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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 03/06/2013

Billionaires

The Forbes billionaire list is out again, designed, I think, to make sure that when we tote up all the money we will earn in our lives we’ll see that it’s a pittance and our efforts are relatively pointless, as judged by the marketplace. Unless, I guess, you’re one of those people who likes to fantasize about being somebody else and just PRETEND you’re them. I’m not one of those. Are you?

I actually will confess to a significant resentment about somebody so totally dwarfing the rewards of my efforts over my whole lifetime. It’s not exactly envy. It’s more like indignation. I’ve done fine. More than fine. But call it envy, if you want. Or politicize it and call it class envy. Call it class resentment. Call it class warfare. I don’t care what you call it, I feel it anyway. I doubt I’m the only one. But if so, feel free to click away to another blog somewhere and feel sorry for my cramped, jealous heart. You can say that the system merely rewards the brilliance of the select and rewards them in proportion to their brilliance. It’s the second half of that that is the harder part to swallow. Billions? Really? Tell me which of these brilliants delivered outcomes that would not have happened in some form without them. Steve Jobs comes closest. The rest? Make your case.

I don’t think it’s encouraging to people to see the rewards system so astronomically out of whack. Maybe somebody who works two or three difficult jobs for paltry wages and no benefits and no security and no thanks is getting exactly what they deserve. Maybe. And maybe so for the billionaires. Maybe they deserve those billions and our worship too, thank you Forbes. I think it’s crazy and wrong and I pretty much hate it.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 03/06/2013

 
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