Wealth Inequality in America

I don’t know how in the world we’re supposed to fix it, but I think this video makes it pretty plain as day that wealth inequality is a major problem here in the United States. We’re long past those who work harder earn more – it’s become somewhat of a cliche, but we really are in times where the rich keep getting richer and the poor are poorer than ever.

I’ve never said that the CEOs of corporations don’t deserve more than the average workers in their offices, but it’s not good for our economy as a whole to see that gap growing wider and wider with the top 1% hoarding such a ridiculous percentage of the nation’s wealth. We argue about the costs of healthcare and how so many American citizens can’t afford to go to the doctor when they’re sick, yet we’ve got such a minuscule amount of the population sitting on veritable mountains of wealth – sure, it’s great for the folks at the top, but it’s clearly detrimental to those at the bottom, and eventually it makes you wonder if some of that wealth was spread out across the bottom 80% of the country instead of all stagnating at the top, maybe we wouldn’t find ourselves bickering back and forth about taxpayer money funding universal healthcare because a) anyone with a job would be making more money and in a better position to afford it, and b) there’d be more jobs to begin with…

Of course, the problem is how do you actually do it???

You can’t force the wealthy to start being more generous – that’s socialism, and even arguing for increased taxes to funnel it away via social programs is typically met with disastrous results.

You certainly can’t just hope that they’ll be generous on their own – some will, but just like how saying, “If Warren Buffet wants to pay more taxes, let him write a check!” isn’t nearly as effective as everyone with wealth paying higher taxes, only the generous few opening their wallets will simply be drops in the bucket anyways.

I don’t know enough about economics to know what our other options would be, but it’s the kind of thing that honestly makes me start to wonder if “the free market” has really been the best system for America in the long term after all … though I’m sure many would argue that it’s not exactly “free” when there are politicians to be bought. Capitalism has created some incredible achievements throughout our society and with them some extraordinarily successful people, but what do you do about all of the rest??? That number of folks being crammed into the far left of those scales is growing larger and larger, and it’s simply not good enough to just say “They’re lazy – they need to work harder!” anymore.

One thing that I think could make this video even more effective would be an interactive way for the viewer to identify where they actually fall within those graphs because not for nothing, but my hunch would be that just like most people believe that they’re above-average drivers, most probably also believe that they’re in what they consider to be the middle class. Not sure what it takes to open people’s eyes to this rift, but even when you do, who among us is actually in a position to do anything about it???  😕

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