Monday, January 20, 2014
So as I was looking at some news I noticed a disturbing trend. Apparently 85 people now hold more wealth than the lower fifty percent. Not of the United States, but the entire world. This startling statistic comes from a report called "Working for the Few". In this report it was also stated that there were 210 new billionaires in the world, from last year alone. While the middle class is shrinking, the poor are becoming poorer, this money is rising to the top of the pyramid. So if we take all the billionaires in the world today, they control more than sixty five times the wealth that the lower classes do.
This is wealth inequality, and with it comes fewer breaks for people to make change classes, from poor to middle class, from middle class to upper class. I was once told it is easy to make a million dollars, but hard to hang onto it. I think the man was slightly off in his phrasing. I think it is a hell of a lot easier to hang onto that million dollars, than it is to get it. Unless you are foolish with your money (think of the lotto curse).
Why is it so bad that wealth is condensed? Well, given that many people feel that the laws of a nation are slanted in favor of the rich, this can cause problems, when people finally become tired of having wealth thrown in their face. When I was homeless, I become less and less inclined to be polite to people who constantly commented about having bought a new house as an investment, when they already had two homes. It cut deep when they said that, knowing I was in a tent, struggling for food, trying to find work. But it is something more fundamental, when enough people become tired of the flaunting of wealth, they rebel. They fight back, we start seeing more violence, first directed at people within their class, but then it starts moving out towards others. The mindset as twisted as it is, if I eliminate someone at my job (say get them fired, or cause them to quit), it means I get more hours, and I can start getting ahead at this low paying job. When that does not work, people start looking for other avenues to get ahead. Right now, this nation is at the first stage. In time, when it gets bad enough, it will move onto the next stage, at which point we will take more action to enact change that we want.
We may come to see a return of the 60's and 70's culture, where people protested constantly, but it will not be over a war, it will be over the way we are treated by our government, our employers, the corporations that own this nation today. Keep in mind that the numbers I have heard in the US, the top one percent would own most of this nation, we in the lower fifty percent would own a city the size of Dallas.
I mentioned previously that many people feel the laws are slanted towards the rich. The truth is, they are. Just look at people like Lindsey Lohan, and Justin Beiber. They can do as they want, because they have money, they are famous. Someone like Ms. Alexander, you or I cannot get away with the same actions, we are not famous, we do not have money. If Snowden had been a multimillionaire, or a billionaire, and did what he did, would it have even made the news? I say not. People would be afraid of him, the money he could bring to bear to fight. Until we band together in the lower 50% and the lower 98%, the richest of the rich, will still look down on us, nothing more than chattel that can be bought and sold.