|So, a CEO who improves a business that produces decent products for consumers, actually creates legitimate wealth and I have no moral qualms with incredible compensation commensurate with the amount of wealth created. But a CEO of a huge Bank that plays a shell game, gambles on selling risky mortgage packages, and does make billions for the Bank does not get any respect from me. And that's not even talking about all the losers who had to be bailed out by the taxpayer money.
I respect work that produces tangible results. Whether it is done by a professional accountant, or a blue collar factory worker.
In the same way, while I believe in the ultimate fairness of inheritance as a firm supporter of unshakable private property protections, and allowing us all to discharge it as we see fit, I do not respect those who live entirely on the fruits of their parents/relatives and lift not a finger to work or create anything on their own.
So when the WV GOP Senate Candidate John Raese said "I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it." it was cringe inducing.
While I support welfare for those poor who produce nothing out of general compassion, and a wish for societal stability, it induces a similar feeling as when I see those rich who produce nothing, though I do not support any welfare for them for obvious reasons.
Then today I saw a dkos commenter in a Musings on Solidarity diary say:
I disagree that receiving something for nothing is a value of solidarity; and that's what "welfare", as a political program is.
I do think that a civilized government needs a balance of pity/compassion and solidarity/common investment. But we need to keep these ideas somewhat separate.
For example, we can see welfare (that is to say, giving to the needy without expectation of a return contribution; or as a benefit from a prior contribution) is a useful and necessary temporary measure - but it is not the solution. Not so much for reasons Republicans will advocate (that is, the culture of dependency), but in that it permits the diversion of focus away from long-term solutions to move the recipients away into a contributory status, such as the generation of jobs.
and further on:
Where did I say I don't believe in compassion?
The Socialist movement is all about work; creating it, encouraging it, and earning a fair wage from it.
What I don't believe in is permanent unconditional relief; though (unlike the conservative) I believe the onus is on the state to provide work, either through direct jobs programs or an industrial policy that promotes the creation of domestic jobs; and requirements that the work be safe and pay a fair wage; and not categorically on the person who needs the work.
Look at it this way: for 30 years, the Dem party has operated on the "soften the blow neoliberalism" model. That is, dismantle the worker's gains, dismantle the unions, but throw crumbs to those hit the hardest by the results of neoliberal policies to keep them from 3rd-world style privation. Where has that got us?
This personal claims to be a socialist, and I disagree with the state's responsibility to provide work, but I do see a value being placed on work in addition to compassion, and a recognition that a person should contribute through working to the society supporting him/her. While these are not necessarily my values, as I do not necessarily agree with the emphasis on contributing to any society - I view it as a necessary evil in order to have a functional country, I agree with the focus.
Work/Labor/Creation should be properly rewarded and encouraged in any fair society, while the lack thereof, whether it is at the elite top, or the rock bottom should be actively discouraged.
And whether you hated or loved (and I know probably all of you hated) Ayn Rand, I am sure she is rolling in her grave at the perversion of Capitalism and the ugliness of worthless, corrupt and government sponsored Corporatism. Value of Work was evident through all her works. And it is something that I see as intrinsic to a well functioning society.