Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Billionaires

Just now it happened one too many times: Bernie Sanders talking about billionaires as if they were all the same.

If you think that the Koch Brothers, Bill Gates, Sheldon Adelson, Mark Cuban, the Bass family, George Soros, Donald Trump (assuming he actually is a billionaire), Warren Buffet, the Waltons and Jeff Zuckerberg are all the same politically because they're all billionaires, you haven't been paying attention. If you think their daily lives are similar, you're wrong again.

In Philadelphia, Joe Miller, the character played by Denzel Washington, reads from a court decision related to the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

"This is the essence of discrimination: formulating opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in a group."

I don't know whether that's an exact quote from such a court case, but it's either exactly or very close to what Denzel says in the movie.

And it's not hard to understand: every time say "they're all the same," you're discriminating and you're wrong, whether "they" are black people or white people or gay people or straight people or Democrats or Republicans or poor people or rich people.

Billionaires aren't all the same. Some were born poor, some inherited a "mere" few million dollars, some inherited billions. Some work extremely long hours, some about 40 hours a week, some have never worked in their lives and don't intend to. Some have given away almost all of their money, some have given away none and scrap and fight for every penny.

Some support any politicians who will lower the amount of taxes they have to pay (aka Republicans), some support politicians who raise minimum wages and support unions and protect the environment, aka Democrats.

They're not remotely close to being all the same in any way except for their net worths.

And Bernie Sanders is an idiot. (And quite possibly a millionaire.)

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