I get the ideas for my articles, rants, commentaries; call them what you will, from all manner of sources. Sometimes it’s just something I wake up with in my head. Sometimes it is in response to current events. Sometimes someone will do or say something that sparks an idea which turns into a rant. Usually though it doesn’t come from family members, but just a few minutes ago my son asked me what I thought about all those who say that the rich should be led off to the guillotine. My answer to him forms the basis of what you’re about to read.
I could care less if a person is rich, if they live in a fancy mansion, drive expensive cars, and trot all over the globe on luxurious vacations; screw them, they don’t affect my life so why should I care one way or another about them? I have never understood our fascination with the rich and famous; as if we’re all a bunch of sick voyeurs wanting to get a look into the lives of those who live better than we do.
It physically makes me ill watching those TV shows like Access Hollywood, or the Reality TV shows about the lives of famous people like the Osbourne’s or the Kardashians. I mean really, what makes Kim Kardashian any better than you or I; the fact that she was born into a family of prominence and ease? Strip away all the money and she is no different than you or I; so why should I care about her, her opinion, and what she and her idiotic sisters are doing with their lives?
It pisses me off when I see people like her, or celebrities like Robert De Niro on TV talking about the issues as if they’re some kind of an expert on a subject. Screw them; they’re actors and debutants; what makes their opinion any more significant than anyone else; their money and social status? If we as a people are so enamored with them that we think their opinion should dictate how we feel on an issue, then we’re sick in the head and should seek mental health treatment.
Would I mind being rich? Hell no, who wouldn’t mind. But I wouldn’t want the media attention that comes with being filthy rich; I like my privacy and I would probably shoot at the paparazzi if they parked outside my home, shooting snapshots of me and my family every time we left the house. It would be nice to be able to live without the worry of how you’re going to pay for sudden unexpected expenses and take extended vacations all over the world; but the fact that I’m not rich is not sufficient cause for me to despise those who are; or care one way or the other about the lives of those who do live that lifestyle.
The rich can do as they please and I don’t give a damn. What I do give a damn about is when they use their position in life, or their money to try to influence me, society in general, or politicians to support causes or enact laws that I feel violate my rights, or use my tax dollars to fund causes they support. That’s when I get pissed off at them. If they truly cared about these issues; be it the poor, starving children in some Third World Shithole, then why don’t they donate all their wealth to those in need and leave me to carve out a meager existence on the pay I do earn?
I’m all for charity; if it comes from the heart and a person can afford it. In the Book of Luke, Chapter 21 we read, “And he [Jesus] looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”
For the rich to sit there atop their high and mighty hilltops and tell those less fortunate than them that we should support their cause celebre while the clothes on their backs could feed a starving family for a month reeks of hypocrisy to me; and if anything in this world pisses me off it is a hypocrite.
I think that the society we live in breeds a lot of class envy, and a certain amount of animosity for those who have by those who don’t. While some of that animosity may be well deserved, some of it is simple jealousy. Take for instance the common belief by those on the political left that those who are rich should pay more in taxes to fund the operation of the government. Why; do they receive more in services from the government than the poor? That’s the entire premise of Obamacare; those who make more are charged a higher premium for the same health coverage than someone who isn’t making a lot of money; just to subsidize those who can’t afford health insurance.
Honestly, if people believed that they should be required to bring their W2’s with them whenever they go shopping, and the amount they pay for goods and services should be a graduated scale; with those making more paying more for a loaf of bread than someone making minimum wage. To say that the rich should be taxed at a higher rate than the poor only shows me that people think being rich is a crime; that people should not be allowed to enjoy the wealth they have.
Did you know that if you took the ten richest men and women in America and combined their wealth, it wouldn’t even put a dent into the national debt? That’s right, the ten richest people in this country couldn’t even pay off the national debt if you confiscated their wealth and applied it towards the amount of money our government has borrowed.
According to the source I used the following individuals are the ten wealthiest people in America, in descending order of wealth:
1) Jeff Bezos-$131.4 billion
2) Bill Gates-$96.4 billion
3) Warren Buffett-$82.6 billion
4) Larry Ellison-$62.4
5) Mark Zuckerberg-$62.1 billion
6) Larry Page-$60 billion
7) The Koch brothers Charles and David-$50.4 billion
8) Sergey Brin-$49.9 billion
9) Michael Bloomberg-$48/8 billion
10) Jim Walton-$44.6 billion
If you combined all that wealth it comes to the hefty sum of $738.9 billion; not even a trillion dollars, and our debt now stands at over 20 times that amount. So saying the rich should be taxed to pay for our government only shows that people don’t realize that no matter how much EVERYONE is taxed our government is still going to end up spending more than it takes in from taxes.
