Last Updated:September 15 @ 07:53 pm

Elder: The Mind of Your Basic Hollywood Liberal

By Larry Elder

Richard Kind is a funny, talented actor. I had the pleasure of working with him when I did a cameo on the show "Spin City," where Kind co-starred. He was thoughtful and helpful on set, even though I was a dreaded non-lefty.

Fast forward to this year's White House Correspondents' dinner. Pleased to be invited, Kind gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter. After praising President Barack Obama as "the smartest man in the room," Kind offered his opinion on what issue he "cares most about": "The disparity between the ultra-rich and the next level is as disgraceful as anything that has gone on in our history. Now maybe some of them can control my life, my career, my employment, but I have to tell you something is wrong. I don't know how it got wrong, but something is wrong."

"The next level"? What does that even mean? "As disgraceful as anything that has gone on in our history?" Right up there with slavery, the World War II relocation camps for Americans of Japanese descent and the fact that the race-hustling Rev. Al Sharpton has a television show on MSNB-Hee Haw?

First, despite the primacy of Kind's concern, most Americans do not care about the "wealth gap." Only 15 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup poll, consider this an important issue. Far more Americans worry about economic growth and unemployment -- as opposed to worrying about whether someone has more stuff than they do.

Besides, what exactly is the gap? Is it getting bigger or smaller? What is the appropriate gap? How does the United States compare to other countries?

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (a consortium of 34 economically developed countries): "In OECD countries today, the average income of the richest 10 percent of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10 percent." In the United States, the gap between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent is 14 to one -- about the same as the gap between the rich and the poor in Israel and Turkey. For countries like Mexico and Chile, the gap is 27 to one.

True, the wealth gap grew over the last 20 years, but the so-called "Great Recession" was less than kind to the rich. From 2007 to 2009, the top 1 percent's share of the national income declined from 23.5 percent to 18.12 percent -- a drop of 23 percent. Their household wealth fell by 30 percent. Average real income for the top percentile declined 36.3 percent, versus a decline of 11.6 percent for the remaining 99 percent.

Let's hope Kind was joking when he talked about the alleged benefit of "one billionaire" leaving his or her money to the government: "I'm a big fan of education; I think more money should be poured into education. I think the environment is a mess and is spiraling downward. And I think our tax situation, you know we are in debt a lot. But I tell you, you cut off one billionaire, and he might be able to cover everything. If that billionaire were to die and leave his money to the government, all our problems may be solved."

Just "one billionaire"? Add up the net worth of Forbes' top 10 richest Americans. Their total net worth comes to $291 billion. The current projected annual deficit is $1.5 trillion -- five times the combined net worth of the 10 richest Americans. More money in education? Outside of Switzerland, the United States spends more money on K-12 than any other OECD country.

In 1985, a federal judge in Kansas City ordered the school district to close what he called an "appalling" gap in the quality of urban schools compared to that of suburban schools. Fox's John Stossel wrote: "The bureaucrats renovated school buildings, adding enormous gyms, an Olympic swimming pool, a robotics lab, TV studios, a zoo, a planetarium and a wildlife sanctuary. They added intense instruction in foreign languages. They spent so much money that when they decided to bring more white kids to the city's schools, they didn't have to resort to busing. Instead, they paid for 120 taxis. Taxis!

"What did spending billions more accomplish? The schools got worse. In 2000, 15 years and $2 billion later, the Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its academic accreditation for the first time in the district's history."

Kind is not a stupid man. He graduated from Northwestern, where he studied pre-law. He is, of course, entitled to an opinion. But then so is actor Brad Pitt, who once refreshingly said:  "You shouldn't speak until you know what you're talking about. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm a f--king actor! They hand me a script. I act. I'm here for entertainment. Basically, when you whittle everything away, I'm a grown man who puts on makeup."

And that's a wrap.

---

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 LAURENCE A. ELDER

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12 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    July 12, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    This is what you get when you live in your Liberal mindset of “GOOD FEELING” rather than Good Thinking. You end up doing what feels good rather than actually doing good. We in America have lived in our feelings and ignored our minds. That in essence is what gets us and got us into trouble. Brad Pitt at least understands that what he does represents the illusion and manipulation of the feeling and emotion,,,,and not the reality of how things really are or should be. We had better soon turn this country over to the people of the mind before the people of the heart kill us. Life is balance and when the heart overrules the mind or the mind overrules the heart we lose our balance and tip over. American has been tipping and slouching toward Gomorrah too long.

