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Published: Saturday, Aug. 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Upward mobility is actually harder to achieve in the U.S. than almost anywhere else in the developed world. A child born poor has the best chance of getting into the middle class in the Scandinavian countries followed by the rest of continental Europe, Australia, and Canada. Only in the U.K or Italy does a poor child face worse prospects. Want the American Dream? Move to Finland.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It's called coveting. We were warned about coveting when Moses came down off the mountain. That law has not changed. Those who preach "envy" are telling us to covet. Those who preach transfer of wealth are teaching us to covet. Those who tell us that we are poor because others are rich are teaching us to covet.

In America, we are free to pursue our dreams. Nobody owes us anything more than that. We are not assigned a station in life. We are not assigned an occupation. We are free to choose. Those who work hard, who perservere, who don't give up, who don't make excuses, almost always get exactly what they worked for.

Lincoln showed us that a back-wood's boy could become the President. Bill Cosby showed us that he would not be assigned to be poor by the race-activists of his time.

The choice is ours. We can covet or we can work earn our own way.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Its because Democrats need "victims" to survive and gain power. Victims of racism, victims of poverty, victims of the rich, all excuses keeping me from succeeding in life they tell us. That's why Democrats hate and demean any minority that succeeds on their own merits of hard work, self sacrifice and persistence. Race hustlers, poverty pimps and welfare hustlers are all Democrats. Ask Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson or any other successful conservative minority.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"According to a Census Bureau report, U.S. household income inequality has grown by 18% since 1967, although this trend has slowed in recent years.

According to Economics Prof. and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, regulations, particularly those governing the financial sector are contributing to the disparities.

“Financial regulations allow predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices that transfer money from the bottom to the top. So do bankruptcy laws that provide priority for derivatives,” he said.

Stiglitz argues that Americans were increasingly being made to think that higher income inequality was a byproduct of faster growth, but he says that’s a false choice. The U.S. economy grew faster in the decades after the Second World War, when inequalities were lower, than it did after 1980, he said.

Western countries with the healthiest economies, such as those in Scandinavia, have the highest degree of equality, Stiglitz noted.

To prevent the worsening disparities, Stiglitz argues that the U.S. should stop cutting public education and other programs that enhance opportunities for the middle class and the poor."
(CNBC 2012)

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

While I agree we are responsible for ourselves, evidence does not support your contentions. Utah has the best record in the nation for upward mobility but less than 12% will find it. That means almost 90% will end up just like their parents or worse. Education has become so expensive it creates servitude to banks rather than a vehicle to success. To Mr Richards and Mountanman, what? I could care less about your riches or Mitt Romney's. I just care that you participate in funding society like the rest of us which is the antithesis of your philosophy. Most of us here that were not beneficiaries of the previous generation and have had success have left most behind and we have forgot whose backs we climbed to get there.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I have found that class warfare only goes one way.

If a presidential candidate calls half of America (including vets, retirees, and students) deadbeats, it's leadership.

If you ask someone making half a million to pay a little extra in taxes, it's class warfare.

Sad, how low we have stooped in politics.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"its called coveting"..... you have to absolutely love it. It is covetous to want to have 3 meals a day. It is covetous to want to live in a neighborhood where your kids can play freely out doors without worry of criminal influences. It is covetous to want to have the means to send your kid to college - when the most anyone has achieved in the family is a high school diploma. It is covetous to want to be able to take a sick child to a normal doctor, rather than waiting for numerous hours in the emergency room waiting on an ER doctor to have time to see your child. Oh, the covetous nation we have.

Mountainman... if the democrats need victims.... the republicans are more than willing providers... because all we hear from that crowd is how victimized they are.... their liberties stripped from their grasp, there wealth redistributed to those less worthy... Republicans right now are being the best victims they can.

The author nails it when he talks of self fulfilling prophecies. What people believe they can achieve deeply impacts what they attempt to achieve. Good words.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

UtahBlueDevil: You're great on rhetoric but low on facts and logic.

