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.
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?
Does the fact Donald Trump has his own jet mean than I cannot have my own jet because Donald has the jet?
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?
Would some people get some kind of pleasure and sense of satisfaction out of seeing a welfare mother picking up trash from a ditch?
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!
Drive some of those crazy expensive British cars instead of our moderately expensive German cars?
Have bigger and nicer homes in bigger in nicer cities?
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.