Wealth and Reform

Wealth and Reform

I haven’t read the book Capital by Thomas Piketty, but most of us know about the growing power and wealth of the 1%. That term comes from his book that Paul Krugman sums up in the video below. The information in the video has greatly influenced my current views on our political and economic systems in the US, and thereby most of the world.

Here are their conclusions about wealth.

  • The wealthy are getting richer, more entrenched in politics, with a growing income and wealth inequity.
  • The US is effectively an oligarchy and our wealth inequality is worse than any other developed country.
  • We the people have so little influence on public policy as to be statistically near zero.
  • The US has fewer social support systems than most developed countries resulting in more suffering.
  • Wealth inequality has turned Washington (ie our government) into a protection racket for the 1%.
  • A small tax increase on the top 1% for wealth redistribution would make a huge difference in the quality of life for the bottom 20%.

wealth inequality

This video was produced 6 years ago, and sadly the trend continues to get worse for the average person. This is why I occasionally rant against “the system” of big business, special interests, and the wealthy elite. If you accept these conclusions, then most likely our social ills can’t be solved within the current system. Inequality, racism, police brutality, drugs, abuse, social injustice, and environmental degradation are all byproducts of this system that puts so little value on human well being and Earthcare.

Paul Krugman is still hopeful due to the history of our political traditions, but I have lost hope in our manmade systems. It seems change would have to come from revolution, nature, or a system collapse like the fall of the Roman Empire. Here’s an interesting related article, suggesting we might be in revolutionary times. The key is that we must take responsibility, claim the moment, and make intentional choices. people, power, reform

After sitting with this post, I realized that I hadn’t included love and compassion. I’m judging the 1% and not trying to understand them or build bridges of compassion. Working at understanding each other with more love and compassion would certainly help. And if we shared more; each sharing the skills, talents, and resources we have. There are more than enough resources in the world (shelter, food, land, water, money, creativity, and talent) if we shared them instead of hoarding. Maybe we just need to believe in the power of love, people, and intentional choices.

I leave you with this beautiful Pentatonix rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine as inspiration.

May peace, love, and cooperation prevail. 

40 thoughts on “Wealth and Reform

  1. Powerful post, Brad. Especially when you paused and contemplated your own judgement. It’s an admirable and rare trait to examine oneself in such a way. We are entitled to feel as we feel, of course. We all have reasons for our beliefs/ feelings. But it takes courage to truly examine them.

    When I moved back to the US more than 2 years ago after 19 years overseas, I had 2 suitcases of possessions. I felt like the richest person on Earth. That feeling persists. I fabricated my own definition of wealth many years ago. It is the incredible memories I have of traveling the planet, my ever-deepening connection to nature, and my free time to just be. Not much free time for me these days as I work…with the “wealthy”. The things they get upset about…remind me how rich my life really is when my old car breaks down or I stress about having enough money to finish my little cabin.

    Hope your day is filled with your version of richness, Brad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks J.D. It sounds like you’re in a good place in your life. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt abundant and content with my life. Like you, it was after traveling, seeing the beauty in the world, and realizing how little material things I needed to be happy when living fully. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for what I do have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with what Julie has said above Brad, It is part of our human makeup to judge, So It takes courage to stand back and self analyse and to understand that those who are the 1% have also been brought up within their own programming of feeling it is their rights to hold that power… Mainly because of its historic heritage .. We see the masses now being manipulated by those two horns of Big pharma… One on the medical side in chemicals of drugs vaccines etc.. The other on the agricultural side of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides… All none natural, which cause huge amounts of profit and whose controlling arms are .. They always say ‘Follow the money’ and it leads you right where you need to focus, as to whose who and who is a puppet and who pays the piper..
    I try my best to send love into those hearts that obviously lack love… Money is never going to replace what WE have, what Julie has, in that our hearts are full of love, compassion, care,…
    I truly believe the Power lies within the masses… For at its heart, despite the fear, we know Love is a far greater quality than any bank balance…

