85 > 3,000,000,000

23 Jan

Yesterday, I threw up in my mouth a little as I read a paper-light rationalization of why Wall Street keeps being so greedy. Allow me to take my rant a little farther.

Today, we post a story about the result of such greed. It literally makes me sick. Not just in my mouth!

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that the greed addiction is an epidemic of historic proportions for humanity.  I was not being hyperbolic. I wish I were!

The organization Oxfam recently produced a very damning report about wealth inequality.  In it, they come up with a most eye-popping statistic.  The world’s 85 wealthiest people have more money amassed than the 3.5 billion poorest.

That’s right! More people than will be riding the SMART Train daily have more money than the total number of people who make up the populations of China and India combined.

As you know by reading my blog, I’m not a socialist. I believe capitalism, run with a stronger set of morals, is the best of the ‘ism’s as far as running a true global economy will go.

But right now, the moral compass is gone among so many of the richest. Avarice rules. Greed is one thing. Bad enough as it is. Avarice is insatiable greed. Basically, greed on steroids.

You see it on Wall Street, in government, in pro sports, in Hollywood.  The folks who make rules or those who set standards and the ones society looks to for guidance, these folks have lost their moral compass, by and large. And capitalism risks failure because they fail to honor their privilege.

That is what you have among the folks driving this gap between the uber-wealthy and everyone else. Avarice. Some on this list are doing good with their vast sums. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are doing their best to give away their money.  They are certainly the exceptions to the rule.

But what about the Walton family? Larry Ellison? There are some very recognizable names on that list. Not recognizable for the good they are doing.  Just their amassed wealth.

In poet Dante’s Inferno, he saved his most cutting criticisms for the greedy sinner. So absorbed in their activity of hoarding more wealth, Dante argues it may be pointless to try and change them.

I don’t know. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet both present models for others on how to deal with vast wealth. Yesterday’s post highlighted a man, however weak his mea culpa, who had changed his ways.  People can change.

We must hope this desire for more does change. If it doesn’t, it leads to the downfall of our great country. Not hyperbole, that is simply a deduction from the annals of history.

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