"Shame is the rocket fuel of success." I heard that long ago and never forgot it. Shame is the absence of love, a communication by one to the other that "you're not worthy of love", and, "there's something wrong with you". Unfortunately, the word in the media is that if you have money, you will be loved by America. Never mind that you're a mere human being with feelings, needs and desires. Even if you have a bit of shame, no worries, you can use money to cover that up so no one will notice.
I have seen many rat races in my life. A rat race at school where popularity was the big deal. Whoever was the most popular seemed to have it all. They got the dates, they went to the prom, maybe they were even crowned as king or queen of the prom, they got the best grades and so on.
Later in life, many went to college, some went straight to work out of high school. But in the end, it came down to possessions. I got a nice house Santa Clara. Check. I got a nice S-Class Mercedes. Check. I have a thriving business or, I'm a C-class executive. Check.
My house is better than yours. Do you love me? My car is better than yours. Do you love me? I make more money than you. Do you love me? Will you be my friend?
These are the thoughts that come to mind as billionaires lament that they're victims in the court of public opinion. Tom Perkins, one of the billionaires I speak of, thinks that billionaires are being persecuted and says so in a letter. Considering that billionaires own the media in 7 corporations and their many subsidiaries, it's hard to believe that they're being persecuted in the court of public opinion.
But, hey, if your ideas have no merit, you can always pay someone to put them into law. Just ask Justice John Roberts. Yes, not too long ago, the Supreme Court reminded us again that money is speech and that there should be no aggregate limits on how much one person can spend on a political campaign. Do the wealthy feel loved now that elected officials only need to turn to a few heavy hitters?
I guess what comes to mind is that if the wealthy believe that they are so much better than the rest of us, if they are truly superior to the rest of us, why do they need laws that cater to and protect their interests? I mean, if they're so much more efficient than the rest of us, why erect another barrier to entry in the market?
Such barriers can include but are not limited to, copyrights, patents, "free trade agreements", non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements and tax havens? Why do the wealthy need all that extra help from the government? If they subscribe to social class esssentialism, the belief that they are really superior and necessary in order for society to function, then they shouldn't need any more protection from the government than the rest of us.
But that is what they get in the Conservative Nanny State. The Conservative Nanny State is a place where the wealthy can collude in gentlemen agreements to not poach employees in order to suppress wages. They can form business associations, in a sort of union, to promote anti-union laws that protect the interests of the business owner rather than the worker. They don't go to jail for their crimes. They just pay a fine. Just ask Lloyd Blankenfein, Alice Walton or Robert H. Richards IV. The Conservative Nanny State is a place where ordinary men are not entitled to subsidies, grants, private monopolies and lenient judges - that is only reserved for superior men who can handle that kind of responsibility.
Or can they? The 2008 meltdown says no, they can't. The fight over net neutrality says no. The concentration of political power into the hands of a tiny 0.5% of our population says no.
I'm not saying it's wrong to be rich. There is nothing wrong with being rich. There is something wrong with being rich and buying elections and buying laws that prop up a dynasty in your name. That's a problem that needs to be addressed when study after study say the same thing: America has become an oligarchy. We don't have to prove the point.
We only need to take action. The question is, where do we start?
We could start by convincing politicians to take money out of politics. From there the answers get easier because then new laws are more likely to be passed on merit rather than money.