Here’s a breaking story to raise hackles -- or reinforce your ability to turn the other cheek and practice forgiveness.
In the midst of all the wildfires in California, some residents are irate that private firefighters saved Kanye and Kim Kardashian West’s home from the Woolsey blaze. Seriously.
Shortly after TMZ tweeted about the efforts on Nov. 12, myriad commenters responded with tweets ranging from praise to vitriol, the latter exposing how easily people can be sucked into the dark collectivist mindests of envy, willful populist ignorance, and blindness to how economic growth helps everyone.
TMZ actually got it right, offering:
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Hire Private Firefighters, Save Neighborhood from Wildfires.
Yet, within seconds, angry Envy Eaters – those who subsist on a diet of hating others for their success, believing that wealth differentials are inherently unfair and likely derived from some kind of exploitation, and those who hunger for government to “rectify” these hellish inequities – got on the Tweet-deck to spout ignorant drivel. They actually attempted to criticize the Wests for saving not only their own home, but the homes of others.
So readers of this Thread of Shame were treated to idiocy such as this from “Maddie”:
wow if I were rich I’d love capitalism— Maddie (@madd_ayy) November 13, 2018
She might also love punctuation.
And she might appreciate the fact that it is the competitive market that lowered the price of the tech she used to serve up that gob of brilliance.
Not to be outdone, the genius going by the Tweet handle of “Zentrification” -- ‘cause, you know, the person using the handle is all cool, and “Zen” about the world -- offered this Aristotelian insight:
Privilege— Zentrification (@conspiracylife) November 13, 2018
Because, you know, Kanye was clearly born a music star and never had to do any work at all. The two were just handed their home, and it was purchased with other peoples’ money, not their own, right?
Let’s get this straight.
Not only did the Wests pay for their own home to be saved – which normal, mentally-balanced, non-covetous people might actually applaud as a great benefit of being able to grow rich through pleasing others in the entertainment fields – their efforts saved other homes.
And, moreover, the millions in taxes they’ve paid to the state, federal, and local governments over the years helped pay for all those other firefighters out there helping to save other homes.
In fact, the Wests have probably shelled out enough in taxes to pay for the fire fighting teams of many small towns in America, and yet people have the gall to knuckle-drag their way to the keyboard and write nonsense like this from the brilliant “PoorlyDrawnPolitics”:
Rich people saving rich people while the rest of the public burns.— PoorlyDrawnPolitics (@PoliticsPoorly) November 12, 2018
It’s a sad thing to realize just how many poisonously envious, economically ignorant people there are out there, people ready to pounce on someone else for doing well or better than another cadre of the population.
What other differences would these hand-wringers like to criticize? If the Wests have better life insurance, should that be an incitement to slam them? How about a better, safer home foundation to withstand earthquakes? If Kanye can get laser eye surgery should he need it, and others can’t, should he be made to feel bad because he earned enough in his choice of career to get it?
And if the “American” way, i.e. freedom of the market -- which used to be the American Way a hundred years ago, before socialist envy-promoters got powerful in US politics – only leads to the rich helping the rich, how is it that things like laser eye surgery actually went down in price over the past ten years, allowing not only the super-wealthy to get it?
An understanding of how markets allow expensive things to become less expensive is easy to acquire. Such an education is available at a low price now on the ubiquitous internet – all thanks to the productivity of the competitive market that allows people to get more for less, and allows them to buy what they want…
Like Kanye West albums and concert tickets.
So when Vice writes a headline and subhead like these...
"Rich People Pay for Private Firefighters While the Rest of Us Burn: Insurance companies offer exclusive firefighting services for high-paying clients that can help them mitigate the worst consequences of wildfire disasters. Most other people aren’t so lucky."
...it only takes a cursory awareness of economics to know that not only is the possibility of home insurance covering private firefighters a benefit that can help neighbors around the protected home, it helps release pressure from the overburdened government-run fire departments. In fact, it exists specifically because people don’t know whether the government fire departments are fully capable of handling certain challenges.
Clearly, California needs all the help it can get. If rich folks pay for private firefighters, that means the state can focus its resources on helping those who can't afford expensive insurance policies.
Nah. Instead, hate them, envy them, spurn their prosperity, prosperity they achieved by offering things to consumers that consumers freely chose to buy. Take from them and demonize them.
Karl Marx would applaud.