Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The rich are not special"

Just love this essay by James Moore at HuffingtonPost - below are some highlights:

. . . There is something troubling about the collective American consciousness that enables us to elect persons of privilege to a job whose most basic requirement ought to be a first hand understanding of economic struggle. Like the two Republican Bush presidents, Mitt Romney has always had a soft place to fall. In 1975, when he left Harvard, he went straight to Wall Street with a class of business school graduates who became consultants instead of employees. The mortgage his dad told him to deal with first was probably never a big worry and when Mitt landed at Bain Capital in 1977 he was launched on the business career that is somehow supposed to qualify him for the White House. Please explain how being successful at an investment fund trains an individual for dealing with foreign policy, a stubborn congress, and a lagging economy.
We Americans celebrate wealth and business success as if it were a form of religion. Of course, people who work hard and accomplish their goals, financial, material, or even spiritual, ought to be admired because they contribute to the advancement of our culture. But the rich are not necessarily special; they tend to be prepared and lucky. Their money is generally not the consequence of any intellect or insight that can translate to leadership or government. We simply want to believe that is how they earned it.
. . . There isn't any class warfare in America. We are all participants in the same game and some of us have greater advantages and use them to gain wealth but that doesn't mean the rich should be president. I've often thought the difference between the two political parties was that one was rolling down the highway in a nice new car and ignoring all of those who had fallen into the ditch while the other party was slowing down and pulling over to help get the stranded travelers back on the road. Capitalism is imperfect and x amount of effort does not necessarily produce y amount of results. Some of us end up in the ditch. People fail for many reasons. But almost all of them are trying. Our national discourse is over how we provide assistance.
We've had wealthy presidents in the past and some have had greatness. Our greatest president, however, came from a log cabin and understood the common man's struggle, and it is not about corporate tax cuts. Leadership is a product of intimate understanding, which rarely is a consequence of wealth. But America has only two types of citizens: millionaires and those of us who very shortly expect to be millionaires. The result is we admire money and project onto the wealthy characteristics they often do not possess.
And putting those people into the White House tends to be a grave mistake.



Post a Comment

<< Home