The “One Percent” are wealthy rich capitalist vampires sucking lifeblood out of the middle class, and they must be stopped, their wealth forcibly redistributed, their bodies drawn and quartered, and even that only after they have been put in the stocks and pilloried after stakes are driven through their hearts.
I don’t like grouping people. I prefer examining the individual and see what’s up. Is this or that individual good or bad? Or better yet, is the individual doing good things or bad things? I use that thinking for everyone else, in every other setting: gay, straight, ugly, beautiful, married, single, male, female, black white, Asian, young, old, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Moslem, rich or poor, no individual should be classified as good or bad by being grouped in such ways as the One Percent have recently been grouped.
I think that the term “One Percent” is just another bogus groupthink groupism used to misdirect us from the real problems.
There are those in the One Percent that I would disdain, but I would disdain them for the very same reasons I disdain anyone in the 99 Percent. If a man, to obtain his wealth, has initiated force or fraud against their fellow man, then I consider his wealth to be ill-gotten booty. And that applies to any man, rich or poor, One Percenter or not.
If, on the other hand, a man achieves his wealth through the production of valuable goods or services for which others are willing voluntarily to pay their own money, then he has created true value. And if such a man has gained his place among the One Percent, well, that means he has created a huge amount of true value for many people. Not only do I not disdain such a wonderful man, but I salute him and am grateful for him and all the value he has created for so many. Consider the founders of Apple, Amazon, eBay, Paypal, Whole Foods, who are One Percenters whose risk and work has benefited you and me so prominently. We should despise them not, and instead honor them!
The “One Percent” label is pure groupthink, socialist thinking, fascist thinking, and indeed outright crappy thinking. It is the ignominious thinking of the people who sat on their asses Occupying Wall Street—a movement based on understandable outrage but with no sound ideals to serve as a foundation to recognize the right from the wrong, nor even cause and effect. Lots of wonderful people have been working entirely honorably to obtain their status as One Percenters, and any protester that foolishly groups the honorable along with the dishonorable just because of a percentile should self-flagellate themselves until they get themselves over themselves.
We should, however, seek out those among the One Percent, as well as those among the 99 percent, who obtained their money through crony (“special interest”) deals with politicians, just as we should seek out any common criminal who commits force or fraud. We should seek those among the Wall Streeters who, instead of creating new value, just live off the egregious excesses of the Federal Reserve’s currency counterfeiting, gaining the upsides of their risk taking, while the taxpayer bails them out of their mistakes. We should seek out the farmers who live off crony corn subsidies and destructive ethanol mandates. We should identify them all and so many others, find out how they have co-opted the power of the government to use force and fraud against citizens, and stop them from doing it again.
Do we take their money away? Well, as long as they played within the rules—as bad as the rules are—it is hard to call their gains illegal. Indeed, we may even consider them wiser than us, playing the evil game smartly at least. But we must recognize that our system, and by system I mean “we”, has allowed laws to be written that benefit not the General Welfare, but rather the Special Interests (the cronies). We should strive to find a way to stop that from happening any more, and we should reverse the laws that have recently been added to the Crony Hall of Fame (CHAF). Obamacare is the CHAF that is getting the most attention lately, but there are a whole lot more crony laws out there that, for the benefit of the few who wrote such laws, hurt us all and destroy the fabric of America.
How do we solve it? Know this: It is not that there is too much money in Washington. It is that there is too much Washington available for sale. We don’t need to take the “For Sale” sign down in Washington, but rather we need to make sure there is nothing there in Washington that anyone would want to buy.
Let’s make sure that we strive to obtain a situation in which there is no one in Washington worth bribing, coercing, or manipulating, no one worth cronying up to, because no one in Washington anymore has the power to threaten or coerce anyone else.
And, in the meantime, we should all loudly ridicule anyone who tries to use against their fellow man the government’s monopoly on force, whether that person is in the One Percent or the 99 Percent. Because it is that person, the crony who tries to get the government to force—rather than persuade—the rest of us citizens, who is indeed the dirtball, scumbag, evil, immoral, pile of smelly turds that we should all decry and never invite to our house for tea.
John Hunt, MD is the author of “Assume the Physician” and “Higher Cause”