The Burden of the Rich

Today is election day.

For me, that means an extra day to do my homework and/or rant on my blog.

I choose the latter.

Since I am ineligible to vote due to my age, I feel the need to express my opinion through some other medium. After all, this is America, and we are #1 in freedom of expression.

(Sike! No we’re not).

In any case, I am allowed to ramble on about my views whether anyone cares or not.

No one is going to read this anyway.

As I was laying on my bed, smartphone in hand (my preferred method of blogging), I was going over the topics that I could cover today.

~How media bipartisanship has divided the country
~How politics have evolved into a form of entertainment
~How Mitt Romney kind of looks like the Mayor of Whoville

I was about to pick the last one when I saw something interesting on my twitter feed:

“Why should my parents, who work hard and pay taxes, care about those who sit around on their asses all day?”*

So let me take a minute to address that.

I understand that many people are lazy, that they go to job interviews hoping that they don’t get the job so they can go on living on welfare. I understand that many rich people got their fortune through dedication and hard work. I also understand that some may view it to be unfair to take from the latter to give to the former.

What I don’t understand?

How someone who probably lived their whole life under a stable upper-middle class household could presume something so degrading about a life foreign to their own.

Millions of people in this country are struggling, with or without jobs, because of misfortune. Can we still use that term? The “unfortunate?” Or have we thrown that word into the trash just like we did with “rich” or “privleged” and replaced it with “job creator?”

“The Great Burden of the Rich Man” would be a great title to a book compiling all of the misinformed presumptions of the cumbersome low-class– by, of course, rich people.

Over the course of this election, it seemed that it was almost taboo to call Romney fortunate or rich. No, he is just a job creator, helplessly ripped apart by cruel democrats for making something of himself. The rich, you see, have become the victims. They have supposedly become the ones carrying the load of the country on their Armani shoulder pads, and they are the ones we have to protect in this country.

The poor? Bums, losers, mouchers, drug-addicts, baby-popping whores, society’s unwanted excess.

Take a moment to ask yourself: is this reality or is this something we’ve fooled ourselves into believing for our conscience’s benefit?

Isn’t it easier to demand lower taxes for the rich– I’m sorry!– job creators, when one’s vision of the lower class is distorted?

Isn’t it easier to pass by a homeless man or woman believing that he/she got to that position because of drugs and other bad decisions as opposed to mental disease or childhood trauma?

And isn’t it easier to write off 47% of the country to a room full of wealthy donors when one has never experienced life on that end of the spectrum?

Ask me what’s wrong with this country nowadays and I can give you a list as long as the Wall of China. If I had to pick one of the things on that list that disturbs me the most, it would be the increasing amount apathy towards the poor, reminiscent to that of the Gilded Age.

Here’s the realistic but unfavorable vision of the real working man/woman:

The migrant farmhand who labors long days to pick out the fruit you buy at WalMart, but is incessantly harrassed for being apart of the lazy ethnicity who “takes American jobs away from Americans.”

The hotel room maid or waitress who breaks her back cleaning up after people who complain about how the poor needs to “get up off their asses and work.”

The single-mom on welfare who struggles to find work after her company outsourced her job or after a certain illness prevented her from working enough hours and gets eye-rolls when she uses food stamps at the supermarket.

The young college student who cannot afford healthcare because he/she works two jobs in order to pay off loans and buy books; living in a world where sleep is a luxury and illness must be ignored.

The old woman who worked her entire life but cannot enjoy her retirement because she needs to find some way to pay for her medication while also keeping her home.

This is the 47%. These are the people viewed as the burden of America when they are the ones who clean up our messes, do the jobs we don’t want to do, and silently listen as the rest of the country complain about their incompetence.

Let’s find the compassion in our hearts to look back on them, to see them in a different light, to feel, if not empathy, sympathy for their situation. Our conscience cannot be eased by putting in a few minutes at the soup kitchen or by dropping a few dollars into a Salvation Army bucket.

We must ensure that the poor children of this country really do have equal opportunity to become successful. We must ensure that no one is scared to seek medical treatment because they can’t afford it. We must ensure that this country will not be divided by social class.

To the writer of that tweet and anyone else who thinks that way, I hope you never have to face true poverty because, quite frankly, it’s not as fun as you make it sound.

Your Beloved Blogger,

*Paraphrased to protect the identity of the twit(terer).


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