A couple of years ago I wrote an article for the American Citizen’s Daily (the magazine has now been closed, but you can read my original article here) titled the American Aristocracy. In it, I briefly described a serious problem with the wealth gap in our country. The wealthy have been working to ensure that their children are privy to the best education without having debt. This leads to the best jobs (regardless of the talent). They ensure that their line continues to increase in wealth and power, while the rest of us continue to slide into the depths of poverty.
In a recent article, America’s new aristocracy, the Economist points out an interesting circumstance. Three potential contenders for the Republican nomination for President have fathers who ran for office. If any of them succeed, they will likely be facing the wife of a former President. As the article states, “It is odd that a country founded on the principle of hostility to inherited status should be so tolerant of dynasties.”
Below you will find a video discussing wealth inequality. Here’s an interesting story about this video. There is a person I know who claims to be a staunch conservative. Interestingly, I have been working to show this person that she is actually a liberal with just a few unfortunate conservative beliefs. She agrees in equality (specifically for the LGBT community) and that a single payer system is the only realistic way to fix our healthcare system (note that she is a member of the healthcare community). The last time I saw her, I showed her this video. She completely agreed that this is a serious and pressing problem. Like I said…she’s a closet liberal who insists that she’s a conservative. I believe that I posted this video to my Facebook page, but I think this problem is bad enough to justify another post.
The Economist article is interesting and gives a few suggestions for how to fix the problem. Some of the suggestions make sense such as improving child care in low-income areas and increasing meritocracy in higher education. I have to disagree with the suggestion that we increase voucher programs and charter schools, unless they are very tightly regulated. First, I have a problem with voucher programs if they allow funds that should be going to public schools to be used for private religious schools. If these are excluded, I don’t mind them. Charter schools are a different story. They are a great idea, but an experiment in my own city have shown that they are nothing more than a way for someone to make some money and let the school fail. In fact, a recent investigation of the 76 charter schools in my state showed that almost half of them are doing poorly or failing completely. Some have even closed. As I’ve said before, privatization and capitalism do not necessarily solve all of our problems.
Ultimately, we do have a new aristocracy in our country. They are working to increase the wealth of the “elite” at the expense of the poor and middle class. They use hot social issues to keep many of these people distracted from their efforts (Benghazi investigation, anti-abortion, gay marriage opposition, anti-immigration, Islamaphobia, etc.). These people are putting these issues up as the reason for many of the problems that the lower and middle class experience. They avoid the facts that their situations have increased exponentially at the expense of the average worker.
- CEO pay has increased about 937% from 1978 to 2013.
- That is more than double the stock market growth during that time.
- Pay for the average worker has increased about 10.2% in the same time period.
We cannot continue to allow this trend and hope that our problems will be solved. We have allowed an aristocratic element to entrench itself into the fabric of our economy. With the relatively recent ability of these people (under the name of their companies) to financially support and push political agendas, they have now gained control of both our economic and political systems. As with all groups, there are some who recognize the damage that this is doing to our country and the people. When you make your decision during the elections, think about this and find the people who have demonstrated the commitment to solving these problems.