• Who we are
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • You got class

    2014 - 01.25

    I’ve recently spent some time reflecting on what I at times see as resentment from the middle-class toward both the rich and the poor.

    There’s a belief that if the rich paid their fair share of taxes, things would be better. Along with a belief that if the poor weren’t lazy or having too many children or cheating the system things would be better.

    Okay.

    Taking it down to a personal level, what exactly does better mean for me?

    Does Donald Trump have things that I would like to have?

    Probably.

    Does the fact Donald Trump has his own jet mean than I cannot have my own jet because Donald has the jet?

    No.

    My resenting Donald Trump and his jet is misplaced emotion.

    And I’m pretty sure the resentment has more of an effect on me than it does on Mr. Trump.

    And so on and so forth with the money and posessions of the rich people. I may experience all kinds of emotions, including envy, resentment, anger, and whatever you call the emotion where I’m mad that things could be different if they did something different.

    But overall, experiencing and sharing those feelings with others would probably only cause me to spend more time with people who are equally resentful and miserable.

    And I would not like that.

    * * *

    I like my life and the life I live.

    The one I live is the one I have quite agressively chosen.

    My place in this world is pretty much of my own making, and I am wholely responsible for both the good and the bad parts of it. While it’s true that I invest in making things better for others (volunteering, writing this rag, writing some checks) I think we’re each pretty much responsible for our place in life, and when all is said and done, the rich people paying their fair share probably wouldn’t change overall society that much, and most certainly wouldn’t make much difference in my life.

    * * *

    Since Ricky and I tend to spend most of our time with like minded liberals, who all generally think we are way more affluent than we really are, there’s not many comments about how welfare is out of control.

    In fact, the only time welfare comes up is at election campaign time, when we’re told to stay out of the poorest neighborhoods when we’re knocking on doors, because they almost exclusively vote Republican.

    I suspect there will always be an element who make it their quest in life to cheat the government out of disability payments, or to  live well by having as many babies as possible by as many men as possible.

    Would the resources we invest to shut these people down be less than the resources they consume?

    Maybe.

    Would some people get some kind of pleasure and sense of satisfaction out of seeing a welfare mother picking up trash from a ditch?

    Probably.

    Then they could complain about the government having to pay $40 per hour for child care for her 7 children so she could work for $8 per hour.

    If someone’s goal in life is to stand by the mailbox and wait for a check to come, I guess that’s okay with me.

    I prefer living my life making stuff happen and being appropriately compensated for making those things happen.

    If someone is content to live in squalor and drive a junk car . . . I guess that’s okay.

    Ricky and I prefer our lovely homes in Fargo and Boca and driving nice cars.

    And so on and so forth.

    But if Ricky and I weren’t paying SO MUCH in taxes, we could do so much!

    Like what?

    Drive some of those crazy expensive British cars instead of our moderately expensive German cars?

    Maybe.

    Have bigger and nicer homes in bigger in nicer cities?

    I suppose.

    Have lots more money so we wouldn’t have to work so hard?

    And do what?

    Sit and stare all day?

    Ricky and I are able to do pretty much what we want to do in spite of the fact we both work lots of hours.

    And while we may or may not have more money and may or may not have more stuff if we didn’t pay so much in taxes, I tend to think if we truly wanted those things, we’d figure out a way to those things happen.

    Welfare cheats probably do not affect our lives that much.

    So I don’t understand why someone would be envious of welfare families. I suspect their discontent has less to do with the fact they have to ‘work so hard’ to support welfare families and more to do with some disappointment in their personal lives.

    * * *

    Life’s not fair.

    * * *

    On the other hand, life is extraordinarily fair.

     

    Today’s Gay Agenda: If I could leave readers with one thought, it would be to spend more time investing in your own life experience and little bit less time obsessing about and trying to affect the life experience of others.

    Ricky and I will be just fine, both here and in the afterlife. :)

     

     

     

     

     

    Tags: , , , , ,

    8 Responses to “You got class”

    1. dan says:

      well said

    2. opinionated says:

      Squirrel,
      You obviously didn’t spend enough time on the entitlement generation and special entitlement groups. I don’t really see where we’d have half the problems in our economy today if the general population spent less time on the whining of special interest groups and more on making their and others lives better. It’s called work because it’s something that requires you to transfer energy into productive effort. For this you are rewarded with earned compensation. Sitting at home making babies on endless welfare, 2 years of unemployment checks, fre cell phones and housing, unlimited medical, feeling no need to contribute to society other than to ‘get you some’ and provide more mouths for taxpayers to feed is a disease that receives too little recognition for what it really is. There is literally no excuse for not being able to support one’s self in this day and age unless there are physical limitations involved. Laziness is not a qualifier. We’re the welfare capital of the world and infatuated with supporting the rest of the world outside our borders as well. In South America for example I see millions of poor people far beyond anything people of the US could imagine. Still I do not see a fraction of the self-pity in these groups compared to anyone in the US. Why do you suppose that is?? This is why their economy is growing and ours is dwindling into bankruptcy. Still you seem to support many of the primary people in political positions of power that support this approach? I call it buying votes myself, but everyone has their own interpretation.

