creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
3 Feb 2016
What Really Poisoned the Water in Flint, Michigan

The mantra of every Koch-headed, right-wing politico is that government should be run like a business, always … Read More.

27 Jan 2016
Take the Movement to the White House

At a recent dinner with my work team, I was reminded that I had said I wanted to travel less for work this … Read More.

21 Jan 2016
Something Is Happening

When I crossed paths with a Democratic Party campaign consultant in Austin last March, I suggested he come … Read More.

Blessed Are the Rich

Comment

One thing I've come to value in the last couple of years is the altruism and keen economic insights of the fourth-richest man in America: Charles Koch.

Even though Koch was raised rich and has now amassed a personal fortune of about $34 billion, he recently gave us a deeper sense of his true worth, measured not in dollars, but in values.

"We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country," he declared. Excellent thought — FDR couldn't have put it better! Noting that a big problem for the poor is that the Powers That Be "keep throwing obstacles in their way," Koch cut to the chase, saying, "We've got to clear those out."

Yes, Charlie, I'm with you! Clear out such barriers as the offshoring of middle class jobs, union busting, poorly funded schools and the lack of affordable health care, housing and child care.

But, alas, that's not at all what Koch had in mind as obstacles to be cleared out. Rather, he proposes to "help" poor people by eliminating — ready? — "the minimum wage." Why? Because, explains this clueless son-of-the-rich, having a wage floor "reduces the mobility of labor."

In case you don't dwell in the plutocratic, narcissistic, Ayn Randian fantasyland where the Kochs hang out, "labor mobility" is right-wing psychobabble for social Darwinism. Remove all remnants of America's economic safety net, they coldly theorize (while wallowing in their nests of luxury), and the poor will be "freed" to become billionaires.

As Charles puts it, if the disadvantaged had no protections in the workplace and no government programs to ameliorate their poverty, they would then have to scramble just to live, thus freeing them from reliance on society's helping hand. Freeing them to do what? Well, Koch says, they could then "start a business ... drive a taxicab ... become a hairdresser."

What a visionary he is! Where you and I might see people trapped in debilitating poverty, Charles sees a Brave New World of billionaire hairdressers!

But he's not the only 1-percenter having utopian visions for hard-hit Americans.

For example, I can't begin to tell you how grateful America's homeless people are going to be once they hear about Andy Kessler, who has been thinking long and hard about their plight, selflessly seeking ways to eradicate intractable poverty.

Kessler is a former hedge-fund whiz, which means he was in the business of making ... well, money. Beaucoup bundles of it. But having seen his 16-year-old son volunteer at a homeless center, he was motivated to develop a plan to solve homelessness — and here it is: Stop dishing out soup to those people, and shut down all those damn shelters!

The homeless problem, he recently wrote in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, stems from "all this volunteering and charitable giving" by do-gooders like his son. Homeless folks ought to be working, he lectured, but they're not, "because someone is feeding, clothing and, in effect, bathing them."

Golly, Andy, I recall that Jesus said something about our Godly duty to feed and clothe the needy — and even to wash the feet of the poor.

But apparently, Jesus just didn't grasp the essence of true morality. "Blessed are the rich!" is Kessler's spiritual mantra. "Where does money come from ... to help the unfortunate?" he asked. And yea, I say unto thee, the Holy Hedge-Funder answered his own deep question: It comes from "someone (who) worked productively and created wealth."

Thus, he sagely concluded, the answer to poverty, to truly helping the poor, is not to pamper the takers, but to provide more tax breaks for the makers of wealth (like him) — the ones who produce "good old-fashioned economic growth."

