Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Other Side of the Coin

Of course, there is another side to the tales of wealthy expenditures. There is always another side.

The rich in my last post were creating jobs, not slathering extravagances upon themselves. They were providing gainful employment for private pilots and upscale retail clerks and brochure writers and chauffers and woodwork varnishers and manufacturers of embossing equipment who might otherwise have been thrown back upon the mercies of the taxpayer.

But not all rich people feel they must first spend money on themselves in order to benefit others.

For some, true wealth is measured by how much you give away, not how much you accumulate.

Some know this all along. Kevin Garnett is building 24 homes in 24 months for poor families. Some, like Bill Gates using his wealth to help eradicate childhood diseases, figure it out in midlife. And others must first verify they truly can't take it with them before endowing museums or building hospital wings.

Minnesota has been blessed with generations of generous families and individuals. But these do not seem to be the families and the values shaping policy in the state or the nation these days.

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