Monday, March 7, 2011

I Don't Hate Rich People

Generally speaking, I bear no animosity towards a person of wealth. If someone diligently labors, saves money, innovates, invents, takes risks, invests, starts a business, works hard, grows their wealth, hires people, is honest and fair, pays a fair proportionate share of taxes, contributes to the community, advocates family values, is kind to the less fortunate, benefits society, gives to charity, doesn't engage in criminal activities, and then one day becomes a multi-millionaire, that is a noble person with good character.

And if that person passes away and leaves their fortune to a moronic, snot-nosed, spoiled, and undeserving heir, then that's their own personal business.

And if an over-paid sports hero, a semi-talented movie star, a cable news commentator, and a flash-in-the-pan rock band all became multi-millionaires, then God bless them too. I don't envy them, "Only in America", right?

When I attack and insult "rich and greedy people", I'm not referring to people like those I just described. I'm talking about people who use trickery, bribes, backroom deals, deception, shell games, treason, and murder to amass digital dollars at the expense of common honest workers (those who actually create something of value - REAL WEALTH). When I criticize, I'm only referring to people such as greedy hedge-fund managers, crooked investment bankers, deceitful and immoral CEOs, lying politicians, and psychotic news commentators.

I refer to all those who hide behind the anonymity of titles, wear masks, and commit crimes under the protections of limited liability - like those in charge of large corporations when they lie, cheat, steal, and kill for profit. And I hate the corrupt government leaders who advocate for, protect, and praise them.

And my group of "rich and greedy people" also includes the worst of the worst of the outlaws and criminals...drug kingpins, etc.

The problem I have is two-fold: First, psychotic news commentators such as Glenn Beck will have you believe that all these wealthy people belong in my first description of a wealthy person...the noble ones, and so therefore, they all should have the Bush tax cuts because after all, "When was the last time a poor man hired you?" Beck asks this a lot, and I would ask the 15 million unemployed, "When was the last time a rich man hired you?" (Are drug dealers hiring these days?)

Secondly, I resent the Republicans for only representing the interests of large American-based multi-national corporations (and big banks) and the richest of the rich, such as those who sold out our country by investing in foreign countries for cheaper labor. We pay higher prices for gasoline in America because American factories in China have created a higher demand for oil. The smog created in China by American factories (because of no environmental laws) blows our way too. Americans get screwed in every way from the outsourcing of jobs. Are these corporate officers being noble and patriotic?

Those are the ones that Glenn Beck wants us to love - the ones who supposedly "creates jobs", but instead sends them (and creates them) overseas. The Wall Street gangsters earn billions in digital dollars using "financial instruments", not building widgets. Then they insult the unemployed. Those are the ones that Glenn Beck wants us to love, those who supposedly "creates wealth".

These are the "rich and greedy people" I refer to, not the married immigrant couple who moved to this country, worked hard, saved money, started up a mom-and-pop diner, worked 80 hours a week over the course of years, and expanded it into a national restaurant chain across the country, and then becoming millionaires. That's realizing the "American Dream". If they had failed, would they have gotten a bail out?

When we debate the Bush tax cuts Glenn Beck wants you all to believe that everyone who has wealth, grows wealth legitimately, and deserves tax breaks because it's good for the economy, the country, and you. A talk-show radio jock like himself earning $34 million dollars a year would tell an amateur blogger like me who's living on government food stamps something like that...but I don't believe it for one minute, and neither should you. Why would you believe someone's rant who can personally benefit?

The GOP (and lots of crooked wealthy people) want the peons like you (earning less than $250k a year) to all believe Glenn Beck's reasoning, at the expense of our national deficit and national security. They don't give a damn about your grandchildren's national debt 50 years from now, they only care about their own personal wealth today. That's why they don't want to pay more taxes to pay down the deficit, or to support our older people in retirement (those on Social Security who busted their asses for the last 40 years slaving for them.)

I don't mind wealthy people at all; to me the rich are just like cops - so long as they don't bother me, I'm cool with them. I wouldn't mind being wealthy myself, if ever given the chance. But like most decent people in America and around the world, I wouldn't lie, cheat, and kill to acquire my wealth. I just hate the rich and greedy cheaters, liars, and murderers who do, and always seem to get away with it.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you Bud. It is a shame so many middle class people are so entangled in the (lotto odds) chance of become rich that they carry out the elite agenda like the pawns they are.

    I agree with you about applauding people who amassed wealth through honest service to society. But those people make very little, compared to elite mouth pieces like Mr. Beck. In fact, our society seems to reward people inversely to their contribution.

    In business school, my professor taught us about the necessity of exploitation in business. I raised my hand in dissent. Then he explained exploitation means getting more from a resource than you pay for it - necessary for a profit-based business. He went on to explain exploitation does not require violation. I wanted to believe it was true, that I could earn a respectable living with integrity.

    I believed the public mission statements of corporations, refrained from sexing my way up the corporate ladder, thought open door policies were genuine and vocalized my suggestions for providing better service, opened my own business and etched a new standard of excellence ... only to be taken down by greed of competitors and suppliers. Despite extended education, exceptional performance and unsurpassed integrity (or probably because of it), the American Dream turned out to be a nightmare.

    Most of the deception starts by decree from the top ... but is carried out by upper middle class professionals. Those who refuse to participate or actively oppose wrong action get the axe. An underlying problem with this brand of capitalism is corporate responsibility to increase share holder wealth at any cost.

    Unless and until big players are held personally accountable through financial penalties and prison time for the results of their actions, corporate success is going to continue to be inversely related to social value.