Conrad Black writes: "If the richest Americans are to be enlisted in the fight against poverty, it should be in the form of private-sector anti-poverty projects that wealthy taxpayers could design and administer themselves. This would involve the best financial minds in poverty reduction and would give the wealthiest people an incentive to eliminate poverty, as the rate of tax would decline as poverty declined and would vanish when poverty, as reasonably defined, vanished."
Why does Conrad assume that the wealthiest are the smartest. How is it that myth persists?
Usually the wealthiest are those who conform the most, jumping through the hoops and doing whatever it is that our society wants, and values. Take Lady Gaga, for instance. She knows, as did Madonna, when she started her career.
On another level are the practically mindless folk who actually do attempt to 'shortchange' their customers. Getting their jobs because of some relationship they have formed certainly doesn't lead them to be grateful, it would seem. Stealing from the poor is the other side to all this - including money, careers, educational opportunities.
In 'Robin Hood or the Pope' Tom Cosgrove mentions Father Larry Snyder and the website about Poverty in America, Think and Act Anew. One would think 'Reclaiming the dignity of work' is what our society needs, but I imagine that only works when the worker has earned the right to the job. 'Collateral damage' seems to be the effect, when people are denied the opportunity to earn a living. They don’t really matter.
Conrad himself believes that "we must banish to the proverbial dustbin of history the heirloom of Fabian attitude that any benefit to society’s short-changed must be wrung from the sweat of the diligent and transformed into the penalization of success." Perhaps that statement would make sense if all the wealthy did actually earn what they were paid - according to the time and energy and knowledge they put into their work, instead of the value of work being based on some extraordinary needs of our society, with those who need it most being cast out as virtually unemployable.
Together with nepotism, favouritism, and a sexualized society, these excessively-paid celebrities, entertainers and some might add, politicians, do nothing to help turn our society into a fair and humane place for those struggling for something better.
By Fr Larry Snyder
Think and Act Anew website
May 12, 2010
The Lady Gaga guide to capitalism
By Conrad Black
May 22, 2010
The real Robin never robbed the rich
By John Ridpath
May 19, 2010
http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/05/19/the-real-robin-never-robbed-the-rich.aspx link no longer works
Contains original comment made online by Sue McPherson
Robin Hood or the Pope: Who Really Cares About the Poor?
By Tom Cosgrove
May 18, 2010
Stealing From the Rich: Four Different Approaches
By Dave Kehr
May 21, 2010
Links updated April 17, 2012