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For the Greater Good
Here we are in a new year, and we’ve got our work cut out for us. There’s the pandemic, of course, and global warming, and the rise of authoritarianism, and…well, the list goes on. One thing that catches the eye, however, is the surge in worldwide poverty. And right next to that phenomenon, we can’t help but notice the corresponding explosion in the wealth of the world’s richest people.

One might be tempted to link those two data points and suggest that the rich thrive on the poverty of others. Or, you might be led to think that, under a capitalist system, that mass starvation and plagues are good for business. I will not go that far here (although it’s an appealing digression). I do, however, have some practical suggestions that might help bring some balance to this teetering misalignment.

Before I get started, I think it would be fair to alert the super rich about my plans for their wealth. Guys, we’re going to be needing that money. Not all of it, of course (we don’t want to kill your entrepreneurial spirit), but, like, 95%. Maybe a little more, depending on how things go. I hope you’re not upset. We wouldn’t do this if it weren’t absolutely necessary.

Don’t worry, you can keep your mansion. The chateau at the lake, too. But that island (you know the one, with the nuke-proof underground paradise with a thousand-year store of supplies) has got to go. You (or rather, we) can’t afford the upkeep.

Furthermore, it is only fair to tell you that we’ll be forced to take most of your annual income as well. Under my plan, the more you make, the higher percentage will be reserved for the public good. That just seems fair. I’m not saying that your effort to make more and more and more money is the cause of all the misery in the world, but no one other than your most slavish toadies in politics believes that it’s actually helping.

I know that some people (your toadies, mostly) will say that such measures would stifle your drive to compete in the marketplace. That argument does make sense — until we remember that you are, at heart, a greed addict. I’m not judging here, mind you. Greed is a perfectly natural human motivation. Even your obsessive, runaway avarice is part of the grand human scheme. In fact, I am counting on that mindless drive to keep you striving even if you’re only keeping .0000001 percent of what you haul in. It’s for the greater good.

The super rich, no doubt, will not see eye to eye with me on this. They might hesitate at first to relinquish their bloodstained, infected treasure. I get that, but I have faith in my fellow human beings. Reason will carry the day. So, in that spirit, let me just say to my hideously rich friends — we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. Thank you for your cooperation.
Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz