What’s Wrong with Being Rich?

Opinion

  on January 24 2012 1:51 PM

The setting was Puritan Boston in 1642. Hester Prynne emerged from prison rejected, condemned, and spurned.  Her crime? Conceiving a child from an adulterous affair.  Her punishment? Wearing a scarlet letter A on her chest and bearing the wrath of her town along with it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne vividly illustrates guilt and scorn in his infamous novel, The Scarlet Letter.  In America today, there is a new scarlet letter, but instead of an A, it's an R, and it stands for rich. 

For some reason, it is a crime to be wealthy, or at least we are implored to believe that by those on the left. As such, the wealthy deserve all kinds of retribution-astounding tax rates, burdensome regulations that choke their businesses, and public shame.

Who cares if they worked hard for their money, if they donate millions to charity, or create hundreds of thousands of jobs?  The fact that they have money means they are bloodthirsty fat cats waiting to take advantage of any tiny mouse that crosses their destructive paths.

President Barack Obama, the Democrats and the mainstream media are responsible for the emergence of a new scarlet letter.  The president, in particular, has been revving up the class warfare rhetoric, i.e. his Kansas speech. 

The White House announced Obama would lay out the choice we face between a country in which too few do well while too many struggle to get by, and one where we're all in it together -- where everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot. 

And he did just that, yet again perpetuating the image of the cruel rich man.  Obama even accepted the title of class warrior last September saying:I wear the charge as a badge of honor.  Never mind that the same Democrats decrying the rich are, actually, demonizing their own rich selves, too. The media, of course, goes to great pains to cover that up.

Class warfare is bound to get more intense as the presidential election nears. But this road is a dangerous road.  Just look across the pond for an example of where we're heading. 

In the United Kingdom, the conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is working to constrain executive pay.  We all know European conservatives are simply Obama-lite, but still, this is from an alleged conservative.  Although British executives generally make less than American and other European executives, Cameron wants to give shareholders the power to fix pay, and, in doing so, placate the British public. 
The argument is that executive pay is growing astronomically while worker's wages are remaining stagnant.

Even so, putting a cap on success is never the answer.  Our Founding Fathers knew that, which is why they wanted the government out of the private sector.  What has made America great is the ability to come from nothing and make yourself something; money just happens to be the byproduct of success. By capping success, however, we risk putting a cap on the American Dream.

Unfortunately, America is following Great Britain's terrible lead.

Obama has called for a world where everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot.  But the scarlet R he and his administration have created is quite the contrary. 

Unlike Hester Prynne, the new Scarlet Letter is undeserved, unmerited, and the exact opposite of fair.

Kayleigh McEnany is a writer and political activist who graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and studied at Oxford University.  She is the founder of www.RealReaganConservative.com. She writes every Tuesday for the International Business Times.

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