16th January, 2017.
The international NGO confederation Oxfam released a terrifying report stating that the 8 wealthiest people on Earth have as much wealth as 3.6 billion regular people.
This inequality in the global distribution of wealth is the primary reason that thousands of economists, researchers, businessmen, investors, and professionals from all fields have openly and in no uncertain terms rejected the socio-economic system that results from capitalism.
The capitalist system is designed and structured in such a way that it disproportionately pays out immense and unfathomable amounts to the wealthy (shareholders and owners), as a result of the hard work of thousands of people who live a hand-to-mouth existence, relying on the salary paid to them by the rich and powerful. While the working class observes average salary hikes of 4-12% on an already meagre sum, the economic elite earn an average 11% more year-on-year (and this 11% is calculated on billions).
The millions of people that work for the rich few are kept in their posts by an economy that inflates every year in tandem with salaries, effectively keeping purchasing power and real money value pretty much standard throughout the course of a person’s employment. The illusion presented to the working population is that they are getting richer every year through hard work, when the reality is that they are running to stay in the same place.
Another very important factor that ensures the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is the political climate and tax legislation. Capitalist nations have been known to provide huge tax breaks and tax exemptions to large conglomerates and companies, while keeping the oppressive thumb of taxation pressed hard on the working populace.
Corporate money has long greased the palms of senators and legislators, ensuring that any legislation passed would be in their favour. This is the primary reason why businessmen and wealthy aristocrats must be kept from political office, but the world has forgotten the ill effects of empowering the economic elite – and Donald Trump is now the leader of America, and the top posts in his cabinet seem set to be filled with CEOs and those that represent wealthy families.
Oxfam has described this wealth gap as “obscene”, and rightly so, as the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few will, inevitably, lead to starvation among the masses, if history is any indicator of human nature.
This inequality and lust for wealth has degraded basic human values to the extent that expensive high-rises with individual pools are built overlooking slums which have communal toilets.
More and more millennials are realizing that modern day employment is not too different from indentured slavery, wherein those in need of money are set to task in seemingly non-impactful roles, processing and producing data and content to further the capitalist agenda, trapped by their own poverty. Realizing this, they also realize their own helplessness in the face of having to voluntarily quit such employment – as doing so would result in starvation. In one way or another, the machine rumbles on, wasting the limitless potential of the youth who could be otherwise employed finding solutions in sustainable methods.
Poverty can only exist in the presence of abundance. Poverty is not a problem in and of itself, it is a symptom of inequality of wealth distribution. Equality of wealth distribution is important in order to preserve our humanity. There would be no poor people if there were no rich people. The fact that this simple truth is ignored is the reason we find ourselves in a world where the line between good and bad has been blurred, and values, morals, and principles lay forsaken. The only way truly ‘forward’ for humanity is to reject the old notion of working for money and introduce the idea of working for fulfilment – which would see a lot more people helping others, and fewer people helping only themselves.