Don’t be afraid to say it: ‘We are the 1 percent’

It is time to stand up and be counted. I am the 1 percent. Let’s be plain about this. Though I have a good job and a good paycheck, I have virtually no wealth, no savings and no need for tax shelters. I have substantial debt. My family owns three vehicles, the newest of which is a 1999 Ford Windstar worth about $2,000. That’s our “good” car. If it breaks down, we would have to go further into debt to fix it or replace it. I cannot afford to put my three children — the oldest of whom is in high school, the youngest in diapers — through college. We vacation 20 miles away in Whitefish because we can’t afford airfare or gas for a long trip. We live in a hundred-year-old house without central heating and we are happy to have it. Sometimes we do look with envy at a our neighbors’ houses that have modern plumbing and electric systems that don’t short out when you run the pancake griddle and the space heater at the same time, and sometimes we do wonder why we can’t own a brand-new SUV like so many other families do. But envy is cheap; SUVs are not.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Edmund Burke was an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party. He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution.

Liberty Fund

Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The Foundation develops, supervises, and finances its own educational activities to foster thought and encourage discourse on enduring issues pertaining to liberty.