Class warfare -- it’s everywhere these days. I heard a 30-something comment the other day that a particular man could not possess high morals and have achieved the “billionaire” status that he now enjoys. He was equating wealth and prosperity with evil – without any facts to back up his assumption. The man was just rich so he had to be evil. Why couldn’t he just be a savvy businessman? Being successful is not equal to cheating your fellow humans. Although we hear the horror stories of Ponzi schemes where many have abused their business opportunities, there are many good people who have climbed the corporate ladder through honest, hard work.
Last month, Dave Ramsey, the talk radio finance guru, related a story at his Entrepreneur Leadership Conference in Indianapolis. He told the tale of a very wealthy man who had worked hard, made smart decisions, upheld his high moral standards earning a huge nest egg for himself. In fact, he was so successful that he was able to donate millions of dollars to various charities. When he purchased a new Mercedes he came under fire as if he had committed the unforgiveable sin. Mind you – he had given away millions!
I am so fatigued by this attitude that business acumen is the new adultery. What is so wrong about working hard and being rewarded with financial success? When I was a little girl I remember believing that America was “the land of opportunity.” Both of my parents were first generation Americans and I experienced firsthand that your station of birth did not have to define you or confine you. You had opportunities to grow, to be educated and to succeed. Everyone had a shot and there are plenty of incredible rags to riches stories to prove it. Just look at Oprah Winfrey. We are businessmen and women – it’s time to stop being vilified for it. —Kathy Shertzer is office manager at DuKate Remodeling, in Franklin, Ind.