10/05/2010 10:58 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Justified Anger

A lot of Americans are angry these days. Some have better reasons for their anger than others. Let's consider justified and unjustified anger.

The justifiably angry include: the unemployed; the homeless; the hungry; those who've lost their homes because of unscrupulous mortgage company inducements; those carrying an unfair tax burden; those who see special interest lobbyists running Washington; young people who cannot afford an education; those with inadequate health care; those whose loved ones have died in Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan; voters who see parties nominating inadequate or unqualified candidates; and so forth.

The unjustifiably angry include: voters whose party or candidates lost the last election; those who hate President Obama or think he is a foreign Muslim; those who refuse to obtain information from other than the Fox network or right wing radio; those who do not vote or participate in public forums; Wall Street; those who do not pay a fair share of taxes; and many others.

For pundits and commentators to discuss endlessly anger in America as if it were all one thing is to overlook the significant distinction between those who have a genuine reason for their anger and those who simply don't get their way politically or economically. For investment bankers, whose industry was saved by the national taxpayers, to complain about "hostility" in Washington is absurd, particularly when they complain while taking home their tens of millions a year. Those who paid for the bailouts have a lot more to be angry about than those who benefited from them.

The next time you hear some cable television wiseguy talk about angry Americans, send them a message about who is justified in their anger and who is not.

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