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Why the Obscenely Wealthy Whine When They Have It So Good

Romney's 47% comments are exactly what wealthy conservatives think: that they are the true victims.


So, Mitt Romney now tells Sean Hannity he was “completely wrong” about the 47%.  On the surface that looks like a typical etch-a-sketch campaign pivot. But I think there is more to it than a little clean up in aisle three. 


My theory is that after careful research and analysis,  the smartest guys at 1% World Headquarters reached a disturbing conclusion. They decided that the whole fiasco needs to be contained as much as possible because it has the potential for serious damage well beyond the November election.   


How? Let’s see.   


First,  the setting.  This is how they think and talk among themselves.  It’s not just at fundraisers,  but in their churches,  country clubs and board rooms as well.  Their servants hear them all the time.  But they can’t tell for fear of being easily dismissed.  Thanks to YouTube we now get to see and hear for ourselves. 


Yes, they really do believe there is something wrong with the people.  What is it?  It’s that our default preference is to be lazy moochers.  As employers this is definitely how they think about us as workers.  This is why there are entire schools devoted to “management”.  We also hear a lot about their true worldview any time we start to talk about forming a union. 


The roots of this mindset run very deep.  Did the job creator plantation owners ever want to consider there was anything wrong with the slavery system? Of course not. But they were very eager to talk about all the things that were wrong with the slaves.


That legacy is very much with us  They still don’t want anyone to think there is anything wrong with the system.


For one thing,  it matters greatly to their own sense of self-worth that they be seen as deserving of their riches and power.  Most of them were born on third base.  Real economic mobility in our society has been essentially frozen for decades.  Nevertheless,  the rich and the super-rich desperately want to believe that they hit a triple or a home run . 


And even if they are genuinely “self-made,”  in the Horatio Alger myth sense,  their “achievements” occur within a system.  The nature of that system is that for every LeBron James “success” there are dashed hopes and dreams for bazillions of others. 


That aside, it’s even more important that we-the-people believe that the rich are “deserving” too.  It is a critical component of the “legitimacy” of their rule. It’s all OK because they weren’t born into feudal era royalty. Theirs is a privilege of “merit.”


The entire edifice of capitalism is wrapped around the protestant work ethic which compels us to be loyal,  grateful and subservient to employers and their power.  If we are poor or unemployed or not employers ourselves, it must be because there is something wrong with us.  That is as core as core belief gets.  According to them, to even consider that an economy organized differently might produce more equitable outcomes is to wallow in envy,  resentment or worse “socialism,”  (aka:  anything that isn’t the status quo.) 

Confusion on issues of “dependence” is also central to the philosophical grip they maintain on our minds.  The last thing they want is for ordinary citizens to be self-reliant.  That would mean we wouldn’t need them.  In particular it would mean we wouldn’t need their J.O.B. system as the means by which we work in order to live. 

By portraying us as lazy moochers dependent on “government,”  they deflect attention from the reality that we are utterly dependent on them. That dependence is just fine in their view.  In language worthy of Orwell,  they call our dependence (on “job creators”) “personal responsibility.”

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