    Love and huge hugs my dear Brad ❤ 🙂 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the thoughtful response Sue. I know the powerful want to keep their power and I’d like to believe love can shift things, but I just don’t quite believe that it will happen without a natural or economic calamity. I hope I’m wrong! To love and hugs! ❤🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are going to be many things Happen Brad which will feel like Boom! Boom! Boom!… The Key is keep in your inner calm, no matter what is happening outside your door, so to speak.. And Trust, in the Unknown…. I no longer believe, its now a knowing within me.. And I cannot tell you how… I just do… It may well seem like the world is going mad.. But it’s all going through a clearing process, including the traumas of past wounds in people,.. We have been doing our inner shadow worl for a while… Its an emotional journey understanding yourself better, and learning to love yourself, forgive, heal, what ever.. So when the collective is going through this without understanding what is going on, Those Emotions are going to bubble over in rage, and blame…
        You are not wrong in your thinking Brad… But its how we perceive it. I have to step back on a regular basis in order to cope… I need to observe and try to detach, its so very hard for those of us who are empathic, because we Feel too much…
        The thing I do is breatheeeeee.. And learn that they all have their own life lessons to experience… And we have to go within ourselves and do what we do to keep our own energy in tact…
        It is by no means easy….
        But we came here to graduate… 🙂 and the lessons and tests set right now are going to sort the wheat from the chaff…
        Sending Love Brad, and hang in there…. Remember to nurture yourself… and Nature is your best friend… 🙂 💚🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such love coming through your post, Brad and humility as you pause to reflect on compassion. Our established systems are crumbling and each of us has the opportunity to observe and create a different life. One that encompasses the realisation on how little we need and how we are all connected. ❤ to you. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The US certainly is in dire straits, Brad. I share all of your concerns and usually, I’m quite hopeless and want to move to another country – if only I could convince my daughter’s family to move with me. But then, the horror show of Donald Trump came along and things got (and continue to get) so horrific that there just might be that much-needed revolution. The current trajectory is unsustainable. I look forward to seeing what happens in November.
    And thanks for the message of hope and kindness. There are so many people whose hearts are in the right places. You’re right that we need to amplify that message too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting article, Brad. I kind of agree with you. I don’t begrudge the 1% making their money from commerce as that gives the opportunity for employment to millions of people. I think our value system is a bit topsy turvy, as you rightly point out, and has been emphasized in some break downs of the consumer supply chain in the pandemic. Ordinary workers that keep our society functioning seem at the bottom of the value system while celebrities, politicians, lawyers et.al. receive extravagant amounts of money. But what does this say about us who are willing to spend our hard-earned money on entertainment and so fill the coffers of celebrities and media studios? Or are willing to sue people at the drop of a hat, or are willing to put up with the corruption of politicians; I’m talking all political parties. In this consumer society, we seem to judge our worth by the number of dollars we earn a year compared to others. We have built a society that demands ever-increasing supplies of money to break even. There seems to be no moving forward for the 99%. The middle class is eroding. This is starting to be a blog in itself so I’ll leave it there. A final thought is copied and posted from the Atlantic article “At the junction Americans face today, however, we need to imitate not the outcome of the French revolution but the energy, creativity, and optimism of the French revolutionaries.”
    Keep these posts coming Brad. Very informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for a very thoughtful comment Len. As you mentioned, there are so many systemic challenges that we reinforce with our choices and spending. Maybe we can be revolutionary in a creative, loving way?

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  6. It is beyond time to do away with the 1% who are running this country into the ground and ruining our lives or more accurately, they are keeping us from living the lives we want! Time to exercise our rights and send them all packing! Thanks for sharing Brad…VK 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. a thought-filled post brad, as always, you bring heart and reflection to everything. like the others say, i love how you took pause and looked within to try to bridge your own understanding and judgments so that you can bring about change through being, alongside the ways we can all do our parts. the pentatonix video was very moving. thank you for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brad I loved your post and let us all move towards love and compassion that our whole world is so desperately waiting for. We can see that in the beginning of this year. Let us all learn to live amicably with each other. The people running our countries need to change and look what is happening in USA especially with so many deaths. Thanks for the awesome share.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Brad, thanks for yet another powerful and thought-provoking post! Mmh I would agree that it feels like we are in revolutionary times, and I so agree with you in longing for new systems and new ways of being. I feel that self-responsibility on all levels (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual etc) as well as mindful and respectful cooperation/ community-building are key. AND that compassion is crucial, too, and needs to be paired with healthy boundaries – I mean feeling endless compassion is gorgeous, but acting on it needs to include self-compassion, too…I do really believe in the law of cause and effect… Anyways, thanks so much for this great post, and wonderful song! Big hugs and enjoy your day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow. A punch-gut post (with great articulate intelligent info) sprinkled with the need to be compassionate and kind to all, even to those who don’t have it “in” them to be kind and compassionate. I’m with you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Change is needed and we all have a part to play. Seeking to education ourselves, voting and getting involved with organizations that are committed to making a difference are some ways we can change things for the better. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “Take responsibility, claim the moment, and make intentional choices” is wonderful advice. Really appreciate your thoughtful discussions, Brad. (Just stumbled on your blog here.) Our curiosity and care is the salve that is needed most in these divisive times. I like to “look for the helpers” as Mr. Rogers used to say, and I’m glad I found a new one. 🙏🏻

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