This is a sort of followup to my post earlier today in response to those who push an untrue, envious, and extremely ill throught through idea of welfare.
We see bizarre backwards envy all over the place. The rich envy the poor, those who can find jobs envy those on unemployment, one particularly egregious example was when Fox found out a church group (as I recall) decided to buy school supplies for the poor children of prisoners because the prisoners weren't really in a position to do that and a pundit said something that amounted to, "I wish I were in prison so my kids could get free school supplies." Sure you do, pundit, sure you do.
Well, we are not the only culture in history to have to deal with someone saying, "That person has it better than me."
In Ancient Athens when something needed to get done a rich person was tapped to finance the job. Sometimes the rich person would say something like, "Look at Xeno[I can put almost anything here and it will sound Greek based on the Xeno at the start], He's way more loaded than me."
And at this point Xeno could say
"I totally am. I'll finance the project."
"No, I'm not, that other guy has it better."
If the second was chosen the two of them would trade places. Each would get all of the other's stuff.
This was a powerful incentive for you not to claim someone who was worse off than you had it better because you'd be giving them the chance to get everything you had while you'd be stuck with their crappy lot in life. But if you really thought someone did have it better off than you then by all means speak up because either they have to do what you were going to have to do, or you get their better off position.
Sometimes I feel like we should revive that practice.
Jerk: "It's so fucking hard being rich, you poor people don't understand."
Soceity: "Ok, here's a randomly chosen poor person, do you agree that you should have to pay higher taxes so that Jerk doesn't have to, or would you rather get Jerk's entire fortune (and not just the monetary portion)?"
Poor Person: "I'll take the giant gobs of money."
Do that in a few high profile cases and maybe people would stop voicing their envy toward those who have less than they do.
Maybe all of the working people who complain about having to support welfare should be put on welfare and all of the people on welfare (save those with disabilities preventing them from working) be given their jobs. See how much, "I wish I were screwed over enough to be on welfare," bullshit there is once that started happening.