Share the Wealth

Yesterday, I ran accross an old favorite of mine again on Wikipedia: I have to admit, though Huey Long is a controversial figure, and on some issues (racial equality, for one) he disappoints, I am still fascinated by some of his ideas — especially his posthumously published book (he was assasinated) My First Days As President. If you can get past the audacity of the title and concept, you’ll find comments like these:

There is a sane limit to the amount of water that a horse can drink; to the number of miles than a man can run; to the length of time which one can live. There is also a sane limit to the amount of wealth which it is healthy for one to own.

Once upon a time, Huey Long appealed to the ambitious, political aspirant within me. Now, however, it’s the moralist and social critic in me that gets excited by his words. I know that like most politicians, he often failed to live up to his own rhetoric. But it is inspiring nonetheless, and I have yet to hear anyone raising equivalent issues in our greed-driven society today. I wonder what language a contemporary Huey Long might incorporate…an “Open Source Economy,” perhaps?

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