Sunday 29 June 2014

Pitchforks and Inequality

This "memo" from Nick Hanauer to his fellow billionaires is an absolute must-read. Couched in straight forward language, he's basically saying to his class that not enough people have a stake in the system any more and this will pose them an existential threat unless inequality is sorted out. Here's a snippet:
Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Now go. Read.


Speedy said...

Stop kidding yourself. Most of the hyper-rich - or even the moderately well-off- would be delighted with a police state!

Anonymous said...

He is not factoring in consumerism (which actually go hand in hand really), both of which will keep the masses dumb.

There are no higher ideals as there were in the French revolution, all we have is consume consume and consume and ask no questions.

Liberals have a lot to answer for, who give cover to this state of affairs by using the word 'progressive' to close down debate.