Yesterday I saw a quote by Condi Rice, about the sense of entitlement syndrome engendered in youth who are taught bitterness and anger. I agree that “entitlementality” is antithetical to the best interests of ANYONE, and that people will succeed with fortitude by taking personal responsibility and rejecting a belief that the government and/or “the rich” owes them something. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam has created a bit of that in us, from our very first paycheck. Now it seems like a rip-off if we say ‘Nope, we aren’t entitled to Social Security’. It was the slippery slope. The bureaucratic monster we allowed to protect us is now capable of feeding itself without our permission, and we may all be devoured if we do not pull ourselves out of the swamp, cut spending drastically, and grow the economy exponentially. We must build a bridge to the new era. It can be done, but we must not allow class warriors to manipulate our emotions and supplant our logic with their agendas. Taxes must be restructured ethically for all. The spending and inconceivable Federal debt is the bigger culprit, for taxes are limited due to their work-force basis and other economic factors.
During the Obama administration, I have observed that class division and race-related attitudes became more rampant in public and private discourse. Even people whom I would never have suspected of such, have made surprising remarks. I believe our President has set a terrible example, and allowed hate and bias to be tolerated and encouraged. This is unacceptable, and must be called for what it is: class warfare and racism. I don’t need to comment on the violence and hatred that arises from tolerated racism. I will stick to the class issue for now. To vilify due to class or income erodes a cultural premise that the USA is a melting pot for classes and ethnicities, and the cherished ideal that one can succeed, become better off, without being punished for it. A rising tide raises all boats.
It is purely prejudicial to characterize unfairly, based on class and income. Wealthy and successful people create jobs and investments for beneficial projects and ideas, corporations that further mutual societal goals, provide professional services, power, transportation, food, medicine, art, recreation, entertainment, and far too many benefits to list here. Without these high income and high energy people, lifestyles around the world would deteriorate, commerce would suffer, and the pursuit of happiness for all would become more difficult. Not to mention the liberty we have enjoyed in the USA is being threatened. The USA’s individuality, freedom of thought and action within a constitutional regulated society, and idealism have been the touchstone for the world. With 16 trillion debt and rising, our astonishing anti-capitalist class warrior president is approving UN agreements contravening our constitutional rights and suppressing domestic productivity and entrepreneurship while telling us he is looking out for us. Fortunately, many are finally seeing through his ambiguous rhetoric to his actions which are enabling and encouraging negative attitudes toward the USA, and national security to be jeopardized badly.
This undertone of disdain for people in higher income and wealthy status is very dangerous to our nation and culture. There are rotten apples in all categories and classes, as we all know, yet these are not the model or the norm. Unethical greedy politicians and corporate leaders eventually pay for transgressions, or will do so. Fortunately, there are more good ones than bad ones. It is hypocritical (and illogical) to disparage and torment the wealthy and high income citizens unjustly for their successes, while using and enjoying the products and services they have enabled. It indicates a basic disconnect of intelligence with reality.
The US tax code and the IRS have contributed to inadvertent economic inequalities. We should eliminate the Federal tax code and use a simple tax with no loopholes. The higher incomes will pay more in pure dollars as the percentages apply equally to all. The lower income individual will pay less, as the income is less. Anything other than a pure percentage is prejudicial and detrimental, for the successful will feel punished and compensate, underachieve, or move offshore while the less successful, if rewarded for failure by incentives or tax relief, will be denied the necessity and privilege of learning and remodeling to achieve success. It’s a law of the universe. What is rewarded grows. What is punished shrinks. Thus it is important to reward and punish the correct things, to assure survival.
We should also validate and nurture the people whose professions assist us daily in the operation and maintenance of our lives, including but not limited to firemen, police, teachers, EMTs, medical workers, etc. Individual states, companies, community groups, benefactors, and voluntary competitive unions can assist this. In a regulated market-driven economy without Federal bureaucratic suppression, this can occur more easily. Most people have high motivations until they are tarnished, suppressed, or invalidated heavily. This is true of all people, including the wealthy and high income producers. We should cherish our creators of culture and opportunity, in all classes and categories.
One such inspiring former CEO is Mr. Earl Bakken, the Founder of Medtronic. A radio and electronics repairman who started in his garage after World War II, he was so good that a local hospital near him called him to make a gadget to save the lives of children with heart problems. For the last half-century, his efforts enabled the extension and enhancement of the lives of millions with his invention of the cardiac pacemaker. In his rise to corporate billionaire, he created jobs for hundreds of thousands, for this beneficial purpose. He continues his research and financial benevolence in retirement. His company over the last few years has expanded in novel therapies to cure heart arrhythmia without the need for pacemakers and drugs in certain instances. This is just one of many stories of entrepreneurs and job creators with inspiring and enabling conditions in which to do business in the USA.
Politicians are OUR employees, we the people. The Politicians should NOT be allowed to retire on our tax money, nor benefit from the “revolving door” as many do. They should have the same “rules” for healthcare that all citizens do. In this regard, WE must diagnose them as dangerous to our health, and remove from office by the constitutional process, when they violate or weaken our constitution and liberty that was bought with the blood, bravery, and benevolence of our ancestors and protected and saved by our cherished military. To do otherwise is to dishonor them and Divine Providence of which George Washington spoke.
Larry Wayne Brown