A good portion of this campaign season’s rhetoric would have you believe we are an either/or society. You are either a maker or a taker. A job creator or a mooch. A person of initiative who by dint of hard work and raw talent succeeds in the rough and tumble of the free market, or … an uninspired slug who can’t cut it and who is content to live off the wealth created by others.
The news media lately have been full of speakers and writers who insist that the path to an economic and moral Eden is found by running us through a Darwinian filter that will by some magical process separate the worthy from the unworthy, thereby freeing the worthy to create a better, more prosperous society for all. Many of us will become wealthy because we will have deserved wealth. Others will fall through society’s cracks, but that’s just a natural and, indeed, necessary consequence of capitalism.