It is hard to accept. But our economic system is not one where the best succeeds nor is it a meritocracy. The marketing of our system is excellent. It has always been great.
We use phrases such as “We are exceptional." We are the greatest country in the world. And many other phrases I cannot think about right now. What we are is the greatest accumulator of wealth in the world. We market our method of attaining said wealth as benevolent, but if we ever decided to look at our reality, it would be a very different picture.
It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of our citizens are honest people trying to survive. Most people have good hearts, even as we are all to some degree brainwashed by the system created by a select few.
Some Americans treat those who are attempting to get into this country for a better life for themselves and their children like subhumans. Thankfully, many of our citizens understand that the evil emanating from some of our fellow citizens is ill-advised and hypocritical. All non-native Americans are immigrants or descendants of immigrants during and after our nation's formative years. Ironically, our initial settlers came to take the land via plunder, conquest, and murder in the name of the King and the Lord. Those coming today are just seeking a job for a better life.
There has always been a bifurcated hierarchy, one part real and one part imaginary. The latter is the one most of us believe in because we are subliminally encouraged to do so.
The basic issue is whether possessing that big a portion of the pie is deserved or not. I contend that it is undeserved. It isn't about wealth envy. It is about who does the work and who gets rewarded for said work.
The bar labeled "Actual" is the actual wealth distribution in America. The bar marked "Estimated" is what most Americans believe is our wealth distribution. While Americans understand there is a disparity, they do not know how bad it is.
The average annualized return on the stock market is about 10%. The average growth rate of the economy is about 2.16%. While there is not a one-to-one correlation between stock appreciation and growth rate, there is an extrapolated reality here. 10% of Americans own 84% of all stocks. If the wealth and income of a small portion of the population are growing much faster than that of the rest of the people, and the economy as a whole is growing much slower than said growth, it means that 10% is enriching itself at the expense of the majority. In other words, they are taking a more substantial portion of the pie.
The defect in our economic system is that capital takes on more importance than actual work and humanity. Policies that give those with capital preferential tax rates because they risk it as opposed to those who risk life and limb are probative.
Recently, Politics Done Right detailed why our economic model is destined to failure for all but the plutocracy and the chosen, its wards, in an episode titled “They designed our economic system to prevent most from achieving & here’s why.” It made several points.
- Our economic system is not based on pure merit. Instead, it is based on being chosen. In other words, there are many who are qualified, but only a few are chosen. Many MBAs are just as qualified for any job at banks and investment banking firms, but a select few are chosen based on subjective criteria within the qualified group. This applies from profession to profession.
- Since the ’70s, we have had a 400% productivity increase. In that scenario, we should be working 10 hours a week with abundant leisure time.
- The rest of the world was like the heat sink of the internal combustion engine or air conditioner for American capitalism. It afforded a bloated plutocracy, but there was enough for the working class. But to sustain the plutocracy's desired growth rates, the American worker became the final source of extraction. As they reach the level of indentured servitude, the entire system collapses.
For us to make a change, we must first understand the pathology of the masters of the economic system under which we live. After understanding it, we can easily see why the masses will never succeed.
If we are to correct our system, it will mean creating a real free enterprise economic system where those who were not chosen or did not want to be chosen can function within an economy where they can succeed because of an established social safety net (Medicare for All, childcare support, affordable education, etc.).