In a shocking blow to Democrats, a conservative billionaire is not evil
On the left, there is no dirtier word than "billionaire," although asterisks are put by the names of left-wing billionaires such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos. Hollywood's left-leaning millionaires also get a pass.
But otherwise, billionaires are evil. After all, who can forget Bernie Sanders, in his Brooklyn accent, hurling insults against "millionaires and billionaires" or, since he joined the millionaires' club, just against "billionaires"?
The Democrat party debates saw a parade of candidates promising to deliver money to America's oppressed by taxing billionaires. Elizabeth Warren assured us that her "wealth tax" would just skim a bit off the top, only 2% or 6% or some other percent, from the very wealthy. She seemed to believe that the wealthy wouldn't do what they have always done, which is to find tax loopholes.
Indeed, all the Democrat candidates apparently believe that billionaires constitute an inexhaustible money tree, like something from a fairytale, from which the government can endlessly pluck cash. Here's a secret: that's not how it works.
The Democrats are disconnected from the fact that people in America do not gain their billions the way billionaires in oligarchies, dictatorships, communist countries, and other corrupt political systems do. In those systems, people become billionaires through cronyism and corruption. In America, people become billionaires because they produce goods or services that are valuable in the free market. Bill Gates may be a putz, but he's a putz who changed the world, selling things that people desperately wanted.
Being rich in America doesn't make people evil. It just makes them rich. For example, take Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino-owner and billionaire. Adelson worked his way up from nothing, and he remembers what having nothing meant. That's why, even though Adelson has had to close the Las Vegas Sands, he has promised to keep paying his employees for at least another two months:
Although the resort hotels of my company, Las Vegas Sands, are shuttered, I'm paying every one of our nearly 10,000 employees as though they were still working. We're even working to make up for lost tips. I hope to do that right up until the time that we can reopen our businesses.
It's not only the right thing to do — it's good business.
I've often said the story of my career would be a true rags-to-riches account, except for the fact that my parents couldn't even afford the rags. As the son of hard-working, low-income, immigrant parents, I grew up with the same anxiety people across the nation are feeling right now.
Where is the next meal coming from? How can I pay the rent and electricity bill? Families are desperate to know when they can go back to work.
I recall one of the most important lessons I learned from my father. He would come home from work — when he could find work, that is — and put loose change in the family pushke (charity box). When I asked why he would give to others when we had so little, he would say, "There is always someone whose need is greater than ours."
Adelson's story of the poor box on the table, no matter how poor the household was, is typical of old-fashioned, religious Jewish families. This is how the world should work if there are enough moral, decent people. (By the way, Adelson is also reported to have donated two million masks to health care workers in New York and Nevada.)
Please read and share Adelson's article. America would be a better place if more billionaires remembered that not everyone is a blessed as they are, whether with luck or that unique combination of brains and ambition that propels some people into the economic stratosphere.