The huge protests in places like Egypt and Wisconsin have been inspiring. Citizens thirsting for democracy, workers trying to protect their hard-earned rights -- this is stuff that millions of us not named Hosni Scott Walker-Mubarak can support. But what I'd also like to see are mass demonstrations by rich people demanding that the government not coddle them any more.
Yes, the rich have it great in this country. Tax cuts they don't need, bailouts when they screw up, vacation homes, fancy cars, and four-wheel drive for their kids' tricycles. They're getting wealthier and wealthier while the vast majority of Americans are losing economic ground.
Do the rich have any kind of guilty conscience about this? Probably not, but I'm hoping against hope they'll develop one. Maybe they need to be locked in a room and forced to listen to a Grapes of Wrath audiobook voiced by Elmer Fudd ("the gwapes of wrath are gwowing heavy, gwowing heavy for the vintage ... you wascally wabbit").
Anyway, my dream is that the wich ... uh ... rich suddenly realize how inequitable things are and pour into the streets demanding that their tax cuts be rescinded. If these wealthy protesters want to carry signs commenting on their net worth ("Hell no! Too much dough!"), so much the better.
Among these hoped-for demonstrators would be bank CEOs and other financial titans demanding that they not be bailed out by struggling taxpayers, not be allowed to collect enormous bonuses, and not be allowed to have mansions so large they're visible from Pluto.
When beholden-to-the-rich Republicans see millionaires and billionaires not wanting to be so selfish, they might act more humanely. After all, GOPers are very responsive to their southern base, and Wall Street is in southern Manhattan.
Republicans (along with those Democrats who also vote the way the rich want them to) could then end tax cuts for the wealthy, stop trying to break unions, and perhaps even restore a higher estate tax. Yes, change could be in the heir ... uh ... air.
I know this is all a fantasy. Most wealthy people like things the way they are -- even as millions of their fellow Americans suffer from unemployment, poverty, and other life-wrenching situations. And the rich aren't fond of gathering in the street, standing in big crowds, and marching several miles while holding placards. It can get tiring, and the weather isn't always good. Maybe the monied moguls could compromise by planning the rallies and ordering their servants to attend.
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