The social dilemma of our time is the downfall of capitalism and democracy via grotesque inequality. With so many people in poverty and 400 Americans owning more wealth than half of Americans combined, I must ask, what is capitalism without ethics?! How can such a corrupt system that works for so few persist? How can America even call itself a democracy when it benefits a minority, not the majority?
From living paycheck to paycheck to homelessness, the struggle of the middle and lower class is obvious, but the solution… not so much. Capitalism was suppose to be the system to give everyone an equal opportunity to achieve the ‘American Dream'. Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ was suppose to ‘advance the interest of society’. Democracy was suppose to ensure all were heard, and the majority were helped by taxes and law makers.
The 2008 multi trillion dollar taxpayer bailout helped the rich who created bad loans that were guaranteed to fail, get richer! While the average American taxpayer saw their hard earned money go right back to the top percent of elite bankers. Although the systematic fraud of Wall Street effected millions of Americans, not one senior banker was arrested. After the home mortgage crash, senior level bankers were often referred to as ‘untouchables’ and many ended up giving themselves bonuses after the bailout. While millions suffered from losing their homes and unemployment, future generations became locked into the enslavement of paying government loans through taxation, and the Department of Justice protected those at fault, and sealed the deal… capitalism was officially at it’s worst in the U.S.A. Democracy and capitalism were intended to protect the majority from the very people that are now unfairlly benefiting from it the most. Because many high level Wall Street executives have close ties to politicians and the White House, grotesque inequality has destroyed the concept of 'justice for all’ in law making.
The question, how can the American people ensure grotesque inequality doesn’t interfere with democracy and capitalism still burns for me because there are too many people suffering due to the manipulation of laws and the games of every industry; power generation, agriculture, education, politics, banking, even religion. Answering, how Americans can ensure grotesque inequality doesn’t interfere with democracy and capitalism has been so challenging and tricky because reasonable inequality is in a sense inevitable, and even required. Not everyone can work the same job, make the same paycheck, that’s what drives the motivation behind being able to build your career, achieve something greater if you put the work in, and provide for your family in a capitalist society. At the same time money plays such a huge role in what gets funded and built, what doesn’t, who is heard, and who is silenced, so grotesque inequality does interfere with a healthy democratic and capitalist society.
Critical thinking means asking the hard questions that will lead to a better built world and talking about topics that make people uncomfortable. Democracy and capitalism should not benefit the wealthiest more than the rest of the population in such a grotesque porportion, and because it currently does, we need critical thinking to expose this injustice more than ever.