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Wealth Unequality Essay

1571 words - 7 pages

The wealth chasm: a dangerous cocktail

The street demonstrations of 2011 and 2012 are still fresh in our minds. Thousands of voices chanting, “We are the 99%!” and blockading the stock exchange have not left the psyche of American’s, and were successful in getting their message across. Before 2011, it was heard in whispers: “They have too much.” Now, it’s a shout. The rich are indeed doing very well for themselves. In fact, the wealth gap is almost unprecedented, except for right before the great depression, and the subsequent rebellion that shook the United States that ultimately resulted in the New Deal. (DeSilver, 2013) History doesn’t necessarily repeat, but we are seeing a world ...view middle of the document...

Investments aside, the disparity in actual earnings is dramatic as well. In Arizona, the top 1% of income earners captured over half of all income growth, while the rest were left to spread out the increased wealth amongst themselves, resulting in modest gains in income relative to the top earners. (Sommeiller, Price 2014) This has left the average income earners, and those below them, fighting for only paltry gains in income and having to compete with the rising cost of living alongside their rarely increasing wages. This is producing a recipe for disaster, as people are then forced to find other ways to survive, and are calling for change that is no longer exclusive to the two party system that we are used to in the United States.

The basic idea of capitalist economics revolves around a simple phrase: “Supply and Demand.” The idea is that company x produces y, and Z buys it because they want to obtain Y. There is a problem, however, when Z can no longer afford Y and X goes out of business because of it. That is exactly the scenario that is about to unfold in the United States if wealth inequality is not fixed, and has unfolded across Europe as the fiscal crisis, and the resulting austerity measures, have bankrupted the population and subsequently bankrupted the employing class in places like Greece, Italy, and Spain, which are reporting staggering unemployment rates at around 30%. (BBC, 2014) The ensuing social chaos caused by such a crisis has resulted in riots, and calls for alternative forms of economics, and politics, or the absence of politics themselves. In Greece, riots led by huge anarchist groups have become commonplace, in their struggle to abolish capitalism and end nation-states once and for all. A political party known as SYRIZA (The coalition of the Radical Left) is polling as one of the leading parties, and threatens to take over the government altogether next time elections are held. They are an openly communist party. On the right wing, a neo-Nazi group called Golden Dawn pulled about 10% of the electorate in the last elections and entered parliament for the first time, despite their track record for brutality against immigrants. All of these things are indicative of the social climate in Greece, which has been produced by the fiscal crisis, which is really an IMF scheme to suck the wealth out of the Greek state for themselves. Additionally, the revolutions that rocked the Middle East in 2011 were largely the causes of unemployment and authoritarian practices by their governments, which convinced the people that there was no other option except to revolt. It may not be long before we see the same thing play out in Europe, and then America.

In America, we see the beginning of the reaction patterns as the economy has been in a slump since 2009, and there seems to be no end in sight to the life of bad wages, and precarious labor. In 2011, and 2012 the Occupy Wallstreet movement hit the United States, which began its critique...

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