will explain a lot - about the mindset of many who are Republicans (and unfortunately more than a few who are at least nominally Democrats, including those in the group Democrats for Education Reform), and will most certainly help you understand the thinking of the likes of Mitt Romney.
That is the title of this columnby Steve Pearlstein of The Washington Post, appearing in today's dead-tree edition, and online since last night.
It is brilliant.
It is also almost impossible to excerpt, although below the squiggle I will offer a few selections with commentary.
To whet your appetite, perhaps you might consider this:
I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.And who are these people? According to Pearlstein they include corporate chief executives, business owners,and private equity managers (and that may not be an inclusive list).
I am a job creator and I am entitled.
Each of the paragraphs after what I have block-quoted begins with the telling words:
I am entitled
What are some of the things to which these folks think they are entitled?
...to complain about the economy even when my stock price, my portfolio and my profits are at record levels.How much more wealth do they think government policy should shift into their pockets, I wonder? How much more does the political system need to be tilted in their favor, just because "corporations are people, my friend."
These people think they are entitled to government provided services without paying the taxes that provide those services, and to be able to complain about and demonize the government workers who provide those services. Believe me, as a retired teacher this is one I have experienced first hand. Remember, corporate executives do not want to pay local taxes (the primary funding source of schools) and will play off local jurisdictions and states one against another in seeking the lowest tax burden, then insist upon imposing upon those very same schools their agendae.
And then there are taxes. The sense of entitlement makes these people believe that thay are entitled
...to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.That's right, boy-o: our taxes, for corporations and for high earning individuals have continually dropped, having the effect of shifting ever more of the burden for government and for the social safety net onto salaried individuals, while moving to abandon the poor. But these folks think they are entitled
...to have my earned income taxed as capital gains and my investment income taxed at the lowest rate anywhere in the world — or not at all.As a percentage of income, total American taxes pale in comparison to those in other nations, especially the social democracies of Scandinavia, where in fact folks by and large do not complain about their taxes because of what they get from their governments, which is far more than a bloated military-industrial complex, endless wars, and ballooning debt - that might be why on any measure of happiness people in those countries do far better than Americans.
This is getting lengthy.
You should be getting the point.
You need to read the Pearlstein.
You absolutely should be passing it on.
I can imagine turning this into viral youtubes.
How about this:
I am entitled to pass on my accumulated wealth tax-free to heirs, who in turn, are entitled to claim that they earned everything they have... or this:
I am entitled to fire any worker who tries to organize a union. I am entitled to break any existing union by moving, or threatening to move, operations to a union-hostile environment.or this Mitt Romney / Bain Capital Management special:
am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.There are these obnoxious statements:
I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.But even with all he lists, Pearlstein realizes he has not exhausted the sense of entitlement of folks like these.
I am entitled to confidential information about my employees and customers while refusing even to list the company’s phone number on its Web site.
Which is why he ends with this:
I am entitled to everything I have and more that I still deserve.Like, if you are Mitt Romney, your belief you are entitled to be President of the United States?