I have always said that sunlight is the best disinfectant and in the arena of ideas, there is no better way of encouraging the best ones to grow the lesser ones to either get mocked at or subsidized. It’s a quite a phenomenon (#HadToSpellCheckThatOne) to see a really dumb idea like “sharing the wealth” being bandied about by super rich people who are constantly looking for a camera for a self-congratulatory photo op.
Enter Zach Braff participating in a really stupid #Hashtag Twitter game. The game in question was #SaySomethingLiberalIn4Words. Well, he took the bait and was compelled to flaunt his generosity and Tweet:
In a nutshell, people like Braff think that sharing the wealth means paying higher taxes. While there is some truth that paying higher taxes means one’s wealth is more widely distributed, Braff is being disingenuous by neglecting to mention that he employs a team of financial advisors that work their hands to the bone to make sure that he saves as much money as possible. Regardless of who is in the White House, Braff can actually instruct his accountant(s) to take out additional taxes and send it to the US Treasury. I deduce that he does not do this or he would have seen Twitter pictures of him checking the IRS box to donate more taxes. OR, Braff can actually take the amount of what he thinks he should be taxed at and give it to a local charity. Surely the city of Los Angeles has many non-profits he could support on a regular basis. Just watch the movie, the Soloist, and you will see a mental illness population that could desperately use some private funds.
There has been a falsity at play in the United States for quite some time and it has been allowed to metastasize into the political consciousness. It is the notion that the greater good can be served if it’s paid for by a higher tax on the wealthy. Back on the campaign, when then Senator Obama was speaking with a citizen about taxes; Obama stated that if we as a citizenry spread the wealth around, then everyone benefits.
Thomas Sowell was quick to point out that when Senator Obama talks about spreading the wealth around he is speaking about the public’s wealth, not his own money. See, the idea of actually helping someone is that one gives out of their abundance (Or out of their poverty) to help someone in need. In Zach Braff’s mind, he thinks that paying higher taxes is equal to charity. He wants the moral credit of humility and generosity while arming the government to use coercion. Zach… sweetie… this is not how sharing wealth works.
If you don’t know who Thomas Sowell is, Zach, then take some words of wisdom from Penn Jelliet:
What I think you really meant to Tweet is that, “As a liberal, I give away a lot of my money to charity.” Or, “As a liberal, I voluntarily pay a higher tax rate.” When the government forces you to pay a higher tax, you do not get to claim the moral high ground of selflessness and humility. That would be akin to a president threatening the citizenry with fees and incarceration if they did not buy a certain healthcare plan and then bragged about how so many citizens voluntarily signed up for healthcare (#OhWait).
This is what happens when status conscious Hollywood celebrities fail to mature to the formal operational stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. They struggle or even fail to develop the ability to think about abstract concepts.
Zach’s Tweet about how liberals aren’t afraid to pay higher taxes sounds smart, noble and courageous but if he really thinks that he is generous by spreading other people’s money then he is on the same intellectual playing field as the character Karen from Mean Girls, who is led to the conclusion that kissing your FIRST cousin is okay because you have, “your cousins, then your first cousins and then your second cousins.” Zach, that is so not right.
The result of such intellectual bankruptcy is to find the nearest camera or smart phone and publicly espouse what passes for brave, edgy and profound ideas when in reality, these ideas crumble under a modest level of scrutiny. The fact that Braff is the master of his money and therefore has more say than most about where it goes indicates either stupidity or arrogance in that he would rather score ideological points on Twitter than actually help another human being with his own money.
If you want a clearer definition of how a citizen voluntarily helps another citizen, take Tyler Perry for example. Whether you like his movies or not, you must admit that he is generous with his own money. I heard this on the radio and went to the story below.
Xernna Nieves said her family arrived home at their Stockbridge apartment to find an eviction notice.
The family lives in the Ashley Woods Apartments. Nieves’ 16-year-old son has severe aplastic anemia and has already had two bone marrow transplants.
At the time, Nieves said she could not put into words what it would mean if she and her family of five were evicted.
“I have no place to go. I really have no place to go,” she told Channel 2’s Jade Hernandez Monday evening.
Nieves admitted she has had trouble paying rent and hasn’t been paying on time, but the apartment complex has always worked with her and in turn, she always pays rent.
The Make-A-Wish foundation paid for her son, John Williams, to fly to meet Chicago Bulls basketball star Derrick Rose.
“I felt like I was a celebrity with him,” Williams said.
But his mother was snapped back to reality when she tried paying back rent for March and April.
“I was told that corporate office told her not to accept any more rent money from us,” Nieves said.
With her son’s illness, there hasn’t been a chance for her to bounce back or find a way to better the situation, she said.
“I don’t have access to public transportation. I don’t have a car. I can’t get around,” Nieves said.
When Tyler Perry saw Nieves’ story on Channel 2 Action News Monday night, he reached out and offered to pay her rent for one year.
Nieves has already started packing what items she had into plastic bags. Perry told Nieves his intervention had no strings attached.
“I just wanted to tell him, to thank him. My family and I, we thank you,” Nieves said. “He didn’t have to come in person to pay it.”
The radio later stated (Yes my radio speaks to me) that Tyler Perry slipped in and out and avoided the press. Now granted, Tyler Perry people could have leaked to the press that he was going to make a big deal about avoiding the press but the point is that Tyler Perry has money… he saw a need… took out his Versace wallet… went to the lady’s house behind the scenes… and gave with a glad heart. As of April 22, 2014 9:35:30 PM, Perry has not sent out a brag Tweet.