Wow, what a role model this guy is for America's youth — including that misguided boy of his! Wouldn't you like to buy Andy and Charles for what they're worth ... and sell them for what they think they're worth? That would fund a whole lot of homeless programs.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM



Comments

18 Comments | Post Comment
This article highlights the divide between those who favor free markets and those who favor government control of markets. I come down on the side of free markets. Mr. Hightower provides the standard retort of those who favor government control of markets when he criticizes the suggestion of eliminating minimum wage laws. His mistake is in believing that minimum wage laws have helped low-skilled workers. All of the empirical evidence says otherwise. Minimum wage laws were created in the early 1930's to prevent blacks from competing for government construction contracts and were so successful that South Africa used the same laws during Apartheid to limit job opportunities for blacks there. As for driving a taxi good luck if you're poor and live in a major city. It's likely that government regulations make getting a permit a rather expensive proposition. In New York for example it costs well over half a million dollars to get a medallion to operate a taxi. This of course is presented to the public as a means of ensuring public safety when in reality it exists to limit competition. Based on this article I would assume Mr. Hightower would be supportive of such laws.

As for the homeless private charity is a noble endeavor as it represents the voluntary exchange of money, labor and other resources aimed at a specific goal. It's the idea of government programs that require the involuntary exchange of my money to programs that have no accountability and that for decades haven't worked and likely will never work that I take issue with.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Greg M
Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:59 AM
The most useful thing Koch could do for us is explain how one develops the talent to be born rich. It seems he can't model the behavior he thinks we poor folks need to exhibit, until he does that.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:41 PM
Comment: #3
Posted by: MAVIS SMITH
Tue Feb 3, 2015 2:08 AM


WELCOME TO THE GREAT TEMPLE OF ILLUMINATI.
Are you a business man or business woman, politician, musical, student and you want to be very rich, powerful and be famous in life. You can achieve your dreams by been a member of the illuminati. With this all your dreams and heart desire can be fully accomplish, if you really want to be a member of the great illuminati then you can contact use for you to get what so ever you need in life, email us on our direct email at: illuminatifreemercy16@gmail.com or you contact us on phone on: 07031362391
Comment: #4
Posted by: MAVIS SMITH
Tue Feb 3, 2015 2:13 AM
Comment: #5
Posted by: MAVIS SMITH
Tue Feb 3, 2015 2:16 AM

