half of those millionaires failed at least once before they succeeded. Life is rough, get a helmet; however, hard work tremendously increases your chance at success. [Note: if the Power Ball is your retirement strategy, then face it: you are screwed.]
Myth #4: Rich people do not want other people to make good money…
Once again, this is preposterous and has a simple answer. For example, have you ever tried to sell something to someone that has no money? It creates some difficulties, let me assure you. Wealth begets wealth in a free market or do you envision the wealthy sitting in their basement counting their gold? What then is the gold worth if there is nothing to buy? If you have more money, then wealthy people can sell more stuff and the cycle continues: rising tide raises all ships. However, if watching Jerry Springer is more important than educating yourself or working to earn more, the only one who wants you to not make more money is you! Remedy: sell your living room furniture, turn off the Jersey Shore, and utilize your mind for something more than a receptacle for celebrity gossip. You may be surprised that your future is not pre-ordained and that you do have “choices.”
Ultimately, I find that it should be profoundly insulting to people when politicians continuously tell them that they cannot amount to anything on their own (by the way, liberals are telling you that you are inferior). If you subscribe to a doctrine which is premised on the idea that you are poor or have less because you cannot achieve anymore, you should be pissed off because they (and you) are selling you short! And instead of voting for the pompous ass wearing Armani that just told you that you cannot amount to anything without handicapping the competition; perhaps you should tell them to go get bent!
I have consistently throughout my life saw wealth as something I wanted, not something nobody else should have. Additionally, why must being middle-class carry a negative connotation? If you are happy with your lifestyle and do not wish to work more than a certain amount, do not let people tell you how much of a victim you are; and if you are not happy, make different choices. But, always remember that all levels of success have costs. We must quit letting so-called leaders disparage us into believing that our position is pre-ordained, it is those people who wish to be the aristocrats of the utopian society that will relegate all people to poverty (except for themselves, of course).
If you are not at the level of success you wish, it is not because you “can’t,” but because you “haven’t.” But, do not fear, tomorrow is a new day…own it. Prove to those pretentious bastards that pander for your vote that you are not a victim, but a winner in the making. People take great risks to come to this country with absolutely nothing except the knowledge that they can create their own future here and fundamentally change what was a pre-destined life of abject poverty elsewhere. Ever read a story about the influx of illegal immigrants from America into another country? I didn’t suspect so. Do not be enslaved by leaders which profit electorally off of your desperation or despair (real or imagined). When we hear politicians speak so highly of the concept of “shared sacrifice” we should remember the words of Ayn Rand:
“It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someonebeing served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”