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Lazy Rich People

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Two clean-cut preppy-type young men emerged from the late-model Jaguar that shared a parking lot with my 10-year-old Corolla. There was a homeless person standing nearby, rattling a can and begging for donations.

"Get a job," yelled preppy #1 at the homeless man.

"Yeah, I'm not gonna give you money for being lazy," said preppy #2.

This reminded me of George W. Bush, who allegedly told one of his Harvard Business School professors that "poor people are poor because they're lazy."

And why, I wonder, are rich people rich, George?

In some cases, it's because they have ingenious ideas at the right time and are clever enough -- and work hard enough -- to sell those ideas successfully. (See Bill Gates.)

But then there are the lazy rich people.

George W. Bush didn't earn his wealth. He was born into money, and born into the connections that would continue to subsidize his whims.

In college, he was described as an average student. No real effort there.

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During the Vietnam War, his father got him a cushy gig in the National Guard, so young George wouldn't have to do his duty and actually fight. And even then he went AWOL.

Then they gave him an oil company to run, called Arbusto Energy. But it failed, so he apparently wasn't too motivated there, either.

So he went into politics, was appointed to the U.S. Presidency by the Supreme Court, and spent eight years letting Dick Cheney and his other handlers drive this country into the ground just like that oil business.

From all appearances, it seems as though Bush was too lazy to put much of his own effort or ingenuity (if he had any) into any of these jobs. He just coasted along for the glory, and took more vacation days than any other president in U.S. history.

And that kid with the Jaguar was far too young to have likely earned it for himself.

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You see, George, a lot of rich people are rich because they're lucky.

And a lot of poor people are poor simply because they're unlucky.

Like the sweatshop workers in Mexico and China who endure very hard 12- or 16-hour shifts for pennies per day.

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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The Rich are just like the Poor in that there are ... by Michael Hayes on Monday, Oct 18, 2010 at 1:50:49 PM
It's much worse than just a few spoiled brats inhe... by Scott Baker on Monday, Oct 18, 2010 at 2:09:46 PM
I am reminded of President Eisenhower's response t... by Paul Cohen on Monday, Oct 18, 2010 at 3:33:59 PM
Just curious.... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:57:44 AM
I like your perspective on this. It's common for r... by James Carvalho on Monday, Oct 18, 2010 at 3:53:25 PM
George W. Bush attended a CLASS? I want proof of t... by Frank Silva on Monday, Oct 18, 2010 at 8:21:05 PM
I think they meant he attended a glass!... by Michael Hayes on Tuesday, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:52:41 AM
The gap between the rich and the poor is growing w... by David Chester on Tuesday, Oct 19, 2010 at 3:36:29 AM
HOW THE WEALTHY USE TO GOVERNMENT TO STAY RICH AND... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:01:20 PM