Kennth J. Fortier: Distorted democracy

January 9, 2014 

I often disagree with her conclusions but generally admire Kathleen Parker’s intelligently reasoned commentary. However, she was flat wrong in her Jan. 4 column “Keeping hope alive” stating, “Envy is the core emotion driving the current debate about income inequality.”

Let’s agree: One who builds a better mousetrap should be enriched. Reasonable thinkers focus on the current disparity because of its desecration of opportunity, because much of it results from avaricious gaming and skimming that provide no benefit beyond the unjustifiable enrichment of a few, and because it has severely distorted, if not demolished, our honored democracy where one person, one vote should enable our common sense of fairness and the wisdom of our people en masse to rule the day.

The dominant concern is the undermining of the system that produced those golden nuggets. Yes, I’d like to have a little more, maybe even a lottery win. Envy, a common enough emotion, is often a by-product of success, even when fairly attained. But that’s not the issue here. This discussion is about integrity, fairness and opportunity, and the core emotions are compassion for those who are struggling and an odd queasy pity for those who never seem to believe they have enough.

Kenneth J. Fortier, Raleigh

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