    3. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

      Get my smelling salts. I don’t necessarily disagree with you Opie. I guess my point is more ‘don’t let this stuff drive you crazy, because it may or may not have a negative impact on society, but the harm to you is the harm you let it cause you.’

      On a macro-socioeconommic level of course people sucking up more than they contribute has a negative effect.

      And I find people with a sense of entitlement especially irritating.

    4. Katydid says:

      Just in case anyone might actually believe “We’re the welfare capital of the world”

      2012: Welfare expenditure (% of GDP) including education
      Sweden: 38.2
      Denmark: 37.9
      France: 34.9
      Norway: 33.2
      Germany: 33.2
      Belgium: 32.7
      Austria: 32.4
      Finland: 32.3
      Switzerland: 31.6
      Italy 28.6
      Greece: 28.4
      Netherlands: 27.3
      United Kingdom: 25.9
      New Zealand: 25.8
      Portugal: 25.5
      Spain: 25.3
      Iceland: 23.2
      Canada: 23.1
      Australia: 22.5
      United States: 19.4
      Japan: 18.6
      Ireland: 18.5
      South Korea: 11.0

      • maverick says:

        I want to add to this statement. You also have some misconceptions built into the very innocuous post in that those other social systems are not like ours. I have experience with Germany from when I was stationed there. I was educated by friends that I made there about how their systems worked in relation to ours.

        Part of that number is that their children don’t pay a dime for anything that they need for their education. Paper, pens etc are supplied. But they are also not guaranteed to go to school to the 12th grade (in our terms). They have to earn that right. They test after grade school, jr high and high school on whether or not they get to progress to the next level. (gain using our terms for the grade levels). They simply do not get a free pass into Gymnasium (high school) or University (College). Most kids do get a chance to pass onto our version of Jr high, but after that there is x seats available. Those schools start at 4.0 and work their way down until the seats are filled. Their scholastic requirements are also a lot stiffer than ours. All children are required to take two foreign languages with English being one of the two required. They are required to take math, science, etc. They start algebra in the 7th grade, they can’t push it off until 10th by taking general math in the 7th through 9th because ‘they aren’t ready’.

        Next if you end up on their version of social services, you are required to work for that monthly check. It isn’t simply sitting at home waiting for it to arrive. If you have any skills they are put to use. Even if it is just cleaning. Men work hard jobs helping to build roads, repair buildings etc.

        So before we talk about them vs us, maybe we should also learn the story first.

    5. The ONE and ONLY Sandman says:

      I find it so frustrating when a liberal thinks it is OK for people not to contribute to society. It is that attitude of the limousine liberal which is causing so much trouble in the US. I have no beef with the poor and realize many people today need help. I also have no beef with the rich, as I aspire to be wealthy. My beef is with those who are content to drive nice cars, vacation in Boca, and want me to pay more in taxes to support those who don’t contribute.

      • Avatar of Mac Mac says:

        Hi Sandman. My apologies for being unclear. I don’t want anyone to pay any more or any less taxes. It’s none of my business. This post is about misguided resentment, and how in my opinion it’s only harmful to the one who holds the resentment. “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die” is such a great quote. It’s also about that even if things changed for these people I see as not doing their part, I don’t know that it would really change my life all that much. Resentment and discontent has more to do with the person who holds it, than the people who they think is causing it. In my opinion, of course.

        Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

    6. maverick says:

      I really don’t worry about others vs myself. What I do worry about are things like 17.3 Trillion dollars in debt. That we spend more than we take in and it gets worse every year. We have given nothing more than cursory sound bytes for the last 30 years that our politicians just kick the can down the road and nobody really does anything about the situation. The same idiots keep on getting elected to office and the same spending habits just continue.

      Personally I feel we are at a turning point in our history. Our Debt is currently 1/4 of our GDP.. Simply amazes me that this doesn’t disturb more people. But then in a society that lives off of credit and from check to check I guess it shouldn’t.

    Your Reply