If you caught the profile of singer Vic Damone on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” recently, you heard him talk about growing up in a big family with little money. He owned but two pair of pants – one for church, another for school. The school pants were corduroys. So to this day, he refuses to wear corduroy.
I have a friend and colleague named Lee Miltee. She’s a highly successful and wealthy entrepreneur, author and peak performance trainer and coach, with corporate clients like Disney and Federal Express. She recalls growing up wearing the same pair of slacks to school everyday – unfortunately, plaid – and having schoolmates take critical notice. As a teen, one year, I wore a donated winter coat and even briefly time-shared it with my father. Only one of us could go outdoors at a time.
This is a commonality in the lives of many – maybe even most – of the much-demonized rich, and successful, and famous: they were once poor. And they did, to use tired cliché, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. They sacrificed much, they worked longer hours and harder and more persistently than others.
This, a fact rarely remarked upon by political demagogues or liberal media pundits. To them, we are now rich, much richer than most, so we should have much forcibly taken from us and distributed to the non-rich.
Could there be any more criminal an idea?
As was recently shown on ABC’s 20/20, when teens break into
This past week, most media reported the fact that a stunning 47 percent of Americans pay no net income taxes. Zero. Of course, many of them do pay into the government run Ponzi schemes, Social Security and Medicare; pay property taxes; all pay sales taxes; and all will now pay the myriad of new taxes concealed within the scam called Health Care Reform, as well as the coming, inevitable super-inflation. But they pay no net income taxes. And that is offensive – no, vile and repugnant – to those of us who now give an astronomical portion of our incomes astronomical taxes to pay the major share of taxes in this country. That’s what we get for years of struggle and sacrifice.
These people paying zero in but taking out much are thieves. They steal from me. And I resent the thievery and its sanction.
The other day, I had a debate with an acquaintance about the health care tax, tax, tax ‘n power grab scheme. He ended it by asserting, with some rage and resentment, that I did not understand, and had no right to object. Why? Because, he said, as though to a leper dripping toxic goo on his shoes, I am rich.
His indictment of me ignores the reality of my journey. I understand and very much remember going without needed health care, and watching my parents go without needed health care, because of lack of insurance and money. I am all for a strong safety net for those who genuinely, legitimately need help with basic needs and are unable (not unwilling) either temporarily or permanently to provide for themselves or their families. But that’s not what Obamacare is about. In fact, it makes the situation of those in the bad circumstances worse, not better. The poor will be made poorer, the middle-class made poorer, health care quality and safety damaged.
But my acquaintance couldn’t know these things because, by his own admission, he has not read the health reform bill or even read much about it, read any objective in-depth analysis about it, or otherwise acquired information on which to base an intelligent opinion. Call me crazy, but I believe knowledge should be pre-requisite for opinion. But it is this willful, slothful, irresponsible ignorance that scammers like Obama rely on. It’s essential to his projects of transforming 1/6th of the American economy, of installing socialism, and of demonizing the rich.
Because, like my acquaintance, so many are ignorant of the real reasons money moves about from one person, place or thing to another; ignorant of how ordinary people choose to create extraordinary success and wealth, and how much of life’s outcomes in wealth, health and otherwise are choice; ignorant of how evil and consistently unsuccessful forced re-distribution of wealth schemes are; ignorant of what Obamacare and Obama really represent … the destruction of all that has made America great is possible.
Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur, adviser to business owners, sought-after speaker and author of 14 books. His latest, “Make ‘Em Laugh & Take Their Money: A Few Thoughts on Using Humor as a Speaker or Writer or Sales Professional for Purposes of Persuasion ,” contains a lelection of his BMI essays. More information about Dan can be found at www.NoBSBooks.com , and a free collection of his business resources including newsletters and webinars at www.DanKennedy.com .<?xml:namespace prefix = u1 /><?xml:namespace prefix = u2 />