Wealth Inequality Sacrifices Democracy; Poses Great Danger

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

Wealth inequality leads to dangerous conclusions.  75 years ago Richard Wright wrote an introduction to the scholarly Black Metropolis warning people of the imminent danger to democracy a second-class and disfranchised citizenry poses:

Capitalists today [1945]  hate Hitler for his wholesale, gratuitous murders; but they hate him for another and subtler reason: They hate him for revealing the shaky, class foundations of their society, for reminding them of their sundered consciousness, for flaunting their hypocrisy, for sneering at their hesitations, for manipulating their racial hatreds to a degree that they had never dared.  Gangster of the human spirit that he was, Hitler organized into a brutal army the men who live in those areas of society that the Western world had neglected, organized those men whose reality the Western world could not see.

A large swath of our democracy is sweltering and alienated in anomie; the silencing of a class of men and women through the continual flagrant avoidance of securing their means of equality and their constitutionally mandated right to happiness is a harbinger for tyranny and despotism.

Once again, the wealth concentration survey constructed by Dan Ariely of Duke and Michael Norton of Harvard University is in the news.  Given three unlabeled charts divided into quintiles illustrating various wealth distributions, those of Sweden, the U.S., and an equal distribution, respondents overwhelmingly chose Sweden’s.  Most people also knew that wealth inequality does exist in the U.S., but “although Americans are aware that inequality in the US is substantial, they profoundly underestimate its extent” estimating the top quintile owning 59% when in reality it owns 84%.  Of course, the higher the percentage, the more wealth is in disproportion.

In October of 2010, David Cay Johnson illustrated the recurring phenomenon of wealth inequality in the manifestation of the bottom 40%—or 120,000,000 (that’s million!) citizens—who only own just 3/10 of 1% of the wealth in the U.S. in 21st century Tea Party and GOP lingo:

“Eric detects a seething anger beneath the surface that the right charismatic figure could ignite. He said when he thinks about this, his thoughts turn to another aspect of the culture he lives in, a macho mix of hatred of taxes and romantic notions about guns, which many of his friends own. ‘David, do the people you know, the people you talk to, and who read your column, do they understand how scary this is, what could happen?’ he asks.

My question is whether we are doing anything to calm the situation and to build a society that not only aligns with our ideals, but that promotes the twin interests of stability and economic growth that benefit all.”

Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives need to continually reach out with their real grassroots programs to prevent the Tea Partiers and GOP from stifling these citizens; they need to continue fighting for more funding for an increasingly better education system, universal health care, getting rid of corporate influence in the electoral process, and increasing more effective government regulations on industries that protect citizens in order to swiftly and dramatically reverse this subversive wealth inequality which can only fester, putrefy, and ultimately destroy democracy in America.

The poor and disfranchised, unless helped and integrated into society, are susceptible to possibly ignite under another Hitler.

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