Every Man A King / by kevin murray

There is something about the saying "every man a King" that I have always loved, mainly because it is probably just about everyone's fantasy to be a King or to be a Queen so it resonates deeply inside all of us.  Back in 1934, the Louisiana Senator Huey Long, later to be assassinated the very next year, brought forth his radio speech best known as "every man a King" to which he stated that "when you have a country where there are four men, as in America, that have got more control over things than all the 120,000,000 people together, you know what the trouble is."  He expounded well upon his vision that if we were to share the great wealth of this nation through the means, for instance, of a progressive income tax, and then utilizing that found money for better education, for better pensions, for better opportunity, and for better benefits for the whole of the nation, that this country would prosper as a whole.  Through it all, the point that Senator Long was making was that America was far from the ideal of being a true land of opportunity for all, but instead was a country that favored the very few against the multitude of the many, to which these few perpetuated their wealth and their power from generation to generation.


Fast forward nearly four generations into the present day, and the United States' wealth in aggregate is the greatest wealth in the entire world, to which its per capita income per person is within the top ten in the world at large, and additionally its wealth is by far the largest of any country with a population greater than 100 million, so that it isn't until Japan which has less than half the population of the United States, and is itself a substantial 40% below America on a per capita income basis, that any country with real population is even in the neighborhood of our wealth.  America which has less than 5% of the population of the entire world is the richest country in the world, technologically advanced, well educated, militarily strong, and the de facto leader of the world.  Yet, through it all, its income disparity is shockingly large, meaning that there are Kings in America, but most every man is certainly not one of them.


According to the Huffington Post, in regards to the USA distribution of wealth in 2010, the bottom 40% of Americans have a negative worth of .9% of the overall wealth of America, whereas the top 1% have 35.4% of its wealth.  This essentially means that through all of our government programs, all of our government agencies, and all of our many and numerous tax codes, far from America becoming a country that is becoming more equal in the distribution of income or in the actual sharing of its great wealth, the disparity between the haves and the have-nots is ever growing wider.  While this certainly doesn't mean that America as an experiment has failed, it does definitely mean that America as it is currently structured is inherently unfair, and that this disgraceful disparity will not correct itself without some sort of concentrated action, change, and effort.


For a country that proclaims that we are all created equal, and further that we are all entitled to the pursuit of happiness, it must then live up to these very high ideals, or admit that instead the American ideal is indeed a myth, a fraud, a bad bill of goods, never to be fulfilled.  America has already done the hard part which was the creation of its wealth and the edifice for which it stands upon, but if America continues to insist upon "wringing the bread from the sweat of other men's faces", it will rue the day that it had the hubris to believe that God destined this land to be a Kingdom for His glory, rather than indeed to treat every man as if he was a King, which necessitates respect, courtesy, and consideration.