Our system teaches us as Americans, as westerners that the wealthy like Jeff Bezos, are deserving of their accumulated wealth. They’ve worked hard, and that is the reason they are rich. Here is why that just isn’t the case.
Jeff Bezos had a great idea. He perfected selling books online and moved on to various other products, making Amazon what it is today. But is his concept worth him having $100 billion of wealth? No, it is not. In as much as many want to believe in some Ayn Randian existence, it is false. That we created an economic system predicated on that fallacy hurts most and is unsustainable over time.
Bezos idea was neither insular or solely implemented by himself. Moreover, the genesis of Bezos’ concept did not just originate in his mind. The existence of the Internet created by the American tax dollars, the presence of online selling predated Amazon, and the technology thousands of engineers and scientists built made the idea possible.
An economic system is neither divine or immutable. Our system is humanmade and designed to favor a few. We can transform it. But to change it first requires that we unshackle our mindset. We must acknowledge our worth to society and our economy. Human capital is more important and valuable than financial capital. Movers of financial capital, bankers, stock brokers, etc. are not more valuable than those who produce products and services that are useful to humanity, teachers, engineers, doctors, scientists, nurses, and many other professions.
The rules in our capitalist society where one can enrich themselves by monetizing and not equitably sharing the spoils for an idea, the distribution of product and services, not necessarily their own or one they did not solely create is proof positive it is an immoral system. The fact that a small percentage of people’s wealth can grow at a rate faster than that of the vast majority means that mathematically, the system has to collapse. As people, like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and others accumulate the wealth at a pace faster than the growth of the economy, we get the reality the majority of Americans are going through, stagnant wages and the inability to accumulate wealth.
I cover a lot of these issues in my book “As I See It: Class Warfare the Only Resort to Right Wing Doom.” Political economist and historian, Dr. Gar Alperovitz, covers solutions to several of these issues in his books “America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy” and “The Next American Revolution: Beyond Corporate Capitalism & State Socialism.” I interviewed Dr. Gar Alperovitz a few years ago where he laid out the migration from the undemocratic corporation to cooperatives and collectives where workers partake of the profits they created as opposed to the spoils going to the few as unearned income.
We must rid ourselves of the indoctrination we’ve been under since this country’s inception and fortified by the Powell Memo when the progressive mobilization started to take hold and Americans started understanding how the corporate state was taking advantage of them. If we fail to do that, then welcome to indentured servitude.