The American populace has become infamous for how divided it is on how it expects its government to operate. However, the country is united almost unanimously on the position that political change is needed. As the country devolves into near civil war over the fringe issues its politicians feed the people to squabble amongst each other over, it’s becoming more and more imperative to understand that practically any political change is unlikely to have any significant long-term effect on the quality of life in America until the standard economic model is revamped.
In order to understand why this is you have to first understand that America’s economic model is more accurately described as “predatory capitalism” as opposed to simply “capitalism.” Predatory capitalism is based on 2 fundamental operating principles:
1. Pay workers as little as possible within the limits of supply and demand.
2. Charge customers as much as possible for goods and services within the limits of supply and demand.
These two simple principles will cause ripple effects that will multiply themselves over time. The first and most obvious effect is the nation’s wealth will trickle upwards, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Once the rich become rich, they’ll be able to reinvest that wealth making them richer and allowing them to expand their control over the economy. Once the poor become poor, it will take longer for them to work their way out of poverty or compete with the rich to establish competitive businesses. The long-term effect of this is exactly what you see in America: major chains, owned by the rich, worked by the poor. It will be almost impossible for all those minimum wage workers to open their own “mom and pop” business much less competitive retail chains. This problem becomes even worse the more land the wealthy own as the poor will not be able to afford their own land to build their businesses on.
Once the rich become rich enough to have millions or billions of dollars of disposable income they will be able to use that money to influence politics through financing the careers of pro-monopoly politicians either directly, through campaign contributions, bribery, lobbying, campaigning against anti-monopoly politicians and funding anti-monopoly, anti-worker propaganda. Again, this is exactly what has happened in America.
Now that America has passed this tipping point where a few wealthy individuals control the majority of the wealth in America, there is little point in political reform. What if a third political party was elected to office? What if abortion were legalized? What if marijuana prohibition was ended? What if net neutrality was secured? What if stricter environmental protection laws were passed? What if the privatization of education was ended? The reality of life for the average American would remain unchanged. As long as the economic model that robs the poor and gives to the rich stays in place, poor people will still spend their lives working 3 jobs just to stay alive. They’ll still be crippled by mortgage and student loan debt for the majority of their lives and pass debt on to their children. And they’ll still be dependent on the major corporations for most of their food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.
As long as the poor have no wealth to leverage their interests, the rich will still retain the economic power to shape the political landscape according to their predatory agenda. The solution to this problem isn’t legislation guaranteeing profit sharing or fair prices. The rich could still simply purchase legislation to rewind progress.
The only way the poor will have the access to a fair share of the nation’s wealth is for business owners to willingly give their workers profit sharing, fair prices and, preferably, on-site housing at their place of work. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this will happen in a predatory economy as business owners will be inclined to try to extort as much money as they can from their workers and customers in order to remain competitive against other ruthless companies.
Existing business owners need to be encouraged to treat the people within their sphere of influence with the dignity and respect due to every human being. Barring that, the poor need to pool their mental and physical resources to open and support businesses that don’t practice predatory capitalism. Barring that, the poor can always exercise the leverage of boycotting and striking, but this is unlikely to happen since the wealthy have already shaped the economic and political landscape so that it’s extremely difficult to unionize or avoid buying from corporations.
So the most productive course of action for the poor at this point is to start and support their own egalitarian businesses. Once they do that, they can begin accumulating their own wealth and thus leverage, reduce dependency on predatory businesses and enjoy a decent quality of life without being treated like slaves.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:
Predatory Capitalism Creates Poverty
- Poverty is the root of the world’s biggest problems, and predatory capitalism is the root of poverty
- The fundamental problem with the economy
- The poor aren’t taking all your money. The rich are.
- 7 economic injustices we all accept
- The downside of economic growth
- Cost/benefit analysis of economic oppression
- How predatory capitalism warps the way we define maturity
- The lottery is a microcosm of America
- Stop talking about guns and start talking about poverty
- How the economy works (Comic)
Socialism and Communism
- Americans need to learn the difference between socialism, communism, and capitalism
- Billionaires won’t save you, and socialism won’t kill you
- Who will help me make some bread? (Short story)
The Life of the Rich
- The legacy of a billionaire
- The letter I’ll never send my CEO
- This Was Your Life: The billionaire (Comic)
- How becoming a billionaire works (Comic)
The Life of the Poor
- What it’s like to be poor
- My American Beauty-esque rant about life in America
- Why do poor people play the lottery?
- Why are Americans so violent and unhappy?
- You might be depressed because the system is crazy, not because you are
- The Adventures of Monk and Punk: Book 1 (Comic)
- Occupy LOL Street: The Plight of the Homeless (Comic)
Oppression in the Workplace
- Advice for young workers
- Stop treating people like shit and they’ll start giving a fuck
- 7 ways worker’s rights still need to improve
- 7 reasons minimum wage should be higher
- The injustice of employee contracts
- Professionalism is a straitjacket
- We need to do more to help people get the job they’re suited for
- The customer is not always right
- A Brief History of the Working Class (Comic)
Success and Retirement
- Life Path Flow Chart
- Why does it have to be so hard to retire?
- How to escape poverty
- Have a healthy balance of passion and duty
- Is it lazy to not want to work?
The Housing Market
- The housing market is a crime against humanity
- Suburbia is a sensory deprivation chamber
- How the housing market works (Comic)
Healthcare in America
The Stock Market
- How the stock market works (Comic)
- How bank greeters work (Comic)
- How freedom works (Comic)
- What America’s class and tax system really looks like
- 12 Things wrong with America’s tax system
- Why do so many small businesses fail?
- A novel approach to taxing the rich
- Introduction to cryptocurrency
- The most important factor in the value of cryptocurrencies, and how it applies to STEEM
Fixing the Economy
- My 1-point plan on how to save the world
- Humanity’s quality of life is relative to the quality of business model we use
- Collapse is the product of unsustainability. Sustainability is the product of sustainability.
- The economy needs a love stimulus
- The world won’t get better until you stop being a consumer whore
- Buy a better world by donating dividends
- One dollar equals one vote in the economy