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Global wealth inequality- 62 people are now as wealthy as world's 3,6 billion poorest
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Quintus Curtius Offline
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RE: Global wealth inequality- 62 people are now as wealthy as world's 3,6 billion poorest
(01-21-2016 03:24 PM)Veloce Wrote:  
(01-21-2016 11:56 AM)Quintus Curtius Wrote:  The reason why this is important, and the reason why we should care, is because excessive concentrations of wealth in a society destabilize that society.

It threatens republican democratic institutions by producing plutocratic oligarchies, rather than governments which are run with the interests of the public at heart.

I discussed this issue here:

That is why we should care.

It directly magnifies poverty, greed, injustice, and a host of other evils. It reduces the role of the public to that of a passive spectator, subject to the whims of the ruling caste.

It destroys the middle class and transforms society into something resembling the worst Third World tyranny.

Of course there are always going to be haves and have-nots. No one doubts this. But it is a matter of degree. America in 1960 was far more equitably configured in terms of wealth distribution.

Now, things are simply ridiculous.

If peaceful ways can't be found to ensure some measure of equity in these matters, then the result will be political instability, social unrest, and in extreme cases, civil war and dictatorship.

Within a historical context you are correct. In the past it was monarchs overtaxing their citizens without representation or ensuring any standard of living.

I don't see any monarchs on that list of wealthy individuals. I'm not saying they all played by the rules, but let's be real:

Noone is forced to run Microsoft OS

Noone is forced to take out a mortgage they can't afford

Noone is forced to put their money in a bank or apply for high interest credit.

Noone is forced to own a cell phone with a Qualcomm chip in it.

Noone is forced to shop at Wal-mart.

Noone is forced to buy candy bars, or Yves St. Laurent, or Louis Vuitton, or Moet Champagne.

You get the idea. The bottom 50% of humanity might be dirt poor, but if you gave them all $10,000 each most of them would spend it on the above bullshit that I've listed. The world is awash in gross consumerism, with hordes of people in an addled mental state, completely obsessed with their image and aspiring to live like a rap star. Many of the super rich are where they are because they are providing a product that gets people's engines going, something that people feel they can't live without. How is that the fault of the provider? Shit I see it every day in Vegas. Nobody is forcing these morons to fly to the middle of a desert and blow thousands of dollars (or more) on slot machines and overpriced food. That money would clearly be better spent invested in a long-term vehicle or enriching their lives in much more meaningful ways. That money goes straight to MGM Resorts international, a team of cutthroat executives that are rolling big. Same with Caesar's. But all they're doing is giving people what they want.

We can't have it both ways. We can't complain about this income inequality when the masses are spending it on relatively frivolous bullshit that makes a very small proportion of people super-rich. Want to curtail income inequality? Get people to start saving what they have. Get people to walk or ride a bike. Get people to read or listen to music instead of watch T.V. or movies. Get people to eat a whole foods diet rather than processed food. Get people to celebrate special occasions in more humble ways with close loved ones, rather than insane $10,000+ blowouts.

I don't have any such hope. People are animals when it comes to money. You think people are going to spend their money on a fine collection of books and classical music? Ha!

I think you're missing the point that I'm trying to make here. You're basically saying that things are the way they are, and we should just accept it.

Let people be consumers!

Let them eat cake!

I get the argument.

Of course I don't expect all poor people to spend their money on fine cultural things.

That isn't the point.

The point is that it is in all of our interests--not just the bottom of the economic rung--to have a society based on justice and equal opportunity.

When you have a society where the rich control everything, then it is inevitable that they are going to enact policies that favor themselves.

The middle class will become eroded or will disappear. Public schools will begin to turn to shit (like they are now). Decent health care will become more and more expensive, and closed out to many.

For our own selfish reasons--if for no other reason--we should want to live in a society where people at least have the chance to improve themselves.

It's in all of our interests to prevent unnatural concentrations of wealth and power.

Equality of opportunity is all I think a society can reasonably expect.

Not to do this is allowing society to go down a very dangerous path.

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01-21-2016 03:51 PM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: - zero1 - 01-21-2016, 07:33 PM
! - DjembaDjemba - 01-21-2016, 12:11 PM
RE: Global wealth inequality- 62 people are now as wealthy as world's 3,6 billion poorest - Quintus Curtius - 01-21-2016 03:51 PM
RE: Global wealth inequality - poutsara - 01-21-2016, 11:24 PM

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