The National Whig

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Eat the Rich

It has become common in Western Civilization's culture to mistrust, badmouth and loath the wealthy. There are always cries of them not paying their "fair share" when it comes to taxes, or even the all too common refrain that they use their wealth to buy influence with power brokers, thereby protecting their estates from the clutches of government. However, it is important to note that this line of thinking is dangerous to the future prosperity of Western Civilization. "Why," you ask? Simply put, everyone of us wishes to be rich. Each and everyone of us strive to become financially and economically free. So, if the majority of the middle class continues to bemoan the rich, it will only become a matter of time before any opportunity for the middle class to become rich disappears.

For starters, when the rich offer monetary support to the campaigns of politicians, the middle class on both ends of the political spectrum benefit. When rich conservatives give to political conservatives, would it not stand to reason that all conservatives benefit regardless of income or wealth? And visa versa with the left. Stephen Pollard, writing for The Sunday Times(U.K.), has a piece titled "Our mistrust of the rich is absurd" and in it he makes the case that in the U.K. there is a subtle push to make it illegal for the rich to donate, consort or otherwise be aquaintences with politicians. He begins his piece with this, "I have no idea what happened when Lord Levy raised funds for the Labour Party. I don’t know what he said to would-be donors. I don’t know what, if anything, he offered them. I don’t know what, if anything, they demanded in return. Nor do you. Nor do the police. Nor does anyone, except Lord Levy and the people to whom he spoke. But that hasn’t stopped almost everyone from assuming that something fishy has been going on." The two key points to his opening is that the police investigated Levy's political campaign contributions and that "almost everyone" believes that this means something untoward was done or has been done. First, as a result of the police investigation, and subsequently the release of the report to the Crown Prosecution Service, no legal action has been made against Lord Levy. Second, the gears of the justice system in this case seem to be turning, not at the behest of the law, but at the command of public opinion brought forth by a festering distain for the wealthy.

Here in the United States, we have our own problems with the rich--well, I don't, but the "people" appear to. We have laws designed to quash any attempt to "influence" politicians with large sums of money--yet the money seems to continue to flow and at greater rates than before. We even have a major political party dedicated to the quest of ending the persuit of wealth. Of course the rhetoric is disguised as helping the poor, or reversing the concentration of wealth or even, as Democrat Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton likes to put it, "shared prosperity." But make no mistake, there is no attempt here to do any of the things supposedly desired. You see the politicians making these arguments are already pretty well-to-do and don't really need to have an income. Let's take a look at some of the biggest Democrat backers and what they think about income taxes.

1) Warren Buffet: According to Wikipedia, Mr. Buffet has an income of roughly $100,000 yet his net worth is $52 billion(US). Mr. Buffet is a big proponent of raising the income tax rates from where they are today. He even claims that his secretary is paying more in income taxes than he is. (For what it's worht, I believe his secretary works and resides in New York city, so he may also be calculating her state income taxes as well.) Here's the nut of the story though, Mr. Buffet can reasonably afford to pay the higher tax rates because he already has accrued $52 billion in wealth. As long as there is no tax on wealth, Mr. Buffet will be a huge fan of the income tax.

2) Bill and Hillary Clinton: According to The New York Times they are both worth between $10 and $50 million. Like Mr. Buffet, both are bigger fans of the income tax than Hillary is a fan for the Yankees. Former President Clinton implemented one of the highest tax increases in the nation's history, while possible President Clinton has promised to allow the tax cuts of President Bush to expire, as they are sunsetted and will go back to her husband's rates in 2010. She laments that today we have a government "of the few" and suggests that we begin to "replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity." She also prefers a "we're in it together" society, meaning she is all for socialism, more so than ever now that she has emassed her own wealth.

3) John "The Breck Girl" Edwards: We have all heard of his $400 haircuts and his large mansion in North Carolina, but what is John Edwards's net worth? Well, USAToday has it at somewhere between $12.8 to $60 million. What is Edwards's message on the Presidential campaign trail? Basically, President Bush gave a big break to his rich friends in the form of tax cuts. Typical Democrat drivel when it comes to tax policy. Mr. Edwards has opened up a poverty research facility at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He has recently kicked off a tour of the country to personally get to know those who have been struck by poverty. All the while,his policies will do nothing to alleviate the plight of the poor and he gets $400 haircuts. Edwards, like all the rest of the Left, has wealth and therefore his income is not that important to him. This makes him a huge fan of the income tax.

So, how do politicians with large sums of wealth of their own get away with badmouthing the rich? Well, to put it quite simply, the "people." That's right, Democrats, socialists and border line Marxists would not have a leg to stand on in this country if the "people" were not so quick to hold a low opinion of the wealthy. It boils down to class envy. The rich are hated, not because they stole what they have--the common sentiment felt by most of the middle class--but because the "people" don't have what they have. You don't believe me? You think the "people" are happy in their financial state? Then tell me why lotteries across the country are so popular? How is Los Vegas still thriving? Why do you get up and go to college and then to work? Because we all want to be rich, and while we persue that goal we will do whatever we can to tear down those who have beaten us to the punch. Class envy works for politicians because the "people" are, quite frankly, economically stupid. The only people that class envy, and the politicians that rise to power because of it, hurts are the ones who are envious.

Sources: If you haven't read any of these, I strongly recommend that you do so.
1) The Times:

2) The New York Sun and Hillary:

3) Warren Buffet's wealth:

4) The New York Times and the Clintons:

5) John "The Breck Girl" Edwards: