Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Earning Your Keep

Alongside the growing numbers of the working and non-working poor in the developed world, and the gross exploitation of the labour and natural resources of the developing world, is a greater concentration of wealth in the hands of a few grotesquely rich people than has been seen since the days of La Belle Epoque in Europe and The Gilded Age in the USA.

Some people, responding to reports on global poverty, make the same old illiberal responses:

‘People who work hard deserve to be rewarded.’

“Rich people buy lots of goods and services so we all benefit”

“There have always been rich people and poor people and always will.”

“The poor are people who make bad choices; the rich are people who make good choices.”

Do the people offering 'back to school' loans on which people pay 50% interest - earn their money?

Is a choice to behave parasitically, a good choice?

Do CEOs who are paid daily what a worker in their organisation is paid yearly, earn their money?

Will they spend what they are paid on goods and services that trickle down to the people who work for them, or will they invest wherever it yields the highest – unearned - interest?

Does someone who inherits wealth, which grows exponentially because of investments made on the advice of paid employees, earn their money?

Does a movie celebrity paid $50m per movie earn their money? 

And do working people who are paid such a low wage that they have to borrow from loan sharks in order to equip their kids for school, ‘gain deservedly in return for their efforts’?

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