By QMC, USN (Ret)
Tax the rich, feed the poor
‘Til there are no rich no more
Ten Years After
In 1971, Alvin Lee, the front man of the British band “Ten Years After” told us that he’d love to change the world, but he seemed to be a little bit unsure of how best to accomplish that minor task. So, he left it up to the rest of us. In the ensuing 4+ decades, for better or for (mostly) worse, a whole lot of people have taken Alvin up on his challenge.
While I noticed the fact that he mentioned them, I’m not sure what Alvin thought we should do about dykes and fairies (his words, not mine), since he only wondered where is sanity. But not to worry, since five lawyers in black robes have informed us as to how an “enlightened society” should define sanity. Problem “solved.” World changed (at least our part of it).
But I mention that issue as an afterthought. The lyrics from that song that always stuck with me are the ones that I put at the top of this piece. Again, I can’t really tell whether or not Alvin thought that this was a good idea, a bad idea, or just something that rhymed nicely, but there are a whole lot of “social justice” types who appear to believe that he wrote the featured recipe in the cookbook for a perfect society. If we could just take the money from those nasty rich folks that don’t need it anyway, we can solve the “problem” of income inequality. There will be perfect harmony, abundance for all, and presumably unicorns will roam the forests.
Of course there’s one teeny-weensy problem with this scenario. From (in my opinion) the greatest statesman (Stateswoman? States-person? Hell, I don’t know) of my lifetime:
Redistributing wealth is like treating cancer with pain-killers. While you may feel better for a while, all that you’re really doing is providing yourself with a reason for not getting rid of the thing that’s going to keep growing inside of you until it kills you.
Simple Fact of Life #1: Most rich people are rich because they did something to become rich.
Income inequality should not be seen as a problem. It should be seen as a motivation. If you’re upset about your income level, do something productive to raise it. If you’re envious of your boss, don’t complain, become the boss. Not so easy, you say? Well, you’re right. But it probably wasn’t easy for your boss either. Most bosses didn’t start out as the boss. They did something right; did something better than anyone else; did something to earn the position that they hold. And if they screw it up, they won’t be bosses for long. But if they do it right, the sky’s the limit. Now me, I’m not one of those rich people. I do okay, but that’s about it. But I don’t complain about those others who do much better, because I know that my situation is the result of the decisions that I’ve made over the last several decades. I could have done more, or I could have done less. I could be better off, or I could be worse off. But my situation is the result of my choices, not those of some millionaire. So I don’t complain. And neither should you.
Oh, but it’s so tempting to listen to the siren song of the politicians who tell you that they can fix all of your problems, if only you vote them into office. Your poverty isn’t your fault, someone else is to blame. But that’s okay, because those “leaders” truly care about you, and they will surely make everything right and fair and equal. And you really want to believe them when they say things like “I’ve been fighting for the middle class my whole adult life.”
Simple Fact of Life #2: If you’ve been fighting your whole life, and you’re still fighting, then you really suck as a fighter.
So I’ll leave you with one more bit of truth from Maggie. And thanks to Ten Years After for the inspiration.