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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Unpopular Opinion: Politics and the global economy are broken

Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you want, but since mid-October 2019, Jeff Bezos' (owner of Amazon) fortune has grown by $80 billion. Based on the year-over-year change in his net worth, Bezos has made $152,207 per minute — and $2,537 per second. That latter figure is more than three times what the median US worker makes in a week.

There is something distinctly wrong with that. I am quite sure that Bezos worked hard to start Amazon and make it the success that it is today. However, has he worked so hard that he deserves to make in one single second, more than three times what one of his workers makes in a week?

I don't think so. While his employees are peeing in bottles to avoid being fired for wasting time going to the restroom, he has more money than entire countries and more money than he could ever spend in multiple life times.

I think it was Lincoln who said “A government for the people, by the people and of the people will never perish from this earth". Unfortunately that is not what we have in the U.S. (or globally really)

What we have is a billionaire and elite political class who control almost all of the economic pie and the rest of us are left to fight over the crumbs, hoping one day to reach the billionaire status yet having none of their advantages.

Politics (at least in the USA) are just as broken as the billionaire class. Our two party electoral system has failed us and the majority of citizens are governed by an elite ruling class beholden to rich donors and big business who have no inclination to care about the average Joe. 

Sadly, the game is rigged before you are even born. There are some European countries that start everyone out on more equal footing by using tax money to finance education and healthcare so at least their citizens can all have the same basic necessities covered. In my opinion, this is the least that any responsible government should do.

However, back home in the United States, there is a very strong sense of independence, pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. What we don't have is a basic social safety net to help people. 

In the United States, your health insurance is usually tied to your job (if you even have health insurance) you need to pay co-pays at the doctor, monthly premiums and pay for prescriptions along with deductibles out of pocket. An unexpected medical expense can easily bancrupt a family.

Addionally, higher education is very expensive. This automatically puts lower income people at a disadvantage.

I do not believe in governments giving out unlimited free hand outs to everyone and expecting nothing in return. But, people around the world should be able to live a life with dignity having their basic necessities funded by their tax money.

No one should live in a world where one man has more money than entire countries. Everyone should have the chance to create the next Amazon instead of being handicapped by circumstances right from the start.

There was a CEO of a small/medium sized tech company who was making 1.5 million dollars a year (not that much by CEO standards) while his employees had to get second jobs at McDonald's just to cover their basic living expenses.

He decided to cut his own salary to 70,000 usd per year and give every employee a raise up to 70,000 usd per year. Many people predicted his socialist experiment would bancrupt the company. However, now six years later, his company has expanded and grown and his employee turnover rate is basically zero.

This is what happens when everyone is given a fair shake in life. Good ideas and hard work should be rewarded but a CEO who makes hundreds of times more money than one of his/her employees, certainly is not working hundreds or thousands of times harder than they are. 

I can only hope and wish that Eliana will grow up in a fairer world than I have. I am not optimistic though. At least here in Spain we won't be bancrupted by medical or educational expenses. 

OK rant over. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts. 

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