Thank the 1%

This Thanksgiving, I wrote a piece called “Let’s Thank the One Percent” for The piece got a lot of attention, getting over 3000 “Likes” on Facebook, earning the #1 spot on reader recommendations, and receiving the (very negative) attention of the iconic liberal blog Daily Kos.

Here’s the beginning of my piece:

In a country mired in recession and unemployment, it may seem hard to find things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. But there are many. Because we live in America, even those of us who are going through hard times have access to abundant food, racks of clothing, secure shelter, heating and air-conditioning, and an amazing array of learning and leisure activities.

This is important to remember, not just to keep our spirits up, but to avoid a tragic mistake societies often make: taking the good for granted. It is all too easy to fixate on our problems without appreciating the good in our lives. Societies that make this mistake are easy prey for scapegoating charlatans–such as those who tell us that our salvation lies in redistributing the wealth of “the 1%.”

In this past year, it has become popular to collectively blame the most financially successful Americans, “the 1%,” for America’s economic problems. The grain of truth here is that some Americans are rich because of government favoritism, such as bailouts, handouts, and other cushy deals. But the solution here is to attack favoritism–not to attack “the 1%” as such. America is still a free enough country where most of its 1% earn their success–through superior productivity that benefits us all.

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