Sunday morning, I found myself watching "fearless television" as hosted by the power-bowtied Tucker Carlson. I don't know why I do things like this to myself. Perhaps it's in the name of understanding. Perhaps I'm just an information junkie. I'm sure you have your own ideas at this point.
Carlson was talking Paul O'Neill, once Dubya's Secretary of the Treasury, about Social Security reform. In the course of the conversation, O'Neill talked about his belief that the United States as a society should aspire have every working American enter retirement with $1 million. He said it was something that was within our power to do should we make it a priority. Before he was able to actually go into details about how he was proposing this could work (which, given everything else he was saying, would require at least a degree of personal savings), Carlson objected...
"How can you say that it is just for Americans who have more money because they worked harder to be asked to make up the difference for people who didn't work hard at all?"
The implications here are staggering, and I'll confess that I have a difficult time appreciating how anyone can have such a narrow understanding of the world. For Carlson, if you have money, you must have toiled and sacrificed and if you do not, you were lazy and wasteful. Because the presence of wealth is the only true measure of one's worth, wealth justifies itself. The deserving have. The undeserving do not. Simple, n'est-ce pas?