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For many years I thought that the Robin Hood Syndrome (taking from the rich to give to the poor) was a no- brainer. It wouldn’t make sense to steal from the poor to give to the rich, would it? The wealthy have the resources and the money, so who would waste their time robbing people who have little to give to the rich who have more than they need? 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, cutting across most cultures, governments, and religions. Robin Hood’s crime of taking from the rich was actually compounded because he came from the aristocracy, was actually championing poor people, 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 too often it’s still that way now!

Meanwhile Prince John, I mean Donald Trump 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 once watched a program titled, “Untold Wealth: The Rise of the Super Rich”. It was striking to learn that the Super Rich 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 between $25 million to $50 million. The top 400 taxpayers in the US have an average income exceeding $214 million. The breadth and depth of the staggering number of super-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 homelessness and program cuts for the working class and the poor.

Now we see Politicos, especially right-wing conservatives, who, while they preach their moral, religious superiority and authority, continue to be exposed for their corrupt and greedy behaviors. These people also refuse to be accountable 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 watch the haves debate the economy, healthcare, taxes, the environment, and immigration, I see an uneven and deliberate strategy to take as much from the have nots as possible in order to feed the greed of the wealthy. For some enough is never enough!

Where’s Robin Hood when you need him? Obama could never qualify as the next Robin Hood because he came from a low income household to begin with and was never a part of the privileged establishment like Sir Robert of Locksley (Robin Hood.)

My father used to say, “If money grew on trees we would all be in the woods!” Right now I’m feeling that many of us need to unite, rise up, and gather in Sherwood Forest instead.

Winston Burton
Berkeley resident.