Where’s Robin Hood?
By Winston Burton
For many years I thought that the Robin Hood Syndrome (taking from the rich to give to the poor) was a no brainer, so why make such a big deal about it? Why would any one want to steal from the poor and give to the rich? The wealthy have the resources and the money so who would waste their time robbing people who don’t have anything? Seems logical, right? Boy was I naïve! It seems that the practice of the rich taking from the poor has been the norm worldwide, throughout history, crossing through most cultures, governments, and religions. Robin Hood’s crime of taking from the rich was actually compounded because he came from the aristocracy and was breaking the good old boy tradition of getting all you can get. If people have nothing to take, put them in debt or bondage. That was the way then, and it’s still the way!
Meanwhile Prince John, I mean John Boehner and the republicans, are reluctant to raise taxes on the rich, but have chosen to eliminate programs that help our poor, our school children, and the disabled. I recently watched a documentary titled, “Untold Wealth: The Rise of the Super Rich”. It was striking to learn that the Super Rich are like their own species – more people are becoming wealthy faster than ever before. In 1985 there were 13 billionaires in the US, and today there are over 1,000 billionaires. Over 49,000 US households are worth between $50 million and $500 million; 125,000 households have a net worth exceeding $25 million to $50 million. The top 400 taxpayers in the US have an average income of $214 million. The breadth and depth of the staggering number of rich households has no precedent in the history of the United States. There has never been such an explosion of wealth, extravagance and conspicuous consumption against a back drop of unemployment and program cuts for the working class and the poor.
Now we see Politicos, especially right-wing conservatives, who have been constantly preaching their moral, religious superiority and authority, while they continue to be exposed for their corrupt and greedy behaviors. These people also refuse to take accountability and resign their positions of power. They believe that they are entitled to be our leaders while enriching themselves, all the while blaming the poor for their own poverty, and immigration for destroying the American Dream.
As I sit and watch those that have debate the economy, healthcare, taxes, the environment, and immigration, I can’t help but think where’s Robin Hood when you need him. I see an uneven and deliberate strategy to take as much from the have not’s as possible to save the resources and feed the greed of the wealthy. For some enough is never enough!