In a Washington Post editorial titled, “Rich people are being ‘demonized’ for flaunting their wealth. Poor dears!”, Barbara Ehrenreich writes yet another screed about how the “rich” really are different – and apparently evil. She facetiously laments how they are demonized, the “poor dears”, while doing exactly that.
Her second paragraph tells you where all of this is going.
At a time when poverty is soaring, unemployment hovers grimly above 9 percent and growing numbers of Americans suffer from “food insecurity” — the official euphemism for hunger — this concern may seem a tad esoteric. At a time when executive compensation is reaching dizzying new levels and the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing as fast as the federal deficit, it may even seem a little perverse.
What I want to know is when it became a crime to be rich? It is no surprise that those who have more money, i.e. “the rich”, can withstand a period of economic downturn better than those who have less, but instead of the “progressives” focusing on bringing the lower brackets up, they just want to bring the top down. In truth, it has little to do with the “rich” being rich, it is about an insatiable thirst for money to feed the welfare state, Ms. Ehrenreich and her cronies all have the same collectivist disease – class envy. Notice that I didn’t say class warfare, because it isn’t – it is envy, pure and simple.
Don’t believe me? Try this quote on for size:
Flaunting is fashionable again, even when it flouts common sense. The Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer is selling a diamond-accented, gold- or titanium-covered smartphone for $6,700, although it’s technologically less capable than a Samsung for about 2 percent of that price. Or for excess on a scale beyond wretched, consider Daphne Guinness, profiled at length in this past week’s New Yorker, who is apparently best known for wearing clothes, which she draws from a wardrobe of 2,500 garments, 450 pairs of shoes and 200 handbags. On the day she was interviewed, she wore a high-collared, presumably bespoke shirt by uber-designer Alexander McQueen, “a pave diamond brooch,” silver sheaths on two of her fingers and “custom-made sparkly silver Mary Janes, with a three inch platform under the toe” — not the heel, the toe. Well, to each her own, but she might as well walk around Manhattan wearing a sign saying “My husband stole your pension.”
I could be forgiven if her ire seems a little out of place when she complains about the spending habits of private citizens when the current occupant of the White House has a taste for the good life as well. Let’s look at what seems “perverse”, let’s just count the numerous golf outings, the elaborate White House galas, the trips to the homes of the rich and famous, the $10,000,000 allegedly spent by the First Lady on tastes of the good life – $42,000 bracelets for example – all in evidence during the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression.
It isn’t just the Obama’s but elected public officials like Nancy Pelosi using taxpayer funded assets to approximate personal wealth at public expense. I would propose that if Ms. Ehrenreich is truly a crusader for the downtrodden, she would be agonizing over public tax money spent in this manner rather than private money that was earned – and TAXED (I’m sure that she would take issue with the term “earned”, because we all just know* that the “rich” stole the money from the poor).
*The phrase “we all just know” is a standard “progressive” catch-all phrase used when there is no evidence other than conventional wisdom. Sort of like the “consensus” on global warming.
Looking at the underfunded public pensions and the state of Social Security, it is far more accurate for Michelle Obama to say, “My husband stole your pension” than any business leader. The Ponzi scheme that is Social Security is far larger and more grotesque that any private pension situation.
We just know the rich are different, but good ole Barb has a solution:
One solution would be for the super-rich to undergo intensive coaching in how to conduct themselves in our upstairs-downstairs, “hourglass” society: how to dress inconspicuously for the street, for example, or communicate with a valet parking attendant. Millions of Americans stand ready, for a nominal fee, to provide lessons in these and other daunting skills, such as how to purchase a bus ticket, should the need, God forbid, ever arise.
Showing that her ignorance of the Bible is at least as great as her ignorance of economics, she deliberately misquotes the Scriptures.
The alternative would be for our multi-millionaire class to confront their demonization at its root, which, as the Bible suggests, is money. They could join Warren Buffett and hundreds of other super-high earners in supporting increased taxes for the rich, or at least taxes as high as they were before the Bush tax cuts. It should feel good, even cathartic, to say, “Aw shucks, I’d like to pitch in — not just to help my country in its time of need — but because I’m darned if I know what to do with all this money.”
The actual quote from the KJV in 1Timothy 6:10 is:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Earning and having money is not evil; it is the loving of it more than loving God that is the true evil. That is not to say that there aren’t evil rich people out there, there are but there are also people who are subject to the sin of envy and covetousness, envy being listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was quoted as saying that “Covetousness is the greatest of monsters, as well as the root of all evil.” Epictetus (a Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135), stated that “Covetousness like jealousy, when it has taken root, never leaves a person, but with their life.”
Using 2009 tax data from the IRS, there were 236,883 tax returns filed with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $1,000,000 or more. That’s 0.2% of all 140,000,000 returns filed and 0.076% of the total US population. This group paid 20.4% of all income taxes. Think about that just a minute – less than three quarters of one tenth of one percent paid one fifth of all individual income taxes. Not one percent – one-tenth of one percent. “Progressives” will say that is only “fair” because they have more – I agree, and they are being penalized for it – but Obama and his “progressive” cabal want more.
Attacking 0.076% of the population while blaming these 236,000 people for the current deficit and debt situation is the cruelest ruse perpetrated on the American public. This is classic propaganda, bearing a direct resemblance of the communist propaganda used in the old USSR to control the thoughts of the public. It is a distraction from the true evil which is the waste and squander of the resources of the United States by its government. The Obama administration has to cover this up by distracting the public and creating the false perception that the “rich” are somehow evil for being successful.
I posted on this last week but Ted Leonsis, a multimillionaire internet pioneer and majority owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics – also a maxed out Obama donor, said it best:
Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.
This is a bad move all designed by some pollster who said this is the way to get votes during the re-election. It should be stopped. We should be healing and creating teams NOT dividing and pitting people against one another.
I voted for our President. I have maxed out on personal donations to his re-election campaign. I forgot his campaign wants to raise $1 billion. THAT is a lot of money–money–money–money! Money still talks. It blows my mind when I am asked for money as a donation at the same time I am getting blasted as being a bad guy!
Until I hear Barbara Ehrenreich issuing the same statements about members of our political class and they way they treat public money as their private largess, I will count her as just another covetous “progressive” hypocrite.