May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nov 3, 2011
6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772
Who Are These Fat-Cat Few at the Top?
Victor Davis Hanson
First lady Michelle Obama the other day railed at "the few at the top," who do all sorts of bad things. A few months ago, we began hearing of the "1 percent" who are responsible for the current economic mess. "They" apparently make all their money at the expense of the other 99 percent. Are they the same as last year's villains, who had not paid "their fair share" in making over $200,000 in annual income?
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 $200,000 but, like many other growers in this area, has found a way to produce beef and cotton more cheaply and efficiently than farmers in almost any other part of the world, thereby enriching his county, state and nation.
I am writing this essay on a MacBook Pro laptop. So I wonder, was the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs a suspect billionaire? Should I be mad or grateful that he made billions by permanently replacing my old scissors, paste, and bottle of liquid paper of the 1970s?
Did Johnny Depp really have to earn $50 million last year alone -- or Leonardo DiCaprio $77 million? Couldn't they have settled for $2 million in salary in 2010, and thereby passed on a little bit of the savings to their ticket-buying fans? What kind of system would allow Oprah Winfrey or the late Michael Jackson each to accumulate nearly $1 billion? Is left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore -- reportedly worth $50 million -- a one-percenter? Why does such an enemy of capitalism need so much capitalist largesse?
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. John Kerry or Dianne Feinstein -- among the richest in the U.S. Senate -- in that elite group?
How about Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, together worth over $100 billion? They are certainly philanthropists. But their charities are predicated on two assumptions: They both apparently trust the private sector more than government to administer their vast estates, and neither sees much of a problem in avoiding billions in inheritance taxes that would one day be due to a now-broke federal treasury.
Is George Soros a "corporate jet owner"? He nearly broke the Bank of England by shorting the British pound and was convicted in France of insider training. Rather than comply with new federal financial-disclosure regulations, he told some of his outside investors just to keep their money. Is Obama's former director of the budget, Peter Orszag, a "fat-cat banker"? He left the administration to enter the "revolving door" of Wall Street, where he is now a rich banker for Citigroup.
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 Martha's Vineyard and Vail, where the first family sometimes vacations. They don't all wear pinstripes and Guccis, but can hang out at Occupy Wall Street rallies as actors, rappers and filmmakers in jeans and baseball caps.
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.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
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
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K