I remember hearing about the tax hike that would be implemented for people making 250,000 or more and watching my boyfriend’s family freak out over that. Why? At no time in their lives were they ever going to make that much money. This is five times the national average, and just 2.9 percent of couples earn that much or more. They asked me if I thought it was unfair and I said that if I ever made that much money, I would feel I would need to pay my fair share of taxes. And then they went on about how small businesses who could be crippled by this tax. I thought it was ridiculous that they were worrying about things that rich people would have to worry about. That is exactly how the rich get you to agree with them: by getting you to empathize with their causes. Taxes on the rich? Just tell them small businesses will suffer and that if they ever make that much money, they’ll have none left after these taxes. Really? How is it that these people can care so much for the rich but not care to extend welfare and medical aid to the poor? In actuality, both may not affect you on a daily basis, but when you help the rich, you only help the rich. Que trickle-down economics by Reagan . When you help the poor, you end up helping the community as a whole.
My boyfriend’s family went on to scoff at those who were on food stamps and how some people take advantage of the system, although they themselves had benefitted from it for a short period of time. I agree that there are some who take advantage of the system, but should everyone suffer because of these few? Why would you scrap a whole system that at one point also helped you? They didn’t realize that that is what food stamps were for: people just like them who needed it for a short period of time in their lives. Instead, they saw the recipients as leaches who would suck the system dry. How have we come to this stage where some of us actively agree with the politics of the rich and deplore the poor for asking for help? We need to change the way we think about who we are really helping in thinking this way. Who is actually benefitting from this propaganda? If you say you care about the average worker and his rights to own a small business, also know that his small business includes worker who benefit from help from the government. The term ‘small business’ is just really a term bandied about by the rich elite to make the middle class more tolerable to laws and policies enacted to help the rich elite keep their money.
Greed is prevalent in all societies, not just ours, but the trick is to realize this and not deny it. Those who are rich will continue to strive to keep their riches. Those who are poor will always need to ask for help. If they were switched, they would do exactly the same. Greed is a part of human nature, but some who are rich are quick to condemn the poor for wanting hand-outs and some who are poor are quick to condemn the rich for their avarice, but the only thing that can solve the problem is the understanding that we all succeed when the poorest of society succeeds through compassion. Compassion is what is needed to elevate our society beyond the greed of individual gratification. If we were all to benefit, there would be more advances in medicine, new innovations in technology, and immensely more thought-provoking art, for the only thing keeping us from these things is the opportunity for more people to get there.