Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no.--from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Fortunate Son”
In a time of massive taxpayer bailouts of the banking and automobile industries, high unemployment and a staggering state budget crisis, The Oklahoman editorial page want us to take some time to “celebrate” millionaires and billionaires.
That’s right. You may be laid off and broke while the same Wall Street scammers—millionaires themselves--who gave us the national recession are getting bonuses, but, hey, put aside that job search for a moment and give credit to the local rich people. If you don’t, well, then you must have that awful class envy.
A recent editorial, titled “Fortunate Sons: State policy should encourage success” (January 12, 2010) laments the fact that Oklahoma is “under-represented” on the Forbes magazine list of wealthiest America and points out the philanthropic work of state billionaire George Kaiser. Then comes this gem:
Kaiser’s political leanings perhaps make his success more acceptable to the class-envy crowd, which should be celebrating the success of all Oklahoma millionaires and billionaires, even those who are conservative Republicans.
What an inane argument. Certainly, people can and do admire particular financial successes, but to urge a sweeping, general celebration of the “success” of rich people is simply ridiculous. What about people who earned their money by gouging people through business monopolies? What about people who inherited their money? What about people who use their money to promote hatred and discrimination against certain groups of people? What about bankers and mortgage brokers who made millions off the recent housing bubble? What about people who make their money illegally?
Yes, state policy should encourage people to locate and start businesses here, but misguided worship of money without critical inquiry is not in the best interests of anyone, except those who have it.
The Oklahoman editorial page continues to show its disdain, maybe even a growing distaste, for middle-class people, who have to be the newspaper’s primary readers. Its opinions mainly reflect the vested interests of the state’s corporate power structure and its wealthiest residents.