Is the Eurosloth disease coming to America?
by Jeff VanWickler
An American and a European are riding on a bus. A man in a very expensive Mercedes passes by. The American thinks to himself “Wow, someday I’ll own a car like that.” The European thinks “Someday that son of a bitch will be riding the bus like me.”
That used to be a truism but these days all too many Americans are adopting the Euromentality. It’s not enough that Americans considered poor here do well by world standards. The left’s focus is on the rich guy. Why?
Because there is a fallacy in which the left believes- that in the world there is a finite amount of wealth. They view wealth as a pile of money in the middle of a room. And if one person grabs a handful then there’s less money for the next. But if this is true, why are some of the rich OK? The Hollywood starlet, the professional athlete, the lawyer running for a senate seat who feels everyone’s pain. Why is the rich businessman, who actually employs people, the target for their scorn? If the athlete makes 20 million per year doesn’t that mean that a teacher somewhere has to take a pay cut?
Well, no. Wealth is created. The pile of money can grow. For the last couple of generations, children in America have fared better than their parents. If wealth were finite, the number of poor would grow as others get rich. But poverty has declined. Today, the living standard of the poor is equivalent to a median income family of 1970 (even after adjusting for inflation). And at the same time our definition of poverty has even expanded. Using the definition of “poor households” from the Census Bureau:
- 46% own their own homes
- 76% have air conditioning (30 years ago only 36% of the entire population had AC)
- 74% own cars, 30% own 2 cars
- 97% own a color TV, over half own 2 or more
- 78% have cable or satellite TV
So, if rich and poor can gain wealth at the same time, why does the left want to eat the rich?
It boils down to envy- grief over the betterment of our neighbor’s estate. And sadly, there will always be politicians to exploit this weakness in people, promising more and more benefits to one person at the expense of another.
The danger is of course that there comes a tipping point when more of the citizenry is on the dole than those who are producing. At that point, the rich tend to pick up their ball and go home. Government is then left only with coercion to meet its financial commitments.
And history is replete with collectivist examples, past and present, of nations that have entered this dystopia. The more sloths that government creates, the faster we head in that direction.
Ask yourself who is the real threat? You won’t find a guy with a side arm showing up at your front door forcing you to buy a PC from Bill Gates. He’s rich but he’s a private citizen. On the other hand, government can use force legally. And in fact, these days they do it with ever more regularity.