The Corner

I, Car Elevator

I’d like to publish a letter that responds to an item in today’s Impromptus. First, the item. It concerns class resentment, which I despise. It’s so destructive, and so unnecessary — especially in a society so fluid and democratic as the United States.

A Washington Postie wrote,

Mitt Romney said it, and on Monday the Supreme Court upheld it: Corporations are people, my friend.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee was jeered when he made the claim in 2011 at the Iowa State Fair. But somewhere, perhaps in his $55,000 car elevator in La Jolla, the businessman-politician is laughing.

Here is what I say in my column:

He could be in his car elevator, sure. And more power to him. But he also could be helping people less fortunate than he, not just writing checks but giving of his time, and working with his own hands. Do his jeerers do the same?

By the way, can we expect the Washington Post to make wealth cracks about the Clintons? Or Al Gore?

One more thing: What Romney said at the Iowa State Fair was, of course, 100 percent true. And he was nervy to say it. He is an infinitely better man than his jeerers.

(For the above-quoted article, go here.)

And now, the letter. It comes from an American reader who has long lived in Scandinavia. He has a very solid understanding of economics and enterprise. He writes,

Do people think Romney burned $55,000 in cash while reciting some magic words in an incantation which resulted in the sudden appearance of his car elevator?

I’m sure there is a fair number of electricians, carpenters, masons, welders, engineers, architects, and not least simple laborers who are quite pleased that Mitt chose to spend $55,000 on his car elevator.

I am not much of a quitter, but I find it very hard to explain capitalism to those indisposed toward it — or hard set against it. I have better luck with foreign policy and defense policy. I myself was slowish to a basic understanding of economics. But when I got it — I was midway through college, I think — I got it (if I say so myself).

Socialism is seductive to the immature. And a sneering envy is one of the least attractive of all human qualities.

P.S. The heading of this post alludes to this.

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