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Reader: Does wealth equate to enlightenment?

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Does wealth equate to enlightenment? Lately, I've been wondering why so many Americans admire wealth and the people who have it, thinking they must be smart because of it. I suppose it's the American rags-to-riches story.

This makes me think of actors for some reason. Families often cringe when their grown children go into this field or get involved with someone who has, because the success rate is low. You're dating an actor? Oh. They struggle, juggling all kinds of jobs between auditions. But should they hit the big time and are making millions, we love to hear about their early days when they didn't have two nickels to rub together. It's just all so endearing.

On the other hand, we extol teachers for sacrificing so much (in income) to make a difference so long as we don't have to personally pony up at the ballot box to pay them more. We admire local ministers and rabbis who only make an average income at best. They can even talk about money being the root of all evil and we will agree with them. After all, it's biblical.

And yet, if a minister, rabbi or teacher does or says something crass or controversial, we nail them. They're expendable. The wealthy are more likely to get a pass.

So many Americans harp about welfare but only when it comes to the poor. If it is a bailout for bankers, farmers, the auto industry, etc., only a few will say a peep about our paying to keep them successful and afloat through corporate and agricultural welfare.

Even five of our Supreme Court justices voted that money is free speech. And our politicians court it to get elected. What would the framers of our Constitution think about that?

We balk about government wasting money and yet a wealthy and powerful bloated ego gets to have an unnecessary and unprecedented military parade that will cost us $12 million for no real value to a known super power.

Our perception that wealth equals enlightenment seems to be faulty.

— Micheale Duncan

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