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1% is such a small number of people to hate after all. It should be expanded to 9.9% so that includes so many more people worthy of righteous indignation and disdain. And, conveniently, the article says, “You’re probably part of the problem.” And what is the problem? This group is successful and they pass that success on to their offspring. “The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children.” I’m not sure how their success, and sharing that success with their kids, which is what humans have always done, means others suffer. If Ogg the caveman is a better hunter his children will get more meat.
“One of the hazards of life in the 9.9 percent is that our necks get stuck in the upward position. We gaze upon the 0.1 percent with a mixture of awe, envy, and eagerness to obey. As a consequence, we are missing the other big story of our time. We have left the 90 percent in the dust—and we’ve been quietly tossing down roadblocks behind us to make sure that they never catch up.”
The author talks about wealth inequality and uses some charts and graphs to explain how bad that gap is. He explains, “We are the people of good family, good health, good schools, good neighborhoods, and good jobs. We may want to call ourselves the “5Gs” rather than the 9.9 percent. We are so far from the not-so-good people on all of these dimensions, we are beginning to resemble a new species.” Only humans can say success is a bad thing. In the evolution of the animal kingdom greater health and survivability is the goal. At this point he still hasn’t explained just how the 9.9% are crushing the dreams of the 90% or how their success harms others.
Then, toward the end of this very long article, we get the sentence that most commonly proceeds socialism. I imagine Marx himself once thought or said this exact thing:
“We’re leaving the 90 percent and their offspring far behind in a cloud of debts and bad life choices that they somehow can’t stop themselves from making.”
Behold the condescension of socialism. You lesser people, you can’t help but be lesser people. It’s not your fault. In fact it might be my fault. I see that now, it’s my fault. Let me help undo what I’ve done. It’s not your fault. It’s mine. I should be the one to fix it.
Fix what? Their life of course. How do you fix a life?
Well, first off, don’t get messed up in life to begin with. Why, if you aren’t born then you never have to worry. And if you aren’t born your parents won’t be burdened with you.
The author explains it like this: We tend to overlook the fact that parenting is more expensive and motherhood more hazardous in the United States than in any other developed country, that campaigns against family planning and reproductive rights are an assault on the families of the bottom 90 percent, and that law-and-order politics serves to keep even more of them down.
Family planning is a euphemism for abortion.
The next solution is free college. The 9.9% get into private schools and colleges. It is unfair. So everyone needs that. “But the fact is that degree holders earn so much more than the rest not primarily because they are better at their job, but because they mostly take different categories of jobs.” Yes, that is why they go get an education so they don’t have to flip burgers. So, if that works for them, then it will work for everyone.
The author then goes on and on and on. He explains the poor health of the “working class” which of course would be fixed with free healthcare. He explains their resentment of the 9.9% is why Trump won. Greater redistribution of wealth will smooth over the masses. Placation always works with a crying baby.
Then he rips apart his own argument when he discusses his grandfather who was one of the working class, coming from “modest circumstances” but made it good in America. Sure, Gramps did it, but no one today could. Even though we know there are more new billionaires added to the list in American than in any other country on earth.
Then he concludes that it has to be done for the little guy which, he must admit, “Yes, the kind of change that really matters is going to require action from the federal government.”
Rich people are so thoughtful aren’t they?
No. What they really are – for what reason I cannot comprehend – is guilty.
That leads me to understand that socialism is a coping mechanism for the psychological pain people feel. We all know it isn’t a viable economic system. It’s impossible. It continues to come up because people continue to rely on emotion. It’s amazing how much rationalizing goes into that too. But that is required to avoid the emotion.
Leftism, socialism, just like rightism and fascism, stem from a flaw in the human psyche and a flaw in the way people process their own emotions. It’s a broken way of thinking the mind creates to avoid the stress of dealing with deeper issues. By pointing to someone outside the issue is transferred. You aren’t the problem, the poor are. You aren’t the problem, your parents are. Look to the past, look t the future, but don’t dare look at yourself.
Why is he guilty? I can think of a few reasons. But mainly it is likely that he suffers from not feeling like a “real man”. He didn’t earn what he has, he was handed to him. Therefore, he isn’t worthy of his success. How then does he fix that? By doing the exact thing for which he feels guilty – handing money to someone who didn’t earn it. If not earning his wealth makes him feel bad, why does he think that the same thing will make someone else feel good? Welfare, while useful as a temporary measure, does not produce mentally healthy individuals. Long term welfare, we know, is bad for the human condition.
So why doesn’t he do something real about it? That’s a great question. The reason is fear. Which, by the way, just makes his emotions even worse. He’s not a man because life was handed to him, but he’s too afraid to act like a man and take a chance. He could give away all his wealth that was handed to him by parents so dear. He could, but certainly doesn’t want to. He’s afraid to give it all up. Afraid of failure. Afraid of what life would be like without the cash. Afraid of how his wife and kids would react to dad as a poor man struggling to climb back up to a station in life he once had but gave up.
The poor, of course, like socialism. They too are afraid. Life is hard and if someone is going to hand them something to make it easier while not requiring one ounce of work more on their part, why who wouldn’t want that!? They too are guilty. Guilty that they don’t have more. Guilty that they didn’t do something else that might have led them to riches and fame. Guilty that their own kids don’t get to go to college.
Guilt and fear drive both sides of socialism. It feels like a match made in heaven.
I’m guilty because I’m rich and didn’t’ earn it. I’m guilty because I’m poor and my family will suffer as a result. One feels better by giving and the other by taking. Neither one realizing that it is only a temporary measure. Eventually, as we all have heard, the money runs dry. The giver can’t give anymore. Like all schemes it then comes crashing down. Anyone caught up in the scheme crashes with it.
The gilded future of the top 10 percent—and the end of opportunity for everyone else