It is said if you want to convince the masses of something, develop a short and concise theme and repeat it over and over.
Most of us have been subjected to many of these. I call it brainwashing and certainly I have fallen for a few mantras in my lifetime but I try to remember what my dad always said: “When everybody is thinking the same thing nobody is thinking”.
I do seem to hear a lot of these concise mantras put forth way too often. And some don’t make any sense. In fact, come to think of it, most of them don’t.
One common one I am hearing now that the presidential elections are coming is “pay their fair share”.
Referring to the rich obviously, I have to scoff at this ridiculous petition to get votes. Pay their fair share. This might go along with the other foolish rhetoric common nowadays “the living wage”.
So dissecting these, I have to start by saying whom exactly decides what is fair and what exactly is a living wage?
Someone else besides the one on the hook for paying it I suppose. Seemingly it’s always somebody else deciding what another should pay. And isn’t that the way of it.
I dare to say there is two types of people in the world. Those that make enough money and those that want to take it from them. You could also say there are those that believe retaining one’s personal possessions is a basic right and those that ignore that right.
Regardless of what the “thing’ is, if someone has too much of it, there will be someone else who lays claim to it. This claim usually has little to do with how the thing was obtained. No matter if someone worked his butt off to get it, saved a long time to amass it or just inherited it from a parent that did, if its deemed “too much” there are those that believe it should now be someone else’s, or at least part of it should be.
That’s where the subjective part of the mantra comes in. Words like fair share or living wage are tossed about like some God given edict applies.
Can’t recall ever seeing what exactly a “fair” share is, or just what amount is a wage suitable for living. But those that believe such things seem to have an idea of just how much is too much. Thank goodness breasts aren’t divisible, or hair transferrable.
Wait a minute, now that I think of it, I could use little more of the latter. Is it fair some have hair like Motley Crue while others have to sunscreen up their dome?
It’s probably not fair. Sometimes I admit it bugs me when I look at a picture of someone with a hairline resembling a Planet of the Apes movie. He won the hair lottery. I did not.
But hey, although seemingly unfair, I realize it’s not unfair, although it may seem like it is at times.
Rather my good sense calls it life. Life is not fair. It’s a part of, well, life.
Nowhere is it written that life is fair. One could say life is unfair. Birds eat worms. Not exactly fair to the worm. In fact it’s fatal. Trying to mandate fairness in life is like trying to stop it from raining. It’s an exercise in absolute futility.
Some mope around dwelling on all the inequality that life offers up. But then you end up moping instead being grateful. That’s not life, its ingratitude. And I was told more than once, if we’re not thankful for what we have, we will never be happy with what we don’t.
Yes some people make more money. Some a lot more. Some have millions while others have none.
Funny thing is, we were all born naked. Some with a bank account, true, but everyone has the right to try and make a bank account and last time I looked, there were still a lot of people starting with nothing becoming people with something.
Through hard work? Maybe. Or maybe some hit the lottery and didn’t work at all.
Is that fair? No, it’s called the lottery and it’s not fair that somebody wins it, but it happens. Funny thing however, nobody ever goes after them in the news. For some reason if you win it, all is fair. But if you work for it, nothing is.
No dear reader, I don’t know what paying a fair share means, nor a living wage. Both take someone to be the judge of whatever that is, and I am not ready to have so much hubris to think anyone can or should decide such things for another.
I don’t mind if there is rich people, millionaires or billionaires. There is no shortage of greenbacks if one thinks of a way to acquire them.
And it’s not fair my head has thinning hair while my neighbor’s thick curly locks flow magnificently in the wind.
It’s called life.
Get over it.
Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 66 radio stations nationwide. He is a financial columnist for a variety of publications. Marc holds a BA in Economics from SDU with honors 1979. His website is moneymanagementradio.com and he can be reached at (530) 559-1214. Visit him on Facebook (FB) under Marc Cuniberti and also on the "Money Matters” and “Money Matters Investing in Community" FB pages and You Tube. The views expressed are opinions only.