That great sucking sound of money being vacuumed to the top. . . it will consume your safety, your job, your roof, your grandchildren’s future. And here’s a dynamic picture of how fast it’s happening:
Back in 2010, Oxfam’s new stats show, the world’s 62 richest billionaires collectively held $1.1 trillion in wealth, far less than the $2.6 trillion that then belonged to humanity’s least affluent half. ¶ Now the numbers have reversed. The world’s top 62 billionaires last year held $1.76 trillion in wealth, the bottom half of the world only $1.75 trillion. ¶ “Far from trickling down,” Oxfam concludes, “income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rate.”
That’s just six years ago! Nation-states have lost their clout against family dynasties, because these power brokers own our politicians. And soon they will own you and me, too, unless we object before it’s too late. (Both major candidates are sold out to these brokers. Voting for either one is mere ventilation.) Plato knew that dictatorship arises when democracy fails. We may be about to witness history repeat itself.
What to do? (Runaway trains are notoriously dangerous and difficult to stop!) Governments are spying on citizens, supposedly to protect us, but more probably to protect Big Capital from social upheaval; and it seems they’ve inserted military agents to perpetrate false-flag actions (“anarchists”) to discredit the Constitutionally-protected activities of orderly citizens. When government no longer trusts the citizenry, the matrix has arrived, and we are fast on our way to living in a police state. During Vietnam my generation marched on Washington DC, shutting it down to protest the war. That will never happen again. So, where are the pressure points today?
What would happen if the voting public surrounded all our polling places, unarmed, the evening before the coming election, dispersing upon the opening of the polls the next morning. (Lining up to vote early is surely no crime.) It would certainly put elected officials on notice that we won’t be trifled with any longer. They must heed the voters, rather than the power brokers. This could be an effective exercise in social practice, which could pave a way to changes such as ranked-preference voting, or no-confidence (“none of the above”) as an option in our governance. Failing to take such bold action will only kick the can down a very polarized road, where there surely is trouble ahead. All sides should reasonably be seen as peacefully honoring our civility by refusing to be distracted, even if anarchists are seeded into such a gathering.
Ranked choice voting news, thanks to Stephen B:
I’ve thought for along time that the exponential rise in the inequitable distribution of wealth was wrong and this economic issue need’s to be delt with by good leaders.
Mark R sez: Heed the warning of John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
[Mark]: Too large a faction — well past the tipping point — of the USA electorate is somewhere between “what’s in it for me” (to the exclusion/subordination of other principled concerns) and “what outfit is Kim Kardashian wearing today”. It’s over. [. . .] stick a fork in it.”
[me]: I might add to his Adam’s quote that Adams didn’t mention any denominations when mentioning Constitutional governance of this people.]
FAIRVOTE, a nonprofit, nonpartisan position on ranked preference voting: http://www.fairvote.org/rcv/#rcvbenefits
Eric, here’s the thing about democracy: it’s painfully slow. Sometimes, like now, it doesn’t even look like democracy, but the underpinnings are there, in the Constitution. In the century and a half since the end of the Civil War, progress has been made. Yes, it’s a slow as the evolution of homo sapiens, but it’s the only way it gets done.
Politicians ARE on notice. Trump and Sanders have seen to it. Will Jan. 20 be a turning point or a return to business as usual? I suspect neither. It might bring some incremental steps toward reversing the trends that have given us the second age of the Robber Barons. But look at the arc of history and realize that even the poorest of us are better off than we were at the founding of the republic or the end of the Civil War.
I intend to cast my vote for a SCOTUS that will overturn Citizens United and for legislators who will un-gerrymander districts. I will continue to speak for kindness and inclusion, and against tribalism and demonization of The Other, and to do my small part to mitigate the pain and struggle of others. I have faith that, in the very long run, humans will either evolve and survive or they won’t and will be extinguished. Ultimately, the little blip that is my life will contribute in some way to one of those ends. Either one is satisfactory.
Thanks for your contribution, Ro. I’m embarrassed that it languished before being approved. Spam has become severe, of late; and I’m busy with many projects. I love your dedication to improvement of the commons. ~eric.
I agree with Bernie and with the Modern Whigs ( modernwhig.org ) that the best way to get good candidates and good public servants is to start at the local level and work up. I see our local elections with breathtakingly corrupt land developers running unopposed for county offices. If we can’t get it together to run decent people at the county level, how in the world are we going to fix it at the national level?