A commenter, apparently an American liberal Democrat (correct?) offers an apologetics for the wealthy, and as such illustrates one of the problems with American liberalism, namely a veneration of the rich, an apology for their class politics, and a lack of class analysis:
Is it really a wrong to be wealthy? What if you generate a large income by doing something you believe in? By following your dreams? I see nothing wrong with that. Nobody gets hurt, except through their own envy. Also, as for the rich born rich, they’re no worse than the poor born poor, who have no choice but to live according to their class.
If we can’t be blamed for having inborn traits, and can’t be blamed for being born into the class that molds us, that should include the rich. Not meant to be an apologetic for evil rich people, but just a reminder that they’re people too and need to be forgiven as much as anyone else.
First of all, believe me, the rich are the last people on Earth who are in need of forgiveness. They’ve been granted nothing but, on a silver platter, from Day One.
Of course there is nothing in and of itself wrong with being wealthy. In particular, artists, actors, directors, writers, and other creative types have simply gained wealth by a lot of folks buying the product of their latest creative effort. Many of these folks never adopt the mentality of the rich and continue to be very progressive people. I hung around with these types in Hollywood for many years. As long as wealthy people do not pursue a politics of the rich, then of course we have nothing against them.
For the rest of us, the rich who pursue a politics of the rich (which is typically most of them) are the class enemy. They are not a class enemy because they have wealth, but because of the class politics they pursue on behalf of their wealth, which involves a frontal assault on the bottom 80% of society.
Those few among the rich who work against their class interests and work for the rest of us are not our enemies and are welcome to join us.
However, everywhere on Earth and at all times and into the future, the rich pursue their class interests to the detriment of all of the rest of us. The rich are always looking for ways to lower their taxes.
Lowering rich people’s taxes does not benefit the rest of us in any way, shape or form. In fact, it hurts us, because those taxes are being used to redistribute income from the unneeded vaults of the rich to starving accounts of the rest of us. In other words, taxation of the rich is a way for the rest of us to redistribute the wealth that the rich have obtained. Trickle-down economics is and has always been a fraud, but it’s amazing how many non-wealthy people believe in this fairy tale.
It’s important to note that extreme wealth in and of itself is unjust, no matter how it was obtained. Does Bill Gates or Warren Buffet have a right to all of those billions, when there are countless Americans without health care or homeless, without even any shelter? Of course not. In these cases, a just society will confiscate some of their wealth to give people homes to live in and health care if they are sick.
The rich are the class enemy as long as they are pursuing their class interests politically. When they do so, they act as an army attacking everyone else. When the bottom 80% of society is being attacked by the top 20%, it’s only logical that we organize to fight back.
Capitalist society is characterized by continuous class war. This class war is mostly being waged by the top 20%, and especially the top 5%, against everyone else. The wealth are not just trying to increase their wealth by growing the economy. They are also continuously trying to take wealth from the bottom 80% to give to themselves at the top. Since the top 20% and especially the top 5% already have way more wealth than they need to survive, it’s outrageous that they are constantly trying to take money from folks barely scraping by in order to finance their coke binges, $500 booze bottles, yachts or whatever.