- In America, obesity is a big problem among the poor as well as the rich. While there may be a few hungry people, that is far and away an exception rather than the rule.

- Criminal activity is a choice. Are you suggesting that the poor are inherently law-breakers? In extreme cases where life is on the line, perhaps I could see that. But most crime, even among the poor, is committed by people who have roofs over their heads and food on the table.

- High school diplomas and college degrees are earned, not given. As a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, I can witness that a college education is available to anybody who is willing to pay the price.

Rhetoric is a fine thing but the risk you run is a hit to your credibility when you insist on making incredible claims that lack foundation is fact, logic, and reason but are emotional responses based on the most extreme cases you can dredge up.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

UtahBlueDevil. If you ever meet a conservative who tells you or anybody else, you can't succeed in life because of racism, poverty or any other kind of "victimhood", please let us all know! Conservatives have a very different message! I repeat, ask any successful conservative minority how they succeeded and they won't tell you about "victimhood" that message comes from liberal Democrats and you should ask yourself why!

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

I wish Mr. "marxist" would define "class warfare" here in 200 words or less. I bet that old Karl and Friederich would be almost without a clue as to what in the world people are talking about in these DN letters and posts. It would perhaps be "a mystery wrapped in an enigma" for Karl and Friederich.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

Obama ran on a platform or resentment of the rich (which is ironic because he is one and he feeds off the rich)
Obama's minions accuse anyone who disagrees with him as being racist
Serial molester Bill Clinton led phony allegations of a war on worm
Therefore Brian Harmon's original letter accusing Republicans of class warfare was incredibly hypocritical and offensive, exceeded only by the DN moderators blatant censorship based on content

victimhood is the lefts basis for power and class warfare is their raison d'etre

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

People rarely get rich from their own work. Authors, artists and a few other careers are the only people that can say they didn't require the labor of others and a position of power to become wealthy.

Dr's depend on laws that require us to go to them for remedies. Lawyers the same. Bankers and investors rely on fiat currency to take profits from other's labor and natural resources generally nearly confiscated from poor countries.

Perhaps that's why Jesus taught that it's hard for a rich man to enter heaven.

Leave your children home alone long enough and you come home to find some of them charging the others rent and making them do all the work. God keeps having the same problem.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't know what happened to this angry group of people. The Class-Warfare bunch is a bitter bunch. There's no making them happy (unless you exterminate the 1%).

Kayser,
In America you can be born poor, a racial minority, raised by a single-mother, and still go to the best colleges in America (with public aid) and become President. I'd say you can still realize the American dream in America... regardless of your skin color or economic background.

THIS segment of America has changed. We used to sing "God Bless America". When I read or sing the words, I can't help thinking "These words would make the success-hating class-warfare people's skin crawl".

We USED to celebrate success. We used to sing, "America... May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And evry gain divine"... Now they VILIFY success and curse every financial gain.

We used to sing, "And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea"... Now we hear a chorus of "Hate thy neighbor (If he makes more than you). And "CURSE your neighbor" (if he achieves financial success).

Class-warfare rhetoric is bitterness (not the American dream).

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

No, we don’t need to covet. Yes, it is getting harder to achieve economic prosperity if you were born into poverty. This is NOT saying it is impossible, but the evidence is clear - it is harder now than for my generation.

We now have a smaller middle class and it was the middle class that provided the path from the bottom to the top. Calling for a stronger middle class is not a call for socialism. Nor will class warfare make it happen.

America is not really a place. Few of us trace our roots to this soil for more than a few generations. For the Japanese, the Fins, and a host of other countries, the ground beneath them is their country. America is a political and economic construct. Liberty and economic mobility. If one half of that equation is on life support then the social contract that is America is significantly weakened.

We need to look at the data folks. Forget trying to defend your political party or interest. Look at the data and let’s talk about what can (must) be done to again create a strong middle class.

