Class warfare is emerging as a major theme for the 2012 presidential election campaign. "Millionaires and billionaires" are an easy target even though they represent only a small fraction of the electorate. The rich, however, are not the right enemy. Targeting the rich results in small businesses being the major victims of class warfare. In reality, it is not as simple as "the rich versus the rest," says Steve Conover in The American.
The battle lines of class warfare should not be drawn with respect to income. Rather, they should be drawn with respect to whether a person's wealth is earned. A proper class war would require Democrats and Republicans to admit that the distinguishing characteristic of the enemy is not the level of income or wealth; rather, it is whether that income or wealth was earned. Instead of waging a war on the rich, a virtuous war should be waged on society's predators, pirates and parasites. Some in these categories include:
- Well-positioned rentiers leveraging their strategic position at a bottleneck in the financial system.
- Wall Street firms employing high-speed data feeds into computers programmed to beat less-sophisticated market participants by using a trading technique known as "quote-stuffing."
- Public-sector union bosses who are powerful enough to swing elections toward the candidates who will sit on the other side of the negotiating table, thereby bending the public trust to their special advantage.
- Politically well-connected businesses that are able to extract government subsidies for their special interest and that are able to get their political friends to pass favorable legislation against competitive threats.
The true heroes in our economy are the producers and earners; they can be found all the way up and down the income ladder, and class warfare should defend and reward them instead of targeting them. Conversely, the proper targets are the class that includes cheaters, predators, pirates and parasites -- who can also be found at all income levels.
Source: Steve Conover, "The Class Warfare We Need," The American, December 10, 2011.