The Difference Between Freedom And Envy
I had a conversation with a friend today that motivated me to write a post. As I have been watching the political issues facing out country lately I have been quite disturbed at the direction the conversation is going. Over the past few years we have really seen an upswing in the amount of anger being directed at the wealthy and, not surprisingly, this has coincided with a few of the major corporations out there breaking the law and financially benefiting from it. That being said, I felt it was time to make a point about a phenomenon that has occurred as a result. Instead of people being focused on what they should be looking at, that being laws being broken, they have instead embraced a swell of envy between the classes of financial success in this country. Let me clarify. There are many people in this country who are very wealthy and that fact should be a source of pride for Americans, as it shows that with hard work and good decisions, one can achieve almost anything they want from a financial sense in this country. Now I am not talking about people who have ripped off the general public, or taken advantage of the system, but instead those dedicated individuals out there who have dedicated their life’s effort to becoming wealthy. The vast majority of the wealthy in this country have become that way through legitimate hard work and sacrifice, yet it seems nowadays that having wealth is generally associated with wrongdoing.This is where the conversation has gone awry in my opinion. If you only make 30k a year, it is not the fault of a millionaire, nor should that millionaire be responsible for paying extra for your freedoms. Yes, I agree that if a law is broken, no one is out of line for demanding justice, but to just generally blame the problems in YOUR life on someone you’ve never met just become they have an income ten times higher than yours is beyond ridiculous and also goes against the very freedom and liberty many of the citizens in this country are so passionate about. We all have opportunities and even though there are always exceptions to the rule, the vast majority of us are in a place in our lives that WE put ourselves in.
To show you how dedicated I am to this opinion I am going to put myself right out in the open for you to ridicule, agree with, or look down upon. I am 38 years old. I am going to school using student loans provided to me by the government. I could have done this 20 years ago but I was more interested in partying with my friends and spending my money on immediate gratification than I was planning for the future. I spent many years uninsured because I hopped from job to job, mainly due to the fact that my only real motivation to work was to stay off the streets and have money to spend on good times. I have medical debt as a result of this and a below average credit score. I do not have a car, a bank account, or any kind of savings directed at my retirement. To be completely honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that I am married to an educated and successful woman, I could probably fit everything I own into a small closet. Thanks to insurance provided by my wife’s job, I am just starting to get my teeth fixed after years of no dental insurance and even though i am only 38, I am missing at least 7 permanent teeth(thank god they are the back ones…lol). I have taken probably two vacations in the last 15 years. I have never had a car loan, or any type of loan for that matter, other than a $700.00 loan from a great friend I used to buy a 1992 Ford tempo…..in 2006. here’s the thing though…every single thing I just described, and I admit and realize it isn’t a very impressive list of accomplishments, is EXACTLY what I deserved for the amount of effort I put in. I didn’t try hard, I didn’t work hard and I didn’t plan for the future. So after all that, where in the hell would I get the gall to blame anyone but MYSELF for the lack of “success”(by societies definition)???
Those who know me are aware that I am passionate about our country and the world but I want to clarify that my passion begins and ends with justice, freedom, liberty and morality. I am broke because of me, no one else, and while I am sickened by those who break the law to get rich I am also enamored with those who did it the right way. So I hope after reading this people, both friends and family, realize that I am NEVER against the right to be rich, successful, or being driven by financial or material success. I only oppose acceptance of the law being broken to do so. Mitt Romney, running for the GOP nomination, just released his income of 41 million dollars over the last two years. I do not fault him for making that much money nor do I feel he does not have the right to do so. I only hope that someone who makes so much has the insight to be able to relate to the common man should he be elected. It’s about truth people. I often slaw Newt Gingrich, not because he was wealthy but because he made at least a chunk of that wealth working on behalf of companies who either violated the law or acted immorally(lobbying for Freddie Mac, who’s inept practices damaged the economy that we all use as he profited from it.) I don’t want him to lose the nomination because he is rich but instead because lobbying for a company that hurt this country with its practices which shows judgement that, in my opinion, is too poor to qualify him to make larger decisions.
I hope anyone who reads this knows that I am here to champion morality, justice, and freedom, but never entitlement or envy towards someone who has worked harder than I have.