Friday, May 3, 2013

When the Winner Takes It All

Trey Smith

When the winner takes all, income inequalities can be indicative of a social pathology. Thirty years ago the Walton family, who own the giant Walmart corporation, had a fortune 61,992 times greater than the median US income. Today it’s 1,157,827 times greater. The Waltons have amassed as much money as America’s 48,800,000 poorest families. Last year the Bank of Italy said “the ten wealthiest individuals have as much money as the poorest three million Italians”.
~ from The Tyranny of the One Percent by Serge Halimi ~
Just take a look at that first ratio. It suggests that, in a few minds, some people are 1.15 million times more deserving than others. If we expressed this ratio in chocolate chip cookies, it means that several people receive one cookie, while another person collects 1,157,827 cookies! Who needs that many damn cookies? What in the hell would you do with them? You certainly can't eat them all!

And this, my friends, is the crux of the problem. There are people in this world who amass far more than they could ever conceivably utilize. They are hoarders. They take what could be used by others and put them off limits with little expectation that they themselves will ever use them.

If we lived in a world in which there were infinite resources, such behavior might be annoying, but it wouldn't be so damning. But that's not the world we live in. No, we live in a world with limits and, when some people hoard resources that they can never hope to utilize, they are compromising the lives of the rest of us. We must fight over the crumbs. Since there aren't enough crumbs to go around, it means that some people will be left with nothing.

Since we live in an ostensibly Christian nation, please tell me how this squares with being your brother's keeper?

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