Sunday, September 12, 2010

Economic Crisis Passes Over the Rich

I just read this - a new record has been set for the selling price of a private home.
So, I thought I'd write just a quick post on this. "The World's Most Expensive Home," should serve as an indicator at how ridiculous our economic system is now. I concede that the sale was made in Monaco, but it is still right to say "our" economic system, because capitalism is a global phenomenon that if not supported by, is at least driven, ideologically, by the US. So we now live in a world where Americans, citizens of the most powerful nation on Earth, can't afford to hang on to their homes, nor find jobs to remedy that situation, but there remain people who can throw away $305 million on a place to live. I'm not suggesting the rich should give away their money to the poor. I'm suggesting that our economic system is so broken that gobs of money land in the hands of a few, while the rest of the world struggles everyday - and America has it pretty easy despite our unemployment rate and various other problems; there are plenty of locales with MUCH greater poverty.

Capitalism is FUNDAMENTALLY about competition and the amassing of wealth and power - it is a game and winning is obviously the prime objective. Some would argue you shouldn't begrudge the wealthy the spoils of their success. I agree. I also believe you shouldn't make sport of human existence. Capitalism means there WILL be losers. If one man has $305 million, that means $305 million less to go around. Free-market fundamentalists are deluded with the idea that there is always room for growth and expansion. How can this possibly be true so long as we are bound on this solitary planet? If you live under the condition that success means the accumulation of wealth and power, that means without debate: LESS wealth and power for those who are NOT successful at the crap-shoot called capitalism. If you let one man control a picnic table and he doesn't feel like sharing, everyone else who showed up to the party goes hungry. This metaphor is incredibly simplistic and doesn't nearly touch on all the facets of capitalism, but it holds truth that still applies.

If there is a global economic crisis afoot, then no one should be setting spending records. And yet it's happening. Sadly, many would say more spending is good for the economy, but the divide between incomes of the rich and poor means that money spent mostly finds its way back into the pockets of those holding the reigns. Since the economic crisis isn't really affecting the rich, its just affecting the rest of us, those with the wealth and the power have little incentive to care.

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