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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The ungrateful 99 percent

- - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

By what measure do we assess the attributes of our culture, our civilization, our way of life? There is no doubt that our way of life is changing — not with a bang, but with a whimper, insidiously and by our own hand, not by the hand of any foreign adversary.

The increasing anger and shrillness about "fairness" and "equality" provide a clue to the core of the problem. An idle recipient of a free iPhone will most likely not thank the government for its magnanimity, but will instead rail against the government for allowing someone else to purchase a superior phone model.

Also, how ironic that the electricity that obstinate and aggressive environmentalists need is not the result of their utopian ideas about solar, wind and biomass, but a product of processes they desperately despise and wish to incapacitate: nuclear energy, coal, messy drilling rigs and manmade dams.

Those who produce are condemned as the "1 Percent" and called agents of inequality, fat cats who did not build what they say they built, and profited when they should not have.

A shrinking percentage of our population feeds us, protects us, finds our energy and builds the things we count on. A very few people are saving very many.

As this immoral balance worsens, I am reminded of the theme of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," in which collectivism and statism drive the producers underground, leaving the parasites who fed on them to fend for themselves.

In his essay "The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization," Victor Davis Hanson observes that "civilization seems to be losing. The central question is, how much is too much." It is not going to be long before we find out.

ED KONECNIK

Flushing, N.Y.