Posted by: Asmodeus | April 13, 2008

The True Cost Of Wealth

It was once said that the rich need an abundant supply of the poor. This is becoming even more evident by the widening gap between the rich and the poor and the squeezing out of the middle class in between. The economy is not getting any better.

Sure, a constant series of wars is one way to stimulate the economy and employ those who might otherwise be working menial low paying jobs. It worked for Hitler. It worked for George W. Bush. But how long can the economy possibly sustain itself off a limited supply of human sacrifices for the “greater good”?

I remember many years ago when I was an innocent and naive 18 year old from a small town travelling to a large metropolitan city for the first time. It was the first time I had every truly seen poverty. Everyone in my home town made roughly the same amount of money and lived in the same type of houses and worked at the same factory that employed most of the town. There wasn’t much diversity and most were white, middle class families.

However, within 5 minutes of being downtown in the big city, my eyes were forced wide open by the reality unfolding in front of me. Homeless people literally living in cardboard shelters or using newspapers for blankets. Hungry people with no money for food picking half-eaten burgers out of garbage bins outside a McDonald’s.

Then there was the other side, in the visions of the many rich people driving by in their Mercedes and Beemers or walking by in their $1000 designer suits. I had never seen such economic extremes before. It sickened me to watch a rich business man casually walk around a homeless man sleeping on the steps of a bank, of all places!

The extremely wealthy should be made to share their wealth with those less fortunate. We are not a humane society as long as there are people worth billions while other people are starving from lack of money to buy food! I understand the concept of capitalism and striving to acheive a better life, but at what point does it become too much? Once a business person is successful how many more millions is really needed?

Perhaps we could allow the billionaires to keep an even billion dollars, just so they can still show off their acheivement and still call themselves billionaires, but then all the money after that should be donated to charity. There are some people so rich that they could personally sponsor an entire third world country and save all its citizens.

Yes, there are philanthropists who donate to charity, but they tend to be selective charities. Bill Gates gives scholarships to students who will be using computers with Microsoft products. It’s mostly indirect charity as well, in the form of scholarships, buildings, foundations and the like. They should really be giving money directly where it’s immediately needed.

No one should be homeless and freezing outside in the cold or starving to death while others are rich beyond all practicality. Freedom and democracy come at a cost. Unfortunately, it’s always the poor who pay that high price. Perhaps it’s time we changed that…

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Responses

  1. the economy’s going great guns … isn’t it all the big financial insitutions that are taking the hit?

    collapsing every day?

    the wealth is fading as quickly as a dead rose


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