Why the Rich Get Richer, and Other Truth Stories

Here are some stories I’ve heard:

The truth is that the rich get richer because they’re smarter and bolder than the rest of us.

But do you want to know the truth? It’s luck not smarts because if it were smarts, every smart guy would be rich and every stupid guy would be poor or just getting by. The real truth is that the rich get rich because they’re in the right place at the right time. From then on, compound interest does it all.

Truthfully speaking, every means of redistributing the wealth available that would prevent a democracy becoming a plutocracy has been eroded, except thievery, and the wealthy run the game there.

If truth be told, the rich will themselves to be rich – like Oprah -- and they keep on getting richer because they never doubt themselves. They have a Will to Be Rich.

But here’s the truth of it, the rich get in there and compete with great savvy and strategy, like on the reality TV show Survivor, and they come out the winner because they out-strategize everyone else. Think of a general in a war: the rich are skilled Napoleon tacticians while the rest of us take orders.

People that aren’t rich can’t handle the truth but it’s this: rich people see business opportunities where the rest of us are content just to earn a salary.

Whatever anyone may say, the truth is that rich people pass their wealth and property on from one generation to another so every generation starts off privileged and gets a head start on the working and middle classes.

Let’s go to the foundation of things where the truth is. What do you find? It’s in the genes. Rich people have the sort of alpha/uber genes that make them rich.

This is truth and not truthiness or truism: we’re in a zero sum Monopoly game here in the U.S. and it’s going to happen that pretty soon all the cash and all the property will be in one guy’s hands. We don’t play Socialist Monopoly; it doesn’t exist.

The bottom line truth of it is that we all like the rich to get richer because some day when we’re rich—and that’s just a lottery ticket away -- we want to keep getting richer.

It’s a hard truth to accept but the rich get richer because they shine in the light of God’s favor as chosen for salvation while the poor and struggling bear the dark marks of their eventual perdition and damnation.

But here is a truth that cannot be denied: the rich may get richer in this mortal vale but it will be as hard for them to bear their riches into paradise as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Meanwhile, the poor and meek of this world will earn the riches of paradise.

When you step back and look you see not one Truth but a gaggle of truth stories, some on totally different tracks, some conflicting with each other. Of course, if one of the stories happens to be your story of what truth is, it isn’t a story, but The Truth. You go to www.truthout.com for the truth only if you are already in a “truth story” that says this is where the truth is. The truth is out here and not there. You tune into to Cenk and not O’Reilly or vice versa. You go to where your truth story says the truth can be found, a truth that fits into the truth story you are already in, a truth story which is never a story but The Truth. Knowing what the truth is and knowing how to find it is something you’ve probably never thought it was: a vicious circle.

Americans prefer to reason their way to personal truths, which can have social or even universal applicability but they need not. It doesn’t matter. Truths made to hold in society matter a great deal less than personally discovered truths. Reason does the discovering. It sorts and sifts through until it finds The Truth. Not only is our reasoning faculties free to do this but we are free to choose what reason reveals as truth. No outside force lobbies us away from our personal choice nor infects our reliable reasoning.

If you’re in this sort of “mindset” – and who isn’t in our design-your-own-reality Millennial clime? – you can easily winnow through the responses as to why the rich get richer and you can find the truth. You’re in – if you don’t mind my saying so – a “truth story” regarding reason and choice that enables you to do that. We won’t quibble if you want to call your “truth story” The Truth because none of us are prepared to descend into a chaos of truth stories we can’t climb out of so as to reach some Archimedean point where we can leverage truth from falsehood. Nevertheless, I am not deeply embedded in a truth story which contains chapter and verse on reliable reasoning and unconstrained free choice. But I am deeply embedded in a truth story that is in pursuit of truth stories that keep the Many embedded in a reality in which the Few get richer and the Many are retrogressing to feudal serf conditions.

What are the stories we tell ourselves not only in regard to why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer but why Wisconsin protests won’t rise to Egypt-like revolt? Why we won’t give up nuclear energy even while the nuclear catastrophe in Japan reaches apocalyptic levels? Why increasing global warming has less and less impact on us? Why our wars in which “volunteers” continue to die have less and less impact on u? Why an economic collapse manufactured by wealth speculators needs to be salvaged by savaging the working and middle classes? Why we can disassociate the amazing story of former American class mobility from the struggles of unions and unionization, from the hard won victories of collective bargaining? Why beneficiaries now and in the future of Medicare and Social Security must be steadily badgered into accepting the inevitability of failure and collapse of these programs? Why the word “public” produces as much disdain in 90% of the population, who benefit greatly from all public programs, as it does in the wealthy 10%, who have no need of such programs? Why we continue to accept the “truth story” of the wealthy that no class warfare exists even though that warfare, unilaterally conducted, has, since Reagan, brought the middle class to its knees alongside an underclass already flat on their backs?

The truth stories we are in concoct our answers. Some of these are in motion and some persist and hold on leading us to think that such longevity is proof of their truthfulness. Political campaign strategies and marketing strategies are engaged in tracking these stories and do so without being impeded by what’s empirically verifiable or ideologically faithful or logically anticipated. Such tracking, however, has progressively taken a back seat to the actual fabrication of “truth stories.” Stories now reach us online as well as offline so you might say the capacity of political lobbyists and Madison Avenue marketers to reach us has gone from uni-verse to multi-verse, from single dwelling to duplex to multi-plex. Why track what “truth stories” people are in if you can produce them and thereby, like a Celestial Entity, know the minds you yourself have created? It’s the simplest access and it is now done with astounding success.

If I believed reason was more than what Nietzsche called it, that is, a strumpet who works both sides of the street, works for power, bends to power, I would have the means to reject in a flash the possible existence of a great many “truth stories” which are in fact now in existence. But how do you get out of a “truth story” you yourself are already in as a character, a truth story you yourself tell, a truth story through which you pursue your understanding of the world? How do you stop the lobbyists from lobbying for space in your brain? The marketers from selling you what you then call your thoughts? I think you have to get to know the field you are playing on, or more truthfully, the field upon which you are being played. Once we begin to search for the stories that have attached us to what we hold true as well as attaching us to our ways of knowing what is true, we have a chance of taking back our own minds and with that done, taking back our share of our democracy.

We have the numbers; those economically wounded and hurting plus those already in the ER vastly outnumber those who have benefited from a “trickle down” economics and politics, from the deregulation of everything that would have kept the wealth gap in the post- WWII to Reagan era level, from the collapse of an effective progressive income tax, and from the hi-speed expansion of corporate “reachability” power to nothing short of the brain washing of individuals and the corruption of egalitarian democratic processes. Unfortunately, the “truth stories” of the wealthy few have inundated the minds and hearts of the many, tsunami-like. But the truth story the Tokyo Electric Power Corporation tried to tell gave way before the overwhelming reality of increasing radioactivity. We all have to believe that eventually a story of the truth gets out that does justice to the reality we have framed for ourselves, that eventually what we believe and say corresponds to a state of affairs that exists, to conditions here “on the ground” that are actually going on. Unfortunately, too many are deep within “truth stories” that have little or no connection to a present state of affairs that is oppressing them mightily.

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