We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
John McAfee of the famous software company has seen his net worth go from $100 million to $4 million. He is just one of many of the wealthy who have experienced similar things over the past couple of years.
The NYT recounts some of these stories. (h/t, Mankiw). I have seen quite a bit of this happening in clients at the firm - none on the scale of McAfee, but plenty of folks who have dropped from, say, $4 million to $700,000 or $1 million. A few folks who were heavy in Citibank, for example, and a couple of families in Madoff. That hurts if you are 70 and thought you were all set for a comfortable retirement.
The collapse of the value of stocks, real estate, and other investments has led to greater "equality." Achieving greater financial equality in this way doubtless evokes schadenfreude in the envious, happiness in the hate-the-rich populists, and delight in those who erroneously believe that money and wealth are zero-sum games.
But does it do any good for anybody? Probably not. When the rich lose money, government revenues drop, requiring higher taxes on the middle class. When the rich lose money, those who provide the goods and services they enjoy end up in trouble too - like boatmakers, travel companies, landscaping businesses, interior decorators, masseuses, restaurants, furniture-makers, hospital employees, government employees - and lawyers (our firm's income is down 27% thus far this year).
I believe that the Lefty notion of economic equality is insane. If anything, we need more rich people - the more, the better. I want everybody to be rich - if that is what they want in life.
Barrister ... As the daughter of a banker, I've always had a basic understanding of the free enterprise system, and I've always wanted clever, creative people to be able to get rich, and have the elbow room to do it free of restrictive regulations instituted by less clever, envious people. As a lifelong writer and editor, I also knew that one of the get-rich folks was not going to be me. And I haven't. But I'll fight to the death so that others continue to have the right to do so.
I hate the idea of economic equality being imposed on me by Busybody strangers. The ability of talented people to get rich in a free atmosphere is the best protection I, and other folks like me, have in this country.
I believe Marianne is right about this. If we were all the same, we'd all be the same. Failure to achieve life's riches is often not associated with oppression or racism or any other "ism," but may rest with the vast differences and level of intelligence among people. Anyone with blood coursing through his or her body should be able to recognize this fact, but it must not be so obvious to everyone. Economic equality is simply unattainable, a pipe dream of the Left. Quite frankly, it wouldn't be so bad if they would restrict their nonsense to themselves, but they always insist that we must drown with them.
The ditch digger with power equipment and the training to use it earns more money. She also delivers a better ditch, faster, so that other costs are lower up and down the chain. This is called "progress" by "conservatives" and "exploitation" by "progressives".