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'Politics of Resentment'

January 20, 1988

"Greed is an ancient vice that had more meaning under pre-capitalist regimes, when the chief way to gain was to take from others and when all that one could do with wealth was to spend it on palaces and parties or to hoard it up," says Novak.

I suppose, then, what we must be living through is a "post-capitalist" regime. After all, a shortage of low-income housing "takes," in the form of exorbitant rents and mortgages, from those who simply need shelter. A monopolistic food distribution system takes, through artificially low prices, from the nation's struggling farmers. Lack of effective utility regulation takes more and more from those who only ask for minimum heat, water and telephone service. And the biggest takers of all, the insurance companies, bleed the economy at every turn.

As for "palaces," "parties," and "hoarding it up," all one has to do is look at the multimillion-dollar homes and carnival-like office buildings springing up throughout our city, at the garish celebrations we throw for once-dignified statues and largely ignored documents, and at the obscenely inflated numbers of the Forbes 400 List, to see that Novak hit the nail right on the head.

It's not that anyone's envious, Mr. Novak, it's simply that if the "takers" drag the nation into the toilet, they'll "take" us decent folks with them. That's the worry churning within the stomachs of the left.

JON KENT WILLIAMS

Reseda

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