I saw this picture on Facebook today. It is a very simple explanation of a very complicated problem: how inflation robs all of us, predominately by destroying the purchasing power of accumulated savings and fueling an unsustainable debt-cycle. The other side of this is Malinvestment, which when coupled with the effects of inflation, destroy an economy from the inside-out.
Unfortunately, the comments were full of fail: Once you buy in to the propaganda known as the American Dream, there is virtually no limit to the bullshit you’ll apologize for. I hate to paint with a broad brush, but it seems like people apologize for capitalism because they’ve bought in to the propaganda and they honestly do believe that one day if they just work hard enough they will also succeed. And although some people do succeed, these are exceptions rather than the rule.
John: Good for you. You took an opportunity that most people don’t have. Maybe you had a good idea that others didn’t think of. Maybe you had some capital saved up that many people don’t have. Maybe you just got lucky. Just because you were raised to believe something doesn’t make it true. Lots of people work their asses of and still struggle to make ends meet. A generation ago families could (and often did) live comfortably middle-class lifestyles on a single income whereas today it takes 2 parents working full time to scrape by. The most important part about a free market is the freedom. If you’re working 80 hours a week to get by, you’re not free, you’re indebted to an exploitative system.
You are working 80 hours a week non-stop just to “do alright”. Is this the sort of world you want for future generations? Should it be this hard to put food on the table and a roof over your children’s heads?
Ruth: Try to read your words with someone else’s brain, preferably not John’s because you’re making the same mistakes. You believe that the 1% normally acquire their wealth through honest hard work, frugality and ingenuity, the fruits of which labor is passed from generation to generation. This ignores a great many people who succeed only insofar as they can exploit a system of privilege to their advantage. It is not a level playing field and success is not determined predominately by merit.
There are a million fucking reasons why we’re not free and we don’t have a free market, and each of these distortions has a ripple-effect of consequences that further distort the array of opportunities available, the choices we are presented. You’re forget that most of the people who play in to this game will never make it, most will fail somewhere along the way, thus the “1%”. Is this the sort of world that you want?
Bill: You’re making a common mistake. Maybe you believe that the bastardized “market” that we have is a near-enough approximation of what a really free market would look like just because we get the illusion of choice in some areas of our lives. The rich are rich because they work hard and the poor are poor because they’re dumb and lazy. Way to blame the victims. Do you really believe that Goldman Sachs isn’t rigging the game? Is this the sort of world that you want?
Donald: You are a beacon of light in an otherwise regrettable thread.
The rest of you, you need to pull your heads out of the fucking sand and understand the problems we face for what they are. People are protesting because they want to work and can’t find jobs. They’re protesting because at every level, their governments and elected “leaders” have let them down. They’re protesting because they’ve realized that the illusion of meritocracy is just an illusion, we don’t live in a free market or anything remotely resembling one, success is an exception rather than the rule, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get by and to plan and save for the future.
These people aren’t lazy, they’re fucking fed up.