The F***ing 1%
The smug, unloving fuckos checking under your couch pillow for and small change you owe them. The richest and smallest of us.
“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.
And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
–Gus Speth, a US advisor on climate change
From Merriam Webster
verb, often capitalized
bal·kan·ize | \ ˈbȯl-kə-ˌnīz \
Definition of balkanize
1: to break up (a region, a group, etc.) into smaller and often hostile units.
2: DIVIDE, COMPARTMENTALIZE, now pop culture has been balkanized; it is full of niches, with different groups watching and playing their own things— Richard Corliss
To relate it to the core subjects of this site, it is the opposite of emergence, and it breaks tension force like a leg; it is political reductionism, reducing powerful wholes, first to parts, then to ineffectual warring wholes too small to fight the real enemy.
Whether you call them the 1% or Oligarchs, they weary of our organized resistance and infuriating self-interest. Divide and conquer.
Winners interpret good luck as merit-based, even when the rules overtly favor them and no skill is involved.
When I notice evidence-based research relating to my articles I am adding them.
“At the end of their game, people were asked if it had been fair. Regardless of the conditions, winners were more likely to say yes than losers. Even when the winners benefited from receiving either one or two strong cards from their opponent, they were twice as likely to judge it a fair game as the losers. What’s more, in most versions of the game winners were more likely than losers to attribute success in the game to talent – even though the game required very little.”
Growing disparities of income and wealth have prompted extensive survey research to measure the effects on public beliefs about the causes and fairness of economic inequality. However, observational data confound responses to unequal outcomes with highly correlated inequality of opportunity. This study uses a novel experiment to disentangle the effects of unequal outcomes and unequal opportunities on cognitive, normative, and affective responses. Participants were randomly assigned to positions with unequal opportunities for success. Results showed that both winners and losers were less likely to view the outcomes as fair or attributable to skill as the level of redistribution increased, but this effect of redistribution was stronger for winners. Moreover, winners were generally more likely to believe that the game was fair, even when the playing field was most heavily tilted in their favor. In short, it’s not just how the game is played, it’s also whether you win or lose.
Manufacturing jobs are gone. The only way they could come back is if American workers volunteered to get paid .25/hour.
So, when all these jobs go extinct in the near future…
- Taxi/limo drivers are gone (Uber already has this as a realistic goal)
- Truck drivers (every trucking company is testing long haul robots right now)
- Cashiers (via the “Amazon Go” style technology)
How will the rich continue to get richer?
There are SO many bad outcomes possible from this. The collapse of these jobs won’t occur in a vacuum, it will take much of the economy down with it. All those out of work people won’t go out to eat or buy new clothes. They won’t buy much of anything. This collapses local economies and the big chains will see a steep drop in earnings.
There are other aftershocks: Most likely these folks will lose health insurance. There will be scores of evictions and foreclosures. This orphaned demographic may turn right-wing fascist politically if exploited by devious powers. That’s pretty standard in collapsing economies. Maybe they’ll open leftward but history shows that as less likely.
Since people are complete shit at imagining and preparing for future problems and will even perversely struggle against such preparations (*cough* cough* climate change) I think as many of us as possible should be raising this issue. It won’t help much because politicians are largely paid to safeguard the status of the super-rich. If it comes to a political fight we’ll likely just be locked down and silenced.
Unless we frame it correctly. We must address those most deeply affected.
Who will be the biggest victims of such a collapse? You. The rich! Poor people have nothing, what’s a little more nothing to them? But the people who have nearly everything and whose only wish is for the rest of it as well, suffer deeply at even flattening profit margins.
When the childlike 99% stop buying things, your personal ultra-zeppelin will leak and begin losing altitude. When you finally land, do you know who’ll be waiting to greet you? Correct, the ravening mob.
The only way for you to maintain untouchable, lofty superiority is to support a guaranteed basic income. And unless you want to tumble down a financial sinkhole for several years first, you’d better face it now. This won’t be easy, it will involve distasteful acts that superficially resemble caring about people and being generous. You will have to give money away, probably in the form of paying taxes. This is repellent, and I know it hurts, but denial ain’t just a maxed-out credit card anymore.
Please, won’t you help support the truly deserving in the post-employment age?