Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 36 Share on Twitter 12 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/18/19

The Unasked Question "How many more billionaires can civilization sustain before it collapses?"

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   7 comments
Author 2220
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Brian Lynch
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)

The New York Times recently asked each of the Democratic primary candidates for President a series of identical questions. The last question on their list was, "Does anyone deserve to have a billion dollars?"

Important questions about wealth inequality and its impact on the environment are not being asked to the Presidential Candidates
Important questions about wealth inequality and its impact on the environment are not being asked to the Presidential Candidates
(Image by New York TImes)
  Details   DMCA

The trivial framing of that question bypassed the grave urgency for asking it in the first place. In a variant form of the question the Times was essentially asking, "Isn't it OK to be a billionaire if you played by the rules and worked hard to earn it?"

The wording of the question pre-supposes that the laws and social rules in place, by which a person may accumulate a billion-dollars, are fair and open to anyone. It ignores whether inherited wealth is also deserved. Most importantly, it treats wealth as if it is only a money count and not a measure of privilege and social power. By doing so, the question as it was posed ignored the essential problem that extreme private wealth is toxic to human society regardless of a person's character or how they obtained it.

A more salient question would have been, "How many more billionaires can this human society sustain before it collapses?

In the 50,000-year history of human civilization, the concepts of private ownership and private wealth are recent developments. The full ramifications of these constructs on our social cohesion and collective welfare are still being revealed. The written history of civilizations offers no comfort. There are no examples of a happy, stable society where extremes of wealth inequality existed. The lessons of history seem to be that a suitable balance of power is required to sustain a healthy and stable society. Human populations simply cannot tolerate distributions of wealth/power that either force unnatural equality or permit unlimited extremes of private wealth.

There is no question that we crossed the Rubicon into a world where extreme wealth inequality is corrupting world governments and destroying the balance of nature. The questions we should be asking candidates for President and all our elected officials are, "What are your plans to rebalance the distribution of wealth and social power in America?" And then the follow-up question, "What are you going to do to stabilize and rebalance the Earth's damaged ecology?"

 

Must Read 4   Supported 3   Valuable 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Brian Lynch Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Brian Lynch is a retired social worker who worked in the areas of adult mental health and child protection for many years. His work brought him into direct contact with all the major social issues of the day and many of our basic social (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Media Silent on Fukushima Radiation Impact in US

Creepy Netflix Discovery Highlights What's Wrong with Social Media Today

Houston, Take Down This Threatening Message

Propaganda in the Digital Age - Mind Control on a Massive Scale

On September 19th Donald Trump Declared Himself Our Dictator

Wage History and The Case for A Living Wage

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: