A popular story told is that inequality is a bad thing and brings social discontent. That’s the wrong way to look at it. Inequality itself isn’t the problem. In fact I’d say it’s necessary for society to progress.
Let me explain.
When we see our fellow man working hard and reaping the rewards…we think to ourselves. “Damn, what a legend”. Silently, we may envy him, but really, we know that if we’re to be honest he(or she…not being sexist, you millenials) has probably worked harder or smarter than we have, is just sharper all round, and deserves what has been achieved. This necessitates inequality, and we’re okay with it.
Why this is the case is really important because of where things are at in the western world today.
Social Inequality is Everywhere
Sure inequality today is high, but it’s the reasons for this inequality that are contentious.
For example. If we see the fruits of labour as being achievable…even if we’ve not achieved them, we’re okay with it. We just realise we’re being slack and need to pull our weight more. Seeing others achieving can act as a propellant. Who doesn’t want to be better, faster, stronger, better looking, and wealthier? This is basically the principles upon which much of western civilization was built on. Freedom to achieve. And when folks did…they were applauded for it.
Problems arise when we see someone getting something for nothing, or due to some influence that is well beyond our reach.
This can be as a consequence of skin colour, age, or any other privilege. Then we don’t admire him. We hate him.
Why Capitalism is Important
Why, for example, is Elon Musk increasingly despised by many?
The answer is because, amongst other things, folks have figured out that he’s been raping taxpayers to the tune of billions and enjoying the benefits.
That’s fine, provided this was available to all. It’s not…aside from the fact that it’s a masked form of communism (controlling or at least influencing the means of production).
This is why capitalism (real capitalism) is so important. It is actually a structure that allows us to interact with one another without feeding on each other like people from Lord of the flies.
The Concept of Fairness
Evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby researched this topic and found that:
“We all come pre-wired with a fairness receptor—in essence, a cheater-detection system. We are constantly on the lookout for cheaters and we love to see them punished—we literally crave the experience of fairness”.
When, as a society, the very concept of fairness is seen as unattainable, we’re ready to “do what is necessary”. This brings out the worst in us…all of us. What would you do to provide for your family if they’re starving? Really…what would you do? What lengths would you go to? Dig into your true self and you’ll find some seriously nasty isht in there. We all have it.
The truth is nobody likes getting f’d. And when, as a society, we feel that way…watch out.
It’s worth remembering that over 30 million people died in the “great leap forward”. Taken to extremes, any society can turn on any inequality.
Remember the 1% wall street protests? They were a sign of this angst.
Original photo here
It’s not gone away. It may be resting but it’s not gone away. In fact, it’s stronger in intensity than it was back then. Look at how rapidly citizens are fragmenting along political lines (everyone is partisan now), and realise we’ve not even had a recession. What happens when folks begin to feel real pain? Protests on Wall Street will seem quaint in comparison.
Smack-dab in the Middle
The Fed reducing rates to zero simply exacerbates this inequality. Zero or negative rates destroy savings (and the incentive to save…which is the very bedrock of capital formation). It also causes incredible misallocation of capital and effectively ensures growth grinds to a halt (look at Europe) while ensuring the inequality rises. What the central banks are doing is not only ineffective…it’s counter-productive. From an economic standpoint, it’s braindead stupid. But, from a societal standpoint, it sows the seeds for revolution. I mean real nasty AF stuff.
Worse still, it is setting the stage for the end of the global monetary system. And to this, many will say…good riddance. Torch the lot. Let it burn. The question is…what comes after? That’s a topic for another day. What is highly probable, however, is that the inequality that’s been generated by central bank policies is already boiling over at the zeitgeist level…and that means….we, as a society, are smack dab right here and now primed to lash out. I think it’ll be eat the rich, no matter who they are. And in a way we’ve never imagined. I don’t know what the catalyst will be.
In a communist structure, the means of production are controlled by the government. What we have today is the means of finance are now controlled by the government. They say history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. Get ready for the rhyme…it’s coming.
I leave you with words of wisdom from Dire Straits. Talking about the anger that comes when we see a fellow man getting…well – money for nothing.
Dire Straits – Money for Nothing
Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb
We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these color TVs
See the little faggot with the earring and the make-up
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s millionaire