Swickard - Envy me not, nor me you

“You shall not covet your neighbor's house… or anything that is your neighbor's.” ESV Bible, Exodus 20:17
While the “envy your neighbors” card has been played often by politicians for several decades, it seems the current class warfare dialog has gone mainstream this political season. Talking about who has what is the Washington rage, despite that members of Congress are quite wealthy and have been made so by holding the reins of power.
Also, the rules of Washington insure that the holders of the power are not subject to the same rules as the masses. The people pointing out the inequities of life are themselves treated to different healthcare and retirement programs as are the masses. Is it envy that I say these things? No.
It is central to political speak that in our society everyone has a different amount of resources. Some people always have more than others. Some citizens work harder and or smarter and are rewarded for those actions. For every person who inherited wealth, a thousand created it in their own generation. But that does not get votes, what gets votes is class warfare.
Rather than celebrate that a candidate for president without being compelled gave about three million dollars to charity last year is met with, “They should have given more.” Really? Someone gives three million dollars without being compelled to do so and it is not enough for some envious people? Sad.
In the political class warfare it is hard to imagine a country like ours without envy. Being aware and attracted to the possession of others is the hallmark of our nation; the driving force in our tax code. We refer to our envy as to the issue of fairness, it is not fair one person has more possessions than another. This is still envy and it is very dysfunctional to our society.
Envy has taken over our culture to the point that there is a backlash against people who have worked hard all of their life and have accumulated possessions. Regardless of what one person has that another does not, be it a nicer house, better car or a debt-free existence, those who have more are more likely battered by the political elite. Example: Tiger Woods.


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