Thursday, April 14, 2011
Brain surgery is not rocket science to a brain surgeon.
Progressives are not Progressive. Capitalists Are!
Class Envy in America
Square Peg and a Round Hole
I started working on this post last week on general principal. Then I happened to find and tweet the linked article below representing the opposite, and what I will try to convince you is the completely wrong view of the same issue. No one controls the levers of opportunity and wealth over the rest of us, but the government is trying. Those who say otherwise are whiny, excuse driven losers.
I grow weary of the oh-so-tired nonsense about the poor are poor because the rich make them poor and won’t let them not be poor. How the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor is a social injustice yada, yada, yada…
Historically there is tremendous precedent and justification for these sentiments in just about every other country in the world. But not here. In virtually every other form of government in history wealth and power were concentrated and controlled by the highest levels of government. In antiquity that was usually a monarch whose wealth and power were a birthright. A family’s class and social status were fixed by centuries of tradition. It was the very, very rare case that one could make significant class improvement. Descending was more common. It usually meant you offended someone of a higher class and were demoted from wherever you were to prison or death. This model perpetuated through the middle ages in one form or another and right into the 18th century. The class system created a very justifiable class envy, class hatred and even class warfare yielding events like the French Revolution.
Monarchies are the ultimate example of small government. Forward to some more modern theories like socialism/communism which represent large, bureaucratic governments. It is very important to remember societies built under either extreme form a pyramid of a very small percentage of a population on top controlling the rest below.
It is unfortunate that the concept of class envy was imported to the new world because the fixed class system and oppression were not. What does it mean to ‘oppress’? It means to hold down. America was founded on the idea that no one is held down. Everyone has a chance to succeed…and fail. Not only does everyone have a chance to succeed and fail; they have unlimited chances to do both. There are as many riches to rags stories in this country as there are rags to riches stories. Even more, there are riches to rags to riches stories, rags to riches to rags stories and so on. Is the bar to success lower for some than others? Of course. No one should say otherwise. But how is that different among any species in nature? The biggest, strongest lions get to eat and mate first. The ones in the middle wait their turn, and the weakest die. Frankly, I like our system much better. You don’t have to be particularly smart, attractive, or strong to be successful. Just look at Congress! There is NOTHING unfair or unjust about our system. It provides more opportunity to more people than any system in the world. Many children of wealth and privilege fail. Many children of failed parents succeed. It is a simple matter of the will to try and never give up. That’s what America is all about. We started by beating unbeatable odds by winning a war against the most powerful nation on earth at the time. We have been beating the odds ever since as a nation only because every individual is encouraged to beat the odds on his own. No matter how we start out the odds of success are ALWAYS against us. No fortune is too big to lose, and no odds are too big to overcome. We the people of the United States of America are generations of the living proof!
I won’t say I’m Armenian-American because I would NEVER say I am anything before American. I am second generation American born of Armenian descent. For all you P.C. name maker-uppers and upgraders out there who constantly distill words like retarded, to gifted, to special, to challenged, to special needs, etc. need to realize that synonyms mean the same thing, carry the same meaning and can be used interchangeably as the same punch lines. Please stop denigrating those you seek to shelter from manufactured denigration and, for God’s sake, realize not all black skinned people come from Africa!
