I came across an article about Billionaires deciding to give back (or, more accurately and consistent with successful attitudes, “invest”) most of their wealth to benefit mankind. I was surprised at how many people were surprised. This really comes down to dispelling myths that make this sound unusual.
First, the wealthy, least in America, have ALWAYS done this. Many of our basic institutions — including schools, hospitals, art centers, libraries, you name it — were created, maintained, and given to the public by the big, bad industrialists.
Secondly, such people — especially today — do NOT accumulate wealth, but generate it through work so demanding most of us could never imagine being capable. Over 95% of new millionaires in America are first-generation, and many are the innovators who ushered in the modern age for the common man, just as their industrial predecessors.
Only people who have mentally poor attitudes would think of making money for its own sake. A person with a mentality that courts wealth does not give up the ambition, work ethic, passion, and challenges that made them wealthy once they “made it”. Such people often don’t know or care how much more they made than last year, but simply continue those habits.
Lastly, the “filthy rich” who may be responsible for social and global collusion for their own interests in detriment to society can only do so with the aid of Big Government. Today, all monopolies and trusts are created and enforced by “regulations” that rarely do what they are named or purport to publicly. THAT is the crime, not simply being the best in the market, but HARMING the freedom of the market — and there’s no better way to do that than government under the guise of “protecting” the economy or consumer.
What I find most disturbing is that the basic economic premises and values that made America a global power is being replaced by foreign notions of controlled economy in the hands of the masses, who, frankly, are not qualified to have a serious opinion about the price of peanuts. The “poor” (meaning all of us accept some amorphous rich “them”) are convinced nobody deserves more than them, or was stolen from them in some vague way, and everything can be made right through the agency of a government working (in never much more than theory) for them, as them, and by them.
This perversion of the original meaning of “We the People” is like candy in the mouth — which populists will unwittingly sell their soul for — but in the end as bitter as every other result in history if one understands the fate of Rome or the USSR. When we achieve the dream that everything is free to all, the nightmare of unemployment and bread lines as long as the eye can see will begin again.
And these same people will again be surprised.