Common Sense

Eat the Rich

I remember going out to dinner one night with a large group: A friend had just celebrated becoming partner at his firm and he was treating.

Treating us to the best wine, the best steak. You name it, this guy footed the bill for it.

I felt incredibly guilty, but he kept saying, "Neil, put your money away." But wouldn't you know there were some in our group who weren't happy.

One guy complained about the skimpy portions. Another moaned about his watered down drink. Still another, griped about the wait for service.

I guess all were legitimate beefs. But, the way I figured it, since I'm not paying, I'm not complaining.

I do have a point with this story, and it's this: Many of us in this country complain about service in this country. Never mind the price keeps going up for it, a lot of us want nothing to do with paying for it.

A familiar refrain I hear these days is that the rich should pay more. Hike their taxes and cut their benefits, but leave my taxes alone and leave my benefits right where they are.

It's human nature, I guess. But I wonder if we turned things the other way.

What if we had to pay for all those escalating costs for services? Would we be happy to foot the bill or would we be demanding more for the bill?

Would we start questioning the bill? The size of the bill? The outlandish add-ons for that bill? The waste in that bill? No, I think it's easier to dump it on someone else to pay the bill.

It's only fair that the rich earn more, so I guess they pay more. And I am certainly not an apologist for those who have more. But only in this country are they not given a lick of thanks for doing more. Sort of like my friend the partner, who seemed to partner up with some ingrates at a dinner table.

He footed the bill. I just wonder if he wanted to stick a foot somewhere else.

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