Americans are not repressed no matter how hard anyone tries to convince you otherwise. Disagree with me? Try this. Only two generations ago (circa 1910) my grandparents were among a lucky few to escape the then Turkish government-authored genocide against the Armenians that was to be the blueprint for Hitler’s attempted extermination of the Jews. (Special note: not all Germans were Nazis and not all Turks endorsed the party’s actions. Entire races or nationalities are never to blame.) My grandparents came here without money, possessions or any ability to speak English AND they were dark-skinned enough to be required to use the ‘colored’ facilities in the South. Once settled in Northeast Illinois my grandmother raised my father while my grandfather worked in the steel mills of Waukegan’s lake front. He lifted 300 lb. bails of steel onto trucks morning until night his entire career until he succumbed to colon cancer when my father was only 17. That left dad living in the ghetto with his non-English speaking mother, and no one else to care for them. My grandpa didn’t know much about succeeding in America, but he had learned one thing. Your best chance was college. It was the last thing he told my dad to do. My dad worked, took care of his mother, put himself through college, got a job, got married, built a house and moved to the suburbs. He had two sons, both of whom also went to college, received advanced degrees and are now raising families of their own in stability, security and happiness. Dad was only 30 years removed from war, genocide, illiteracy, immigration and poverty, folks. That is a story told by MILLIONS throughout our brief history. “But your grandparents weren’t slaves.” Actually, grandma was. The most demeaning, traumatic kind of slave a girl can be. Thanks for bringing it up. Name the countries that have provided this level of opportunity to the very lowest, most oppressed, most persecuted classes in the world since the beginning of time? Only The United States of America. ONLY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
Anyone can try to get a job, try to start a business, try to improve their circumstance. I mean try. This is the land of opportunities not guarantees. No one can guarantee success or failure. We can, however guarantee an unlimited number of do-overs. Only the United States of America.
There is nothing compassionate about creating dependence, as the progressives would have you believe. There are two kinds of “progressives.” Those who are truly well-intentioned, and those who understand the government-in-charge agenda, and take advantage of those who are truly well-intentioned.
Liberals are not progressive
Today’s self-described “progressives” believe the control of wealth should be centralized to the government and distributed according to their assessment of fairness. Based on this model all those becoming dependent on the distributions become controllable and will vote predictably. It is a painfully simple and effective strategy for a government inconvenienced by the need of citizens’ votes. But think about that for a moment. The government controls wealth and power. The government decides who get loans for college and who doesn’t. The government decides who qualifies for handouts and food stamps, etc. The government decides what’s fair. Does this sound familiar? Liberal and Progressive are used as synonyms. The meaning of both has been perverted! Modern liberal theory is the OLDEST theory of government on the planet. There is NOTHING “progressive” about it!! Government in control of individuals. The United States of America is the first societal institution to place individuals in charge of the government. Capitalism was championed as a way for everyone to improve his circumstance based on any combination of luck, hard work and smart work. Now, that is progressive! And it worked! In less than 2 centuries we became the richest, most powerful nation on earth with a standard of living the world has never known. Do you realize what an accomplishment that is? We did in less than 200 years what competing societies could not and did not want to accomplish for human rights and standards of living in spite of thousands of years head start.
For those who think the U.S. is mean, greedy, unfair, oppressive, etc. I don’t see you folks getting on make-shift rafts or sneaking across war torn borders at risk of death to get where you think it is so much better. Are you prepared to tell all those truly downtrodden people across the globe still risking their lives to get here to stay home? Are you prepared to trade places under temporary terms with any of those people so they can see how bad it is in America? Go ahead. See if they trade back. Are you prepared to tell my grandpa and grandma they were wrong?
Our Founding Fathers, for the first time, put the people in charge. They inverted the pyramid and created a place the truly repressed of the world have, do, and will always risk everything to get to. Do we have classes here as the competing author above suggests? Of course. What he fails to realize, understand or admit is that our classes are not locked. They have no ceilings above and no safety nets below. To suggest otherwise is a slap in the face to all those who have successfully crossed between them. I doubt you’ll find “YUPPIE” in a Libyan dictionary. If you were born here be grateful or trade places with someone who would have been.
Are we perfect? Of course not. There is no such thing. But we are a lot closer to perfect than systems that have the very privileged few, elected or otherwise, controlling the rest. Don’t insult all those who have risen from lower or discourage those who are trying to rise. Class envy does not fit here. Success, class, and wealth are very personally defined. Some consider themselves “wealthy” if they can pay their bills. Some consider themselves “poor” if they can only afford a Porsche and not a Lamborghini. The beauty is that neither is wrong in America! You are free to pursue YOUR ideal definition of class and standard of living. You are not subject to someone else’s idea about how well you live. But they’re trying!!!
To disparage capitalism and our form of government is to assume you are smarter than our Founding Fathers. You’re not. They didn’t start a company. They founded a successful nation. If you still think your idea is better go start your own country then give us a call in 200 years. Let us know how it’s going.
We always thank you for reading and…stay tuned!