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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LIVING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Recognizing the Positive Impact of the RICH

Living Outside The Box with Joe J. Wallace

The economic polarization between the so called “rich” and “poor” in America is reaching fever pitch. Even my educated and gainfully employed associates in some circles are railing against people of wealth as though they are all thieves and usury creatures. I have been astonished at the depth of envy that some publications have expressed on this situation. A letter to an editor that was the manifesto of a true communist with a heart full of envy inspired me to reflect on the positive impact that wealthy people have had upon me personally. The spirit of progress is not served by damning anyone, the rich included.

The economic witch hunt that characterizes the thoughts and actions of many of our fellow citizens must end. Our very survival as a free society may depend on the American spirit of acceptance. Many of the huddled masses yearning to be free of yesterday have funded the educational institutions, the humanitarian agencies, and the commercial successes that have kept America at the forefront of the world economy. May we never take up pitchforks to drive the innovators and successful business people from our borders. May we never support legislation that makes the United States of America hostile to the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country the land of opportunity that we all have come to know.

Let me preface my comments by disclosing that I am a descendant of the Cherokee nation, of immigrants, of William Wallace of Scotland, and am a direct descendant of Benjamin Harrison making me a cousin of 7 signers of the Declaration of Independence including Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Jefferson's lifestyle pretty much gives me relatives of every color and creed on earth. I am an American.

What have the rich done for me? In the beginning of the 20th century Evansville, Indiana Mayor Benjamin Bosse walked door to door collecting funds to supplement funds from the RICH to bring a college to Evansville that is now the University of Evansville. UE is here because of the philanthropic efforts of the RICH. I was able to attend UE largely on the strength of scholarships that were made possible by RICH corporations like Alcoa. Funding my BS with facilities and scholarships is what the RICH did for me.

I attended graduate school at Stanford University; a college was founded with the private donations of Jane Lathrop Stanford to memorialize her son Leland Stanford Jr. who passed away at a young age. My diploma bears his name. My class included Leslie Leland, the founder of Stanford's great niece. We both were on scholarships along with classmate Condoleeza Rice. The Stanford family’s wealth came from the railroad business. Some would call them robber barons, but I call them benefactors. Stanford is something else the RICH did for me.

I have never been hired by, had a business funded by, seen a factory built by, or seen an endowment established by anything but a RICH person. How many of the nation’s 20M unemployed are seeking employment from the RICH. All of them are.

The economy may crash due to government and business malfeasance, property values may plummet as they did in Moscow in 1917, our currency may be devalued to the point of needing a bucket full of money to buy bread as it did in Germany, but I will be fine. Why? I will be fine because the RICH through their philanthropy established educational systems that I was able to attend. As long as I maintain my health and keep my skills intact, I will survive to thrive another day.

I thank all of the American ancestry both RICH and POOR for establishing a country to make it possible for a teacher's kid from Kentucky to live the life that I have. The RICH did not do anything for me that they have not also done for each and every one of the Envy Police who are calling for confiscation of assets and a return to 90% tax rates. Are we as a nation willing to sacrifice the RICH on the altar of socialism out of jealousy and spite? I was not born to any more privilege than Chuck was. The difference in us is that I recognize generosity of the RICH along with the toil of the poor. The poor have toiled in America for the protections and rights that our founders had the wisdom to bestow upon us all. The poor have toiled in America so that they or their posterity can aspire to and have a better life.

Every American generation has produced rags to riches examples that have attracted the best and brightest from every country on earth. When the envy of the masses destroys this nation’s attractiveness as a place to live, then and only then will the United States of America join the evil oppressive empires that the Envy Police have imagined in the history books of failed nations. You see, it was not the RICH that destroyed Rome, it was the entitlement mentality of both the RICH and POOR of Rome that Edward Gibbon documented in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.

I feel entitled to nothing and I envy no-one. That is the American way, as least it once was.

For more information, please visit Joe's TNNWC Bio.

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