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Billionaires and the Common Folk

I live in a world of very wealthy people. I myself am reasonably comfortable, but I’m an artist and I’m inclined to watch the wealthy from a distance and only occasionally do I interact with them.

I have nothing against wealthy people. They are the backbone of my country in terms of providing the means for our citizens to have many of the perks that make America special: beautiful cities, museums, football stadiums, fashion shows, movies.

I’m not really a pol either. But I do like libraries, good roads, a police department that protects me, and schools that educate the future leaders of my country.

America has always been a mixture of business and government and I contend that neither the wealthy nor the not so wealthy have the upper hand on making our country run.

Currently though our top administrator seems to have more reverence for those who are wealthy. They’re the ones that make America great.

It is true that some successful businessmen are responsible for many of America’s proudest achievements, but it is also true that many of them were ruthless personalities and many only had visions for creating more wealth for themselves. Only a few were interested in the good for all. That role in the past was left to religious institutions, intellectuals and women.

Though there are exceptions to the rule, I find most wealthy people to be standoffish, competitive, interested in their images and rarely warm and friendly. I get this. I know that if you show you are vulnerable in any way and don’t keep a sense of mystery as my father always encouraged me to do, then your chances of bluffing yourself into the next rung are probably not as good.

My own view is that we ought to use all the talents of all our people. The rich should definitely keep making as much money as they can. Those who are good at teaching should teach. Those who have athletic talent should play tennis, football, baseball or bowl. Scientists should keep discovering, and inventors should keep finding new gadgets.

But when it comes to leading our country, the talents needed to do so becomes more complicated. The skills to be in the hot seat go beyond being wealthy and they go beyond being ethical and they go beyond being smart.

For me, all I know is that I’m not happy with the stereotype of a wealthy person leading my country. I want him/her to be more than just a dealmaker who values gold and mansions.

In the old days, the royals used to have a grip on their people who knew they would never be wealthy, but who could easily live through their rulers. We can still see glimpses of this in countries who maintain their kings and queens, but most of these countries have moved on. They realize that being wealthy is just one way to go. It’s not the only one. We need a leader who respects our abilities and gives us options to validate them, not one who is just a cheerleader for a vision he/she believes can happen for everyone, no matter what their abilities or their circumstances.

We need a reality president, not a fake one.

Come on people, rise to the occasion and learn the difference!

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