(by Frank J. Fleming, NYPost.com) – The Occupy Wall Street crowd has correctly identified two distinct groups in this country: the wealthiest 1 percent and the other 99 percent, who suffer from the 1 percent’s vast wealth: The wealthiest 1 percent not only have more money than us, they have much, much more money. That’s just wrong.
It’s easy to see how the wealthiest 1 percent are devastating our country. Let’s say you took part in a raffle and won a prize of $500. Happy at your good fortune, you’d start thinking of all the neat things you could buy with $500.
But say the person next to you won $1 million. Then, suddenly, your $500 would seem like nothing in comparison, and all your ideas of what to do with that $500 would seem pathetic compared to what you could do if only you had the other person’s $1 million.
One truth would ring constantly in your mind: “That’s not fair!”
That’s what the wealthiest 1 percent do to us a nation: It’s just impossible to appreciate our affluence while other people are allowed to have so much more than us.
Sure, we could instead compare ourselves to the poor in other nations who live on a dollar a day or the poor throughout history who lacked all the freedoms, opportunity and technology we have — but it’s too depressing to think about those people. Instead, we just need to do something about the wealthiest 1 percent.
Some might say one person’s income doesn’t affect another’s, and people should only worry about improving their own finances, but this is ignorant of how math works: None of us can get ahead while the 1 percent are around.
Let’s say you had two apples and another person — let’s call him “Rich” — also had two apples. If you then got one more apple and Rich got 80 more apples, would you now have more apples? No, you’d have fewer apples — fewer than that other guy who has an unfair number of apples!
See, the wealthiest 1 percent prevent us from getting ahead because any time we improve our incomes, we spend more on businesses and services, and guess who that helps? The 1 percent. Getting ahead just isn’t worth the knowledge that the rich are getting richer.
There’s no point in working hard to try to become one of the 1 percent ourselves, because what’s the chance of that happening? One in 100? Who would play a lottery with odds that bad?
No, instead of working hard, the 99 percent can only sit and protest on Wall Street until the wealthiest 1 percent are torn down.
Here’s the thing: They’re the 1 percent, but we’re the 99 percent. Their wealth may be much more than ours, but 99 is a much bigger number than one. So we should just gang up and take their money.
When one person takes the property of another, that’s tyranny, but when lots of people get together and do it, that’s democracy. So we should legislate that the 1 percent no longer get to keep that vast wealth and must instead distribute it among the rest of us. (I should get the largest portion because it was my idea.)
After we’ve taken care of their wealth, to keep the nation happy and prosperous we should pass a law making it illegal for there to be a wealthiest 1 percent — this country should just be the normal 99 percent.
Sure, that isn’t mathematically possible, but government shouldn’t be about what’s possible; it should be about what’s fair.
Frank J. Fleming’s e-book, “Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything,” will be released by HarperCollins on Nov. 15.
This article was first in at NYPost.com on October 25, 2011. Reprinted here on October 27th for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from The New York Post.
1. Define satire.
2. What is Frank Fleming satirizing in this commentary?
3. What is the main idea of Mr. Fleming’s article?