Posts Tagged ‘Political Economy’

The above article in the New York Times outlines just how bad the disparity is between those who are on the higher end of wealth in the developed world and the rest of us. This focuses on the United States, but I’ll post up some more international statistics later… They aren’t too different. Since Jennifer St. John mentioned it, I thought it was a perfect segue into a related discussion topic.

Now, I believe this to be an equality issue. It’s a different beast from the equality issues we have tackled historically, but it’s still unfair because we have a system that is set up to increase this inequality. Aside from the ways in which fortune 500 companies and corporate entities legally evade certain regulatory powers through this immensely complicated process we call globalization, and besides that this process does not extend its financial benefits to the individual, our governments routinely deny us our Democratic rights by engaging in lopsided economic policy and practices.

The philosophy behind this system is that it is a kind of meritocracy; there may be a financial disparity, but the argument is that they earned it. To an extent, they’re right. Ideally, those who possess such wealth have earned it through hard work and careful planning. However, we cannot ignore the facts: the system in place allows for those who have reached that point to never be brought back down. There are laws and policies in place that undo the very spirit of Capitalism which does make it Democratic, that spirit of competition. We have regulations against monopolization of business sectors, but we don’t have regulations against the monopolization of the market as a whole. That is what is happening. Free trade agreements such as NAFTA, and organizations like WTO (World Trade Organization) possess economic interests while also controlling regulation for those interests. Sound like a problem to you?