Friday, June 26, 2015
Lecture Notes:             February 24, 2015
There is a politics of jealousy in this country, but it is not the jealousy of the lower classes of the elites, it is the jealousy of the elites for their privileged positions.       
What I did not understand about the social order is how many of you bare actual ill will for others for no apparent reason.  Who could object to the enrichment of the curriculum with laser disks especially when the disks themselves are self-financed at no cost to the tax payers?  (At the time I introduced this part of the plan explaining how the disks would be sold and the Treasury reimbursed, Senator Moynihan rose on the Senate floor and reminded those present how the Erie Canal paid off all its investors at market rate interest, no state subsidy, no Sir. ( I neglected to include “market rate interest” in my calculations setting the interest at 5%.  Senator Moynihan was always so demanding. ( see Math Project Letter April 27, 1990 @ The Moynihan Memorial Library) ))
And yet notwithstanding the modest proposal the amount of ill will it engendered was stupefying.  But if you think, ‘Oh, you are just talking about things that have to do with yourself.’  Well look at reducing medical costs.  Everyone says they want to do something about it yet nothing is done. Why does the elite hold such ill will for changes in medical administration?  Real actual ill will towards change? If I were to tell you these elites were doctors you could understand but I mean just ordinary members of Congress, elites in media, various industries not related to medical care, oppose change to medical administration costs. It would save money for millions of people but yet they oppose change, in part because they want to protect their fellow elites, doctors, executives, capitalists, but mainly they do not even know these people they just oppose change, that would lower costs, they just do not want to do it. 
Why? Take housing for example.  Perhaps more understandably there is general opposition to the construction of housing in order to lower prices.  There is positive ill will even by people who have no fear of loss of market value of their real estate.  Elites in other cities oppose the construction of housing in cities on the other end of the country. Just the thought that someone might get a deal on a place to live causes them pain. I have repeatedly argued in favor of capitalist development of housing (as opposed to city planners) only to be rebuffed by elite members with, “do I owe you a home?” The utter unreasonableness of the response should not conceal the hostility.
I could digress into the petty and catalogue the ill will engendered by the use of paste or Cubic Zirconia, or decorating one’s home with copies of paintings, wearing dresses that are copies or knock offs, etc. The point is there is no amusement at the cleverness of the imposters, not even neutrality while reflecting on the value of the market, but positive anger from the elites and ostracism of the offender.  What accounts for this ill will?  It cost the elites nothing if people amuse themselves with replicas. Why the anger?
I can only conclude that the elites are jealous of their advantages and become fearful if anyone gets anything similar especially at a lower price or with greater access or with ease of access etc. All statistics show that the income distribution has been skewed to the upper income with the lower income stagnating and actually declining in real terms in the last three decades. Yet the elites in the media and Congress and the rich in business regularly recite invective against food stamps.  Nothing is done to keep benefits up with the continuing skewing of the economy, for example, if the child tax deduction credit had kept its value that it had in Eisenhower’s time it would be over $10,000 per child.  But if that family should get $200 in food stamps men and women with incomes of over $250,000 a year go crazy with rage.
An enriched curriculum, access to medicine, to housing, all of it causes the elites real feelings of pain at loss of its distinct advantages over the lower classes.  There is a politics of jealousy in this country, but it is not the jealousy of the lower classes of the elites, it is the jealousy of the elites for their privileged positions.

 PS  And I think Iran’s nuclear program should be destroyed and the regime must be overthrown.


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