Pride and Prejudice: Why the “Rich” are the Answer

Should the rich feel guilty for being rich?  If you believe the Democrats and Catholic Church (they are on the same side), the answer is “yes”.  For those who missed this week’s Gospel, which would include 90% of Catholics judging by the empty pews, it was the parable of the farmer with a bumper crop.  In the parable, a farmer is blessed with a large harvest surplus, but lacks the warehouse space to store it.  He is challenged with the classic investment dilemma, “Do I build bigger warehouses to store the surplus and expand my wealth?”

The Gospel’s conclusion in brief is, “Why bother since you might die tomorrow and you can’t take it with you anyway.  So give it away to the poor.”  This is a fair enough conclusion as conclusions go, and one can hardly argue with some of it, but there is also the strong implication in this parable that all wealth accumulation is bad, and that the rich keep the wealth all to themselves.  At the end of the sermon, you could almost feel anyone with money hang his or her head in guilt and shame for their own bumper crop.

At some point during the sermon it occurred to me that this idea is absurd.  The idea that wealth accumulation is a zero-sum game where the rich have and the poor do not, is both singularly obtuse and unashamedly manipulative.  It is singularly obtuse given the historic improvements in our standard of living under capitalism, and unashamedly manipulative in that those in government – who produce nothing – use class guilt and envy to sow the seeds of prejudice that keep them in power.

Yes, there are those who are selfish with their money.  But selfishness is not a crime; it is simply a character flaw.  We only need to look to some (by not any means all) on Wall Street, in Hollywood and in government who live in lavish excess.  My guess is that some of those people with a conscience know they are selfish jerks and feel some modicum of guilt, which is why they joined the Democratic Party to feel better about themselves in the first place.

We who have made some money should instead feel pride, not guilt.  Here’s why.  Making money requires that one have a dream, make an investment, commit time and money, be disciplined enough to get up everyday and work hard, be honest in our dealings with others, provide a customer with a great product, and hire and employ others in the same pursuit of excellence.

Now I ask you what is more virtuous than making money?  Are not the virtues of self-sacrifice, discipline, commitment, honesty and hard work superior to the non-virtues of guilt and envy?  Further I ask you, is it more virtuous, to give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or teach him to fish?

Poverty is more than an economic condition — it is a spiritual one.  No?  Fifty years after the US Government declared a “War on Poverty”; we have no “victory” despite the billions of dollars handed out through every conceivable welfare and assistance program.  In fact what we have as a result are the permanently poor, who can live only on a handout and more importantly can be counted on to vote for the very same manipulators who keep them poor.  Ah yes, the virtuous liberal do-gooders, who demonize the rich and guilt them into acquiescing to every stupid welfare program that comes down the pike

This is why we – who create wealth and practice the associated virtues are the answer for what ails our country.  We are the people who embrace the Tea Party concepts of wealth creation and liberty for all.  We are in fact the antithesis of racists as we judge people by their effort and values.  But for too long now we have also let those small-minded people in government use our guilt to further class prejudices. We must wake up to this reality, rid ourselves of guilt, and step up and do the responsible thing, which is killing this march to socialist oblivion where the only winners are the class and race baiters in Washington with fat pensions. This is why they are deathly afraid of us.

In conclusion, I’d like to weigh in on the farmer’s dilemma.  Build the damn barns – with pride!

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