Tuesday, 6 December 2016

an end to plutocracy

I was very glad to see that the Austrians chose to elect a left leaning president. Had the populist right wing candidate won, it would have signaled a new openness in Europe towards the alt-right movement which rejects minorities and anyone that is different.

Brexit was in part motivated by this type of thinking whereby ordinary working class Britons feared a loss of their autonomy and all things traditionally British. Some of them pined for a return to a world that no longer exists and this vote was seen as a way to stem the tide. Such is the frustration among the working class which also impacted the US elections.

We can see that we are at a global crossroads where the world’s resources are very unevenly parsed out. My own city continues to see a rise of destitute people as do many of yours. It would be easy to blame these people are freeloaders but the truth is that the marginalized increasingly have less places to go.

In America many of the jobs no one wanted were taken by Mexican migrants but only because conditions were even worse in their own country. As fortunes have changed some of these people have returned to their homeland and are leaving some voids in the more mundane physical work that must be done; the work that most Americans don’t want or cannot perform because it simply does not pay a fair wage.

In the 1950’s an American auto worker could support a family and have his wife stay at home with the children. We now have a situation whereby two University educated young adults cannot even afford a down payment on a home that often costs more than 4 times their combined salaries. In my own country an increase to just 6% in the interest rate would see many of these Millenials lose their homes.

What to do about the void in the working class is not going to be easily resolved. But it is clear that not everyone can re-train in other sectors because we are all limited by our capabilities as individuals.

Neo-Liberalism's current modus operandi is to leave the working class to their own devices. With no minimal safety net and with their jobs outsourced to third world countries these people need to find some form of recourse.

If the Democrats, who are in bed with Wall Street and other corporate lobbyists, cannot do it then someone else will have to. The Republicans have proven to be even worse hypocrites as they pretend to be defenders of the common man and his values while lining their own pockets; all the while using flag waving jingoism and a propensity for militarism as a decoy. You may have noticed that most of the leaders in both parties are either millionaires or billionaires which only helps to ensure a more myopic and self-interested vision of the state of affairs.

It might be time to put an end to plutocratic rule.


5 comments:

  1. The Austrian case might have been caused by protest voters choking on their protest. In other words: Some might feel comfortable about giving the elite a message by voting for extremist if they believe the extremist won't win. After Brexit and Trump, however, that is no longer a safe assumption.

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    1. Jack you are right that no assumption can be made in this global climate. There has never been a period in my lifetime where I have been so concerned about the fragility of the state of affairs particularly as it relates to income disparity...

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  2. What strikes me as very interesting about income disparity is that it is not necessarily the real income of people that creates a reaction. They may even find their salaries increasing and still feel the anger. (Most Trump voters are not poor).

    The Nazi take-over in Germany has often been explained as the end result of a FEAR of becoming poor and/or losing social status. This may be the case now too. On top of that the increasing differences in income creates a strong feeling of injustice.

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    1. you have a good point Jack but don't forget that actual buying power has gone down drastically for a shrinking middle class that has less options than ever and this is causing a great deal of distress. That one percent at the top is getting increasingly rich while everyone else a little poorer. That is ultimately unsustainable...

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    2. and you are right in that fear of change is a great motivator towards adoption of prejudiced thinking and racism.

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