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The Colonel #47 Envy and Inequality

"The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring." ~ Victor Hugo

Equality is a term much bantered about in connection with race, gender, and income. But the term is purposely misused by the many who sling around “the poor” like Tom Sawyer’s rat on a string. The true measure of poverty in American can only be had in measuring it against other places.

For many years I lived looking up at the poverty line. During those years, Bill Gates had a car, but you know what? So did I. His was more expensive and had fewer dents, but we were both driving around on the same roads. Meanwhile in Mogadishu, the poor not only didn’t have a car, they probably didn’t have shoes. Hell, no need to go that extreme. In the UK, many people were not driving cars. (In 2014, 57% reported using a car on a typical day.) I had a color television—Bill probably had one in every room in multiple residences, but we both watched one.

I’m rather an odd sort of person, but I don’t believe I’m that different. I don’t care that Bill Gates has billions of dollars. My needs are met by what I make. If I’m oppressed, I don’t feel it driving my car, while texting on my phone on the way home from the supermarket trying to beat the rush so I can watch hockey on television.

The reason for that is because, until recently, I had the same opportunity to make billions as did Mr. Gates. Now, societal envy has substituted equal outcomes for equal opportunity. There are wicked people living among us who from envy have convinced us that because we are not billionaires, the rich have somehow cheated or are privileged in some way because they look different.

And here’s a truth that is hard for some to swallow. The poor in a free market economy are better off than the poor in centrally managed economies and that being poor in America is a darned sight better than being poor in much of the world.

I know next to nothing about business and it shows. I do know something about people and human nature. I look around town and in almost every business there are help wanted signs. One reason for this is that we have adopted the notion that we all have the right to be wealthy and if we are not, the system is rigged to make us fail.

We believe it is our right to have it all without effort or we are being mistreated and oppressed. We have traded working for the greenback into clinging to the green-eyed monster and called it progress. We’re all sitting here on Biden’s payroll waiting for someone to stand up next to us and make us rich.


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