Posts Tagged inequality
Chystia Freeland’s op-ed in the NY Times.
And Kathleen Geier’s response at Washington Monthly.
But her essential point — that contemporary American elites, by acting exclusively according to what is in their interest in the short term by extracting our collective wealth for themselves and closing off opportunities for social mobility to others, are in the long-run sowing the seeds of destruction for themselves, our economy, and our society. Some of the smarter plutocrats like Warren Buffet understand this phenomenon and are trying to reverse it, but most of the rest of them are completely blind to it. Either that, or they simply don’t care; in the charming parlance of the Wall Street, it’s a case of “IBGYBG” — “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.”
Didn’t somebody once say about capitalists, “Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves?” Indeed.
The basic point of both articles is that America’s wealthiest are engaging in an age-old and ultimately self-destructive pattern of behavior.
For reasons I’ll explain at another time, I’ve spent the last few weeks alternating between a vegetarian (melted cheese is tempting – evil and possibly addictive) and a vegan diet. There have been some almost immediate benefits, not the least of which is that I feel better and I’m saving money at the grocery store. In making this change, I’ve noticed how easy this kind of change is – if you have the resources. It’s not just an awareness issue. It’s an economic and environmental justice issue.
What we choose to eat and where we purchase what we eat is a justice issue. Things like cost, access and quality are connected to economic justice.
Cost is more complex than what you see on the price tag. Buying in bulk, which is often cheaper per unit, is ultimately unaffordable for many low income households.
Access is equally complex. If you use public transportation, its more difficult to transport large quantities and you often limited by schedules in terms of where and when you can shop.
Quality is often a function of both cost and access. If I have access to high quality food but can’t afford it or can’t transport and store it, I might as well not have access. If I don’t have access, cost doesn’t matter. If it’s free but I can’t get it, it might as well be a million dollars.