RALEIGH -- Elizabeth Edwards says she is scared of the "rabid, rabid Republican" who owns property across the street from her Orange County home -- and she doesn't want her kids going near the gun-toting neighbor.
Edwards views Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres.Her attitude is typical of how rich people are supposed to scorn the poor – and yet her husband has made his political career as a defender of the poor!
Johnson, 55, acknowledges his Republican roots. But he takes offense to the suggestion he has purposefully left his property, including an old garage he leases for use as a car shop, in dilapidated condition.
Johnson said he has lived his entire life on the property, which he said his family purchased before the Great Depression. He said he's spent a lot of money to try and fix up the 42-acre tract.
"I have to budget. I have to live within my means," Johnson said. "I don't have millions of dollars to fix the place."
Although collectivist-statists are egalitarian, in reality their policies create and strengthen class differences. Government intervention in the economy results in a privileged political class and then the rest of us. The Soviet Union, based on a radical egalitarianism, had a Nomenklatura ruling class and the masses that were, in reality, their slaves.
Most societies throughout history have had small ruling classes and masses of peasants. Capitalism was the revolution that saw the growth of the great middle class, what the Marxists sneer at as the “bourgeosie.” America has always been and still is a nation of a vast middle class; as such, it is the least class conscious nation in history. The middle class is a product of freedom.
There are rich people in America, and some "old money" types have been snobbish toward the poor, but many wealthy people began poor or middle class and never stop thinking of themselves as such. Andrew Carnegie started poor, but became fabulously wealthy and he was always on the lookout for competent young men to promote in his steel business, regardless of their class origins. Charles Schwab, for instance,
...started as a stake driver in Andrew Carnegie's steelworks and in 1897 rose to become president of the Carnegie Steel Company at the age of 35. In 1901, he negotiated the secret buyout of Carnegie Steel by a group of New York-based financiers led by J.P. Morgan. After the buyout, Schwab became the first president of the U.S. Steel Corporation, the company formed out of Carnegie's former holdings.Andrew Carnegie is a classic example of a rich man's attitude toward the poor in a free country. All that mattered to him was competence and character.
With the growth of the state, we are seeing the beginnings of new class consciousness in America. Our rulers in Washington think they are different from the unwashed masses. Elizabeth Edwards offers a glimpse into the thinking of our nascent ruling class.