I love my Dad to Death

But I feel like maybe we can all be marginally enlightened by this argument we had by email after the SOTU.

It’s long, so you’re going to have to endure a page break.

Me:

Hey Dad.

Your son here. That itch to shout at you about politics has taken over. Do me a favor and read the two below things and tell me what you think. I gotta say, the second thing broke my heart in a very real way. Maybe it’ll break yours too, unless your hearty American-ness gives you more fortitude to deal with other people’s wealth.

First thing: The state of the Union in a ten minute slide show presentation.
Second thing: Mitt Romney’s salary calculator. (Seriously, it broke my heart, punch in 32,000 for me – my income)
Anyways, let me know what you think. The first thing makes the GOP complaint that “things are worse than 2008” sound like a ridiculous lie and in absence of those helpful bar graphs, it feels like a lie as well because the jobs numbers have been getting steadily better, restaurants are finally re-opening around here, every week the economy gets better (some dips, but more gains than dips). Etcetera.
Happy coffee time,
Thomas
Mr. C.V. King
Thomas, in all of recorded history there have been rich people and poor people.  Rich people become rich because the take risks with their money.  They may succeed or they may fail.  People who earn a salary take no risk unless they rich person who hires them fails.  Our Tax code is designed to encourage investment.  If a rich person’s business fails he receives no unemployment insurance from the government.  He just goes broke.  If a working person is laid off, the government pays him unemployment insurance.  No such benefit exists for the investor.  I agree the investor should pay more, but not at the expense of the investor to the point it no longer becomes profitable to invest.  He /create the very job you enjoy.  Obama demonizes wealth or success rather than praise it.  In America working hard, investing should be rewarded not penalized.  That is my opinion.  Dad
Me:
Ok from your response it doesn’t look like you read the first article. And my problem with the whole wealth thing comes from my sense that he cannot possibly imagine or pretend to understand the straits of me, all of my friends, all of my coworkers, even my supervisors and managers. My fear from that is simply that he will not understand and therefore be unable to address what needs to be done for me and my reality. Does that make sense? Its still early. I don’t begrudge his wealth at all. Or his taxes. I am just afraid of how inconceivably out if touch it will make him. Do you see what I mean, though? Can you at least understand why I feel that way? And please, go read the Slate article about the speech.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Mr. C.V. King
Thomas, president Kennedy was wealthy and he was by all accounts a great leader.  General Douglas MacArthur came from a wealthy family.  Yet he was a great leader in terrible time.  Romney is a businessman.  He knows how to turn businesses around.  I agree that some failed, but others prospered and people stayed employed.  Government has never been an answer to all problems.  I leave you with one thought.  In China under chairman Mao, they created collective farms.  No matter how hard they worked everyone received the same share.  People did the minimum and food production was below the national needs.  When the Chinese change the rule so that farms that produced more received a higher percentage in pay and food than the farms that only produced the minimum, the entire agriculture community started producing more.  That is capitalism. That is competition.  I believe people who take risks and I am not one, should be rewarded.  The question is by how much.  I know the future does not seem so bright for you but nothing wins out like persistence and hard work.  You have made some bad decisions, however, you are know correcting them.   Dad.
Phone call from my dad circa 7p.m. to
continue this argument, tell each other
we love each other in a very genuine way
(seriously, we fight like this first thing in the morning
and like coffee hug it out meanwhile).
Me:
Hey Dad, this is the graph we spoke about on the phone. I’m not looking to start an argument on this or the value of wealth. Again, I think you’re arguing with a communist version of me, because we actually agree quite a bit on wealth and taxes.

I’m just saying. That image is the problem. My solution? Bring the top line down THE SLIGHTEST BIT and raise the bottom lines up very quickly. How we get to that, well – that’s an ideological debate I don’t want to have.
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