I DO NOT HATE THE RICH.
Now that we got that out of the way, rich to me is when you can pay the bills and not worry. The rich we are going to discuss are multi-billionaires. People who could pay all our bills and still afford to purchase an apartment building or two in Manhattan. Good for them.
First off, I am a little sick and tired that anyone who hates social injustices or wants to keep the safety nets in place here in the US or wants the rich to pay more taxes is called out as "demonizing the wealthy". We have to be nice to them because they "create the jobs" and why should we tax them so heavily because of all the good they do. Oh the stupid, it hurts.
The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Astors, Fricks, and all the original robber barons if you will, created empires and were amazing philanthropists that actually cared about the foundations they set up to help those less fortunate than themselves. These days, it is all about getting a tax deduction and corporate lobbying in DC. Sure we all figured that was happening, but I had no idea just how bad it had gotten.
I watched Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream this weekend and I am still seething. While I have been well aware of the influence of the uber rich: Koch brothers (Human versions of Monsanto in my book) and others just like them, for some reason it pushed me over the edge and I am having a very hard time coming back. My anger has boiled over into something indescribable. Some of the repugnant players: Paul Ryan, Steve Schwarzman, John Thain, and the ever present Koch brothers. The bottom line is all their so called patriotism and Libertarianism is a farce as it only cares to cater to the rich.
As for the ongoing worship of Atlas Shrugged, just stop. Seriously. STOP. I am looking at you Paul Ryan.
Ayn Rand was full of it you know why? She was 'persuaded' to take Social Security and Medicare near the end years of her life. The same programs she believed were evil and should be abolished, she too part in. Proof that no one's principles are so black and white.
The worst part of the documentary was seeing how 400 people in the US who have more money than some small nations, control the political landscape. They have also gotten the right politicians in their pockets: Charles Schumer of NY, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, (Clearly that state has some issues), John McCain of Arizona and quite a few more. These same politicians stir the pot by getting the middle class, those who still believe in the ridiculous joke that was the American Dream, to hate on the lower classes. They say the poor are what are draining this country's resources and they say they do not pay taxes.
My head exploded. They pay taxes the poor, but you know, old Ethel eating cat food does not pay taxes on her social security because she can't. She does pay property tax and sales tax and every other tax. Their strategy of let's blame the poor elderly folks and those born into poverty for the lack of success in America as worked and it is pitiful. God forbid anyone suggests that Wal-Mart, Google, Apple, etc not paying million in taxes thanks to generous loopholes and offshore banking is not the problem. Soldiers are dying in far flung lands not for freedom, but for the greed of Corporations. Lord help us all.
What also burns me is that you have all these middle class and upper middle class and even some millionaires thinking if they just work harder they can reach that plateau of infinite wealth. Uh, no. Most billionaires are born my friend. Mitt Romney had a whole silver place setting in his mouth at birth and so did the Kochs. Unless you are willing to throw your Nation under the bus via sub-prime mortgages and live with the fall out, that makes you a hedge fund guy, your mobility is limited. Mark Zuckerberg you say. I say, he came from money and his parents gave him the seed money so he is pure luck. Not smart, not savvy, he was and is lucky. Bottom line. Can't knock him for that, but don't think he is some sort of genius creator.
This is America. My country, but now...I don't recognize it. Sure we have growing pains, as we are still a relatively young nation compared with the rest of the world, but when did we lose our empathy? People have become increasingly obsessed with only making money and who has the biggest Johnson on the table which in turn has made us more vile and selfish. What type of person do you have to be to want to get rid of health care for the poor or even food stamps???? Wouldn't you want a poor person to have coverage instead of having hospitals losing money hand over fist because they do charity care and will not turn someone away? Do you really believe someone who lost their job and can't find work should not be allowed to use a food pantry? Are you kidding? Shouldn't we get mad at people who think that way?? Instead, we are diverted to get mad at Teacher's Unions for protecting their jobs or firemen or police officers or abortion clinics. Anything to keep us away from seeing Wal-Mart exploiting temp workers and Congress not passing a bill to increase the minimum wage.
There is something seriously wrong here.
Of course there is no perfect place in the world, but there has got to be somewhere where the citizens are shown a little more respect than this. In the US I find there to be an odd misconception by some that we are the only free nation and the only perfect place to live. Not lately buddy.
Thanks to the ridiculous worship of people who have the money, yet the blind eye to how they can manipulate policy is downright appalling. I firmly believe we need more than just Republicans and Democrats to vote for. That is right. The two party system sucks. The Tea Party is a joke because it is a somewhat radical version of the GOP, but just barely. People are easily persuaded to want less government not realizing what that actually means. Who do you think handles your schools, roads, Medicare, etc? Privatization is not always the right answer either because you still need regulations which the Kochs and their ilk are against, so what is a country to do? Lots of social programs here need to be re-hauled and our infrastructure needs some serious attention as well. We are talking billions of dollars of repairs and restructuring, something we just do not have. It is a serious conundrum.
I still see blogs/comments of everyday Americans who are struggling due to outsourcing, redundancies. I want the House and the Senate to hear the voices of those they consider lazy because they are unemployed or getting food stamps. People who bought into that broken dream of "work hard and you will go far". I knew long ago how the playing field was so skewed and out of a lot of people's reach. In truth, it does not bother me. I don't need to be a billionaire to be happy. What really bothers me is how many of my fellow Americans still buy into the consumerism, the big house, the two cars and the other addled lifestyles peddled by reality television. I guess I could say to each his own, but in the end, we are the ones who will suffer at the hands of the incredibly, massively wealthy as they push their agendas that do more harm than good. I do not ask you to agree with me. I only ask you think about this topic and challenge your own views. Believe me, there are parts of Libertarianism I agree with. Personal responsibility is one of them and crucial, but stop for a moment. If you honestly think every single person getting some type of assistance was so happy to go apply, and that they have not tried to get off of it or make their lives better, but due to circumstance they have not been able to life themselves up, you are what is helping hurt American more and more. You are feeding into the frenzy that everyone is lazy and useless. That anyone can make it and without help. All of us could use a little help from their friends. (Thank you Beatles.) Don't believe otherwise.
Do not worship the filthy rich. You can admire them, maybe even get inspired by them, but do not treat them as gods, for remember, gods had their wrathful moments and it was never pretty.