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The Rich Get Richer

Entry 756, on 2008-04-27 at 20:12:53 (Rating 3, Politics)

In a recent BBC News article I read that, in the UK, the super rich are getting even richer. It didn't say whether the poor are getting poorer, but I suspect that in relation to the ever increasing costs of basic requirements like food and fuel, they are.

I often hear people say that these leaders in industry deserve their money because of how hard they work. OK, so the richest person in the UK rich list makes about $80 billion per year. That's about 2 million times more than a moderately well paid person. Does this guy really work 2 million times harder? I doubt it.

And I also hear the argument that the businesses these people run employ many people. That is true, but compared to the number of people who would be employed my several smaller companies that the one big one displaced that number is usually quite small.

So are these huge salaries justified? Of course not. Business people don't really matter in the greater scheme of things. Real progress comes from advances in science which come from scientists, and advances in technology which come from engineers and other technologists. I know that some business people have become successful as a result of a scientific or technological breakthrough that they were responsible for, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

It seems to me that we have let economics control our lives instead of the other way around. It may be a natural result of the capitalist system that some people will become very financially successful but is that the way it should really be? What is the point in creating a very efficient, successful economic system if the vast majority of people don't derive a lot of benefit from it?

I know I sound like a loony lefty, but unless we are prepared to admit that pure capitalism and laissez-faire economics really don't work we will never make the world a better place. So let's get past the propaganda spread by the people who control the media and politics in most countries (who are usually rich) and bypass the traditional left versus right debate, then we can think about whether there is a better way.


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