Today, on the eve of President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address (as of writing this), a certain well known radio commentator took a caller to the show that put forth one of those lovely yet intangible concepts which seem to be the castles in the air approach all too fashionable today. The caller said he wanted to see quote “…an America no longer divided by “poor” and “rich” (no definitions of what constituted either group).
A sweet fluffy clouds idea.
But the proverbial fly in the proverbial ointment is: How do you “close the divide”??
By “divide” it is presumed the caller means simply the fact of having two groups of people – “rich” and “poor” – with in society.
The commentator (and MasterPo) presumed the approach would be to pull down “the rich” to be more on the level of “the poor” rather than make an environment for “the poor” to work and earn up to the level of “the rich”. Now that’s a good social policy – not!
For all of human history, let alone American history, there has always been a “divide” between rich and poor in so far as some people are rich and some people are poor (the concept of middle class is very much a mid-20th century idea). There are as many reasons for this as there are stars in the sky. And not all, indeed very few, are because of nefarious reasons. Just as no two people are alike, the life paths and therefore successes and failures of any two people are going to diverge greatly.
This is not a new concept. MasterPo has written about this many times before. Yet now more than ever it seems just too many people are pinning their own successes, defined as being “rich” (whatever they think that means) not on a life time of hard smart work and achievement, but on taking the achievements from others.
Growth and prosperity of a society can not come from spreading it around. It only comes from the members of a society all contributing together to the overall growth of the society and economy through their own work. And the more you work, the better you are at your job, the better you are at recognizing opportunities and taking chances with them, the more likely you are to benefit in life.
It’s that simple. And just as not guaranteed.
If you want a guarantee, buy a TV with an extended warranty.