LETTER: When myth becomes realityTo the Telegram: When I was young, a newspaper column I remember was “Believe it or Not?” The creator was Robert Ripley; he cited time after time, things that seemed unbelievable.
To the Telegram:
When I was young, a newspaper column I remember was “Believe it or Not?” The creator was Robert Ripley; he cited time after time, things that seemed unbelievable. It seemed to be a complete rebuttal of the old saying: “You can fool some of the people all of time and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
That made the Ripley column unusual; it was citing belief after belief that seemed unquestionably unbelievable.
That article came back to me the other day as I read another letter to the editor wherein some individual was expressing a belief that I thought was unbelievable.
Lo and behold, there were other people expressing the same belief. What could have caused several people to express something that was unbelievable in a democracy claiming to have an educated and informed citizenry?
This gained my undivided attention. What could cause such a paradox?
The issue is people expressing belief in ideas that are not in their personal interest. In fact, the belief is directly opposed to their personal interest. I’m talking about people in the 99 percent of our financial spectrum, believing and espousing the position of the 1 percent.
What could cause that? Some way, at some time, a set of ideas presented often enough by people reputed to know seems to become accepted by many people. Following are those ideas:
• Make our tax system less progressive. Tax the people with less money more and the wealthy people less so they can create jobs. (Experience simply does not bear this out; taxes are at historic lows for the very wealthy and jobs are fewer.)
• Reduce benefits for the less fortunate members of society because too many are just lazy and not willing to work. (Exceptions only go to prove the rule, another old saying, that I think fits this belief.)
• Invest more of our tax money on military paraphernalia even though we already possess more than all of the next largest 17 militarily equipped nations. (Then run phony wars on the credit card.)
• Deregulate Wall Street and continue providing bailouts for them at taxpayer expense.