WELCOME TO GREAT ILLUMINATI BROTHERHOOD666 Are you a business man or an artist,Politicians and you want to become big, Powerful and famous in the world, join us to become one of our official member today.you shall be given an ideal chance to visit the Illuminati and his representative after registrations is completed by you, no sacrifice, or human life needed, Illuminati brotherhood brings along wealth and famous in life, you have a full access to eradicate poverty away from your life now. it only a member who is been initiated into the church of Illuminati have the authority to bring any member to the church, so before you contact any body you must be link by who is already a member, Join us today and realize your dreams. we also help out our member in protection of drugs pushing, once you become a member you will be rich and famous for the rest of your life, Illuminati make there member happy so i will want you all to also be a member of the Illuminati Thanks. contact this email on illuminatimostfamous@gmail.com or call +2348107155060
Comment: #6
Posted by: mr tony
Mon Aug 3, 2015 6:06 AM
Comment: #7
Posted by: Dr Mark
Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:54 PM
Comment: #8
Posted by: Dr Mark
Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:00 PM
aHello everyone reading this comment today, the great Illuminati BROTHERHOOD has give everyone the chance and opportunity to join the great ILLUMINATI kingdom, the lord father of Illuminati has create the easy way to join the Illuminati brotherhood in the world. Are you a business man or an artist,Politicians and you want to become big, Powerful and famous in the world, join us to become one of our official member today. you shall be given an ideal chance to visit the lord father and his representative after registrations is completed by you, what you need to do to become a full member of the great Illuminati is just for you to get the membership form and get some items for sacrifice but human life is not needed, Illuminati brotherhood brings along wealth and famous in life, you have a full access to eradicate poverty, hardness, frustration and fear away from your life now. So contact agent williams via email illuminatichurchlord9@gmail.com Join us today and realize your dreams come through contact number +2348051095232
Comment: #9
Posted by: mr william
Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:27 AM
JOINING THE ILLUMINATI BRINGS YOU
INTO THE LIMELIGHT OF THE WORLD IN
WHICH YOU LIVE IN TODAY. YOUR
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES ARE BROUGHT TO
AN END. WE SUPPORT YOU BOTH
FINANCIALLY AND MATERIALLY,WE MAKE
YOU FAME AND FAMOUS, TO ENSURE, YOU
LIVE A COMFORTABLE LIFE. IT DOES NOT
matter WHICH PART OF THE WORLD YOU
LIVE IN.
from THE UNITED STATES down TO THE
MOST REMOTE PART OF THE EARTH, WE
BRING YOU ALL YOU WANT.
BEING AN ILLITERATE OR A LITERATE IS NOT
A BARRIER TO BEING A MILLIONAIRE
BETWEEN TODAY AND THE NEXT TWO
WEEKS.
YOU BEING IN THIS OUR OFFICIAL PAGE
TODAY SIGNIFIES THAT IT WAS ORDERED
AND ARRANGED BY THE GREAT LUCIFER
THAT FROM NOW ON, YOU ARE ABOUT TO
BE THAT REAL AND INDEPENDENT HUMAN
YOU HAVE ALWAYS WISHED YOU WERE.FOR
YOUR ONLINE REGISTRATION
VISIT ID:(illuminatirichoflife@gmail.com)
ILLUMINATI REGISTRATION OR CALL
+2349030490659 TODAY
THE FOLLOWING
INFORMATION'S ARE NEEDED
NAME:
DATE OF BIRTH:
ADDRESS:
OCCUPATION:
SEX:
COUNTRY:
posed code:
phone contact:
Comment: #10
Posted by: johnson smith
Sat Nov 7, 2015 3:09 AM
WELCOME TO ILLUMINATI GIVERS OF WEALTH AND POWER. . Easiest Step to become a full member. of the great brotherhood of Illuminati.Are you a business man or an artist,Politicians and you want to become big, Powerful and famous in the world, join us to become one of our official member today.you shall be given an ideal chance to visit the Satan and his representative after registrations is completed by you, no sacrifice or human life needed, Illuminati brotherhood brings along wealth and famous in life, you have a full access to eradicate poverty away from your life now. So contact Mr roland .Via: otatalottosolutioncenter@gmail.com ,call us on +2348077210007.Join us today and realize your dreams and aspirations
Comment: #11
Posted by: mr roland
Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:31 AM
Comment: #12
Posted by: kevin hipso
Tue Dec 1, 2015 1:12 PM
Comment: #13
Posted by: kevin hipso
Tue Dec 1, 2015 1:16 PM
"I was really tired of living a poverty stricken life, a life with no influence, affluence, wealth and protection. so i decided to join the brotherhood of Illuminati. and now i am proud to say i am a full member of the great kingdom. and now i can boast of wealth, influence, protection, wealth and what have you. life is sweet my fellow humans when you have money. i spend money these days without looking back. anything i want i get. today i am a happy man, and my family is very happy because i spoil them with a lot of money. please i want you all here to leave a live free from poverty, and life of no influence. if you want to be rich with very high influence, and protection, i advice you the best society to belong to is the Illuminati brother hood. a brother introduced me, and today i am very happy. please if you need all the good things of life, i advice you to become a member. and if you wish to join the brotherhood of Illuminati, you can email the brotherhood kingdom at (illuminatikingdom56@gmail.com) or you call the Kingdom master on +2348054443282"
Comment: #14
Posted by: thomas garry
Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:39 PM
Do you wanna join the great illuminate so that you can be rich
and famous and have powers over so many things on earth., I
am Arderson Larry by name, I have been a member for the past 15yrs
now... A man named john berry illuminati helped me to