Do you know what the Gross Domestic Product is? It is the total value of goods and services produced in a country over the course of one year. The 2018 Gross Domestic Product for the United States was $20.5 trillion; meaning that the total value of everything this country produced last year would not be enough to pay off our national debt; and people think taxing the rich is going to solve this? Even if taxing all their wealth could pay off the debt, it would just go up again unless the government stopped spending more than it takes in from taxation…and I can guarantee that will NEVER happen; not so long as people expect government to subsidize their lives and fight wars we should not be involved in.
I’m sick and tired of all this class envy in America. People hate the rich because of their money, but then they whine and complain about their meager pay flipping burgers at a fast food joint because they are too lazy or too uneducated to find a better paying job.
I don’t make a lot of money, but it is enough to pay the bills and make sure my family does not go without food on the table. Yet every year the company I work for loses employees during the summer months when they find that it gets to be over 100 degrees inside the plant I work at, and with the humidity associated with adding steam to dried fruit so that it can be packaged the heat index puts it even higher. People just don’t want to work in conditions like that; they would rather work in a nice air conditioned office and get paid $25 per hour instead of sweating their ass off for $15 an hour.
There are jobs available in this country; jobs in critical demand that people simply do not know about or want because of the work involved, the location, or the environment they would have to work in. Mike Rowe, the star of TV’s Dirtiest Jobs, has a program where he takes applicants and trains them in vocational skills so that they can find good paying jobs. The only condition is that they be willing to relocate, and actually work to earn the pay.
I can’t count the number of people who I work with who think that simply showing up every day and putting in 8 hours is enough to earn their pay. Hell, they bitch and moan because they don’t get a good pay raise, and they don’t even earn what they get now. I think pay raises should be earned and based upon your performance on the job; not because you have been there for another year without quitting or getting fired for substandard performance.
Yet people envy and despise the rich for their wealth. Listen, each of us is responsible only for our own existence; we should not be envious or jealous of others who have succeeded; or even those who were born into a life of luxury. Screw them; I’m only concerned about me and providing a comfortable life for my family.
I’m not a huge fan of Theodore Roosevelt as a President, he did things which I totally disagree with. But once in awhile he would say something that I wholeheartedly agree with. For instance he once said, “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” Oh gee Neal, you mean I have to actually work to improve my life. To hell with that shit, let’s make someone else do the work and tax them so that I can sit on my ass and live a comfy life!
Then in his American Ideals and Other Essays, Social and Political, Roosevelt said something I absolutely love, “If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.”
We have lost that in America, that willingness to accept complete and total responsibility for our own lives, our own comfort, and our own security. It has been bred out of us through the media, our school system and through elected officials who promise you goodies at the expense of others.
Those we call our Founding Fathers would be astonished at the mindset of many people in this country today. For instance, Thomas Jefferson once said the following in a letter to Joseph Milligan, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
Yet isn’t that exactly what our government does today when it takes your tax dollars to provide funding for everything from a person’s basic existence to the costs of their children attending college? They didn’t sweat and bleed to earn that money; they didn’t wake up aching from a hard nights work to earn that money. Why should the money I earn be taken from me and given to them; simply because they NEED it? Like I hinted at, charity is fine if it comes from the heart of those giving, but when it is taken from you against your will, or spent upon programs you do not believe in or support, it is theft – pure and simple.
Then there is this, from Ben Franklin, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
It is just like Bastiat said in his book The Law, “Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.
But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain—and since labor is pain in itself—it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.
When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.”
Since those who don’t have see the rich as being success stories, they feel it is their right to plunder the wealth of others, even though they did not earn that wealth. It matters not that those who have wealth may have been born into it, for I’m forced to re-quote Thomas Jefferson who said, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” (My emphasis)
My belief is, to hell with the rich. So long as they don’t flaunt their wealth in my face or try to use it to force me to do things I disagree with, I don’t care how much money they have. To hell with those who envy and despise them because they don’t have that kind of wealth.
When it all boils down to basics each and every human being is only responsible for themselves. To ask, or expect that others shoulder the burden of providing you with an existence only shows me that you are a coward who is afraid to accept responsibility for your own life, your own choices, and your own mistakes. Let the rich keep their money, you should start worrying about improving your life instead of sitting around in envy of those who have more than you.
And that’s all I have to say about that.