Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana and a second-or-third-tier Republican presidential candidate, has taken to the air to warn us all about socialism - something straight out of the Joe McCarthy political playbook of sixty years ago. Jindal, while whipping up images of America's left marching to the evil drumbeat of Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton, recently said on a New York AM radio station:
"We are on the path towards socialism. It's not too late, but the hour is late."
Social Security, insured banking, free rural mail delivery, Medicare, Medicaid, Headstart, WIC, tax-supported public education, free and reduced price meals for needy school children, Obamacare, a minimum wage - why, by golly, I think he's right!
I recently saw a car with Texas plates bearing a bumper sticker which read:
"I will fight socialism until hell freezes over, and then I will fight on the ice!"
It's a topic that gets people fired up, or at least those who are raised to believe that anyone who has the initiative to work in our country will survive and prosper - even though there are massive amounts of evidence to the contrary.
Some people in America are very, very wealthy, and a goodly number of others want to be in that gilded one percent. But what those struggling to plant their flags on the top of the economic cupcake fail to take into account is that almost all of the ultra-rich in this country got that way not through hard work and due diligence, but through inheritance. Nothing says economic success quite like the passing of a rich relative.
While there are a smattering of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's among us who actually earned their wealth, most of today's ultra-rich Americans got that way through inherited money. The Koch's, the Walton's, and even the Bush's to a large extent survive and thrive on piles of inherited cash. That money generates power, and that is often used to close doors of opportunity that would allow the poorest among us to move forward.
The rich rattle on about the awfulness of "death" (inheritance) taxes as they come up with more and more creative ways to pass their unearned wealth on to their undeserving spawn, and they always keep an eye on maintaining what they have. One way to maintain their hordes of money is to starve the government through tax loopholes and hiding money overseas, and limiting the government's need for money by fighting all programs designed to empower those at the bottom of the economy.
Circle the wagons and call it socialism.
Are the rich under attack from the socialists, or is mankind under attack from the greedy?
Isn't there enough to go around? Can't we all at least have a whiff of the pie?
Is it socialism, or is it basic humanity and Christianity?
Thankfully, Bobby Jindal, as he tries to revive a bogeyman from the last century, does not speak for us all.