Okay, so I’m hearing a lot of percentages being tossed about these days… 1% controlling 90% of the wealth, We Are The 99%, We Are The 53%… yet all I see in each of these percentages is division. Every number I see is less than 100%. The math isn’t adding up.
Let me take a moment to “show my work”: What seems to be expressed in this movement is that 1% of the population has greatly contributed to the state of the economy. We are asking that this 1% be restrained by the leashes of legislation and regulation lest their avarice continues to run economic roughshod over the citizens of this nation. Are we not taking a tiny sliver from a pie and indicating that that sliver contains all the fruit, filling, and flavor?
So correct me if I’m wrong: Doesn’t 1% of the population addressing the problem only fix 1% of the problem? Yes, this is where the rebuttal battalion will insert the 90%-of-the-wealth-controlled-by-the-1% argument here. I fail to see this as the entire cause of our economic situation. The source of the problem is 100% of the population believing that only 1% holds any power. We seem to believe that a copious amount of money is what empowers an individual or a group of people.
So let’s play “Let’s Pretend” for a moment here. Let’s pretend the unit of currency is a marble. We get 100 people together. We present the 100 with a bag containing 100 marbles. The presumption is that each person would get a marble, right? After all, we have given them the bag of marbles and allowed them to divvy them up accordingly. So we return after some time to find out that one person has ended up with 90 marbles and the other 99 people are left to figure out how to divide the remaining 10 marbles between them. Yet there’s nothing they can do to convince that guy with the vast majority of marbles to share a single one.
Here’s a crazy thought: Why don’t we change the unit of currency altogether? Why don’t we render marbles worthless? The playing field becomes instantly leveled.
Money seems to be the magnifier of values. What are the values that have led us down this path? The values that empower finance are not limited to 1% of this population. If they were, the remaining 99% of us would not be asking for our chunk of it. There is something we have agreed upon, 100% of us in this society, that has created the financial imbalance. We have placed a great value on something that we seem to believe can only be affected by currency. In all honesty I can’t put a finger on what that is, but something tells me it has something to do with how often I hear people talk about winning the lottery. If we think our lives will go from good to better with an additional digit tacked onto our net worth, then we have lost sight of what truly has value in life.