Monday, April 3, 2017

What you can see and what you can't

Rich people never go hungry, of course.               
Where you live on the money scale determines what you can see and what you can't.

If you work fulltime at $10/hour, you're in the richest 5% of folks in the world.  That $20,000 per year places you in the 400 million richest people on earth by income, and there are 7 billion people poorer than you.  Your income could pay the salaries of five doctors in Pakistan.

From your lofty $20K per year balcony, those far down the scale from you seem like ants to you.  You have no idea what their world is like.

Now consider the household with $200K annual income.  They have the same problem of perspective, and they can't see you either.

Now consider the country in which you live.  The top 1% and above ... those are the ones in political office, in corporate offices, and on Wall Street.  They're the influential, the decision makers.  They have little insight into the lives of regular folks.  (In the business world, employees are just a resource.) Those up above don't see their own actions clearly in terms of how they affect people below their own bracket.  Those down there are just the masses, not individuals.

Too, the GAP between rich and poor is widening in the U.S. (see the chart, right) and elsewhere due to globalization and our influence in the world marketplace.  We can look up at those mega-wealthy maggots sucking the life out of the world in disgust, and be reminded, that's us as seen from the next quintile below.

Such economic abuse is inhumane, unethical, and immoral by every standard, but if you can't see it clearly, you don't feel particularly guilty.  In fact, if you've read this far, you're likely to be either angry, dismissive, or heartbroken.

To be unmoved perhaps says something.  An interesting story is told about Adolph Hitler; a boxcar of seriously wounded, exhausted, and starving German soldiers returning from the disastrous siege of Stalingrad stopped next to Hitler's dining car where he sat in luxury, eating his meal, visible through the window.  As the stunned soldiers stared, Hitler reached across to the window and pulled down the shade, then returned to his meal, unmoved.

There's only one way for a tiny group of people to become obscenely wealthy...
So now what do we do with what we know?

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