Monday, January 19, 2015

Matthew 16:26 / Mark 8:36

If 85 individuals holding more wealth than 3.5 billion wasn't enough last year, then why would the top 1% having half of everything be any different?

What's pathetic is when your ordinary average maroon steps in to concern troll the numbers, something along the lines of "it's not a zero-sum game, someone else's success doesn't affect my ability to succeed." The thing is, that simple statement should be true, but it no longer is.

The mantra some of us have been preaching -- and it continues apace, and in fact is accelerating -- is that we have more people than we have things for them to do at which they can earn a decent living, much less get ahead. How much of the current economy is predicated on the app lottery system, waiting for some zit-faced, wet-behind-the-ears kid to crank out some bullshit app to help you find the nearest local rub-and-tug or whatever, and then someone else way overpaying for it?

One of the things to consider in this vaunted "post-scarcity society" of ours is the sorts of skills which have been devalued, or are in the process of being automated, and what skills are going to be needed moving forward. Vocational trades such as contracting (including construction, plumbing, electrical, etc.), automotive engine repair, farming, and cooking cannot be automated as simply as so many of the other occupations that have been replaced by robots over the past few decades. Used to be that creative pursuits couldn't be automated, but a trip to your local cineplex should set you straight on how much longer that's going to be true.

Not yet, anyway, but Flying Spaghetti Monster knows they're trying their damndest to automate every possible thing. I don't know who they expect to buy their products, or how, once half the people are out of work and the other half are slaving for peanuts, but in an extreme skew, they can hoard what they have or just trade with each other I guess. Like Jay Gould said a hundred years ago, they're just paying half the working class to kill the other half.

I've given up on the notion of the average 'murkin deciding to do anything about it; as noted above the usual rubes are always too willing to cut their own throats. And there's never going to come a time when these awful people who inherited more money than they could hope to spend in ten lifetimes willingly pay even a cent more in tax. They'd much rather live in their gated communities and mega-yachts than spend one goddamned dime on improving their communities at all.

What are the options, if you're not lucky enough to be hatched into the Wal-Mart Billionaire Club? Well, if we're not going to break out the tumbrels and guillotines, then maybe a strategy of disengaging (from their system) and diversifying (your skill set and income portfolio) is the way to do it. I don't know what the next generations should expect, though -- knowing these greedy assholes, probably ensuring compliance as a condition of being allowed access to resources.

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