Billion Dollar Smiles
Do you think billionaires pay their 'fair share'?
Large oak desks presented newsmen and women the opportunity to sit like the panel on high and the individual sitting by herself. Dozens of tablets and digital recording devices and cameras surrounded the woman like animals’ eyes peeping out from the brush of the jungle. She wore a forest green colored suit with gold trim and a matching pillbox hat. She poured a glass of water from the large pitcher. It was chilled but had no ice in it. She breathed calmly, almost seductively. Her voluptuous figure caught the attention of the photogs who would sell her photographs for millions. The curve of her mouth said judicious. Her nose perceptive. And her eyes burned like lanterns in darkness. She moved the microphone closer. Her ebony skin matched the digital apparatus. The hearing commenced.
Senator Macy Larr spoke first. “Miss Hardigan, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Capitalist Party?”
“Yes.” Gasps and something like a hot charge shot through the room like a bolt of lightning.
“Do you intend to tell us why you decided to join and be a member of this party?”
“The floor is yours Miss Hardigan.”
“I would like to address this panel, the newspeople and journalists in this room, and the American people. I have chosen to become a capitalist because I am a human being and intend to act like one. I know that capitalism is the only system that allows for a society to exist without the rule of fists, knives, or guns. Capitalism has allowed more people to rise up out of poverty than any system devised. This is true, but it is not the reason that capitalism exists.”
Senator Liddy Blinkton moved the microphone closer to his mouth.
“But don’t you see all of the famine, wars, atrocities, and evil that have arisen because of capitalism?”
The senator’s eyes nearly jumped out of his head. “What?” he asked in bewilderment.
“I said ‘no.’”
“Would you care to explain yourself?”
“Everything that you just mentioned has occurred not because of capitalism, or greed, or selfishness, but the antithesis of all of these conditions. Capitalism is the bird that has taken flight but has been damned because it has wings. Return to the origins of Man and you will find that every blight, every battle, every single bullet issued as a result of selfless, collectivist principles is because of the opposite of capitalism. My system says that all men are created equal before the law. Statism says that men must be lumped together in a sort of soupy lot. My system says that life is achievable during however long an individual may experience life. Statism says that the country owns the souls of the individuals and disallows them from pursuing their own self-interests. Capitalism states the opposite.”
The senators deliberated for a moment. Their eyes darted towards Miss Hardigan every now and again. Finally, Senator Gipp Feiss spoke.
“We understand that you consider capitalism to be moral. You consider capitalism to be righteous. How does that square with the rest of the country and the world? We’ve already instituted a government of social democracy. We have reined in the billionaires, curtailed the corporations, and forced others to obey our laws. Why have you chosen to go against your government which takes care of you?”
“Firstly, I’ve never asked for a government to take care of me. I’ve only asked it to protect me and otherwise leave me alone. How you’ve ‘reined’ in billionaires is appalling. The way that corporations must be regulated by the state is particularly vicious. And your laws go against the founding principles of the United States of America. Capitalism blasts away all of the evils that have been imposed by the state. You want to see tears of billionaires? Fine. But remember those tears when your mobile device begins to malfunction. Remember that when your smart house begins to go on the blink. Those billionaires who earned their way and toiled, and fought, and sweated over their creations only to be paid in dollar amounts with little or no moral credit will continue to work. They will go in every day and they will smile and pay their best workers fortunes because they love what they do. But to expect them to continue to be berated for their virtues would be stupid. They don’t have to go on strike. The way that technology is set up, all they have to do is make encryptions that would disrupt the data of all of the marvelous innovations that you see around us. No strike. Just smiles where tears would’ve been.”
The senators conferred once more.
“Miss Hardigan, we have found your testimony to be heartfelt, genuine, and enlightening. However, we must say that in order for you to put into effect the cause which you have championed, capitalism namely, we encourage you to come back to these halls and try to convince us again.”
“I will do no such thing. I will continue to be a capitalist and feel no need to come back to this chair.”
“We can’t imprison you,” said Senator Feiss said. “This is no place to put you under arrest but I can assure you that your road will be a rough one if you continue down this course.”
“Then let that happen.” Miss Hardigan rose from her seat and walked towards her wife and embraced her. They walked out of the hearing holding hands as cameras flashed.