The election year is going to be fierce and brutal, and the fight’s already begun. People have taken sides, but many are still on the fence. In my opinion “income equality” is possibly the worst topic to even be brought up for any reason. At my job, I constantly hear clients and customers complain that they can’t pay their bills because they’re on a fixed income. Every time, I want to say either, “We all are,” or “Get another job.” Brutal as that sounds, but hey, life is brutal.
A good friend of mine caught my eye with a Facebook Post, and I asked him to expand on his thoughts by writing a guest post for my blog. He was delighted to and this is the result.
By Kyle Richardson, @intersectionpdx
This election cycle we’ve been hearing a lot about “income inequality” and ensuring the wealthy pay their “fair share”. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator running for the Democratic nomination for president, is quoted saying: “Message to the billionaire class: You can’t have it all!” His implication being there is a metaphorical piñata and the rich have somehow managed to shove all those poor folks aside and grab every last bit of stale candy that has busted out. Sorry kid, you snooze you lose.
And many have jumped on the Hate-The-Rich Express headed for Prosperityville, believing the lie that the wealthy 1% have stolen what is rightfully yours and tucked it safely away in some Cayman Islands bank account. But the beauty of capitalism, specifically American capitalism, is that there is no finite amount of capital to be had. The rich have not stolen your money (the government has, but that’s another story).
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the top 1% have managed to get rich by beating the system and finding every single tax loophole that exists. How does that affect your life? How is their wealth preventing your prosperity? The fact that an actor makes $13 million a movie has no bearing on my life whatsoever (or maybe that’s why movie ticket prices are so high? Ok, never mind…Occupy Hollywood!).
The market is ripe for the taking, you just need the drive to take it. Granted, this may require some effort in the form of education, humility, and work ethic, but no one is stopping you from being a doctor, a stockbroker, or a manager. The great thing about American values is that through freedom, we are all given the power of choice. We choose our destiny. No, we may not all start at the same place in life, but we don’t live in a caste system and we have the economic flexibility to determine our own path.
To quote another individual running for office, this one from the Republican field: “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.” (Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story)
Perhaps if we stopped focusing on other’s success we might have more time and energy to focus on our own.
No, not all incomes are equal, but all incomes are possible.