The Economy of Envy

I’ve been walking around mad lately. I’m mad that there is a growing perception in our country that all wealthy people are awful thieves and all poor people are sad victims. Studies show that 90% of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. They didn’t receive any handouts; they worked their butts off to get ahead. And once they got there, the government stepped in to take their money and distribute their hard-earned income to those who didn’t work quite as hard.

This is a country where two people can each start with equal opportunities, equal intelligence, and equal passion and yet end up in completely different positions. One can become a millionaire, while the other lands on welfare. There’s no secret, no magic formula for success. It’s just passion, deligence, and hard work. Thomas Edison was right: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Most of us have heard about Obama’s tax plan. He says that no one making under $250,000 will see an increase in taxes. And sadly, this is usually greeted by cheers. Why? What do we so despise the upper 5% of income earners that we want to pick their pockets?

Dave Ramsey wrote an article on this subject a couple of months ago, and I think it’s something we all need to remember. He writes:

We are in a dangerous place in our country today. A segment of our population has decided that it is the government’s job to provide all of their protection, provision, and prosperity. This segment has figured out that government doesn’t have the money to give them everything they want, so somebody else has to pay for it. That is how the “politics of envy” was born. “Tax the rich” has become the mantra of the left, and this political season it has been falsely dubbed a “moral imperative.”

Ninety percent of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. To tax them because you think it is a “moral imperative” is legalizing governmental theft from our brightest, most charitable, and most productive citizens.

I don’t earn $250,000 a year. I don’t really see that happening any time in my professional life. However, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility for me to build up a retirement fund of $2.5 million over the next 30 years, which would produce a retirement income in the $250,000 ball park. If that’s the case, how would Obama’s plan celebrate my retirement after 30-40 years of hard work, discipline, and careful planning? It would take more of my money in retirement than it ever did in my working years, and give that money to some who weren’t as diligent with their own finances. Shouldn’t I be able to choose where, how, when, and to whom to give my own money? That’s the economy of envy, and it’s not where I want to live. Do you?

Read Dave Ramsey’s full article, “Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing,” at


One Response to The Economy of Envy

  1. BobbiDale says:

    I am tired of paying for others to mooch off the government. I work hard. I want to be compensated for my hard labor and not reward those who CHOOSE to sit!!!!!

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