be a member.... And I was ordained by the illuminati to also
help you people to become rich and famous and bring you to
the light of power. I have been helping so many people to
become rich and famous.. Is my dream. Because I really do
care for the poor.. I care for the rich. And I care for
everybody....are you a musician, artist, business men or
women looking for wealth and fame.. I am here to help you
become rich and famous... If you are not serious in becoming
a member please don't even think of adding me or sending me
a message because I won't be happy with you... ..but if you
know you are serious and ready to become a member just add
me now let's talk and let's get to know each other more
better... If you wanna be famous like rihanna, jazzy, eminem,
rick ross, lil wayne, beyoncy and so on just add and message
me..and if you are in,india,
zambia, , don't add me... Because I can't help you. I
can't help you if you are from those country..... But if you are
in the USA, UK, saudi arabia, switzerland,
netherland, poland,Nigeria and if you are in european and asia
country and so on you can also add me let's talk and I will
help you be a member... Once again if you are not serious
don't add me. Thanks for your corporation.. You satifaction is
what we want... I will be expecting your reply. Just add and
inbox me and I will help you to become a member of the great
illuminati.. Thanks once again I am Wilson and your happiness
is what we want
you can email us direct here on this email usailluminateworld@gmail.com or illuminatetempl07@gmail.com thanks to you all our email once again
usailluminateworld@gmail.com or
illuminatetemple07@gmail.com
illuminatetemple07@gmail.com
Comment: #15
Posted by: Arderson
Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:59 PM
Do you wanna join the great illuminate so that you can be rich
and famous and have powers over so many things on earth., I
am Arderson Larry by name, I have been a member for the past 15yrs
now... A man named john berry illuminati helped me to
be a member.... And I was ordained by the illuminati to also
help you people to become rich and famous and bring you to
the light of power. I have been helping so many people to
become rich and famous.. Is my dream. Because I really do
care for the poor.. I care for the rich. And I care for
everybody....are you a musician, artist, business men or
women looking for wealth and fame.. I am here to help you
become rich and famous... If you are not serious in becoming
a member please don't even think of adding me or sending me
a message because I won't be happy with you... ..but if you
know you are serious and ready to become a member just add
me now let's talk and let's get to know each other more
better... If you wanna be famous like rihanna, jazzy, eminem,
rick ross, lil wayne, beyoncy and so on just add and message
me..and if you are in,india,
zambia, , don't add me... Because I can't help you. I
can't help you if you are from those country..... But if you are
in the USA, UK, saudi arabia, switzerland,
netherland, poland,Nigeria and if you are in european and asia
country and so on you can also add me let's talk and I will
help you be a member... Once again if you are not serious
don't add me. Thanks for your corporation.. You satifaction is
what we want... I will be expecting your reply. Just add and
inbox me and I will help you to become a member of the great
illuminati.. Thanks once again I am Wilson and your happiness
is what we want
you can email us direct here on this email usailluminateworld@gmail.com or illuminatetempl07@gmail.com thanks to you all our email once again
usailluminateworld@gmail.com or
illuminatetemple07@gmail.com
illuminatetemple07@gmail.com
Comment: #16
Posted by: Arderson
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:06 PM
WELCOME TO THE GREAT TEMPLE OF
ILLUMINATI. Are you a business man,
politician, musical, student and you want to
be rich, powerful and be famous in life. You
can achieve your dreams by beeing a
member of the Illuminati. With this all your
dreams and heart desire can be fully
accomplish, if you really want to be a
member of the great Illuminati then you can
contact via email illuminatioilmoney@gmail
for assistance +2348112277021
Comment: #17
Posted by: alhji paul
Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:58 PM
HELLO VIEWER ARE YOU THERE, THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THE ILLUMINATI CULT

WELCOME TO THE GREAT BROTHERHOOD ILLUMINATI KINGDOM, WHERE YOU FOUND ALL KINDS OF HAPPINESS BLESSING JOY IN LIFE. Are you tired with the kind of life you are living today do you want your life to be change totally, and for you to fulfill your dream, then you have the opportunity to join now so that your life story we be change immediately are you poor and you want to become rich in life ,like other people or you want to be famous in life, are you a graduate looking for job. you have to join now. or a business man or woman or star who want to be fame and powerful, you don't have to waste any of your time, are you suffering in life, make up your mind and join the Illuminati kingdom to become a wealthy man or woman and also to become famous and powerful in life email us now at (illuminatifamousclub@outlook.com) or (illuminatifamousclub@gmail.com) or call:(+2348065283683)
Comment: #18
Posted by: mr berry
Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:57 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Jim Hightower
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 8 Feb 2016
Newspaper ContributorsUpdated 8 Feb 2016
Deb Saunders
Debra J. SaundersUpdated 7 Feb 2016

18 Jun 2008 The Enron Loophole and Your Gas Prices

1 Oct 2014 GOP Nightmare Reveals Secret Corporate Donors

7 Jul 2010 Reassembling Amercia's Democracy