Everyone went quiet when the lights dimmed and the stage lit up. An announcer spoke through the loud speakers: Ladies and gentlemen, your National CEO candidates, incumbent CEO Walter Mead and his opponent, State Manager Douglas White! Applause rolled through the audience. Emma and Herald stood and clapped as the National CEO strolled to his lectern and stood mere feet away. On his suit were patches representing corporate sponsors, the largest of which being Future Tech. The Citizen’s Party candidate was not nearly as well dressed, and his sponsor patches advertised smaller companies such as the Police Network and Acme Fire Company.
“Thank you all for coming,” National CEO Mead said, prompting everyone to cut their applause and sit. “I’d like to begin this debate by offering my opponent the first question.”
State Manager White gave a humble bow. “Thank you, Mr. CEO.” He wasted no time, taking only a second to glance at his notes. “I would like to know how, should you be elected for another term, you intend on remedying the growing divide between the upper and lower classes.”
“Well, I’m among those who believe the class divide will remedy itself. If we place our faith in the Invisible Hand, it will guide us to prosperity. The rich encourage the poor by example to work harder, that they too might afford luxuries like televisions, better insurance policies, and yearly vacations. A lack of tenacity is the only obstacle, and those who fail to succeed do so because they simply lack the drive.”
Emma and Herald applauded with their side of the audience. “So eloquently stated,” she said into his ear.
“He could have been a bit more tactful, but he’s got the right idea,” he whispered back.
She responded with a light chuckle.
“I’d like to know your thoughts on the matter,” added the National CEO with a wry grin to his still-clapping supporters.
The State Manager straightened his tie. “I believe we’ve seen the private sector go as far as it can take us. It is time for a new strategy. It’s time we reintegrated a mixed system so that those currently struggling under the weight of outrageous insurance prices and unchecked social service costs can have the same chances as everyone else. As it stands, the class divide can only grow.”
The Citizens' Party audience clapped and nodded.
“Then I assume you would initiate an aggressive taxing plan, effectively robbing the rich to give to the poor?” Mead interjected.
“Absolutely not. Yes, I believe in bringing back taxes and public services, but it’s far from robbery. In the past, our country flourished under a mixed system. Everyone paid their fair share, and everyone had their fair chance to climb the ladder of opportunity. Under our current system, there’s little room for the lower classes to rise above their current stations.”
“That’s absolutely ridiculous. If you’ll read your history books, you’ll see that Americans protested taxes at every turn, striving for a pure and private system in which the cream would invariably rise to the top. The Boston Tea Party of the eighteenth century is a prime example, as are the nearly nonstop wave of depressions that persisted for hundreds of years afterward.”
More cheers rose from the Freedom Party.
“Actually, if you want to be accurate—”
“Supporting Robin Hood Economics is tantamount to supporting communism. Are you a communist, State Manager White?”
“You’re suggesting we return to a system that nearly destroyed this country, and I intend to do everything in my power to see that doesn’t happen!” As he finished his sentence, he slammed a tight fist against the wooden surface before him for added emphasis.
The Freedom Party audience offered him a standing ovation.
“If I may,” White tried, his words proving ineffective in silencing the crowd. “I still have the floor.”
“Let the man speak,” Mead said, and the audience began to quiet. “Let him tell us all about the hordes of poor people waiting for someone to give them a handout. Let him ramble on about the homeless rate and how the ‘less fortunate’ can’t afford to feed their families. Let him tell you that it’s all your fault because—heaven forbid—you worked hard and saved your money!”
The audience roared.
White did his best to speak over the din. “So you would blame the poor for being poor? You would rather assume they choose to go hungry or that they enjoy living one tragedy or illness away from losing their homes? You actually believe that owning multiple estates or an excess of cars and amenities is more important than ensuring the least well off can afford to put food on their tables? Where is the liberty in that? How American is that?”
“People, do you want a National CEO who thinks it’s okay to question the American way? Are you going to support a politician who encourages people to rock the boat every time they don’t agree with a policy? The Citizens' Party does not work for us—it works for the degenerates of society, the free thinkers who don’t know how to stay in their place. Mark my words; if my opponent somehow slithers his way into office, jobs will be lost, insurance will be rendered useless, and our education system will fail.”
White tried to speak over the cheers and applause, but his words only melted into the clamor.
From The Private Sector.