Onward and Upward

ImageIn a column in today’s Elmira Star-Gazette, with an astonishing chain of illogic, George Will links English aristocracy, PBS, Downton Abbey, liberals, Charles Dickens, 21st century America, and the 19th century Communist Manifesto, Will’s story goes like this:


  • Downton Abbey is a popular PBS drama.
  • Those who watch such stuff are mostly liberals.
  • Downton Abbey portrays a highly stratified class society.
  • Liberals favor a highly stratified class society.
  • Downton Abbey proves that rich families fritter away their wealth, so estate taxes, which confiscate wealth, are unnecessary
  • Discusses softhearted liberal author Charles Dickens suggesting we ought to cheer the likes of hard-working Uncle Scrooge and laugh at Tiny Tim.
  • Asserts that Thomas Jefferson, a liberal landowner, favored social stratification. while Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant upstart, did not.
  • The Communist Manifesto explains that capitalism liberates.
  • Liberals hope to be among the idle rich.
  • Class society portrayed in Downton Abbey mirrors the “nanny state” liberals favor.

Did you follow that?

Will confuses hope for upward mobility with the fact of growing economic inequality. In America, the few who are accumulating great wealth don’t represent the many who struggle to survive. Promoting the Horatio Alger myth that anyone might become wealthy by hard work, Will ignores the fact that more and more Americans are sliding into poverty in a land of plenty.

Will claims that in America the rich struggle to remain rich and grow richer on equal terms with the poor who struggle to survive unemployment or live on poverty wages.  If only that were true, who could ask for more?

© William Hungerford – February 2014

(Will’s column is titled “Progressives want to turn America into ‘Downton Abbey'”)

About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to Onward and Upward

  1. BOB McGILL says:

    SimilarSep 30, 2012 – The number of households in the United States stands at 114,235,996. That means the … 1 Out of 25 Households Millionaires. To summarize …

    But lets look at some lottery winners who end up broke within a few years, why is that ? Stupid people don’t know how to manage money so they don’t end up rich or stay rich. That is obviously the Republican’s fault. 🙂


  2. whungerford says:

    People who play the lottery are fearless risk-takers betting against long odds. But perhaps they see hitting the lottery as their only chance at the American Dream of a good life.


  3. solodm says:

    Ha ha! I also read Will’s analysis of the unfortunate rich, and their struggles. When was the last time a corporate head held a bowl and asked “More Please?” That was a trick question. The answer is “always”.


  4. whungerford says:

    Who knew that that Jefferson was a liberal elitist, that the Communist Manifesto proves that capitalism frees the poor to become wealthy?


  5. solodm says:

    Well, we are all informed now, and can expect to hear all this year, how the downtrodden affluent will be put upon by the scurrilous attacks by the poor.


  6. BOB MCGILL says:

    NA, it’s just the typical SUMTHIN for NOTHIN’ the world owes me a living atitude that most people have today. In reality, humans are LAZY by nature.


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