Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Economic Humanism and The Issue of Wealth
The following 6 minute video points out, in graphic detail, the real magnitude of the increasing chasm (it is not a gap) between the rich and the poor in America and, by implication, the rest of the world. The echoes of war and social conflagration which are being heard around the Earth are not the sounds of freedom casting off the shackles of oppression, but, rather, they are reverberations from the brutal crushing of humanity as the anaconda-like financial, economic, and political power exerted by the ever increasingly more wealthy tightens its compressive grip on resources, lands, markets and people everywhere.
Yesterday, the stock market hit an all time high in value, while the actual economy involving the vast majority of people stagnates, stumbles, and sputters. There is a causal relation between the two ends of the financial spectrum.
Profits cannot increase without someone being deprived of a place in the economic game of musical chairs. If stock owners are making out like bandits, this is because the money they are receiving has been ripped from the pockets of those who are becoming increasingly poor ... this, after all, is how profits are made -- by making sure that workers are not given a livable wage (or needed benefits) while those workers are forced to increase their level of productivity (workers today are producing 2-3 times as much as workers in 1968, and when adjusted for inflation, being paid less).
I do not subscribe to communism, socialism, or capitalism. I believe in the kind of economic humanism which seeks to discover ways through which to provide everyone with the basic necessities of life with respect to: food, clothing, housing, health care, and non-compulsory eduction. The resources of the Earth do not belong to nations, corporations, or even to the people ... the resources belong to no one and must be treated as a trust for everyone and for all species.
One of the basic tents of economic humanism is: to neither control, nor be controlled. This is not the same as a libertarian philosophy (although there is a certain amount of overlap). Libertarians tend to be advocates of free markets, and the problem with that sort of advocacy is that there is no such thing as a free market. As soon as one forces desperate people to work for less than livable wages, the market is no longer free, but rigged in favor of those who control the money and who insist on oppressing people through the violent ways in which that control is exerted.