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Mar 03

The war against social terrorism

Posted by Stephen Taub in terrorismsocial terrorismperquisitespensionsjobsheatlh carehealth insuranceCareers/Management

Stephen Taub

A civil war has broken out in the US and the main weapon being deployed is envy.

The war is over Other People's Money. It has been raging for more than two years now and is threatening to escalate.

Who or what is to blame? Mostly the global economic meltdown that put 15 percent to 20 percent of Americans out of full-time work or on reduced wages. The Obama Administration's "spread it around" mentality didn't help either.

But, this war is escalating faster than you can whine: "That's not fair."

Just look at what is going on. First, the Democrats decided that people-no matter where they live-are rich like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett if they make more than $250,000 per year. They were all lumped in the same category called "rich" and targeted for higher taxes.

Now, governors in a half dozen states want to cut the benefits of government workers, as if people who make between $30,000 and $80,000 are what are causing the huge budget deficits. Give me a break.

What is especially frightening is on one hand, we bemoan the declining state of education in this country and how we are slipping behind western countries. At the same time a growing number of people believe inexperienced 24 year-olds who look no older than their students are better at handling unruly classrooms and getting the growing underclass to do homework, which they refuse to do.

But what is especially troubling is the demonizing of government workers' benefits. "Get rid of the pensions, make them pay more for health care," is the growing refrain.

But underlying this sentiment is the notion that if I don't have a pension then they shouldn't have one. If my employer makes me pay more for health care, then they should too. If I don't make six figures or seven figures, then nobody should.

Now there is a movement to cap pay.

Governors want to put a ceiling on school superintendents' salary.

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to decide how much people should be paid in the financial services industry.

This "If I don't have it you can't have it mentality" is social terrorism. And I don't use this term lightly. It was intentional.

People should not feel intimidated from succeeding.

People should not be ashamed if they make more than their neighbor, or heaven forbid, have a pension.

This petty jealousy will harm the country more than the fact that smart people who risked their capital and made a lot of money from their success have much more money than those who dropped out of high school or chose to have kids at 14, 15 or 16.

What's the solution? Personal responsibility...and an economic rebound that creates more jobs. Unfortunately, both solutions will take awhile to emerge.

In the meantime, anyone who worked hard to get over the hump will be a target for those who haven't.

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