Monday, December 13, 2010

All's Well That Ends Wealth

As Christmas approaches, it's always a pleasure to rewatch the great holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life." But this year, when George Bailey was called "the richest man in town," we half expected the crowd of townspeople to turn ugly and drag him back out to that snow-covered bridge with a noose.

After all, the Democrats would have us believe that being "rich" is the greatest moral evil of our times, and no mercy should be shown to those who have (somehow) actually accumulated wealth or retained the capability to hire the jobless.

House Democrats are insisting that they'd rather raise taxes on
everyone rather than let the "evil rich" simply continue paying their current tax rates. And when Barack Obama suggested, grudgingly, that he might be willing to delay a tax increase on upper-income earners for two years, angry Democrats said "F the president," "No F-ing way," and "He F-ed it up." Apparently, every time the F-word is used, a Liberal gets his wings.

"It's A Wonderful Life" remains unchanged...reminding us that the average people of Bedford Falls could build their lives through personal initiative, hard work, thrift, and a sense of community...and contrasting this to the nightmare of "Pottersville," an immoral and decaying wasteland where finances, jobs, and life decisions are all controlled by a cold and self-obsessed man behind a desk.



Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this cartoon does not make any sense. Bailey was only metaphorically the richest person in town in that he had people that loved him. Potter was actually the richest person in town and he was the villain. If any side in this debate should be using that film to argue from, it should be the Democrats. In fact, I am always shocked when I watch It's A Wonderful Life at how wonderfully progressive it is in it's depiction of class.

Anonymous said...

The cartoon makes perfect sense to me. Pottersville is one-person rule and control. It is anti-democracy and free enterprise. There is no economic churn resulting from millions of individuals making personal economic decisions in a free and open market. The Hollywood metaphor ALWAYS blames the rich guy. But some of us see past their usual bias and see how Potter symbolizes many of the anti-democratic despots who rule nations condemned to perpetual poverty. Just look around the world for evidence. Plus, what could be worse than becoming (shudder) a librarian?

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

The movie is full of messages, such as: If you ask God for help, He will send help but you may not recognize it. Love and kindness are their own rewards. Family is everything and what goes around really does come around. You can make those things about politics if you wish, but I see them as more about life in general. You know, the things we used to live by and should again.

Ricko said...

While I am happy to see that many see the actual messages in the movie, the context used here is right on. Today, BHO would be Potter and inflict his will upon every man woman and child because "he knows best" and for his personal gain. He has already proven that comparason. Continue on and we see George as the common American Patriot...putting his all against tyranny and oppression. And, even after his fellows make a big mistake, he keeps his faith and fellow patriots rally. I understand the comparason and welcome it. It is too important to dismiss. God Bless and Merry Christmas...

Pete(Detroit) said...

Something about that movie creeps me out a bit, and not just Clarence... George sacrifices everything, and gets told to forget what he thinks he wants, he should be happy w/ what he has.
Bah, Humbug

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous (at the top)- You missed the point; obviously Bailey is only metaphorically the richest man in town...but when the word "rich" becomes synonymous with "string him up!" it's not really what you want to be called.

Great and eloquent points made by Anonymous 2, Angry Hoosier Dad, Ricko, and Pete (Detroit).

I can see how "It's A Wonderful Life" can be perceived differently by different people. You say that the film is "wonderfully progressive (an oxymoron) in its depiction of class." Yet it is Potter who believes that people are relegated to class and are unable to change it - which is pretty much the Democrat's party line. The more conservative types, such as George Bailey, believe that people can transcend class through hard work, responsibility, and family values.

It's not just a great film, it's also obviously a Wonderful Rorschach Test.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Pete (Detroit)- Actually, Bailey isn't told he should be happy with what he has, he's shown why it should make him happy. That's an important distinction - it's the difference between what others (particularly politicians) tell us, and the evidence of our own eyes.

Dr.D said...

Every time the F-word is used, a liberal gets his horns and spiked tail is more nearly the truth.

Anonymous said...

"Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be." - George Bailey. This sounds just like Mr. Sanders the other day. To suggest that Mr. Bailey, who worked to make sure that working class people had a place to live and put that in front of profit, is a conservative, seems a rather bold statement.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous (immediately above)- We clearly have a different understanding of "conservative," as the definition seems to fit perfectly to me. Conservatives are the champions of those who do the working and paying...and not the champions of those who do the shirking and taking.

God knows I'm not defending Mr. Potter in the film - he's a greedy and corrupt old bastard, worthy of our disdain. But in his desire to run everything, and control all wealth, he seems much more akin to our current liberal "Big Government" than anything remotely conservative.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Stilt - "shown why it should make him happy."
Is a difference, true. Still, feels weird praising the guy for total sacrifice of self, very 'Catholic' feeling, in the evil nun teacher kind of way.

Also, Anon is apparently suffering the delusion that Liberal Powers (or policies) actually want to 'help'"the poor". In all fairness, I'll assume that HIS heart is in the right place, he's just misinformed. Cons are all about housing - no better way to build a solid community, after all. We just don't want people being sold houses they can't afford (Frank, Waters, Dodd). We believe in getting people JOBS, not welfare. And so on.
It's the Dem Establishment that wants to keep the poor on welfare, on foodstamps, unmarried, and living in 'the projects'... This creates a permanent underclass of those dependent on The Powers for the essence of life.
Sad, really.

pryorguy said...

Right on there, Hoosier Dad! My sentiments exactly!

Also, it's very interesting to see how different people interpret the theme of a story.