Sunday, August 11, 2013

Disregarding The Poor In America

Rich Man , Poor Man



“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”
—Plutarch

“Do not waste your time on Social Questions.
What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
George Bernard Shaw

“If you are poor, you are not likely to live long.”
Nelson Mandela

Poverty will never be eliminated, and certainly not in a capitalist system that needs the poor, if only to make distinctions between rich and poor. After all, what is the point of being rich if everyone was rich, or as some put it, high net worth individuals, or super high new worth individuals? Let’s just call them Obscenely Wealthy.

Of course there are other reasons why the wealthy need the poor: to do the “necessary” jobs they say they can’t do, such as cleaning their homes, cooking their meals, tending to their kids, shopping for groceries, chauffeuring their kids to programs, cutting their grass, etc. You get the picture; the wealthy are doing more than their part. After all, with their paltry wages and little income, how much can the poor purchase, consume, that is, in a consumer society built for consumption?

The poor, after all, cannot make enough consumer purchases to count. They are not helping America become prosperous, to fight terrorism. For an explanation, just ask George W. Bush. That’s the job, the purpose, of the wealthy, we are told.

And it’s the wealthy—although they are only one percent of the population—who will save America. It’s the wealthy that continue to hire the poor, feeling some sympathy for the underclass; it's not always about cheap labour. No, not at all, really. If there was not an economic system in place that would allow such low-paying jobs, the wealthy and super-wealthy would have to do it themselves, denying the poor of some income. Or worse, the wealthy might be forced to pay persons more for such services. It might even have to approach a living wage.

That would rob the wealthy of their obscene wealth, an entitlement that they have worked hard to obtain and maintain.

I know what you are thinking: that is unAmerican, Socialist, Communist. Better write to your representative to ensure that never happens. Oh, you have already done so and sent in a nice campaign contribution to make sure he understands.  After all, what we don’t need at the moment is a social-political system that says poor people are as important as rich people. That their votes count; that they really contribute to society; that their voices ought to be heard.

 That would be, well, unAmerican.