To the editor:
In the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” watched by millions every holiday season, George Bailey’s life illustrates that caring about people is more important than money. That may seem old-fashioned in today’s materialistic, individualistic world. But many of us grew up in communities like that.
During the nostalgic 1950s, the Eisenhower ideal was to help more people own a home, comfortably support a family and live in safe communities like “Bedford Falls.” But the Reagan administration ushered in the era of greed, believing the ultra-wealthy should be rewarded with cuts to income and capital gains taxes. Surely money would trickle down if they kept more of their earnings and capitalism was given free rein without government restrictions.
But that continuing myth has resulted in the widened gap of 10% of the population holding 69.8% of U.S. net worth. It’s indicative of a shrinking middle class and more families than ever living in poverty.
Where once society reviled greedy, mean, capitalistic people like Mr. Potter or Scrooge, now we worship and elect them president for their wealth and power. Where once we admired kind, selfless people like George Bailey, willing to think of others before profit and themselves, now personal gain and rights are considered more important.
I hope classic movies will inspire us to remember that it was the citizens and politicians exercising the old-fashioned values of being generous, caring and selfless who created a “wonderful life” in our nation back then and could again.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox