by Cal Thomas
In a recent speech, President Obama declared income "inequality" to be "the defining challenge of our time."
It is time for me to come clean; to own up to a dark secret I have been hiding most of my life. It is embarrassing to admit it, but I suffer from income inequality.
Yes, there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people who make more money than I do and it has affected my life in ways too numerous to recount.
Starting with my first summer job as a bellhop and kitchen worker at a hotel in
In the early '60s, as a copyboy at
When I finally got on the air as a broadcast journalist, my
When I was 37 I made
Was it "fair" that these people were richer than I was? Absolutely, as long as I had the opportunity through education, risk-taking, experience and hard work to eventually make more.
President Obama and some leaders in the
Income "inequality" is a part of the greed-envy-entitlement philosophy promoted by liberals who want to addict more people to government and entice them to vote for the party that is effectively buying their loyalty. And now they want to extend the 99-week limit for unemployment benefits, which has the potential to enable those people who are unwilling to look for a job.
Today, we have a tendency to punish the successful and subsidize the unsuccessful. It used to be the reverse, which motivated more people to become, if not a success, then at least self-sustaining. There was a time when Americans would have been ashamed to take, much less ask for, anything from their fellow citizens. If you were able-bodied, asking for help from the government was regarded by a previous generation as moral weakness.
Today, the attitude promoted by the income "inequality" crowd is one of victimization. Poor people are told they are victims because successful people have stolen from them what is rightfully theirs.
Envy, greed and entitlement are not the things that built America, or sustained her through numerous wars and a Great Depression.
The concern should not be how much others make, but how much you can make if you apply yourself and adopt the values embraced by successful people.
Those who make what I once earned and think they can never earn more are being told a lie. Realizing this is the first step to improving one's income and one's life.