“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” -- John Steinbeck
How do you, how does anyone defend the right of the 1% to be greedy, avaristic bastards?
I asked that question of a friend of a friend, a known moderate republican. Okay, so I might have softened the wording just a bit, but I got an immediate answer.
"I don't know why anyone begrudges another person the right to make a lot of money."
I let that sit for awhile and then followed up with this: "Don't you think someone who has become wealthy based in this system of free enterprise. Don't you think they owe something to country that gave them the freedom to make all that money?"
"What exactly did the government give them?"
I had to go with the obvious answer: "Well let's see. Roads and railways to transport their goods, the Internet to advertise and make sales. An educated workforce via the public school system. Tax breaks . . . shall I go on?"
"What do you think they should give back?"
"Well, first it would be nice if they paid taxes and didn't ship jobs out of the country."
"But both of those are legal."
"So, you're okay with someone dodging taxes using IRS loopholes, while you pay your fair share and you don't come home to a swimming pool, a vacation villa and half a dozen luxury cars?"
"I am perfectly find with it. It's called the American Dream."
Clearly, this lady and others like her have a very different Dream than I do. Though their view of fairness does remind me of what happens some dark nights, only I call them -- nightmares.
art credit: timeline photos