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Entries in The Soapbox (1)


In a spirit of exasperation, occasioned by conservative rhetoric

The first and most important step for working people must be to change their attitude towards other working people. When we regard someone who enjoys more leverage over his or her employers than we do over our own as a spoiled, greedy parasite, rather than a model, we are engaging in fantasy. Anyone with less than $100,000 a year who imagines that he is being impoverished by, say, public sector employees’ benefits is deluding himself. The reality is that these people are people just like us, on balance no lazier, no less competent, no less well-intentioned. To imagine otherwise is to fall into the error of identifying with people whose interests do not align with our own, of imagining that by saying what rich people say we are more likely to become rich ourselves; but we will not become rich in any case. If we cannot see that higher wages for ordinary working people—even for not particularly efficient or attractive working people—is what drives job creation, growth, and social cohesion, we will continue to grow poorer, never mind rich.