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Fortune's 'cry of justice' 

Lowdown

We should not be surprised that a magazine named Fortune would be empathetic to the feelings of the 1 percent, but — good grief — how embarrassingly sycophantic of the editors to hustle out a piece just before the presidential election entitled: "Stop Beating Up the Rich."

Written by Nina Easton, the timing of Fortune's article was less than fortunate, for it came out just as the infamous video surfaced showing Mitt Romney "beating up" the poor and the middle class, while his audience of fellow multimillionaires laughed, cheered and shouted encouragement. Despite the timing, Mitt and company undoubtedly appreciated the writer's disdain for those who so insolently dare to criticize and even demonize those worthy ones at the top who, as she explained, "gained their wealth through their own efforts."

Also, you can almost hear the rich applaud appreciatively as she scorns the divide between the 1 percent and the rest of us as a "flawed prism, marred by hyperbole, half-truths, and unnecessary pessimism about what it means to succeed in America." Passionately deploring "diatribes against the 1 percent," Ms. Easton assails critics of America's widening wealth inequality as being people who want "to raid the gold pot."

On behalf of the pampered rich, she issues her own emotional "grito," wailing that critics must "stop the name-calling."

Does Easton propose any specific remedies for the rising inequality that's shutting out the many? You betcha, and it just happens to be one that's a favorite of Mitt and the millionaire's club — one that they prescribe for any and all of our nation's economic woes: "corporate tax reform."

It's unclear why Fortune felt the need to print this piece of fluff, or why Easton got the assignment, but her credit line does mention that her husband "is senior strategist for the Romney campaign."

Curious, huh?

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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