Come Listen to the Story about a Man Name Jed

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Most of us have watched the 1960s smash hit The Beverly Hillbillies, some of us when it was on originally back in the 60s.  The tongue and cheek comedy is about a hillibilly (today would be called a redneck or for those on the far left a "white privilege predator") by the name of Jed Clampett.  He's hunting for food and while shooting at an animal misses and instead hits the ground.  What kind of country man is such a bad shot that he would hit the ground with a bullet instead of his prey?  Well at least for this poorly shooting redneck it's his lucky day, the ground starts to bubbling up crude.  Well this show was before the day of environmentalist for sure.

 

Jed overnight comes to be a rich man, $25 million.  He and his extended redneck family upon the urging of their kin folk move to Beverly Hills, CA.  In Los Angeles they are fish out of water struggling to maintain their simple hillbilly ways, usually the butt of everyone's joke.  Their trusty but greedy banker Milburn Drysdale looks after their money growing the fortune to $80 million over the course of the show.

 

Now to the present day.  We have this assumption rich people in this country are rich because they are super smart and so hard working.  When they were in school it was studying and books.  Never friends, parties, sports, movies.  Today while us slackers dare to actually spend time with our family, go out to a leisurely dinner or spend a day at the beach or a park the rich are toiling away 16-18 hours a day creating their fortune.  

 

While that may be the narrative for some of the rich, the plurality if not the majority aren't much more than Jed Clampett.  Some dumb ass that couldn't even shoot straight hitting the ground but somehow comes up damn lucky, and rich.  His fortune grows not because he works hard (most of his time he spends "whittling" or calming down Granny) but because someone's doing it for him.  No Jed just wanders around his mansion.  The difference today is that Jed would quickly lose his Tennessee ways and get in with the Hollywood crowd.  He'd be backing independent movies on how hate speech and violence is filling the American culture.  He'd be a regular contributor to MSNBC.

 

In the show Jed's nephew, dumber than Jed, and daughter Ellie Mae really don't amount to much.  They live on Jed's largess springing from one hair brain (and expensive) idea after another.  Neither seem to have much aim in life.

 

Today Ellie Mae would be making Youtube videos telling her fans she was going to college not to get an education or learn, but to "party."  If she couldn't make classes she'd "work that out with the Dean." Jethro would be the hit at every West Hollywood bar entourage in tow buying the entire bunch $20 cocktails all night long.  He'd have every LA coke dealer at his immediate disposal.  

 

Nothing has changed over the years.  The rich are still mostly rich for being at the right place at the right time while their children live off the riches with not much gumption or tenacity to do anything else but spend the old man's money.  

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