A Little Bit of England Here in America

Excerpt from a letter to the editor, Flying magazine, December 2009, in which the writer quotes a friend who speaks of the “English disease”:

“A kid in the U.S. sees someone in a fine car and says ‘Someday, I’m going to have one of those!’ An English kid sees the same thing and says, ‘I’m going to drag that bloke down to MY level'”.

Alas, the virus unfortunately must have made its way across the Atlantic. Because a number of Americans evidently have been stricken with the disease. Multitudes of them are agitating for a cap on the pay of the envied financial industry executives. Even more alarming, the English disease even has infected most of the people in the highest levels of the government, i.e. the administration of President Barack Obama! He even has appointed a “pay czar” to restrict how much the executives get paid.

“Envy represents a vicious and hateful resentment of people,” writes author and psychiatrist Willard Gaylin, “that is independent of their actual encroachment on one’s pleasures.”