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What’s in your working-class wallet?

Robert Waldrop January 11th, 2011

Jay Wright (Letters, “Some more, some less,” Dec. 29, 2010, Gazette) thinks that criticism of the rich is a recent innovation of the Obama administration.

Jay Wright (Letters, “Some more, some less,” Dec. 29, 2010, Gazette) thinks that criticism of the rich is a recent innovation of the Obama administration. Actually, it’s much older than that: It goes all the way back to Jesus Christ, who plainly and without any ambiguity said, “Blessed are the poor,” and “Woe to the rich.”

Mr. Wright wants a live-and-let-live treaty so he can continue a high-consumption lifestyle. I wouldn’t have much problem with this, except for the little detail that this lifestyle is subsidized by the taxpayer.

Let us count the ways: (1) Since fuel taxes don’t pay all the bills, roads are also funded with sales and property taxes, so Americans benefit from subsidized roads. (2) To keep gasoline affordable for a Range Rover habit, the military is deployed, at very high human and dollar cost, to control the petroleum lifeline from the Middle East. (3) Perhaps Americans took advantage of the artificially low-bysocialist-government-fiat interest rates to buy their vehicles or a McMansion, thus enabling them to buy more cars and more house than would be the case if a free market prevailed for interest rates. (4) A McMansion is made more affordable by the mortgage interest deduction on one’s income taxes.

Wright criticizes attempts by the left to legislate morality, while forgetting that it was the right that originated that concept and those efforts continue most notably today with the “War on Drugs” that attempts to coerce a common socialist morality on all citizens. It was the conservative right that gave us the misnamed Patriot Act, which has done more to destroy American liberties and freedoms than anything ever proposed by the left.

He asks how many middle-class jobs are offered by poor people, but is blind to the rent-seeking elites who have raised the price of market entry so high that poor people can no longer start micro-enterprises that could grow into full-time jobs. The poor have been punished for decades by urban renewal, which has destroyed tens of thousands of mostly low-income housing units. This continual market distortion raised the price of housing well above the actual free market price, with all of the benefits of these economic progams accruing to those who are not poor. People criticize the rent-seeking elites because they are tired of having their pockets picked by economic aristocrats who demand low interest rates for credit, while they punish working-class ants like me with low interest rates on our savings accounts. When their financial institutions get into trouble, they demand that taxpayer money be thrown from helicopters onto Wall Street.

I would be totally in favor of a liveand-let-live program as described by Mr. Wright. He and his rent-seeking friends can start by taking their fingers off my working-class wallet.

—Robert Waldrop 

Oklahoma City

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02.04.2011 at 12:41 Reply

Here, here!