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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/2/17

Dear Billionaires...

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Message Ezekiel Jones

Please forgive me for interrupting your busy day. I know you have more important matters to attend to than reading yet another desperate plea from an Eater, but I didn't know what else to do. You own so many of our politicians and media personalities that there's little point in appealing to them. Your lawyers and security goons have pretty well destroyed our labor unions, so they're too weak to provide much help. Your donations have bought the universities, the non-profits and the religious institutions, so they never speak on our behalf any more. There's little option but to appeal to you directly. So please, can you just take a moment from overseeing your research into your personal immortality or planning your escape to Mars from our overheating planet so that I can communicate to you as if we were members of the same species.

We're getting the distinct impression that you don't just despise us; you actually desire our demise. It's hard to believe that it's mere taxophobia that's behind your arranging things so that our life expectancy is actually falling. After all, this isn't 14th century Europe, and what's killing us isn't bubonic plague. With a modest guaranteed income, Medicare-for-all, and a $15 per hour minimum wage, the national humiliation of shrinking lifespans could be avoided. The impact on your vast fortunes would hardly be noticeable, but you continue to pull out all the stops to scramble the democratic process to prevent those humane, life-saving, civilized changes to our society from ever taking place.

That amounts to pure cruelty. When we see that augmented by your drug companies' complicity in pushing opioids down our throats and your never-ending war lust that kills thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of our sisters and brothers abroad year after year after year, it's impossible not to come to the conclusion that you'd just rather see us all dead.

Let me try both the carrot and the stick. First, the positive approach. Before you decide to continue imposing the status quo and putting us in the grave, here are some reasons to let us live that might appeal to you:

  • A small monthly stipend, an idea that was mainstream back in the days when Moynihan worked for Nixon, would allow people to quit low-paying, dead-end jobs that you want to automate anyway. It would free you to further eliminate the need for human labor in your businesses while allowing those workers to engage in some of that entrepreneurial activity you commend so highly. Who knows? There might be at least one of them who would open a hip new restaurant you could book in its entirety for a quiet dinner with your significant other. Maybe someone would develop a popular new clothing line that you could buy out and ship the jobs to Cambodia. Think of the possibilities!
  • Removing the financial barriers to receiving quality healthcare could benefit you as well. A child saved from a curable disease might grow up to dance in one of the ballet companies you fund or play point guard on one of your sports teams. And really, who wants to drive over dead bodies in the street on those rare occasions when you have to take ground transportation to a meeting or event?
  • I know the ethical principle that a worker is worth her wages is way past its due date as far as you're concerned, but a reasonable minimum wage could work to your advantage. What better excuse to offload work to customers? We have self-checkout now. Why not self-unloading stores that would require customers to empty your transport trucks to get the goods they need? All we do is complain about the low pay and back-breaking, mind-numbing work conditions at your warehouses and big box stores, right? So $15 bucks an hour is a good reason to eliminate those workers and force customers to do it for you for free. What else are they going to do? Where else are they going to go? You've already run the mom-and-pops, with all that customer service, right into bankruptcy.

Now for the stick. As my old buddies Brewer and Shipley used to sing:

I hate to bust your bubble,

But there's gonna be some trouble"


You know you're concerned that you're going to push us so far that the pitchforks will come out. Why else would security for billionaires and designing billionaire bugouts be such booming businesses? Can you really trust that pilot to get you to that old missile silo in North Dakota if TSHTF? It is just possible that as more and more people get the message that you're out to extinguish us and our children, they might get angry enough to look away from their smart phones and take action. Some flexibility, even compassion, on your part might avoid even more escalation on the social discord front.

That's it. That's all I wanted to say. Here's hoping that you're not all Bond villains. Surely some of you are capable of recognizing that you can use your nearly complete power over our society to make things a little better for your fellow human beings.

Then it might not be necessary to go to Mars.

Most sincerely,

Another Eater

(Article changed on September 3, 2017 at 10:06)

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