Billionaires giving away money simply hides a severe defect in capitalism
Billionaires giving most or a large percentage of their fortunes makes a wonderful story. How benevolent. Seven percent of billionaires in the world have joined the bandwagon. Yet one must ask more important questions. Was their method of wealth accumulation a direct result of their worth to society at large? How do the choices that they make with their donated money relate to real needs in our society? In our world?
One of the reasons many watching the above piece about these benevolent billionaires is met without apprehension is because we have been programmed into believing that we live in a meritocracy and that these billionaires have earned their wealth.
To be clear, I do believe Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and all those billionaires giving away their money are good people. They are a major part of our economy and they are playing by the rules of our capitalist society. The problem is that whereas many have been indoctrinated in the belief that capitalism really effects the efficient allocation of resources, that is the biggest fallacy. It is actually the efficient allocation of appropriated resources.
Bill Gates is a very smart man. But he is no smarter than most engineers, scientists, software developers, etc. In fact, his wealth was developed from the accumulated brain trust of thousands who should really be partaking in that wealth. From the real creators of pre-MSDOS, to the engineers at Xerox, to the creators of the semi-conductors, the building materials that created the factories, to the taxpayers investing in the schools and research, etc., they should have rightfully owned and partaking in those gains.
If capitalism was really the efficient allocation of resources, that accumulated wealth would have been distributed to many more people. A similar case can be made for every single billionaire.
So what gives? Barring a complete revolution, a marginal tax rates of at least 90% or higher on wealth and income over a certain amount is the only mathematical way to rebalance the aberrations within capitalism. Society can then deem how best to invest in the continued growth of society. Billionaires giving away money means there is an elite few that decides what they believe are the best issues to tackle. It is an insular view without scrutiny.
The economy is man made. The rules are man made and must be adjusted to ensure it serves us all.
Many will object to this. We have been methodically indoctrinated, partly by the effecting of the tenets within the Powell Manifesto. Think Tanks that give a facade of authenticity have been successful. Until each American feel empowered to assert their worth and demand the piece of the pie that is theirs, the pilfering will continue. Both Republicans and Democrats have been attempting populism as they understand that the middle-class may begin sharpening their pitchforks. One can only hope that we will make the 2016 ballot boxes our pitchforks by getting rid of all those that tout populism while continuing to carry the water for the plutocracy.