Do the Rich Have Any Sense?

The thing about wealth redistribution is that it’s going to happen one way or another. All this blather about the end of history is elitist nonsense. History didn’t start with Marx. There have been peasant rebellions all down through history. Nothing new about a peasant revolt. People will only take so much crap, you know.

Wealth redistribution happens because the folks with a lot less deem it just. They deem their situation, starving and with nothing, to be unjust, no matter how many scams the rich come up to get them to accept things.

The rich have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves: They tell the poor that that’s just the way it is (religion or pie in the sky when you die) or that help is just around the corner (The latest scam – neoliberalism is always just starting to work – let’s just give it some time now!), that flooding the pockets of the rich with cash is the best way to help the peons (trickle down economics), that the party of the rich is the one that benefits the peons the most (the Republican line in the US – liberalism makes you poor).

You can only lie to people so much and for so long. Even idiots are not completely stupid, though Americans seem to be trying to set a record.

Wealth will be redistributed. Why? People don’t like to starve. You can tell people in a thousand ways that their starvation is inevitable or help is on the way or just give us time or God made them starve, but after a while, you can’t fool people anymore. When people are starving, those chickens and cows in Robert Taylor’s yard will be redistributed to folks who didn’t eat yesterday. If not peacefully, then violently. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If the rich had any sense…

If the rich had any sense, they would spread stuff around a bit just to keep the kettle on and ward off a serious revolution where their head ends up on the chopping block.

But they don’t.

That is, the rich have no sense.

They always think that they can stay in power forever, and keep all their stuff forever. There is nothing more arrogant than a rich man. Revolution will never come, he says, and if it does, we will simply defeat it and not give up a dime.

During the Salvadoran Civil War, I studied Salvadoran politics. It was amazing to see. About 2% of the population ran the whole country, and had a huge army and police force who slaughtered anyone who peeped up and said no. The wealth redistribution was off the charts. The rich had it all, and 90% of the population was poor. About 8% were middle class, and they didn’t live very well.

Yet Salvadoran executive and legislative politics was a shocking thing. It was frankly a process whereby the Salvadoran elite was continuously trying to take wealth and land from the other 98% of the population. No matter how much they had, they always wanted more. I thought there wasn’t anything left to steal, but apparently I was wrong! Then I realized something: A rich man never has enough money. The life of a rich man consists of getting up every day and figuring out how to get even richer.

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6 thoughts on “Do the Rich Have Any Sense?”

  1. Since when are there tons of starving people in America? The rich can never have enough money? Neither can the communists apparently. Even when the US poor are pretty well off compared to most people in most times and all places, they’re still “starving,” despite skyrocketing obesity rates, especially amongst the poor.

  2. Dear Robert
    Experience teaches us that people will fight more fiercely to keep what they have than to get what they want. In that sense, we are all conservatives. The rich aren’t different from the rest of us in that respect. It isn’t that they always want more, but they they want to avoid losing what they are already posses.
    An implication of this is that downward income distribution is much easier when there is robust economic growth. If the economy is growing at 6% and the income of the top 20% is growing at only 2%, then there will be more equality even though nobody, not the rich either, is getting poorer. It may not be a coincidence that in all Western countries the welfare state was expanded enormously in the fifties and sixties, when there was rapid growth.

    Regards. James

  3. “what’s your number?”

    this is a common question in latin america. i heard about this from a friend of mine that has mingled with the rich of south and latin america. i’d never heard of this before.

    calling you out now Robert. if you’re informed, you should know about this.

    but i’m with you. let’s march these fuckers out into the streets and shoot them down, Mao style. capitalism has done it’s job…survival of the fittest. no…survival of the greediest. it has filtered out all other values besides greed. remarkably well.

    i am not impressed by people who amass wealth, and i am not impressed by people who acquire degrees. they’re just signs, they are not the true meaning.

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