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  2. gilplynComment by gilplyn
    July 12, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    Funny thing about all the people who love to bemoan the terrible disparity between the rich and the poor, and tout the redistribution of wealth; I’ve never once heard of any of them pulling a “St Francis of Assisi” and giving away their own wealth to the poor. They just complain about those bad rich people as they munch away on caviar and drive away in their Bentleys.

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    • lizzietookanaxeComment by lizzietookanaxe
      July 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      Spot on!

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    • Gabrielle SymeComment by Gabrielle Syme
      July 12, 2012 @ 11:30 am

      Perhaps that’s why liberals annoy those of us with common sense. I never see any liberals, from comfortably middle-class on up, ever make any grand gestures to live their lives any less comfortably so as to give to those less fortunate than themselves.

      When I read the comment about billionaires leaving behind their money, the first person I thought of was Soros. I’m quite sure his wealth is safely secured from death taxes. And even if he does leave a generous donation to his favorite organization when he leaves this realm for the next (because, George, there IS another realm and won’t you be surprised?), I don’t count a legacy to Media Matters any sort of helpful redistribution of wealth!

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  3. larryarraComment by larryarra
    July 12, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Brad Pitt seems to be one of the very few “actors” who understands that getting an acting job does not mean your opinions all of a sudden have some merit. It is not a crime to be successful, it’s a crime to ignore our laws and think it is for the good of the people, you know, like a liberal. Let’s put Larry Elder up for Attorney General, he’s a lawyer…….

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    • agnesdayComment by agnesday
      July 13, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

      I had no idea that Brad Pitt was ever this possessed of common sense. I have to change my opinion of him based upon this single quote.

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  4. noveldogComment by noveldog
    July 12, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    No man is free if he depends on others to give them supplemental help. To be free they need to educate themselves and vote for those who offers honest jobs, not free stuff. Until then these masses will always be mentally enslaved by their puppet masters who currently are the Democratic Party.

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  5. cgretiredComment by cgretired
    July 12, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    I guess I don’t understand this either.

    I started out at age 16 making $1.00 per hour and, at time, was making $90/week in the summer months. Yeah, I worked my butt off.

    Later, I joined the Navy and made a romping stomping $65.00 per MONTH!

    I moved up from there and when I got out of the Navy, I was making $272/month. Of course, I make more now, so what happened to working your way up in the world and earning a salary? 95%’ers? Bullpucky!

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  6. joe93Comment by joe93
    July 12, 2012 @ 11:34 am

    I remember reading this quote from Brad Pitt when he said it. It was well before his “Brangelina” era. He certainly doesn’t think like that now. He and his homewrecker partner are quite vocal in their politics.

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    • lizzietookanaxeComment by lizzietookanaxe
      July 12, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

      I just read a story where Brad Pitt’s mother Jane wrote a letter to her local newspaper and spoke the truth about Obama while supporting Romney. Shortly after there were death threats and people calling her horrible filthy names on Twitter. So far not a peep out of Brad. While my Mother and I might every so often disagree about politics, you can best believe that I would stand up for her in a heartbeat if someone threatened her.

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  7. vComment by v
    July 12, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Someone needs to remind Brad Pitt of his statement and that he needs to actaully pay attention and follow his own advise!
    It’s bad enough that he has made HIS THREE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN ILLEGITMATE (someday they will understand and will not thank HIM for it)!
    Then they need to ask him why he has not DEFENDED HIS MOTHER!
    Flipping COWARD!

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  8. vComment by v
    July 12, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Mr. Kind wants to change the way things are going well then HE CAN HIRE ME AND MY OUT OF WORK FRIENDS…..pay us OUR MISSING WAGES FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS AND TOTALLY DEPLETED SAVIMGS!
    Our JOBS were taken over by Work Visas H1B….these were Sr. Accoutant Positions / Assistant to the Controller……not low paying ditch diggin jobs!
    This is the CHANGE THAT THE DEMOS Promised and They Followed Through Very Well….we are now considered Extremely POOR soon to be street people instead of the Gainfully Employed Middle Class that we’ve been OUR ENTIRE LIVES!

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