EXPLAINING THE INEQUALITY DILEMMA OF LOW END INCOME
The 99 percent movement popping up in all parts of the world indicate an accumulative displeasure to our unbalanced wealth and power distribution. Some of these protesters are poorly guided while aggressively waving signs and shouting their quarrels – it is a growing group expressing an aversion against the super-rich. That one percent comfortably sits back, unfazed, luxuriously manipulating laws so not to be held responsible. The rest suffers, struggles and slowly realizes there is no way to close the income gap. Depression follows, anxiety, and resentment. It does challenge even my sense for fairness these days, while witnessing corrupt business investments, world political imbalance, the EU contagious crumbling and our unsuccessful personal efforts to stay ahead of pressing bills and old-tailed American comfort. Times have seemingly changed.
I’m not defending either side of this wealth gap. Neither party convinces me about their “point of view” and my friends who invite me to participate in protest are often numb to look at the dilemma unbiased.
Personally, I am not that “sign in hand” protester, making my views seen and heard by blocking traffic or shouting slogans. I have also become discouraged about amending laws through initiatives in hope of change through Washington. Barking up against the powerful rulers of our wealth from a minority position, is about as effective as flicking pebbles onto a tree in hope it would fall. The rich have successfully anchored into our legal system self-protecting laws that will not change.
We, the tax paying majority will bail out repeatedly the advantaged managers of Wall street corporations… Most of money needed for infrastructure, healthcare and retirement is sucked out of the little salaries from the 99%. That’s unfair considering – would we tax the top 1% by the same standard – the US Government and State treasury would be wealthy. Within one tax cycle we would have funds available to curve hunger, homelessness, medical disadvantages and our streets, parks and forrest would be stable and protected. We would have enough money in five years to eradicate climate change, education gap and gender inequality. None of the super rich would have to adjust their lifestyle! Their wealth would continuous hover above any money a human being needs to find peace and happiness.
Let me give you an European analysis. A Swiss guy who enters into the hotel lobby in Greece, makes a 100Euro key deposit to check out the room before confirming his stay (we do that). As soon as he walks up the stairs, the hotel owner runs to the butcher to pay off his weekly meat debt: The butcher hurries to the farmer and pays that 100Euro for the quarter-cow he already utilized and that farmer pays 100Euro he owes the hooker from his last visit… and she pays off her debt to the hotel owner. Just in time for the Swiss tourist to take back his deposit: He declines to stay… Nobody in this “round-about pay-out” ever produced nor generated an income and this non- consequential cycle starts all over again.
The only GDP value was the quarter-piece of cow the farmer had raised… and yet five parties believe they generated income and each should be paying a percentage to their Government. The hooker might not claim his/her income. The hotel owner will claim Government assisted aid, for he lost income. The butcher pays 25%, the farmer claims Gov Aid because the other three quarters were a loss and the Swiss tourist went to another country… In the US this is one of our biggest economical dilemmas… An endless cycle of actions and yet, no actual production or income is generated.
Americas GDP productivity is lousy. As little as Italian’s government financial sustainability was possible by lowering the retirement age to 50… The US has long admitted that our archaic calculations for Social Security estimations are wrong. But SSi is unchanged in twenty years. There is no meandering around this reality. Cost of living is far higher than the income adjustments of the last thirty years. We eat more in average, work more for less pay, less healthy, participate less in public causes, horde more, care less for others, while constantly bombarded with media driven ideas of needing junk, updates and lifestyle choices that are mere distractions. Foreign economies are growing rapidly and our infrastructure is crumbling! We generate income true intellectual means but our education is slipping globally.
The 99% measure goals by adoring media illusions like the Kardashians – a standard of impossible accomplishment – that is about as fake as the details of everything they do, say, promote and sell… We idolize an idiotic perception that our happiness is to aim for a lifestyle portrait by such fake characters. As if true happiness and success is only obtained when being super rich. This unattainable goal causes frustration, depression and resentment. Yup, funny: We first generate a huge fixation, creating “celebrities” and the more outrageous they behave – to keep our addiction glued to their every step – as soon as we realize this is all a marketing ploy, we dislike them. We don’t dislike the corporations that enriched themselves and don’t pay taxes. Outsmarted, Kardashian’s actually own their own LLC (limited liability corp)… that complicates who we should dislike. Seven billion people on this globe, all dreaming to be millionaires. All aiming to have food on the table, the best education, healthcare, unlimited vacations, servants… errr wait a minute – who’s doing the dirty jobs??
I find personal happiness by being simple. Better off than many and admiring a many; able to help others and still knowing I could spare more. I find peace in embracing that some are not as lucky and privilege does not equal smart. I ponder about my chances and embrace the fortitude for humbling moments. I cater to my friends (work as I love it…) and enjoy kind gestures or just being in their presence. Neither do I aspire to be rich nor do I envy their dealings. I do see a lot generosity from the wealthy; fewer indeed. They generate an economy that employs, enables healthcare, education, research and science. Not as much as they could… My life has taught me to be suspicious and cautious when one group categorizes the other group on behalf of the actions they “see”. In my business the nouveau-rich are likely to lack etiquette and old money shows no need to steal the spotlight. They too stumble with drugs, crime and health issues. Stripped of wealth and title, we are all very similar. Injustice is clearly attributed to wealth and title.
If there is “change” to come from the demonstrations it must foremost define the need for equal social service, environmental warnings, healthcare, fair education and a simplification for “quality” of life. I wish the Kardashian wealth would be invested in child care, instead of make-up brands, they should build an university for kids to study free, instead of spending billions on vacation homes, they have to invest a generous fund into climate change instead of jetting in private planes around the world…
We, an older generation are hopeful while witnessing a younger generation actually becoming proactive, wise, with a foresight to protect this planet. Go, occupy the parks, the schools and the streets in peace and find out what your message can achieve; I might join a good cause in the near future…