How to win a race

Life is a really simple affair. You have to survive long enough to produce progeny, raise that progeny and watch them go on to succeed in life. Everything else, according to conservatives, is about your own attitude, and working hard, and you will succeed.

Conservatives appear to live in a whitewashed world, filled with fluffy white clouds and gossamer silk threads, one in which the virtuous live in pretty little houses surrounded by picket fences, where neighbors drop by with green bean casseroles and everyone exists in a paradise of plenty.

The real secret to winning the footrace of life is even simpler. You just need to move the starting line closer to the finish line. This is what the wealthy do for their children. While the middle class start the marathon on the starting line, the poor start 26 miles behind them, and the wealthy start a mile from the finish line. Then they claim that this is a society of equality where anyone can succeed. It is, but only if the wealthy are handicapped in some way, like moving them back to the starting line and moving the poor forward to the starting line.

The fact is the wealthy have it all their own way. They grow up without want, with clothes, a clean dry bed, food cooked by servants, heat in winter and air conditioning in summer. They attend expensive kindergartens, go to private mid and high schools. They spend summers in Europe surrounded by great art and music. Then they move on to Harvard and Yale because their parents too, attended.

The poor have none of these advantages, and the middle classes only a few. The poor have no vacations, and are lucky if they can see a movie occasionally. They attend poorly endowed public schools in run-down, ramshackle buildings. They live in decrepit tenements with little running water, heat or air conditioning. College is something they clean for a living, restaurants where they serve others.

Government has an obligation to those people, to ensure that they have a chance in life, that they too can go on to Harvard or Yale and live fulfilled lives. For that, taxes need to be raised on the idle rich, those that exploit the laboring classes, to educate the poor, to allow them to work with dignity, not toil at dead end jobs their entire lives.

 

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