I have made a point of avoiding politically oriented messages here, because I feel the topics discussed transcend political ideas. If we all take personal responsibility for who and what we are and concentrate on improving ourselves, we will all rise above the need to fight and argue. We may not all agree, but we will find a way to overcome our differences.
Unfortunately, there is an idea in this country that is poisoning the minds of millions of people and if left unchecked has the potential to cause great harm. It is a false idea that is being used for political purposes and as the justification for public policy. While I have said before that we should not give our attention or energy to the things we do not want, I felt led to share with you my answer to a particular video that is making its way around the Internet spreading this false idea.
The video talks about how “wealth is distributed in America” and makes references to a more fair distribution. It shows tiny representative people on a chart, the ones on the far left with no money, and another tiny representative person on the far right with so much money that he needs his own column because his stack of cash is so high it won’t fit on the screen. The video is based on a false premise and is designed to frighten and anger its viewers while offering no actual solutions to what it presents as the problem, or even discussing what the root causes of the problem are. I originally intended to spend three or four days discussing all the issues I had with this video, but when I thought about it again, I felt that would just be giving it too much attention. So I’m going to deal with it today, and hopefully that will be the end of it.
The basic idea of this video is that money or wealth is distributed unfairly in the United States. While it is true that there are a small percentage of people who have a great percentage of the total money owned in the U.S., that does not mean that there is a fixed amount of money available and that these people are hoarding it. What it means is that there is a small percentage of people who understand how money works, how to make money, and how to make money work for them. It also means there are many, many people in this country who do NOT understand money.
There is an implication, though it is never stated overtly, that the money the top one percent possesses should be somehow, someway, redistributed to the other 99 percent. That would seem fair to the 99, but would it be fair to the one?
That question can be argued all day long, undoubtedly with someone shouting how “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” without finding an answer. The reason you won’t find an answer is because the idea of “fairness” is subjective. What seems fair to one may not and probably will not seem fair to the other.
Did you know that, if you flip a coin and it lands on heads 99 times in a row, the odds of it landing on tails in the next flip are unchanged? There is still exactly a 50/50 chance of the coin landing on tails. You can’t compare the entire group of flips to determine the probability, you must take each flip individually. The same goes for people. Each person is different, and you should never compare yourself to anyone else. Are you happy? Do you feel successful? If the answer is no, then the path to follow is to determine why and work to increase your own happiness or success without trying to take away from someone else’s.
You could take every dollar away from every person in the United States and redistribute it equally to everyone so that every individual had exactly the same amount. In short order, the distribution curve of that money would be right back to where it is today. The reason is that the people on the lower end of the curve do not understand money the way the people on the upper end do.
The answer is education. The answer is personal initiative and understanding. The answer is teaching the left side of that graph to fish instead of taking fish from the right side, because there are plenty of fish in the sea for everyone.