Monday, August 02, 2004

My Mind on My Money, and My Money on My Mind

One of the oddest twists of this entire campaign has to do with Kerry and Edwards' attitude toward wealth. Neither of them ever earned a dime of their wealth through their own work legitimately, nor do either actually know how to earn such wealth even if they were so inclined. Kerry acquired his wealth (so much wealth that Bush looks middle class in comparison) through inheritance and by marrying an heiress. Legal and morally okay, but hardly by the sweat of his brow. Edwards acquired his through force - by skillfully manipulating a badly compromised tort system to extort his millions from real producers. Isn't it fitting, therefore, that a keystone of their campaign is that the people they despise the most are the actual producers who did create their wealth legitimately through their own work?

It wouldn't be such a big deal if the tax system went after static wealth rather than income. But as it is, the non-productive rich, like Kerry, the Kennedys, et al, pay relatively little in taxes (save what they earn on investments and savings), whereas the productive rich who dynamically create wealth and keep the economy afloat are those who are soaked the most. That, I think, is what I find most offensive about Kerry and Edwards. Their anti-rich "Two Americas" rhetoric makes more sense about themselves than the productive corporate tycoons they envy. And their policies indicate that they don't understand how their wealth was created in the first place, and what are sound policies to ensure that others may, by their own effort, earn wealth of their own.

It offends me deeply, to my core.

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