To The Daily Sun,
Even as the world recovers from a deep recession, the number of billionaires around the world has dramatically increased. This statistic comes from research done by Ruchir Sharma. His new book "The Rise and Fall of Nations" indicates that there has been an 80 percent rise in billionaires all over the world since 2009, based on figures released by Morgan Stanley Management.
Sharma tells us how billionaires invest and spend their wealth can tell us about the strength of our economy. Billionaires are able to make more money by investing in real estate and the stock market, illustrating the old saying that the more you have the more you get. In fact the United States has more billionaires than all other countries in the world.
Why should we care or be concerned? Isn't it part of the American way to celebrate those who do so well (or in this case "weller than well")?
The problem it seems is that when nations have that much concentrated wealth at the very top, these billionaires will use their wealth and access to influence policies in the country where they live, as well as in any country where they have one of their multiple homes or business interests. The drawback is that this concentrated wealth is used to bolster their own narrow interests at the expense of not the 99 percent, but the 99.9 percent.
The domination by the uber-wealthy few also creates a backlash. People aren't blind. They see how the billionaires bend the system to their narrow self-interests, and how everyone else is left out or ignored. Neither their wealth nor their power is shared in any way. There is no sense of proportion or responsibility.
Hostilities develop naturally. People won't put up with this forever. Those in the middle or poorer classes won't be content to suffer because the billionaires want to continually take more and more. They are the real "takers," not those who work and struggle every day to get ahead, or to at least keep their heads above water.
The growing inequality of jobs, wages, housing, education, and buying power, among other things, cannot be sustained indefinitely. In the end the plutocrats will reap what they sow.
- Category: Letters
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