The top level of media — conventional or social — is as far down as most of us go. The top level is where the majority of the collective consciousness lives, where the worry and bickering and frustration breeds animosity. Some of us go a bit deeper, exploring topics of particular interest — science, history, finance, what have you. But hardly anybody goes deep enough to realize that going deeper will never provide the answers because the answers are so blatantly obvious that even the top level isn’t up high enough to bring them into focus.
Some Americans literally hate other Americans. Have you ever stopped to think about that? What’s more, many of us hate people who could basically trade places with us if it weren’t for ridiculous demarcations like political affiliation, skin color, sexual orientation, or anything else mundane. We can hate members of what might as well be our own demographic.
So where does the anger and bitterness come from, if, when you get right down to it, the vast majority of us are basically the same? How can we be so divided? Well, there’s a small group of people who for years have been trying to tell us what the problem is, but nobody listens because the facts they’re presenting are pretty uncomfortable. Those people are enlightened historians, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, philosophers, and average people who stop for a minute to really think.
The following is a quote from one of the most respected people in American history, one of our founding fathers, in fact — John Adams:
“…Democracy, will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes, and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure and every one of these will soon mold itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues, and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.”
Read it again.
Seriously — read it again, especially the last two words.
That quote isn’t an outlier or from some obscure text. It’s maintained by our own tax dollars on a public (.gov) website still to this day, among many other similar quotes from other founding fathers.
That quote exemplifies the lie that misleads so many people in contemporary society. America was never expected to remain a true democracy from its inception. We knew from the very beginning that the vast majority of people would be suppressed by the few.
How can this be? It’s quite simple, actually — profoundly so, in fact. Our founding fathers understood that we were establishing a market-based, capitalistic economy in which the return on capital would eventually exceed the rate of economic growth. We reached that point many decades ago, and the savage consequences are just now beginning to boil over.
What does this simple inequality — that the return on capital (r) exceeds the rate of economic growth (G) — really mean? Well, this basically means that wealth generates more wealth faster than the whole economy grows. What might still not be immediately tangible is that the rate of economic growth is what determines social mobility and, more or less, how large the annual pay raises for people without capital to invest are. The inevitable outcome of the equation r>G is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
That might seem cliche, but it is mathematically, economically, and historically factual. Most of the so-called “political rhetoric” today revolves around issues like “jobs” or “taxes.” But when we examine the modern American reality in the context of r>G, we quickly discern that bickering between “Democrats” and “Republicans” is futile. After all, democrats and republicans both are participants in the same system that inevitably leads to governance by the “very few.”
The American Senate, House of Representatives, and (of course) the Presidency are and always have been occupied by members of the upper echelon of society — the “1%,” as the Occupy Wall Street movement stated it. This upper groat of society is the very epitome of the outcome of r>G. They have more money, therefore they earn more money by extracting wealth from the lower classes. And that’s not rhetoric, that’s literally what happens when the return on capital exceeds economic growth.
So, we have the “issues” of the day — jobs, fairness, inequality, quality of life for the masses — that dominate the public discourse. And American people become divided among political parties over these issues, and grow hateful toward people who’ve chosen the other party.
Are we blind to the fact that r>G has persisted through several “democratic” and “republican” administrations? Are we blind to the fact the many consecutive red and blue administrations have allowed offshore tax havens to exist? Do we even know that the City of London, England is a legally separate financial jurisdiction that functions as a central hub of tax evasion for the world’s wealthiest people and corporations? Do we understand that the United States of American treats U.S. corporations legally as people who can choose whether or not they will pay their due taxes to the U.S. government? Do we realize that today’s expensive college degrees correlate with the same level of relative income that cheap high school diplomas did several decades ago? Do we realize that we have been ruled by the uber-wealthy since America was founded?
Our problems today aren’t democrat vs. republican issues. We’re witnessing the inevitable outcome of the very framework of our so-called “democratic” society. Neither major political party has, in recent history, collectively advocated behind a progressive tax on capital (not income) and a complete abolition of tax havens worldwide. These are two of the most fundamental and important issues driving inequality today, and inequality lies at the heart of modern discontent and inter-demographic hate. All this as the masses flounder under a system of super-representation with under-taxation of the uber-wealthy.
Until enough of us flat-out reject the entire economic system we live in and refuse to allow this to continue by demanding progressive taxes on capital and elimination of “cloud finance” and tax havens, wealth inequality and therefore the suppression of a larger and larger majority of people by the few will continue. As long as the capital growth rate exceeds economic growth, then the discontent of the 99% will only fester and grow more volatile.