At a recent meeting of progressive thinkers in north Georgia, we were all pretty unanimous in bemoaning the actions of congress in voting down for the ninth time a bill to increase the minimum wage while giving them self a raise. Suddenly, a member of the group said, “Someone here should speak up for the conservative point of view.”
I am not a conservative but I thought I would give it a try.
“The upper twenty percent of American households now own 84.4 percent of the wealth of this nation, (with 59 percent in the hands of the upper five percent,) while the bottom sixty percent get 4.6 percent all for themselves. If we can just elect the right politicians, Congress could give enormous tax relief to the wealthy, could remove the Estate tax, the tax on investment income, initiate a flat tax and keep the minimum wage down for another nine years. Who knows, we at the top might get to own 85 percent, or 88 percent, maybe even 90 percent of America’s wealth. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? After all, most of the working poor would much rather live on welfare and handouts. We are the sharp cookies, the ones who create the jobs and make it all work. And nobody can call us greedy. We just want what is best for everybody. After all, because we are so sharp, we don’t have to be greedy. All we need is a government that is greedy on our behalf. So get out there, invest a little money in the right politicians. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make. And keep in mind, those poor people could invest in politicians too, if they wanted to. This is the land of equal opportunity.”
Of course, I didn’t say any of this at the meeting. I just sat there thinking that living in a world of limited resources, as long as any of us has more than we need, it means many will have less than they need. And I was wondering how God, who according to the Bible has a special concern for the poor, would have responded to my conservative point of view.
Thomas L. Are,
One of the upper twenty percent.
October 20, 2008