The other day, I had to go pick up a prescription for my four-year-old. The problem was with it being a holiday, there was only one drug store open for the entire valley.
The line was expectantly long. By the time I got to the front, I realized I forgot my insurance card and as a result had to pay full price for the prescription. It wasn’t much but the thought hit hard:
What if I couldn’t pay for this?
How in the world do we still not have some sort of universal health care system? Who doesn’t need quality healthcare?
The average life expectancy in the 18th century was 25 years old! No public schooling, no health benefits, no retirement existed–no social programs of any kind. Poverty was literally a death sentence.
During this time, you inherited your wealth and married to keep it. You created dynasties and aristocracies. Many economist would argue that if you didn’t create incentives people wouldn’t work. You need inequality to get people to try harder. The problem was there was no social mobility. No matter how hard you tried. And so, you are stuck. Which creates all sorts of social, economic and political stresses until you reach the tipping point where the people rise up.
David Graeber has pointed out that when the people rise, they burn the tax records. The Bible confirms this with the jubilee. Debt systems will always work out of control. And those who control the means of production have no incentives to give up their wealth. You have to have someone to referee the disparity. This is the true role of government: to set up guardrails.
We are not here to serve capitalism, capitalism is here to serve us.
The Fed estimates that the wealthiest 10% of Americans hold more than 88% of all available equity. The eight, all men, hold as much combined wealth as the 3.6 billion people in the bottom half. In Europe, two-thirds of the population is dying without a single asset.
Life expectancy in the US is falling for the first time in a while. What does that tell us? What’s the point of having all this capital if you are not going to use it? Furthermore, what is the point of a few to hold so much of it?