Monday, July 09, 2007

Real Class Envy

A new blog has just been started by a woman who left a comment to my post Seven Years of Bad Luck. Her blog is called Classism, Unearned Privilege and the Ruling Class.

Here is a quote from her first entry The Real Class Envy:

... Taking money from those who worked for it to give to others by using the strong arm of government is downright Communist. That's just un-American, right?

Well, not exactly. On the contrary, getting to skate while making others pick up the tab is indeed very American. You see, there was very little outcry back in the 1980's -- the "greed is good" era -- over wealthy owners of corporations who got much bigger hand-outs than any welfare recipient ever got. Wealthy owners of corporations and venture capitalist firms benefited immensely from a little-known IRS loophole that enabled them to use leveraged debt (other people's money) to buy and then liquidate other companies while the tax bill for the profits from such transactions got picked up and paid for by the tax-paying middle class: Leveraged corporate buy-outs, a nice "welfare" hand-out for the rich. But very few people noticed that fig newton folly, much less got angry about it. Isn't taking money from the supporting classes and giving it to the leisured class taking from the producers and giving to the slackers? Why isn't that Communist and un-American? Do I hear the silence of apathy ... or the white noise of hypocrisy?

And what became of the skilled, capable and educated middle-management professionals in such acquired companies? They were downsized out of their jobs. If they fell into poverty because they were unable to get re-employed elsewhere due to age discrimination despite their most ambitious efforts and Pollyanna-ist attitudes, it was all their own fault, according to the wealthy. These folks who did "all the right things" and got educations simply "should have planned better" according to the "haves" and "have-mores." It was the fault of the unemployed for not being educated enough, not having "marketable skills" in order to compete, and not having positive attitudes, thus spoke the ruling class.

Corporate welfare far exceeded any miserly welfare entitlement begrudgingly given to America's least privileged. Apparently, getting a "free ride" and a hand-out for [doing and producing nothing] of any tangible value for society is perfectly acceptable -- when you're rich.

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