Who Doesn't Want to Be Rich?

Charlotte Cushman
The rich, the rich. What is it that Americans have against rich people?  President Obama is tapping a rich vein of class resentment with his cries to tax the rich.  Fox News:

"According to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, half of the American people said the debt-ceiling should have included a tax revenue increase, while Forty-four percent said it should have relied on only spending cuts.  Sixty-three percent of those polled said that they supported raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, like President Obama wanted to do.  This includes eighty percent of Democrats, sixty-one percent of independents and fifty-two percent of Republicans."

I find this depressing.  This says to me that around half of Americans think it is okay to take money away from other Americans.  They think that our problems are caused, not from the government spending too much, but from (here we go again) the rich not giving enough.

Raise your hand if you don't want to be rich. Who doesn't want to have enough clothes to wear or enough food to eat?  Raise your hand.  Who doesn't want to have a home to live in?  Who doesn't like to take vacations?  Who doesn't like to be safe from the outside elements?  Who doesn't like to be able to donate money to the organizations of their choice?  Who doesn't like to be able to purchase items that they desire for their enjoyment or education?  Who doesn't want to keep improving their lives?  Who doesn't want to enjoy life? Hmmmm?  Who doesn't want to be rich?  Raise your hand. 

That's what I thought.

Somehow it is okay if we want to be rich, but when someone else is rich, it becomes a crime.  Then all of a sudden we need to tax them, vilify them, punish them.  Punish them for what? For providing goods and services that we all want and pay money to obtain?  For starting companies that grow and provide us with jobs and retirement income?  Are they now bad people because they have created our prosperity by elevating our standard of living?  Whatever happened to our sense of justice? 

With all the talk about discrimination in this country, here is a group of people that is openly spat upon and no one blinks an eye.  Once an individual steps into the rich arena, it doesn't matter whether or not he earned his money honestly, he is automatically considered to be bad, bad, bad. 

Americans, of all people, should know better than to espouse and promote this kind of prejudice.  We have a country that exploded in innovation and wealth because it was the first free country on earth, and Americans have reaped the benefits. By the standard of third world countries, the majority of American people are rich because of the enormous amounts of goods and services available to us.  The crowd who denigrates the wealthy use the very products that businessmen have produced (computers, TV, cell phones, radios, cars, machines, medicines, food, and so on) and then turn around and stab them in the back.  That is wrong.

Karl Marx said, "The last capitalist we hang will be the one who sold us the rope."  We can't pave the way for this to happen by continuing to demonize the rich.  We can't continue down the path towards our own destruction.  We need to stand up and defend our right to work for a living and keep what is ours even if we become rich.  We need to say, "I have earned it, it is mine and I have a right to keep it.  The rope isn't for sale."

Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970.

The rich, the rich. What is it that Americans have against rich people?  President Obama is tapping a rich vein of class resentment with his cries to tax the rich.  Fox News:

"According to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, half of the American people said the debt-ceiling should have included a tax revenue increase, while Forty-four percent said it should have relied on only spending cuts.  Sixty-three percent of those polled said that they supported raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, like President Obama wanted to do.  This includes eighty percent of Democrats, sixty-one percent of independents and fifty-two percent of Republicans."

I find this depressing.  This says to me that around half of Americans think it is okay to take money away from other Americans.  They think that our problems are caused, not from the government spending too much, but from (here we go again) the rich not giving enough.

Raise your hand if you don't want to be rich. Who doesn't want to have enough clothes to wear or enough food to eat?  Raise your hand.  Who doesn't want to have a home to live in?  Who doesn't like to take vacations?  Who doesn't like to be safe from the outside elements?  Who doesn't like to be able to donate money to the organizations of their choice?  Who doesn't like to be able to purchase items that they desire for their enjoyment or education?  Who doesn't want to keep improving their lives?  Who doesn't want to enjoy life? Hmmmm?  Who doesn't want to be rich?  Raise your hand. 

That's what I thought.

Somehow it is okay if we want to be rich, but when someone else is rich, it becomes a crime.  Then all of a sudden we need to tax them, vilify them, punish them.  Punish them for what? For providing goods and services that we all want and pay money to obtain?  For starting companies that grow and provide us with jobs and retirement income?  Are they now bad people because they have created our prosperity by elevating our standard of living?  Whatever happened to our sense of justice? 

With all the talk about discrimination in this country, here is a group of people that is openly spat upon and no one blinks an eye.  Once an individual steps into the rich arena, it doesn't matter whether or not he earned his money honestly, he is automatically considered to be bad, bad, bad. 

Americans, of all people, should know better than to espouse and promote this kind of prejudice.  We have a country that exploded in innovation and wealth because it was the first free country on earth, and Americans have reaped the benefits. By the standard of third world countries, the majority of American people are rich because of the enormous amounts of goods and services available to us.  The crowd who denigrates the wealthy use the very products that businessmen have produced (computers, TV, cell phones, radios, cars, machines, medicines, food, and so on) and then turn around and stab them in the back.  That is wrong.

Karl Marx said, "The last capitalist we hang will be the one who sold us the rope."  We can't pave the way for this to happen by continuing to demonize the rich.  We can't continue down the path towards our own destruction.  We need to stand up and defend our right to work for a living and keep what is ours even if we become rich.  We need to say, "I have earned it, it is mine and I have a right to keep it.  The rope isn't for sale."

Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970.