Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Are You A Member of the Ruling Class?

Dear Editor,

A friend of mine, perceiving himself as rich, took offense at my “Tax the Rich” bumper sticker. I define the rich as those who don’t pay taxes, and who live, as parasites, off our collective backs. I asked him to take my test. Was he obligated to get up and go to work in the morning? He said yes. I congratulated him for being a worker.

Many people like him seem strangely desperate to define themselves as “rich”. They list the signs of wealth; big houses, college-bound children, SUV’s, boats, cottages, stocks. My grandfather earned a similar lifestyle working hard on the shop floor of a glove factory. I know he saw himself as a worker who had done well for himself, and not as “rich”.

Approximately 95% of America’s wealth is controlled by 3% of our population. It’s a no-brainer that if you’re reading this, you’re probably not of that class. You are a worker. You have to be smart and strong and lucky to survive. You have almost no safety net. You are not an heir or a trust fund baby.

In November, wouldn’t it be wise to vote for candidates who understand this struggle? Won’t they better represent you? Why vote for those who have been handed everything on a silver platter (like Bush and all three front-runners in the democratic primaries). How can they appreciate what they have been given when they have done little or nothing to earn it.
Albert Einstein said that … “The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.”

Let’s show ourselves to be wiser than “tools” by supporting real people who have struggled, candidates like Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich. Remember which class you belong to when you vote. If we mess up yet again, it is our children who will suffer. They will still not have health care. They will still have to fight oil wars. They won’t have social security and they’ll be left with a huge deficit. They will have fouled air and water.

The ruling class, as always, will laugh at us (we “tools”), confident that their children, through mountainous accumulation of wealth, will always be insulated from these “lower class” realities.

Matt Funiciello