The Politics of Envy and a Culture of Greed
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife… or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” - Exodus 20:17
To covet is to desire to possess what rightfully belongs to another. It is not simply admiring what another has, but is the desire to take it. Covetousness is a form of greed. You don’t have to be rich to be greedy. You can be poor and greedy, and you can be poor and envy what others have. We now have an entire political party dedicated to stoking the fires of envy and greed. It is called the Democrat party, and its chief strategy is intent on dividing Americans by stirring up envy towards the rich. It also appeals to people’s greed, because it promises to take what others have and give it to those who have “less.” This is covetousness, pure and simple, and that means the entire Democrat strategy is built upon a violation of the Ten Commandments: You shall not steal (take what belongs to another) and you shall not covet (desire to take what belongs to another). Anything built upon the evil of sin cannot be good.
I am a populist. The fact that there is injustice in the financial system is unquestionable. The problem is: what is the just remedy? Obviously, there is a need for government protection from monopolistic power of corporations, and I think many of our trade agreements are bad for American workers. Any trade agreement ought to start with a level playing field: equivalent wages, equal environmental requirements, etc.* But it will take more than changing a president to fix that mess. Why? Well, consider that the biggest contributors to Barak Obama’s 2008 campaign were companies like Goldman Sachs, a company that orchestrated the bailout and one that controls oil market trading throughout the world.
Goldman Sachs wants Cap and Trade for carbon dioxide emissions, and it stands to make billions of dollars on a Cap and Trade market. Cap and Trade will drive up energy costs for millions of the poor in this country. Who stands to make money from such a policy? Not the middle class, but the same banking interests that paid for the president. So while the Democrats appeal to the sense of injustice towards the poor, they are working with huge corporations to put the poor further in debt through taxes. Health insurance companies supported Obamacare because they stand to make a lot of money through forced participation in insurance plans. What I am saying is to follow the money: not words, but deeds. The game is rigged against the middle class by the Democrats as much as it is by the Republicans, except for the fact that the Republicans want to free small businesses from regulation and provide more opportunities for everyone to become rich; and they want to reduce the size of government so that the people and businesses are not destroyed by excessive taxation.
President Obama said Mitt Romney’s tax plan amounts to “Robin Hood in reverse” because it would take money from the poor to help the rich.
The Democrats say it is an issue of “fairness,” but if you look at the way it is portrayed by the President, it is not fairness he preaches. It is resentment towards the rich, as if by being rich, the rich are somehow automatically guilty of being unjust and unfair. It is the same tactic Hitler used to stoke animosity towards the Jews in Germany. It is picking a group of people and making them out to be evil, the cause of all that is wrong in society, so as to justify hatred and retribution towards them by the majority. It is class warfare. It is turning people against one another on the basis of economics or race or perceived success. Yesterday, it was the Jews, now it is the rich who are evil, backbiting thieves and the scum of the earth.
Who are these egoists? Each one of them merely defends the interests of his class. Behind them all stands either the Jew or their own moneybags. They are all nothing but money-grubbers, living on the profits of this war. . The Jew is said to be gifted. His only gift is that of juggling with other people's property and swindling each and everyone. Suppose I find by chance a picture that I believe to be a Titian. I tell the owner what I think of it, and I offer him a price. In a similar case, the Jew begins by declaring that the picture is valueless, he buys it for a song and sells it at a profit of 5000 per cent.
– Adoph Hitler 1941
What I am saying is that attacking the rich because they are successful or rich, is like attacking Jews because they are Jews. Rhetoric is easy; solutions are hard. Stirring up animosity by appealing to the emotions is easy, and it is how Hitler manipulated the masses. He stirred up hatred and played upon the feelings of injustice. It is also a very dangerous practice.
* And I don’t have a solution except to add tariffs to foreign goods where they use child labor, 80 hour work weeks, and pollute the environment with hazardous chemicals (not talking about CO2). Tariffs in that situation would make American products competitive. Possibly limiting H-1B visas, so that companies in the US would be forced to offer living wages to our trained and skilled labor.