The right likes to think that every Leftist “hates” the “rich”. I suppose there are those on the Left who hate the rich, but if they do, their anger is misplaced. It’s the “wannabe’s” you have to watch out for.
The inscription on the Statue of Liberty says “send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That’s pretty much how it was from Jamestown to Barry Goldwater. Oppressed peasants and proletarians from the hierarchical cesspools of Europe – and lately Latin America and Southeast Asia – came here to be free. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the idea that the Statue of Liberty invites the huddled masses “yearning to be millionaires”. They got the idea that just because you came here “yearning to be free” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be. You gotta become a millionaire first.
That’s what the “dittohead” is. He’s a millionaire wannabe. He’s bought into the sales pitch of Carlton Sheets, Don LaPree and all those Amway kooks that “you too can be rich beyond your wildest dreams.” He watches their infomercials complete with large breasted babes reclining on a Rolls in front of some mansion in Southern California. “I started with nothing, and now I have all this” some lounge lizard in a plaid sport coat tells them. And they believe it. It never occurs to them that assuming that these guys are as rich as advertised, they got that way as high-tech grifters.
It’s the new myth of America. Even the dittohead who is smart enough to realize that there’s no “get rich quick” formula, still wants that Rolls with the bimbo as standard equipment. And he believes with all his heart that anybody can get it – if they want it bad enough. What’s worse, he believes that’s what life is all about. It’s all about living in a house with rooms you never go in. It’s about buying expensive sports cars, that cost a house payment every month to keep running. It’s about spending ten thousand dollars for a wristwatch – so people will see it and wish they had one.
It is inconceivable to him that most of us don’t want a ten thousand dollar wristwatch. He can’t understand any ambition other than accumulating things whose primary value is that other people don’t have them. He fails to appreciate those great joys in life that don’t cost anything at all. If he discovers such joys, he sets about figuring out a way to charge for it. Some of these guys would charge you for the air you breathe, if they could figure out how to meter it. Maybe that’s why some conservatives are hell bent on ruining the envrronment. So they can make “breathable air!” a commocity for sale. “And for an extra fifty thousand dollars, we can build your house on a lot with breathable air. Better hurry though, there aren’t many left.”
Of course eventually, these guy realize that not only are they not millionaires, they’re not making much progress toward that noble goal. That’s when they get ugly. You see, they see themselves as capable, intelligent, hard working people – and they are for the most part – who “have what it takes” to “make it”. They believe that the difference between those who “make it” and those who don’t is being “capable, intelligent and hardworking”. Things like “having rich parents”, “getting just plain lucky” or “being a crook” don’t factor into the equation anywhere. No, American society is a natural hierarchy where the most capable are “rich beyond their wildest dreams”, and the non-rich are chumps that just don’t measure up.
Only they are capable – some of them actually are – and they’re not rich. Clearly, something is broken, preventing these wannabes who “have what it takes” from reaching materialist heaven. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Since they “have what it takes”, there must be somebody else to blame. This from the people who accuse the poor of “blaming everybody but themselves”. The dittoheads do the very same thing. Its “tax and spend liberals”. It’s “big government”. For the more crude among them, it’s “the niggers”. Only they don’t use that word in public. Instead, they call them “minorities”.
It can’t be the rich to blame. That’s what they wannabe. And it can’t be them, they work hard, they’re smart. They’re playing the game “by the rules” – and they aren’t getting anywhere. Something must be holding them back. It must be all of those taxes they pay. You know, taxes for “social programs” for “minorities”. Not one of them has ever looked at the federal budget to see just how much of their taxes goes for “social programs”. We’re talking maybe five cents on the dollar. They don’t realize that 20 cents of every income tax dollar goes for interest payments to rich bond holders. They don’t realize that stealth fighters, nuclear powered aircraft carriers, and the guys to maintain and operate all of that Frankenstein military hardware cost a lot of money. To the tune of another 25 cents out of every tax dollar. They never go into the part of town where the “minorities” live and ask where that five cents on the dollar is going. They sure aren’t building “Don LaPre style” mansions with it. And I haven’t seen one Rolls in that part of town, though I have seen a few fifteen year old Lincoln’s – without a large breasted white woman lounging on them.
They never ask where the wealth of the “worthy” people who have “made it” with their “hard work” are getting their money. “I work hard. I go to work everyday” – like the rest of us don’t. These dittoheads don’t realize that “playing by the rules” means that they – the dittoheads – are producing what somebody else sells for a profit. These dittoheads don’t realize that when they go home and write checks for their rent, they’re house payment, their car payment, and their credit card payment, the biggest part of that payment is interest that goes to some millionaire. They don’t realize that those interest payments – this is in addition to the part of their taxes that is interest – add up to way more than they pay in taxes.
Or maybe they do realize it. Maybe they are perfectly willing to give the lion’s share of what they create at work, and then pay the lion’s share of what they earn at work to bond traders, Wall Street investment bankers, their boss and Don LaPree, because after all “that’s what I want to be able to do”.
But here’s something I’ll bet the dittoheads haven’t thought of. Maybe they’re the chumps. Maybe they’ve been sold a bogus “American dream” that never existed. Maybe “the rules” they play by were written by the people who have “made it” – not by the people who haven’t. And maybe – just maybe – the people who have “made it” wrote those rules to keep the wannabes chasing a dream that’s a mirage. Maybe Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Samuel Adams didn’t fight to make the world safe for John D. Rockefeller – or Don LaPre, either. Maybe the Rolls Royce complete with bimbo was left out of our inalienable rights for a reason. Maybe the “pursuit of happiness” Thomas Jefferson wrote about was something a bit more profound than the empty joy of owning things you don’t need so you can look down of down on the lesser mortals who lack your “ability”. Maybe Thomas Jefferson intended the “pursuit of happiness” to be something attainable not just for anybody – but for everybody.
Does that mean I think someone shouldn’t be free to spend ten thousand dollars for a wristwatch? What it means is that I want to look at a man who spent ten thousand dollars for a wristwatch, and feel free to laugh at the dumb son of a bitch.