Courtesy my news outlet of choice: the distribution of wealth: http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/17/news/economy/oxfam-wealth/index.html
What’s wrong with this picture?
I don’t say that as a lone individual amongst the 3.5 billion that aren’t in power that may be perceived as envious of the 62. I say that out of genuine concern for human civilization and our planet, and given the realities that we have an engine that isn’t turning properly. This economic imbalance tells us that 62 people call the shots. They decide who succeeds, who fails, who lives, and who dies. They may or may not want that responsibility, but it is theirs nonetheless.
I certainly believe in free market capitalism, and believe that hard work should go rewarded – perhaps financially, perhaps otherwise. Regardless of social stature, whether one of the 3.5 billion, or one of the 62, we all share some responsibility in creating a sustainable future for humanity and Planet Earth. This is where we tread on the fundamental battle of good versus evil. When we reach a place where we have the financial or other resources to impart some re-balance the global system, in my opinion, we have a moral responsibility to do so. The opposite – hoarding money and power – only results in evil outcomes. I am certainly not a global economist, nor a sociologist, but this just seems like common sense, and can easily be observed in the world around us. This is true when we take the view of what we can cast influence over within our own reach, and when considering more globally impactful situations from a broader view.
I may be overly sensitized to this economic imbalance given the forthcoming election shenanigans. On one hand we have Republicans saying that their wealth will trickle down to help the poor. On the other, we have the Democrats promoting social welfare. These are obviously very crude overstatements of party positions, however it is the root of these that we need to be paying attention to. In both cases, it goes recognized that those at the top of the food chain need to move money around to keep us peasants scurrying for survival – after all, that keeps the bigger engines turning too, but still leaves the decisions that sculpt the world to a very small group of individuals.
Frankly, this political stance on moving money is an archaic and failed one. It ends up hinged on taxes, and it goes without saying that tax money is constantly squandered due to poor management of many (but not all) federal programs.
We need something very different to start making the world turn in a way that ensures our [human] future is bright. That is going to mean taking very serious positions on planning at scales beyond our own lifetimes. We have become far too nearsighted, though in our defense out of necessity to survive, in strategic planning.
What if – and it’s a big what if – those 62 individuals reinvested all of their funds into programs that promoted social well-being with the pure intent of doing some good. Promote new ideals in and across the humanities disciplines, seek out the brightest and bravest, the brilliant, and the natural leaders, and empower them to affect change that some yet identified global decision-making body agreed were the direction we need to be heading. Wow, what a different world we would live in. One might even argue that this is the ‘Atlantis‘ that has yet to come.
Sure, some people do some good – we call it philanthropy. But, what’s the motivation? That’s our problem – when it’s just for a tax deduction it’s misguided. In my opinion anyway, the strategic planning behind ‘giving’ is just as important, if not moreso than ‘making’, and those efforts can be hard to accept as very real social responsibility – you need people who genuinely believe in the cause, and believe in people. It’s hard work to give anything away – but that’s the most rewarding work there is.
I could keep rambling on with my pseudo election speech (maybe another time), but will close with this…we, in the minority, do not need to be passive and silent. In fact, it is equally our civic duty to reach out and make our own world’s turn for the better as it is for those higher up the food chain. Take that responsibility seriously, which is inherent in our human nature, and we’ll find balance in the Force one of these days. Of course, I’ll be the first to admit, if any one of the 62 need some help doing good – I’m happy to help!