Jewish World Review Nov 3, 2011 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772
Who Are These Fat-Cat Few at the Top?
By Victor Davis Hanson
Do they include the greedy doctors, who, the president once asserted, recklessly lop off limbs and yank tonsils for profits? Is my urologist a dreaded one-percenter? He found out what was causing my kidney stones but probably makes good money. Was a nearby farmer one, too? I bet he makes over
I am writing this essay on a MacBook Pro laptop. So I wonder, was the late Apple CEO
Did Johnny Depp really have to earn
Do this administration and its supporters really wish to separate millions of diverse Americans by a moral divide of the "few at the top"? Are liberals like Sens.
So do we really want to go down this them/us road? Using a new financial redline crudely to divide us is a tricky business. Those most likely to fly corporate jets are precisely the elite who show up at the president's mega-fundraisers and play golf with him on the world's most exclusive courses -- or visit
In a larger sense, we should remember a few things about the new orchestrated envy of, and animosity toward, the better-off. Most Americans each day depend on our medical care, our retirement packages, our food, our gas and our computers from exactly these "few at the top" who seem to enrich rather than prey on society.
The BMWs or Porsches of the one-percenters aren't that much faster, quieter or safer than our Chevys and Hondas. Damning the wealthy nonstop is often an embarrassing symptom of one's own longing, even obsession, for the perks and attention that wealth brings. And if we really want more tax revenue, there is far more to be had from the nearly 50 percent of American households that pay no federal income tax than from the one percent that now pays 37 percent of all the collected revenue.
In short, a confident, successful society neither idolizes nor demonizes its rich, but instead believes that wealth can be created rather than taken from others. And it simply judges the better-off by the content of their characters, not the size of their wallets.
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2011, TMS