How would you describe your social standing? Would you say you’re part of the working class, the middle class or the elite? You may think you have it good, but you’re actually being driven into poverty by the super rich.
Over centuries, Western society has evolved. A thousand years ago, the upper classes were those who owned land and who had people working it for them. They made money, built castles, raised armies and ate spices and sugar. They had chimneys 500 years before the peasants even figured out the technology. They wore clothes adorned with gold thread when the majority of people couldn’t afford a pair of shoes, and so, they created a system which lasted for centuries.
Today, the elite is made up of, roughly, 85 people – yes, 85 people in the whole wide world. These are people who earn as much money as half the world’s population combined. It’s not even one per cent, I know, but that’s what they’re called, and they literally run the world!
To make matters worse, this is proving to be one of the biggest catastrophes of our generation, and it’s driving a wedge so deep between those at either end of the spectrum that it might just destroy society as we know it.
Chances are you’re thinking: I own a house, I have clothes, I buy food, I travel. How does this affect me? Well, it does.
Take America, for example, its one per cent earns a quarter of all income, but it also controls 40 per cent of all the wealth that exists and that is generated. That is a lot of power and that exclusive bubble is undermining democracy, because, well, it can.
What’s even more worrying, however, is that as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those in the middle who may not live from pay cheque to pay cheque, but who can’t afford a €100,000 dress, will soon know the full extent of this divide.
Don’t you believe me?
Well, clothes may seem trivial, but money has become so polarised that many now can’t afford to pay their electricity bill, or afford to buy a home. Inflation rates are rising and wealth is growing, but those who are struggling are being left by the wayside, and those who are managing will soon be left there, too.
The funniest thing is that these billions – even trillions – being made, are from the pockets of the poor. Cheap, bad quality products that sell by the millions and loans that squeeze every hard-earned penny from the hard working are just two examples of how this has happened.
The question is: What can we do about it? Unfortunately, not that much.
What do you think of James’s article? Do you agree or disagree?
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The world’s top richest persons: (Left) Mr. Bill Gates, (Right) Mr. Carlos Slim Helú. Source