I watched a video of Melissa Harris-Perry wherein she slams a guest on her show for talking about risks the wealthy take to make money. I’d like to elaborate for a moment if I may on that thought. What is risk? Who are the risk takers? Let’s take a minute to think about this logically.
The right wing just loves to talk about risk takers. That multi-billionaire deserves his wealth, deserves to not be taxed, because he “risked” his money to build a business. That hedge fund manager “risked” a lot to make a lot. Mitt Romney “risked” a lot to make tens of millions and more at Bain Capital. Did they really? What exactly did they risk? Did they risk their lives? Oh, no of course not. Mitt Romney wouldn’t do that. After protesting in favor of the Vietnam War, when it came his time to go, he picked up, put his tail between his quavering upper class legs and beat feet to France. In fact many who died in Vietnam were poor, minorities and those who didn’t have the college deferment, because they couldn’t afford it. The wealthy man thinks he is a “risk taker” because he gambles a little bit of his money? HA! First, how did he get that money? He got it from the labor of his wage slaves. He got it from his birth, and his privilege. He got it from his tax breaks and his evasions. He got it from usury and he got it from his class status. He has lots of it. He risks a small portion of it? If he fails, will he have to live on the street? Doubt it. If he fails will he have to sell his Audi to pay his debts? Not likely. If he fails will he end up in jail? most certainly not. He risks nothing but the ill gotten and kept wealth he has, at no real personal risk to himself. Who are the risk takers then?
The REAL Risk Takers
The real risk takers do exist in America. They are the poor single mother investing time and energy into going to Community College to better herself, even while she lives on welfare and a part time job. They are the college student that spent a tour in the military to get his college education, and still has to work himself to the bone to make ends meet. The real risk taker is the father who works to low paying jobs to put food on the table for his family. The real risk taker is the factory worker who toils away making consumer products for a living. The real risk taker is the student who is in debt, hoping against hope that she’ll have a job when she graduates. The real risk taker is the mother huddling in the cold, trying to keep her daughter shielded from the icy blast in front of a store in the winter. The real risk taker is the miner who risks his life to keep the rent paid and the lights on. The real risk taker is the single dad who smiles to keep from crying, to keep his kids thinking that everything’s OK. Those risk takers put their hard earned money in banks, they get their hard earned money and put it towards a house or a car. Then the interest rates go up. The economy goes down. The REAL risk takers lose what little work they had. Those that had worked a lifetime to just break even lose everything. The “risk takers” at the top screw up the economy, they take it down with their greed and like in 2008, the whole thing comes crashing down. When the dust settles, the “risk takers” are fine. Sure, they lost a couple million, but hell, there’s more where that comes from. The REAL risk takers however, they die. They starve. They lose their homes. They lose their cars. They lose their livelihood. The “risk takers” took the money of the poor and working classes, played fast and loose with it, brought it all down, took the houses from the poor, the cars, the property. Then the “risk takers” turned to the government and said “We’re to big to fail”. The government panicked of course. Papers flying everywhere, pulling out hair, gnashing of teeth. Then they turned to the banks and said “Of course we’ll help you out, that’s what Americans do.” They gave hundreds of billions in loans to the corporations. They “risk takers” gave themselves lavish bonuses, threw parties, at caviar and drank champagne. And in the cities, the REAL risk takers huddled against the cold. Their jobs gone, their savings gone, their education savings gone, their hope gone. Deep in debt, mired in sadness. The country begins to crumble. The REAL risk takers lost. It was a rigged game and they had no chance of winning. 46 million Americans now living in poverty. The gas gets turned off. The electricity gets cut off. No water. The landlord kicks em out heartlessly into the street.
I am a REAL risk taker. You see, I am poor. I’ve always been poor. And I know that there is only one way to set this rigged game right. The answer is to knock all the pieces off and refuse to play their sick game. The game is capitalism, and we’ve been playing it far too long. No more of this 3 card Monty sham. It’s time for a world of equality, justice and hope. It’s time for socialism. Now, reaching for socialism, advocating revolutionary change, that’s taking a big risk. People will attack you, they will call you names, threaten to kill you. They will say you’re a murderer, they will make all kinds of ridiculous accusations. They’ll do whatever they can to stop you. Yes, socialism is taking a risk, betting on humanity, betting on the future. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a risk taker all my life. Time to roll the dice. Socialism now. Demand it.