America needs that.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

"We used to sing, "And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea"... Now we hear a chorus of "Hate thy neighbor (If he makes more than you). And "CURSE your neighbor" (if he achieves financial success)."

Isn't it more like hate thy neighbor if his politics differ from yours? CURSE your neighbor if you think he is a liberal? ("Liberal" that word that so many on the right throw around as though it is the most despicable thing they can contemplate.

No, 2bits, those on the right have far more then their share of bitterness and hate.

And as far as class warfare, Richards and Mountainman, nope, nothing to see here! Just keep moving on.

Pay no attention to the mass pillaging of the working class by the rich that is happening in this country. Pay no attention to the raiding of pension funds that has happened, ignore the the massive tax cuts the rich have received paid for on the backs of the working men and women, ignore the laws set up to benefit only the rich.

Nope, nothing to see here. Move along.

Ryan Phillips
herriman, ut

@ The Old Switcharoo: Authors get rich only when many people spend their hard earned money to buy their work--and usually after the work has been proofread, edited, published, distributed, marketed, etc. by many others. Same thing with artists. About the only scenario in which someone becomes rich without the involvement of others is someone who wins the lottery. But even in that case, they become rich because of foolish money gambled by thousands or millions of others. Doctors, lawyers and bankers don't just fall about of bed one day and land in a big pile of money with a degree. They work their tails off in school for decades, incurring mountains of personal debt, and provide services that we cannot provide for ourselves. yes, some children will grow up to "charge rent and make others do the work"as you say--because they don't settle and decide to make something of themselves. Thank goodness for that, so that the others who just sit back and complain can have a job and an income available to them, or receive government handouts, as paid for by their greedy neighbors who went out and earned money.

KVC
Sahuarita, az

@the old switcheroo:
I am a young physician who grew up in a fairly poor family. I grew up in a mobile home, and my parents were able to contribute $0 to my college education. My student loan debt is equal to the average American mortgage.
You are not required to go to me for remedies, but you probably should if you don't want to die. maybe you are referring to prescribing authority, but we have that and you don't because you need to have my level of education to properly distribute and monitor these medications. I am sorry you believe that you are partially responsible for my success, but you are not. My own hard work, and my parents teaching me to work hard and be more successful than them is why I am successful. And truthfully, I am successful in spite of our government, and my success is in general limited by the government. Without government control and intrusion into our healthcare system, I could be much more successful.

This is the truth about liberals view of closing the income gap: it is not about lifting the poor up, but dragging the rich down.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Jesus threw out the Money Changers,
an open example of Class Warfare by God Himself.

So, why do Conservatives [calling themselves Christians] defend MoneyChangers {WallStreet] to this very day?

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Well, KVC, one thing we can tell for sure from your post is that doctors, as you claim to be, don't have to be very thoughtful. Or good readers, it seems. The old switcheroo never said that he personally was responsible for your success (if that's what it is), what he said was, "People rarely get rich from their own work."

But I'm interested in a couple of other claims you make, first of all you say that your student loans equal an average mortgage, which raises the questions: What is the average mortgage? And how much do you make after your residency? Now, I'm pretty sure I know the answer, at least in the ballpark, to both questions, and you really should not complain.

But, more to the point, you make the claim that you are successful only because of your own hard work, and your parents support. In fact you say you are successful in spite of the government. Interesting. Who gave you the loans? The government? I imagine you didn't do it with higher intrest private loans.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"I am sorry you believe that you are partially responsible for my success, but you are not. My own hard work, and my parents teaching me to work hard and be more successful than them is why I am successful." Now there's some arrogance. A society structured by government for your success and your own hard work to achieve success are not opposed to one another..they compliment one another. I'll bet you attended a public school somewhere, certainly your student loans have some connection to government regulations (interest rates), and the medical field itself is highly dependent on government sponsored research, lastly the medicines you talk about were all made financially viable by patents (government regulations). Good on you for working hard and achieving your goals, but your hard work does not negate the opportunities presented to you by a government shaped society.

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