For richer, for poorer

Posted: 3 February 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

the-one-percent-what-now-493

The vow taken by compassionate conservative columnists appears to be “to have and to hold from this day forward”—unless you actually try to make a connection between inequality and poverty.

First up was David Brooks. Now we have Robert Samuelson.

So, what are they so afraid of? Apparently, that we will see “less economic inequality as a solution to all manner of problems” and that we will “imagine that punishing the rich will miraculously uplift the poor.”

No, we don’t need any miracles. As Brazil has shown, all you really need to do is give poor people enough money to end their poverty. Not so hard.

But, of course, that’s not enough—because it still leaves in place an economic system that continues to generate enormous misery at the bottom, which is both a condition and consequence of concentrating incomes at the very top.

As it turns out, the real fear on the part of the Brooks’s and Samuelsons of the world is that people will stop believing in miracles, actually make the link between poverty and inequality, and then demand an alternative set of economic arrangements—an inclusive, democratic economy that doesn’t generate either the obscene amount of poverty or the grotesque levels of inequality we see today.

There’s no need then to punish the rich. Just take a vow that, “for richer, for poorer,” we need to imagine and create a different kind of economy.

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