Animals Band Together to Overthrow Despots
Among social animals, inequality is a fact of life. Millions of ants do all the work for one reproducing queen. Troops of chimps form male-dominated hierarchies, males bossing females around and forming a pecking order with one highly aggressive alpha male on top. Poorly paid migrant workers pick grapes for…
So where does that leave us in the grand scheme of things?
http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/inequality/ here is the link to the issue of Science.
Historically, we’ve tended towards inequality when we have an excess of workers fighting for a limited number of jobs. Bear in mind, that this is strictly talking about economic inequality as opposed to social inequality, which is defined in terms of just an individual’s inclination and circumstance.
Economically and socially, we tend to do better when resources are more or less evenly distributed amongst the working population. Technically, this can be argued as being morally just, because if people are contributing to the work than they deserve a reasoned cut of the produce of that work, no matter how lowly it may seem to be to each of us. Every job that exists counts towards the overall productivity of goods and services. If it was not needed, or a cheaper alternative existed, it wouldn’t be around. Therefore, it’s needed and, sometimes, those “low” jobs are the hardest and nastiest ones to do, making them more than deserving of reasoned compensation.
The trouble arises due to the apparent greed of the those who populate the upper crust. While this is not universal (and it’s not universal that the lower ranks are all egalitarian, “hippies” either), the fact remains is that there appears to be a tremendous amount of variety within our species, with regards to attitudes concerning inequality and relative status. Some of this is cultural, some of this is personal. That’s how we can have such stark differences between the executives at Costco and the executives at Walmart.
Overall though, human societies tend to have historically done better when there was greater equality amongst the members, both economically and socially. Talent that was born into (relatively) lowly stations was able to rise to appropriate levels, people were able to feed and house themselves and their families, the government simply had to oversee and track changes in the society and the economy rather than (unsuccessfully) suppress angry groups of humans within the society. Those who had higher stations were still able to enjoy higher qualities of life for what could be considered more highly skilled and consequential work, in spite of not having so much money that they’d never be able to spend it all in even more than one lifetime (intergenerational inheritance). What is money but an arbitrary social construct that we’ve designed to mediate and lubricate exchanges? What good does it do if it comes beyond what you’re able to use and comes at the expense of the rest of human society and the environment? Furthermore, by allowing people to share more in the produce of their labor, you enable them to spend more money on more than just the basics needed for subsistence, which then decreases dependency on public institutions (if there are any) and enables people to diversify their spending habits, as well as enable them to invest and save money (which helps fuel growth and protects against economic crashes and misfortunes).
The rich have the solution to prosperity backwards! Yet the politicians in Washington who do their bidding do not seem to have the capabilities of seeing it like that, or they are so ideologically inclined towards a self-destructive system that they’re not going to see how natural law favors relative equality and disfavors inequality.
Quite frankly, I don’t want to live in a nasty, brutish and life or death competitive system where I could die through no fault of my own. I also wouldn’t want to live sleeping with one eye open in case the mass of society turns against myself and my friends and family.
Do you? Do any of us want that kind of life?
Apparently so, because that’s what laissez-faire leads to.
And they’re called conservatives or Libertarians.
It doesn’t lead to a free life, in spite of them wanting freedom.
And they’ll never admit that they’re wrong in the grand scheme of things, however slightly that might be.
Think about it.
See on www.slate.com
It Comes Undone Scoop.it Page
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